In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to give a shout-out to my distinctly unhorsey boyfriend, Johnny.
|Those are dogs embroidered on the pants.
Despite his city upbringing, he’s been a valiant supporter of my equestrian pursuits since we met nearly five years ago.
When I lived in Kansas, he came with me to watch polo practice. (He spent the time playing with the coach’s dog.) He listened to me talk, at length, about horses, tack, and various equestrian sports and asked intelligent questions.
He was supportive of my career in therapeutic riding, despite its low salary, long hours, and lingering barn smell that followed me home every night.
When I thought I wouldn’t be able to buy Gina, he found a way to make it work. When I wanted to move Moe to Oklahoma, he helped me sort out the particulars.
Johnny gamely went on a trail ride on our annual summer vacation. (He nearly fell off.) He happily accompanies me to the barn and has learned to feed the horses treats, groom them, and lead them. He’ll watch me ride, hold the horse while I do something else, cheer for me at a show (despite having no idea how scoring works). He watches Rolex, endures the annual Kentucky Derby party, and listens to my commentary on the Olympic equestrian events.
While Johnny may never be horsey in the way I am, I know he appreciates them as funny, beautiful animals. He understands how important they are to me, and never complains about their costs, the time I spend at the barn, or the bridles hanging from the back of kitchen chairs.
Happy Valentine’s Day to Johnny, and to all the other unhorsey significant others out there! We love you almost as much as we love the horse.