A difficult topic for itself but you have met a girl and she is funny, smart, confident, looks cute and doesn't mind you hanging out with the boys. She ticks all the boxes, you want her in your life and you slowly get to know her better and better. Than during the first three to four weeks of regularly hanging out, she invites you to meet her best friend. Oh my... you think - meeting the girls squad, the girls who know every word you've texted her, who analysed every little bit of any photo she has shown them, the girls who probably will rip you to pieces if you hurt her just once... But then your girl invites sends you the adress of The Barn.
Confusion... but you agree.
So you drive down the road, you are leaving the city and you end up somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where all of a sudden The Barn appears. And right away, Culture Shock hits hard! Your brand new clothes and white Air Maxx are not clean nor white anymore as there is dust, mud and horse poo. Almost EVERYWHERE. With a slight smile your girl ignores your pleading look and she lets you meet her best friend.
Say hi to the 650kg four-legged beast that is sceptically eying you down and could easily just kill you. Still in shock, you see your girl just hugging and cuddling the beast in front of you and the tiniest amount of jealousy comes up, but you quickly leave that thought as... you don't have a chance anyway.
So, in order to stay with your girl you have to deal with that beast, learn its name, habits, be a constant donor of carrots and apples, as well as, learning what a gelding has lost somewhere during his life.
Question is: Can you adapt to the equestrian lifestyle? Yes. Can you make this relationship work? Yes, you can. All you gotta do is learn the Do's and Don't s and rules of the equestrian lifestyle. So we sat down and wrote some tips on how you make your relationship with a horse girl work.
1. Learn the Horsey Language
So when hanging out with your girl at the barn and she is talking Horse with her friends - take notes. Mentally. At some point she will ask you to hand her the bridle and if you are handing her a halter saying: That's the same... No, it is not. And she will be rolling her eyes on you. For sure. Also, there are different terms within the disciplins. Piaffe and Passage are not directly needed in show jumping and a vertical has nothing to do with a line in a dressage test. Oh and hacks... doesn't involve actual hacking...
The more you educate yourself and show interest in what she is doing, the more her and the girls squad will accept you in their horsey world. You'll be known as the keeper in no time.
2. If she says she quickly heads to the barn...
...Don't even think she will be back in time for prime time (Do not start the movie alone!). Even if she just wants to check on her horse before the barn closes, be aware that she takes it out of the stable as one last grooming and some handwalking is always beneficial for the horses health. And the newest barn gossip, we wanna now what Babara did with her new horse and who is seeing the hot international show jumper. If you are lucky she even starts having one or two drinks with her barn girls, gossiping and forgetting time completely. Which brings us directly to the next point...
3. Be Patient
Patience is a strength and equestrian girls train their men indirectly. Not only the late evenings, but also the days you spend together at the barn. Make sure you have enough freetime as one horse can easily consume three hours. 30 minutes driving to the barn, 20 minutes of tacking up, up to an hour of actual riding the horse and another 20 for un-tacking, 10 to 20 minutes for the newest stable gossip or making mash or moaning about not having enough saddle pads... plus 30 minutes going home. Be aware that 3 hours are the best case scenario and that we are talking about one horse... If more horses are involved, you better get your grooming skills up to help her or... call in sick, take a sleeping bag, a good book and some good snacks.
4. Your Car - Get a subscribtion for the car wash
The longer I think about driving to the barn with my own car, the more I feel sorry for my parents and what I did to their cars when I was younger... First of all, make sure you get rubber floor mats for your car so you can pressure wash them. Your girl won't bother too much stepping in your car without changing her shoes first. You'll probably end up with a puddle of mud in your car within the first three days. Also, get some air fresheners (vent clips are brilliant and effective) because the smell won't be leaving your seats anytime soon. And your girl won't notice because we equestrians, we love the horse smell. Furthermore, the guy at the car wash will be more than happy to see you every week, because muddy brown is not a trend colour.
4.1 Have a big car with a trailer hook
Technically just a little extra, but if she knows you can handle a big car and a trailer... Damn.*
* She will drive herself but... you know, on early show mornings it nice to have options...
5. Early Show Mornings
Having the trailer thing sorted, Saturdays and Sundays can't come soon enough. So soon that the alarm goes off at 4am and yes - you have to come. Grab her some coffee and bagles on the way to the barn and hold everything she asks you to hold. Be her errands boy for the day, let her focus on the horse and her ride. She will appreciate it and her stress levels will decrease a lot. When she is hungry, grab some snacks. Have the water bottle ready when she gets out of the ring and give her horse a treat. Her heart will flutter as you not only care about her but also her best friend. You'll score many extra points during show days, with your girlfriend, her girls and mankind in general.
6. Take Photos and Videos
Everything for the Gram! The new Equestrian Stockholm Set just arrived and she is the first one to have it at the barn? Get your camera ready! And don't just take one picture... different positions, angles, everything. For riding pictures get the sport modus on and shoot! The more pictures the better, we can pick the good ones.
And for videos, always horizontal! For showjumping, we want to hear what the judge says before and after the round. Also, get to know the course before filming so you are not losing her while filming. For Dressage, position yourself at A to get a good overview of the ring and she can see the straightness right away.
7. Never question her latest Purchase
The magic of tack shops - So much stuff, not knowing what to look at first. It is the same feeling for her. Don’t question what your girl buys. She buys a pair of socks that are so thin you don't see a reason to even wear them? Don’t say a word… especially if there is a chain or a whip nearby that she’s planning on buying. €500 field boots?…Easy. €200 pants with the title Cavalleria Toscana on them? Your girls fav. A bucket and couple brushes come to over a €100? Smile and nod son. It’s expensive but necessary. Your job at the tack shop is to tell your girl her butt looks great in every pair of breeches she wears, zip up the tall boots with nothing but your dainty bare hands, and be prepared to carry everything considering they don’t have carts.
Nowadays, it is the magic of online shops - endless possibilities. And if she spends more than 100€ it is free shipping - what more do we want?
8. She does like you
She is about to head to the stable and all you get is a little wave and a 'Bye Babe'? You two are about to leave the stable and the horse get a big cuddle, some kisses and lots of I love you, I miss you already, Sleep well, See you tomorrow? She does like you, for sure. It is just... it is her horse. We cannot explain it.
9. Do not mention injuries or sicknesses
Equestrians are aware of vet bills and how high they can be, so please, do not mention that a horse could be lame or worse - that the horse has not needed a vet for the last x months. Your girl will look at you in horror because you just summoned a demon. We believe that as soon as an injury is mentioned out loud, the horse will get sick and regular trips to the clinic are settled. So, for the your own health, the horses health and WEALTH, please never mention anything the horse could have and that requires a vet.
10. The Weather
And last but not least, the one which seems not really important but it is. Horse riding is not a summer sport, even though we seem to do it only in summer according to social media. Show pictures, hacking out wearing tech tops, sunglasses on during riding... but trust me, we also go and see the horse when it is raining like waterfalls, when there are tons of snow or when it is freezing cold. And that is also why your girl needs so many barn clothes, she needs to stay cool and fresh in summer, dry during autumn, warm during winter and all of these three during moody spring.
10.1 You also better get a special barn clothes department in your wardrobe ;)
And here you have it, your 10 tips to deal with your equestrian girl. Go and get her Ponyboy!