Love Me, Love My Horse: Valentine’s Day Dos and Don’ts for All the Suckers Out There Who Love Horse Lovers

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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

 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.

TSB’s Fun, Easy Valentine’s Day Horse Treats!

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Our guiding premise at Trafalgar Square Books is “For the Good of the Horse”…we try to hold ourselves and our books and DVDs to this standard in an effort to make the world a better place for horses and humans to work and play together.

Sometimes what’s “good for the horse” is a treat or two (or three, in many cases…)! And what better way to show your best buddy you love him than nutritious, heart-shaped goodies on Valentine’s Day? TSB Managing Director Martha Cook and Promotions Director Julie Beaulieu played Horseman’s Test Kitchen, whipping up these yummy Valentine’s treats for their horses.

Check these out…great horse treats for the four-legged residents of your home or boarding barn, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

TSB’S I HEART MY HORSE TREATS

Ingredients

  • 1 cup carrot grated
  • 1 apple grated
  • 2 tbs corn oil
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • a ground up peppermint or candy cane can be a nice addition

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a cookie sheet (or heart-shaped cupcake tin) well.
  3. In a large bowl, mix carrot, apple, corn oil, and molasses together.
  4. Fold in salt, oats, and flour until well mixed.
  5. Scrape the mixture onto the cookie sheet. It will be sticky. Use a sheet of wax paper between the “dough” and a rolling pin and roll out the mixture until it’s between a 1/8 and ¼ thick. Score dough with a knife to make it easier to break apart into squares after baking. Or, roll dough out in the same manner on the cookie sheet and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to create Valentine’s-Day-appropriate shapes. Do not remove the bits between the shapes.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until brown.
  7. Let cool and then using a spatula and table knife break apart square or shapes. The extra “bits” make good treats, too!

Everyone at TSB hopes you and your horse(s) have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Love your dog, too? CLICK HERE for our great Valentine’s Day Dog Treats!

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR GREAT HORSE BOOKS & DVDS

Love Your Dog? Check Out TSB’s Easy Valentine’s Day Dog Treats

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At TSB, we know a whole lot of horse people are dog people, too, and if you’re anything like us, you want to show your pups a little love as often and in as many ways as you can. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought it a good time to share an easy homemade dog treat recipe that’s sure to please the dog(s) in your life. Tail wags guaranteed!

My (almost) four-year-old son Augustin helped make these treats for our Redbone Coonhound Boon—they are easy, fun, and as you can see from the photos, a big hit with the pup!

TSB’s I Heart My Dog Treats

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 eggs

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

2 tbs peanut butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

1  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

2  Stir together ingredients. Add a little flour as needed to make dough dry and a bit stiff, but still able to hold together.

3  Roll the dough out on liberally floured surface to 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick and cut using heart-shaped cookie cutters (we used kitty-shaped cookie cutters, too!)

4  Bake until hard—about 45 minutes.

5  Let cool and then go ahead, share the love!

Check our blog tomorrow for our TSB I Heart My Horse Treats—more nutritious and easy Valentine’s Day cookies for the love(s) of your life!

Click Here to Shop the TSB Online Bookstore–Great Horse Books and DVDs

5 Get-Love-Quick Tips for Lovers of Horse Lovers on Valentine’s Day

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 www.HorseandRiderBooks.com.)