Dating a Horse Girl: The Survival Guide

“One photo or video is never enough. The girl will to watch everything that happened while she was on top of her giant land mammal.”

Images provided by Entrigue Consulting

Growing up as a horse girl, it’s not uncommon to spend all day in the barn then coming home covered in hay, mud, or manure. We usually smell so bad that by the end of the day we’ve became immune to our own aroma.

When we are not watching hours of videos of ourselves riding, critiquing every little angle and how our leg isn’t back enough, we are complaining of how broke we are and how we can’t afford to buy normal human things while not blinking as we pay for our horse(s) to get a pedicure with some fancy aluminum shoes. Crazy right?

Usually, when men think of horse girls, they have this image of someone with tight jeans, tan skin, and someone who is abnormally clean with a face full of makeup on while driving a truck. While that may be true, there is so much more that goes into being with a horse girl. We should honestly come with a warning label just so guys know what they are getting into before they are too far into the first date!

I recently met my boyfriend’s family at dinner this past week and in a simple conversation with his parents, I told them that I went to school for horses. I wish I could describe the face that he gave me at that moment and how high his eyes rolled into his head. I’m pretty sure it was the exact same face that I got when my boyfriend told me that he never imagined himself dating “one of those horse girls.” Well, sucks for him because… I’m TOTALLY one of those horse girls!

So, what is the secret to dating a “crazy” horse girl? Need some advice? Here’s some tips from a fellow “crazy” horse girl:

1. You’ll Need to Learn Horse Terms

Alright, you thought you were done learning or studying once out of school, right? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s a new subject now. Sit back and listen, even ask questions. Nothing is more attractive to a girl than a guy trying to learn about their passion, even if they know nothing in the beginning. The more you learn and are able to use in conversation later on, the more points you’ll earn with her. Even when you’re using the terms incorrectly (“that horse is totally cantering on the correct diagonal!”) you’ll probably make her laugh! Bonus points!

2. You’ll Always be Waiting Around for Her

“Let’s stop by the barn really quick. It should only take a few minutes.” Wrong! When has it ever only taken a few minutes any other time a girl said that? This time is no different. Be prepared for a few minutes to easily turn into an hour if you’re lucky. In the equine world, patience is something that is hard to come by, but necessary for just about any situation. So, make sure to keep your game, smile, and prepare for the long haul.

3. You’ll Get Used to the Smell…

Horses smell. It’s a very distinct smell. Horse girls smell like it so much that they become to immune to it and have no clue what you’re referring to when asking “what’s that smell?” It doesn’t take long for the smell to attach to you either. Everywhere you go after being exposed, the smell follows. So, my advice is to always carry smell good stuff with you in your car. Personally, I like the Febreze vent clips; they work great!

4. Every Season is Horse Season

You may think that horse show season is only in the summer so that means that’s the only time you’ll be busy with horses. Sorry to rain on your parade, but horses are a full-time commitment year-round and then some so make sure you dress accordingly. Bonus advice, if someone hands you a cooler off of their horse, PUT IT ON. It may reek of horse and even be covered in hair, but when it’s freezing outside, it works great.

5. Warning, Don’t Look at the Receipt

Money isn’t a thing to horse girls unless it is for their horse. Nothing is too expensive if it means that their mane shines that much brighter or grows that much faster. If there are multiple horses, forget ever seeing any money. The joke of the horse world is “you make a small fortune with horses by starting with a large one”.

6. You Can Never Have Too Many Videos and Pictures

This one is VERY important! One photo or video is never enough. The girl will to watch everything that happened while she was on top of her giant land mammal. No breaks are allowed. You might as well add “professional photographer” to your resume now. She won’t judge you on your skills, but rather on the content.

P.S. Remember, ears forward! ALWAYS.

7. Horse Shows are Not Optional

Horse girls expect their guys to be at EVERY horse show, unless you have a reasonable excuse that has been submitted within five to seven business days prior. For horse shows, you have officially graduated to groom for the day and I’m not referring to the wedding type. Boyfriends make great grooms. I believe they go hand-in-hand when looking at synonyms of each other. Go to bed early the night before because the five alarms you set for the morning will come faster than you think. Make time in the morning for coffee to insure proper caffeination in order to survive the day. Throughout the day, you’ll be the gopher. If she says hold something, you hold it. She tells you she’s hungry, you get food. Basically, if she tells you to jump, you’ll need to ask how high. She will appreciate you more than you know once the day is over.

8. It’s Not a Competition Who She Loves More (You or the Horse)

Let’s be honest, you’ve heard all the horror stories from your friends saying how you’ll always comes second when it comes to you versus her horse. Remember, it’s not a competition. These girls deal with 1200 pound animals on the daily, so they don’t have time to deal with the BS. If she has blessed you with this opportunity to be in her busy life, she knows you’re worth it. Now it’s your job to prove it to her… and her horse.

9. Don’t Be Surprised That She’s Bruised from Head to Toe

Unlike her horse, she doesn’t spook easily. We deal with life, death, injury, and barn drama daily. Don’t be surprised to hear stories about being trampled, bitten, or bucked off. From stirrups hitting our legs to actually falling off, we usually have a few colorful bruises that are hard to explain where they came from! Understand that no matter how bad the bruises are, it will never be the horse’s fault. “He didn’t mean it! It was my fault!”

10. Don’t Be Grossed Out When She Eats with Her Hands – Without Washing Them

If you are crazy about hygiene and/or germs, a horse girl may not be your smartest person to pursue. There isn’t much that grosses us out anymore including what is on our hands. By this point, we have consumed enough bugs, hay, apple flavored wormer and most likely manure to defeat any virus. We laugh, committing on how a little extra protein won’t hurt us. Gross you probably think, but you’ll get used to it.

Overall, dating a horse girl is hard work that requires a lot of effort. Just know that everything you do for her or her horse will not go unnoticed. It’s the small things that matter and, in this case, the small things are for a 1200 pound animal. Good luck!

Allie Dunkin is an intern with Entrigue Consulting, a full service equestrian marketing consultancy. She is a graduate assistant at William Woods University where she is pursuing her Masters in Business Administration. She also completed her undergrad at WWU where she double majored in Equine Administration and Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Advertising. She’s originally from Madison, Missouri where she grew up riding western all-around in AQHA and PtHA circuits. If you have questions about Entrigue’s services, see their website at

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