A Valentine To My Number One

Haley Ruffner, the Academic Equestrian, has a special message for the important guy in her life.
From left to right: Haley's friend Elena, Cricket and Haley, ready for prom. Photo by Maria Hurd.

From left to right: Haley’s friend Elena, Cricket and Haley, ready for prom. Photo by Maria Hurd.

Dear Valentine,

Thank you for spoiling me this year—you didn’t buck me off once, and you only went through two winter blankets. I very much appreciate your loving personality (even if it’s only for the peppermints), and your winter coat is wonderful for cuddling on chilly evenings when I come to the barn.

Even though we’ve been together for five years now, every year you grow more handsome and muscular. You’ve matured so much, and even through your gangly and rebellious stages, I have never regretted choosing you.

I cherish our time together, but when we’re apart it still seems as though you’re with me. Your scent lingers on my skin, in my hair, and on my clothes, and everyone around me knows we’ve been together by the tell-tale snot and hair that blankets my jacket.

Not everyone understands our relationship, but that’s okay. Sometimes my friends will ask why I spend more time with you than with them, and my family rolls their eyes when I come to dinner late and smelling like the barn. The truth of the matter is that I like spending time with you because you make me the happiest.

You’re honest, smart, snuggly, and mostly well-behaved. You don’t argue with me (little disagreements over whether or not there are monsters in the corner of the arena don’t count as arguments, really) and you’re always happy to see me. Honestly, your personal hygiene isn’t even that bad compared to a lot of people.

It seems to be a growing trend to refer to one’s significant other as “bae,” but you’ve been bay for years and I don’t see that changing any time soon.



Haley is the author of Horse Nation’s “Academic Equestrian” series, following her collegiate experience as she balances her studies with participation on the varsity equestrian team and time with her own horse. Catch up on past columns by clicking the #ACADEMIC EQUESTRIAN tag at the top of the page!

Haley Ruffner is attending Alfred University, majoring in English and minoring in Business and Equestrian Studies. She has a green Quarter Horse, At Last an Invitation “Cricket,” and he is also “enrolled” at Alfred. She rides western and hunt seat and also loves to rein and trail ride.

Photo by Maria Hurd.

Photo by Maria Hurd.

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