I keep seeing, in the online circles I frequent, these “Why you should never date a horsewoman” memes. They’re meant to be tongue-in-cheek funny, I know, and I admit it’s easy to laugh at the peculiar quirks we recognize in ourselves.
But I have to say, those cutesy memes really drive me crazy. Hay-caught-in-the-bra crazy. Boot-stuck-in-the-mud crazy. Crazy, okay?
The thing is, they often carry an underlying smug condescension, a good-old-boy’s back-slap humor that says the patronizing indulgence of the patriarchy should be celebrated, that it’s okay to poke fun at what a woman considers important, that it’s okay to make her feel selfish and/or guilty for having a passion that doesn’t involve her man. (Even, oddly enough, when they’re written and shared by women.) Those memes tend to say, “Aren’t men great for putting up with silly women and their horses?”
No. No, they’re not. What they are is lucky.
If you fall in love with a horsewoman*, and she happens to love you back, you’ve found a woman who isn’t afraid to get dirty. A woman who knows how to work hard, how to do a job right without expecting anyone to notice. You get a woman who values substance over shallow surfaces, authenticity over appearance.
If you love a horsewoman, you get a woman who can be comfortable in her own skin because her horse sees who she is inside. You get a woman who knows the importance of clear communication and the peace of companionable silence, a woman who knows how to listen and how to speak her mind. A woman who understands how to be vulnerable and when to be brave.
If you love a horsewoman, you love a woman with dreams, goals, and ambitions of her own – a woman who knows how to pursue her passions and who will support you while you chase yours, too. You have a woman who recognizes the importance of patience, but who also knows there are times you just have to grab mane and kick on.
If a woman has a heart wide and deep enough to love a horse, she has a heart with more than enough love for you. Sure, she might spend time at the barn (or in the pasture, or on the trail) that you wish she was spending with you – but when she returns, she’ll be so lit with joy and love and enthusiasm that she’ll light you up, too.
I would argue that horsewomen make the best life partners, because if they can build a partnership of mutual trust and respect with a creature that outweighs them by a thousand pounds, a creature strong enough and quick enough to kill them – well, then, they’re capable of facing everything life has to throw at you standing bravely at your side.
Sure, she may show up with hay in her hair or muck on her boots or random grass stains on her shirts, but there is genuine beauty in doing what you love and being who you’re meant to be.
She may spend more time cleaning stalls than cleaning the floors in your house, but you can figure out how to mop, too. Maybe dishes will wait an extra night for washing or the laundry won’t get folded right away. Maybe dinner won’t be waiting when you walk in the door. But if those are the things that matter to you, then a) what the heck is wrong with you? And b) you can hire a housekeeper or kitchen staff, if you feel that strongly.
Or c) maybe you don’t deserve a horsewoman at all.
But if you’re man enough to catch one, you’re a lucky man, indeed.
- Note: I freely admit not all women who say they love horses are actually horsewomen. I’m not talking about the fake ones, okay?