Gotta lady friend (or fella) in your life who is just as infatuated with horses as you are with her (or him)? Here are five super-easy ways to let the horse lover in your life know you REALLY care, without spending oodles on champagne and diamonds (and don’t mention the fact that you spend enough on horses each year to buy a dozen-Valentine’s-Days’-worth of bubbly and glitter)….

1  Do the Chores

That’s right. Slip on your muckity-muck boots, and slip out the door before lover is out of bed or before she gets home from work. Clean the stalls (if you live with a horse owner, we know you know how!), sweep the aisle, empty and refill the water buckets, feed and hay….sure, they aren’t YOUR horses, and maybe you’re a little afraid or a little resentful, but TRUST US. This demonstration of your devotion will score you  MAJOR POINTS in the “love of my life” department.

2  Give the Green Light for Extra Barn Time

Give your love a big kiss and a verbal “It’s a-okay if you spend this weekend at the barn.” One of the biggest strains on relationships with horses in the middle is the amount of time riding and caring for them demands. This can leave boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife in a cold lonely bed early in the morning and eating TV dinners on the couch late evenings. Needless to say, this can cause resentment on one end and stress on the other….so let your horse-crazy partner know that this weekend you want her to take her sweet time, clean as much tack, talk as much horse, and breathe as much hay dust as her little heart desires. Your “he’s a keeper” stock will skyrocket!

3  Stay in and Snuggle with a Bottle of Wine and a Horsey-Flick

Yep. Horsey people usually dig horsey movies, and there are a number of them that a non-horsey individual shouldn’t find TOO cringe-worthy. In fact, if you’re an action-adventure type, a few of them might even get your blood racing–if only for a minute. A few oldies but goodies that shouldn’t be too tortuous for even the most jaded of viewers:

Something to Talk About (1995, Julia Roberts, Robert Duvall, Dennis Quaid)

Seabiscuit (2003, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper)

Hidalgo (2004, Viggo Mortensen–yes, THAT Viggo Mortensen)

The Horse Whisperer (1998, Robert Redford, Kristin Scott Thomas)

4  Give a Show Season I.O.U.

If your honey is a competitor, don’t tell me you haven’t been drugged and dragged to one event or another in years’ past, usually grumbling most of the way. Why not prepare yourself now for two or three “full on” appearances this show season–slip an I.O.U. in your partner’s V-Day card that says you’re all hers (or his) for three events, and will pack, drive, haul, hold, stand, wait, run, lift, carry, prompt, encourage, and congratulate to the best of your lovin’ heart’s ability. You’ve got a few months to get ready for the experience, so go for it.

5  Go for a Romantic Ride

Depending on your geographical location, a romantic ride this time of year may or may not involve sunsets–in fact, it may involve several layers of clothing and very cold toes. But if you have EVER been in the saddle and can manage even the barest of minimums on a good-ol’ “boyfriend horse” (you know, the 15-year-old Quarter Horse gelding that’s seen it all–and seen YOU ALL in the saddle), then tell your main squeeze that you’d like nothing better than to spend an hour riding with her or him. Sure, your muscles will be sore, but such an expression of devotions is sure to earn you a back massage later…

And remember, just because your lover is a horse lover, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have enough love for YOU, too!

(BTW, a great Valentine’s Day read is WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS AND SO ARE THEIR HORSES–check out this review on GREAT BOOKS FOR HORSE LOVERS and order it today from the TSB bookstore