Two of my best friends in first grade were Barbara Pigott and Corina Smith. I held them in high esteem because they were the only two students (male or female) in my class who could beat me in a sprint race. Barbara eventually ran for the track team in high school. Last time I saw her was 30 years ago, at our high school 5th reunion. She had found Jesus. Oh, well. Cory's family moved out of the area after seventh grade. I've missed her ever since.
The intensity of my relationship with Barbara and Cory peaked in the second grade when I became fascinated with their passion for horses. They talked about horses all the time and fantasized about owning and riding horses. We all read Black Beauty at least a half-dozen times. They were constantly drawing pictures of horses and they taught me how. I couldn't draw anything else, but I got quite good at sketching horses.
So, second grade is when I became aware of the special link between women and horses (see http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1889540528/102-9099873-5221737?v=glance&n=283155 ). As a male, I could not remain within the inner circle of that special bond. In fact, as I got older I discovered I felt very uncomfortable around real horses. I didn't like it when we were offered rides on horses owned by my cousins Brenda and Linda in Illinois. I felt unsafe and not in control up there on those big animals. Which makes me respect women who ride all the more.