Do you smell that wondrous, rose-scented aroma in the air? That can only mean one thing – Valentine’s Day is here! Whether you have a significant other or not (horses count, too, ya know) Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show your loved ones how much they mean to you.
Although it’s difficult for our non-horsey loves to understand our infatuation with these big, furry creatures, eventually they come to understand that they can't have one of us without the other. So what’s wrong with jumping in feet first and taking them straight to the barn on a first date? I don’t see any red flags there. You have to start somewhere, right?
We asked you (and a couple NF staffers) about the first time you took your non-horsey significant other to a horse show. And boy do you have some good stories! Take it away!
I found out on our honeymoon, on our way to ride horses on the beach that my husband was terrified of horses because he intentionally got lost finding the stables. It has been eight years of slowly bringing him into the horse world. He just agreed to buy our first horse! - Amy R.
The first time I brought my SO to a horse show was unplanned and the second time we hung out alone. I picked him up from the library where he was tutoring a young kid. On our way back to his house, we drove by a horse show and he insisted we stop and watch knowing my infatuation with horses. We sat in the stands for an hour sweltering under the 90 degree sun while he was dressed in khakis and a button down. I knew it was true love when he informed me he forgot to put on underwear and had to leave since his butt was too sweaty and showing through his pants. - Lizzy Y.
I was so nervous when going on the first date with this guy. My horse is the most wonderful thing I know, so I brought him to the barn on the first date. He loved it, now we’re living together and have bought a dog because of a great first date in the barn! - Stine T.
The first time I brought my non-horsey significant other to the barn, my incredibly enormous horse decided to be even more of a treat monster than he usually was, because a new person meant better food opportunities. There was a lot of personal space invasion and a terrified boyfriend thinking he would be eaten by the giant, black, fluffy thing. My normally calm horse also managed to spook at some air and some dirt that had been there before, so it made a really positive impression. - Lynn M.
I was asked “how high do you jump in your races?” “You’ve been riding for a while now, aren’t you a professional yet?” - Liyana A.
I sadly had food poisoning during a big snow storm we had here last year in the U.K., so my boyfriend had to walk four miles with a rug on his back to make sure my retired mare was okay in the field, put her another layer on and ensure all the other horses had water. Guess you can say I certainly threw him in at the deep end! What a keeper. - Lydia D.
When I brought my SO to the barn for the first time, he was leading my mare on a halter. She was obviously following him but he got nervous and tried to walk further and faster away from her. Her being obedient and following pursuit, made it a very funny picture. - Martellie
"My normally calm horse also managed to spook at some air and some dirt that had been there before, so it made a really positive impression."
The first time my SO came to a horse show, he had just gotten off an overnight shift at work and – without sleeping first – drove several hours to the venue in time for my ride time. It was a three day show, so we camped overnight in the trailer (without heat and it was 32 degrees out). He was the perfect horse show boyfriend, helping out my friends and me and making sure we were fed and watered. He even saved the day when a horse got its head stuck in the trailer. I knew he was the one when he used the term show jumping correctly in a sentence, without prompting. He’s always been so supportive of the horses. I knew he was a keeper, and now we are happily married! - Leslie T.
He came to a show in my early days of competing… He didn’t come again until last year… 10 years later. - Eva O.
Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook are equestrian relationship #goals and these pictures of their magical barn wedding will make you melt.
I convinced my non-horsey fiancé to ride my five-year-old gelding. Although green, he’s quiet on the flat but I walked beside them just in case. After a few minutes my fiancé told me to stop hovering, so I walked to the center of the ring. Not even a minute later, my horse walked in to a jump standard so instead of steering him, he leaned out to push the standard away and promptly fell right off. It was a major facepalm moment but he was fine and got back on. Needless to say, he is not so fond of riding him anymore. Thankfully he really enjoys watching the grand prix classes with me, so I have won him over as an admirer of the sport! - Catherine P.
I first brought him to the barn, he instantly started handing out treats and became known as the treat man. But when I was trying to teach him to groom he told me he could do it by himself… I walked up later to find him brushing my horse’s neck with the hairbrush I use for her mane and tail. - Sydney G.
Supportive since day one, but never rode before. The first show he came to watch was Vegas. I was in the World Cup qualifier, and he hasn’t missed a show since. Two years later, he started taking riding lessons on the weekends (check him out in the photo above!), and now is hoping he’ll get good enough to warm up the horses for me! He’s the best! - Nicole P.
My non-horsey boyfriend actually booked me a few riding lessons as a birthday gift since he knew it was a long time dream of mine to learn it properly. He watched three lessons before he tried it himself. We’ve been riding and attending show jumping events together for almost two years now. - Kimberley H.
The first time my boyfriend nervously met my 17-hand warmblood, he was giving me a hug goodnight when one started peeing. He was completely shocked how loud it was! Although, I don’t know that he will ever get over that. - Alexa D.
My ex-boyfriend, despite his MANY flaws, was always super supportive of my riding. I was competing at equitation finals in my region and he came along to support me. He had broken his leg playing soccer and was on crutches at the time, but he was keen to pitch in since I didn't have a groom and was doing it all myself. When we rolled up to the show and started setting up stalls, I turned around and he was lugging water buckets, one by one, from the spigot to my horse's stall, moving slow enough not to spill the water as he crutched along with a big smile. It was pretty precious. - Caroline S.
The first time my SO came to a horse show he told me he didn’t want to follow me around all day carrying the grooming bag because it looked too much like he was carrying a purse… I put all the stuff into a bucket. Problem solved. - Emily H.
Got a love story of your own to share? Comment below!
Feature photo by Erin Gilmore.