Societal constructs

Deltofe2493

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So.. I showed a colleague a pic of me & my horse at a show recently, and he automatically said ‘how very middle class’

I wouldn’t say I am.. I work 2 jobs to be able to afford the bloody thing lol but people do associate horses with wealth. In effect it is a ‘middle class’ hobby because of the expense.

I mean as long as you’re happy and healthy who gives a toss but was food for thought nonetheless and want to get other peoples opinions??
 
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It's seen by pretty much all who aren't involved in it as middle class. It's not just equstrianism though - skiing, motor racing, sailing, golf etc are all seen much the same. I'm not surprised it is seen like that, on the whole it's hideously expensive to partake in. Hutning is for gentry and country estate women, racing for millionaire owners and women in hats and international horse shows are filled with £300k horseboxes, so there isn't really anything that would tell them otherwise.

ETA: from the POV of people not in the sport, obviously I know it isn't just for gentry etc etc
 

Deltofe2493

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It also goes to show as well that the class system doesn’t make sense. Is it just based on money? Or is it based on how people present themselves?

If I had to categorise myself, knowing my background I would put myself in working class… but I am well spoken and university educated (got by from grants from the Gov as my household earned under the threshold and I also worked part-time in retail). Do these things make a difference to societies ‘class’ system? Do these things show that it’s a load of absolute sh*te?

Idk why I’m so intrigued… maybe I feel triggered cause I don’t like people categorising me from the off.

I have also found it is as expensive as you want it to be… I opt for lower range stuff if I know it’s gona get trashed in 2 seconds anyway (which is majority!!!)
 

twobearsarthur

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Every single person I know who isn’t involved with horses believes it’s “posh” or for rich people. They have an image of dressage riders “prancing around” wearing too hats. Or “toffs” hunting etc.. so are all under the misapprehension that I’m rich or fancy. They don’t see the straw filled underwear (thank god), or me being up to my knees in mud and horse hair. Or how I go without holidays or fancy cars to afford to keep my horse. I remember people at school thinking the same thing 40 years ago so nothings changed.
 
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It also goes to show as well that the class system doesn’t make sense. Is it just based on money? Or is it based on how people present themselves?

If I had to categorise myself, knowing my background I would put myself in working class… but I am well spoken and university educated (got by from grants from the Gov as my household earned under the threshold and I also worked part-time in retail). Do these things make a difference to societies ‘class’ system? Do these things show that it’s a load of absolute sh*te?

Idk why I’m so intrigued… maybe I feel triggered cause I don’t like people categorising me from the off.

I have also found it is as expensive as you want it to be… I opt for lower range stuff if I know it’s gona get trashed in 2 seconds anyway (which is majority!!!)
I know there is no malice to your posts, but I think it would be short sighted to say it's only as expensive as it needs to be which implies to me that it's not out of reach for people. I understand some people keep them on the side of the road, which is of course a extreme, but even £100-200pcm is a completely unfathomable amount of money to a hell of a lot of people; and I can't see you keeping them for much less than that, unless you own land which is a whole other story.

I'm not saying I agree with this classification but the Oganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development define middle class as the following:

1641847753563.png

I agree that the class system is something used by people purely to try to justify their (often) envy or derision for another section of society when they are otherwise unable to substantiate their anger. I usually find that it's a weapon used by those who consider themselves 'lower' in societal rankings than the people they are trying to get at. I wouldn't let it get to you, the fact that the class system or the idea of it bothers them that much says more about them than anyone else. I refuse to take any notice of class, although by the above I would be considered middle class which is a new thing to me! I consider it the same as race, gender or sexual preferance.. I choose not to see any distinction in any of it, everyone is treated the same, without judgement or bias.

My ex-boyfriends mother always hated me because she said I was a stuck up posh b!tch - this opinion based solely on the fact I worked full time, lived at mums in a house she owned and owned my own car. I was 17 at the time so I'm not sure exactly what else she had to base this opinion on, I never once treated them any differently to anyone else - but it is what it is.
 
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paddy555

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My ex-boyfriends mother always hated me because she said I was a stuck up posh bitch - this opinion based solely on the fact I worked full time lived at mums in a house she owned and owned my own car. I was 17 at the time so I'm not sure exactly what else she had to base this opinion on, I never once treated them any differently to anyone else - but it is what it is.
my in laws were very very snobbish. I was regarded as the lowest of the low by them. Socially I am sure they felt I was barely out of the workhouse. Financially I was miles above them but still always regarded by my lowly status.

MIL suggested I research her family history which I did in detail. This was in the days when it was done manually and I duly turned up with copies of all the 17 and 1800 marriage etc certs for her inspection. It didn't go down too well when I showed her the "cross" signatures and explained they were illiterate peasant ag labs. In fact she wasn't half so interested in them after that. I am afraid she was very much a snob. :D

no idea what class I am and I don't rightly care.
 

