A modern-day challenge it is not—in fact, odds are it has existed as long as there has been the interactive equation of human-and-horse.
What do you do when your one true love truly divides her or his loyalties between two? That is, between you and a four-legged paramour with hay-scented breath and a tendency toward gaseousness?
Rule #1, perhaps to the dismay of many freshly entrapped in the web of human-human-equine devotion, is: Never attempt to come between a horseman or woman and his or her horse—regardless of the holiday.
In other words, to demand a choice this coming Valentine’s Day ala “It’s me or the horse!” practically bangs the nail in your heart-shaped coffin.
Oh yes, you may argue the horse requires sacrifice of a far more frequent and significant nature. But be warned: That will only drive your lover further from your arms (straight into a certain warm-and-hairy embrace, to be exact).
So how to romance the horse lover? How to shower affection on the object of your desire who so boldly shares his or her affections with another? Here are a few tips from those of us at Trafalgar Square Books who assure you that if you’re more than willing to “give,” the “release” will be well worth the wait.
5 Tips for Romancing the Horse Lover
1 DON’T wrinkle or hold your nose, or make a face, when entering your horse lover’s car or truck.
Extra Cupid Points: This Valentine’s Day, vacuum and clean the interior of the vehicle but DO NOT throw away any mysterious bits of leather or metal. Gather unidentifiable items into a shallow plastic garment bin with a cover and LEAVE IT IN THE AUTOMOBILE—your Valentine will appreciate the attempt at organization, even if it doesn’t last (but he or she will never forgive you if a slobber strap or replacement billet has gone missing when it is needed).
2 DO offer to stop by the barn and “just say hi” to you-know-who, but respect your Valentine’s need for “horse space and time”—that is, quiet time, away from it all, with only a four-legged partner to talk to. All of us need a way to decompress and clarify what’s important in life.
Extra Cupid Points: This Valentine’s Day, buy your special someone chocolates, and grab a supersize bag of carrots at the grocery store, while you’re at it. Tie a red ribbon around the top and voila! You’re on your way toward winning two hearts over!
3 DON’T roll your eyes at, laugh at, or otherwise mock the strange titles, headlines, and topic names of interest in horse-related books and magazines your horse lover regularly reads. Believe it or not, “The Lowdown on Sheath and Udder Cleaning” contains knowledge essential to Senor Forelock’s health and comfort, and “Manure Maintenance Misconceptions” may yield the secret to stifling the stench so often attached to “the boots in the hall.”
Extra Cupid Points: Buy a subscription to the equestrian magazine that caters to your Valentine’s favorite breed or discipline of choice, or (even better!) give her/him a Trafalgar Square Books Gift Certificate. There are many (to you, perhaps, befuddling) types of equestrian-related publications out there, and they all provide the kind of “continuing education” your love will happily pursue, while blowing kisses your way from the back of you-know-who.
4 DO volunteer to drive the rig, hold the horse, carry the hay, man the gate, fix the fence, build the shed, shovel the…well, you get the picture.
Extra Cupid Points: Take care of the evening feed that cold night when he/she is going to be home late from work. You can love your horse, and STILL be thankful to come right inside a warm house and a glass of wine instead of feeling your way to the barn in the dark and breaking 2 inches of ice off frozen water buckets.
5 DON’T micromanage your horse lover’s finances. Trust me, there’s little about it you’ll like, but it is commonly accepted by most in the equine industry at the outset that owning and riding horses is a financially devastating set of circumstances. If you’re devoted to your true love, and he/she’s devoted to her horse, the hours will be long and many to earn Handsome’s board and tuition while keeping a roof over your own heads.
Extra Cupid Points: A gift certificate to a local tack shop supports a small business AND puts a smile on your Valentine’s face. Go ahead, throw some more money out the stall window.
Love each other, love your horses. Here’s to planning and having a very Happy Valentine’s Day.
Trafalgar Square Books is the leading publisher of horse books and DVDs. CLICK HERE to shop our online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.