Horseback Riding: The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Date

This Ralph Lauren ad from a recent issue of Vogue Magazine got me thinking about great dates on horseback...

It’s less than a week away and you have NO IDEA how to make the day of hearts, candy, cards, and kisses special…

Let me tell you…for a whole lotta women (and men) out there, this one’s EASY.

This Valentine’s Day, just go for a ride.

The romance of riding next to someone you love didn’t really occur to me until I came upon a Ralph Lauren ad in my newest issue of Vogue Magazine. A gorgeous guy kisses a gorgeous girl in a gorgeous grassy field—and they are of course aboard gorgeous horses. It is a set shot, sure, but captures the fantasy that many of us harbor within, that of blissful moments where our passion for the simplicity of the outdoors, for riding, and for horses crosses over into the real (and often convoluted and confusing) world of human-to-human relationships.

Sure, I’ve dragged men, most of them resigned if not a little scared, out on trail rides. I’ve saddled up a trusty “boyfriend horse” and instructed my beau du jour to “just drop the reins and grab the horn.” But I wouldn’t ever describe those escapades as romantic. For one, they were always my idea. For two, the guy was usually doing it because he felt like he had to if he ever wanted to see me again.

But you know what, all you non-horse-lovin’ partners out there, be you girls or boys, young or old? Suggesting a gallop along the beach or a stroll down the trail, summoning your courage, and enthusiastically joining in the fun that most certainly is riding a horse, could be your ticket to the very best and by far the most memorable Valentine’s Day ever.

You could take it one step further and propose. But that turns a very affordable date into a rather more pricey affair! And then there is the wedding to be considered…Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado, the former stars of the hit show Cavalia and the authors of the TSB bestseller GALLOP TO FREEDOM got married on horseback. Words of advice: match the suit and/or dress to the horse.

Hey, we all need a conduit for love, every now and again. You have (a little less than) six days to find the right place, and the right horse, to make the ultimate romantic Valentine’s Day date happen. Go for it.

Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado, the former stars of the hit show Cavalia and the authors of the TSB bestseller GALLOP TO FREEDOM, got married on horseback.

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.)