Deltofe2493

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You are correct, sorry I meant to say tack & equipment wise. I.e most of my stuff is shires. It would be nice to have the fancier stuff but correct me if I’m wrong a brushing boot is a brushing boot! And reins are reins!

Mare is on part livery because my work is very demanding, so I know she has consistent routine & care.

It was completely out of reach for me at one stage, I was working, commuting & living in London. I had a couple lessons and found myself thinking how much I’d love my own and what the costs would be etc. But rent & travel was £750 alone so there was no way I could a) save to buy b) then have finances to cover maintenance.

It’s only since moving out of the city and living with bf and his parents at extremely subsidised rent and WFH (no commuter costs) allowing for rest of my income to go towards mare’s costs, plus a redundancy pay out that has allowed me to buy her in the first place.

Having Googled, I think home owning is considered to be a ‘middle’ class thing, but like you say ashetland, see no distinction of it because it is the same as gender race etc doesn’t matter what you have it’s who you are as valuable.
 

Deltofe2493

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I know there is no malice to your posts, but I think it would be short sighted to say it's only as expensive as it needs to be which implies to me that it's not out of reach for people. I understand some people keep them on the side of the road, which is of course a extreme, but even £100-200pcm is a completely unfathomable amount of money to a hell of a lot of people; and I can't see you keeping them for much less than that, unless you own land which is a whole other story.

I'm not saying I agree with this classification but the Oganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development define middle class as the following:

View attachment 85637

I agree that the class system is something used by people purely to try to justify their (often) envy or derision for another section of society when they are otherwise unable to substantiate their anger. I usually find that it's a weapon used by those who consider themselves 'lower' in societal rankings than the people they are trying to get at. I wouldn't let it get to you, the fact that the class system or the idea of it bothers them that much says more about them than anyone else. I refuse to take any notice of class, although by the above I would be considered middle class which is a new thing to me! I consider it the same as race, gender or sexual preferance.. I choose not to see any distinction in any of it, everyone is treated the same, without judegement or bias.

My ex-boyfriends mother always hated me because she said I was a stuck up posh bitch - this opinion based solely on the fact I worked full time lived at mums in a house she owned and owned my own car. I was 17 at the time so I'm not sure exactly what else she had to base this opinion on, I never once treated them any differently to anyone else - but it is what it is.
I remember when I met my mother in law and I said I had to get my skirt from the dry cleaners and she was like bloody hell some money. I was 23 🤣🤣 on about 19k trying to survive & thrive in the big smoke lol.
 

Deltofe2493

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my in laws were very very snobbish. I was regarded as the lowest of the low by them. Socially I am sure they felt I was barely out of the workhouse. Financially I was miles above them but still always regarded by my lowly status.

MIL suggested I research her family history which I did in detail. This was in the days when it was done manually and I duly turned up with copies of all the 17 and 1800 marriage etc certs for her inspection. It didn't go down too well when I showed her the "cross" signatures and explained they were illiterate peasant ag labs. In fact she wasn't half so interested in them after that. I am afraid she was very much a snob. :D

no idea what class I am and I don't rightly care.
second time mother in law has been mentioned on this thread… these women are DANGEROUS!!
 

blitznbobs

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I think its all in the eye of the beholder. My husband and i worked for everything we have - had grants for university and worked in the kitchens of the university to make ends meet. (Working class?) Graduated as a doctor and supported husband through his masters — paying for it , the mortgage and everything else doing locum shifts in my very limited spare time (middle class?) we now have several businesses, own land, live in a mortgage free 8 bedroom Georgian rectory with more farm land and several other houses ( upper class? Nouveau riche?)

I have had horses at all stages. I bought a welsh cob with my first ever pay check as a doctor… had cheap projects as a teenager… now can buy what i want …

I am very much the same person (if slightly larger) than i was when i was 16… just love ponies really…

Class just isnt important really its just another unhelpful label
 

lynz88

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The class system isn't really a thing back home but when people find out that I moved over here from Canada, bought my own home (no partner) just outside of London, own a horse (for which I brought him from home and he has managed to find every way under the sun to injure himself and not work for a good few years and counting now.....), put myself through college back home and Uni here, and have done it before the age of 35, I get some comments....reality is I have a good job BUT I'm a saver. I could have furnished my house by now but I also like to save should something go wrong with the house or horse or my job. I have also been through the ringer to get to where I am having been nearly kicked out of the country twice due to job/visa problems, worked for peanuts so I could be here on a visa.....and now have a well paying but very, very difficult job.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I get people who turn their nose up at me when they find out I worked in a factory to pay for college tuition and most of my family work in the trades....which is "normal" back home!!
 

Snail

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So.. I showed a colleague a pic of me & my horse at a show recently, and he automatically said ‘how very middle class’

I wouldn’t say I am.. I work 2 jobs to be able to afford the bloody thing lol but people do associate horses with wealth. In effect it is a ‘middle class’ hobby because of the expense.

