The Rundown: Finding Mr. Right

Cowgirls, lock your sights on a man who isn’t afraid to muck a stall and wear spurs to the grocery store.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

AQHA members Jeremy and Sara Gugelmeyer of Dalhart, Texas, know how to balance in life, especially when it comes to sharing horses. Remember, friends: Sharing is caring. (Journal photo)

Maybe you’re like me and you know an astounding number of folks splitting the sheets, breaking up, divorcing, lighting their significant other’s truck on fire, etc. It’s quite heartbreaking to watch friends and family suffer. With that in mind, I think it’s my duty to speak to the hearts of my fellow horsewomen (and -men).

To tell you the truth, I’m inspired by this Hallmark holiday that I generally find lacking in inspiration. You see, I am, and always will be, a Valentine’s Day hater. But judging by the aisles and aisles of weight-inducing chocolate and gag-worthy … er, I mean heart-warming greeting cards, I think I am the minority in my assessment of February 14.

So, cowgirls, if you’re on the prowl for a Valentine, or maybe you’ve already got one locked down, heed my warnings and tread lightly before you make any sudden moves, like giving your new man the keys to your horse trailer.

Let’s think about the thing in life that matters most: your American Quarter Horse. For the average horsewoman, taking your new boyfriend to meet “Wimpy” can be more nerve-racking than taking the fella home to meet the parents.

Before you dive right in with this guy, keep in mind my checklist for finding Mr. Right:

  • He’s the first to grab the manure fork and go to work on a pen full of horse poo.
  • He isn’t afraid to get up before the crack of dawn, watch you ride your magnificent steed around the warm-up pen, freeze his butt off in the stands all day, wait for you to show, listen to your comments and critiques on what you think you could have done better, then stay up into the wee hours of the next morning just so you can practice and tweak for the next day’s performance.
  • He knows how to zip a pair of chaps that “seem to have shrunk” and can pull off a pair of tall boots without breaking a sweat.
  • He’d never let you carry a hay bale, unless he’s already got two in his hands.
  • Open your own door? Heck no – he’s always there, Johnny on the spot, to guide you into his cab-and-a-half dually.  

I’m not saying he needs to be the Marlboro Man, but your beau should at least have an appreciation of what you do, plus how you spend your time and your money. Horse showing isn’t an easy hobby – it’s tough. So it takes a tough man to see through the thousands of dollars spent every year on alfalfa, shoeing, a brand-new saddle, new tires for the trailer – the list goes on and on.

It’s worth the wait, though, when you do find Mr. Right. Just remember, it’s no fun trail riding alone. And it’s no fun trail riding with someone who can’t enjoy the ride.