I mean as long as you’re happy and healthy who gives a toss but was food for thought nonetheless and want to get other peoples opinions??
Everything is a societal construct. Money, status, education, class, all of it.
Do what makes you happy.
If what makes you happy is making a big prey animal move around in a certain way with you on its back - do it. It doesn't matter. Nothing matters. We're all just atoms really and they don't judge us.
 

little_critter

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Class isn’t necessarily tied to wealth - I know quite a few titled people who haven’t two pence to rub together, although they may live in big houses (usually very run down). I’m firmly middle class and not in the least worried about it, although it does make me laugh (at myself).
Similarly there are ‘working class’ people who are minted. Last year I watched a Back to the Floor program following the owner of a static caravan site business (multiple sites). He was very obviously a millionaire (he owned a Bugatti!) but was also from gypsy traveller stock and still lived that culture. I don’t think you could say he was middle or upper class, despite being very very well off.
 

rabatsa

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second time mother in law has been mentioned on this thread… these women are DANGEROUS!!
My daughter in law called me a toff. She came from an inner city and I took her to a local hunt meet, where I knew nearly everyone. In her words "It was just like on the telly". I volunteered to take her daughter on a pony to the next local meet and no way would she let that happen.
 

Deltofe2493

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My daughter in law called me a toff. She came from an inner city and I took her to a local hunt meet, where I knew nearly everyone. In her words "It was just like on the telly". I volunteered to take her daughter on a pony to the next local meet and no way would she let that happen.
Ffs… would be so good for her kid to get outside and experience something amazing! Her loss!!!
 

Deltofe2493

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Class isn’t necessarily tied to wealth - I know quite a few titled people who haven’t two pence to rub together, although they may live in big houses (usually very run down). I’m firmly middle class and not in the least worried about it, although it does make me laugh (at myself).
Absolutely nothing wrong with whatever you are and funny you can laugh. Fave comedian is Jack Whitehall constantly taking the mick out of his privilege 😂
 

Skib

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The Ag Lab entry on a census does not denote social class. The eldest and youngest sons of the village landowner might become landowners themselves. All the other sons are probably down as Ag Lab. It took money to enter the middle classes. A rich uncle linen trader financed the medical traiing of my gt gt grandfather.
Hunting is another question. My s.i.l. disapproved strongly of hunting but his daughter has ridden all her life and wanted for nothing.
 

AntiPuck

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It's a weird way to react outwardly, but you can't blame people for thinking it.

Ultimately, you do need some level of extra income in order to have much to do with horses, unless you're very lucky. That is way out of reach for a big chunk of society. There are lots of people living paycheck-to-paycheck, and traditionally being middle class was about having a level of comfort financially (along with other things).
 

Keith_Beef

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the Oganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development define middle class as the following:

The OECD needs a definition based purely on income, to be able to compare populations between countries.

But I'm sure that the term "middle class" as it is used in the UK is not as linked to wealth or income.

We talked a lot about class in the "design for living" course in comprehensive school, and I remember that one of the markers for being middle class was having a current account and cheque book or having access to credit.

Then there is how the Two Ronnies saw the question.

 
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We have had characters in the past rock up on our yard with four or five horses in tow. They would make the cast of 'Shameless' look appealing. Freely admitting they can't pay for rent/hay/bedding this week because their money isn't due. They stay two or three months, then up sticks and move on. The non judgmental part of me says 'do what you like with your money' but the practical one says why do you need to collect horses? We all know the cost of responsible ownership, and it is not a cheap hobby - nothing to do with class.
 

Mule

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Realistically though unless your horses are living at the side of the road if you can afford to have horses you earn a middle class wage.
You have to go by wage otherwise you have people claiming plumbers, carpenters and electricians are working class when they earn more than many university educated middle class people.
 

Asha

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i think the class system is woefully outdated , society has moved on from the upstairs downstairs culture.
Why is there a need to pigeon hole anyone , i really couldnt care if someone thought they where middle/upper/working class, or if they categorised me in the same way. I like to think i see people for who they are, not what they have or havent got.
 

Polos Mum

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There's an interesting reverse snobbery about the middle class. My MIL (sorry to mention them again) was mortally offended when I suggested she was middle class. They retired to France and own outright a nice house there, 2 cars and caravan, winter in Spain when the weather is bad, holidays all over the world Auz, Borneo etc.

I had to apologise and agree she was working class because they worked for what they have ............................ don't most of us !!

Even very basic DIY / wormers / trimmer must add up to enough disposable income to be middle class, although I am sure most work really hard to be able to enjoy that.
I think it's the terminology that's bad - not being working class doesn't mean you don't work hard.
The John Cleese sketch on this is very good.
 

Ratface

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For fifty-five plus years, I worked in a difficult and dangerous profession. My horses kept me sane.
Now, the pension from that job is almost wholly consumed by the current incumbent.
I'd probably be a burden on the NHS if I didn't own/ride him.
In outdated societal terms, I'd be upper class.
Fortunately, neither the horse or I care.
 
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