When you put your mind to it, it doesn’t take long to realise that buying a new horse is remarkably similar to the emotional roller coaster of online dating…
1. Reading between the lines
While a dating profile might read ‘tall, dark and handsome’, a horse advert will read ‘bombproof jumping machine’. Either way, you’re wise enough to read between the lines (and add a large pinch of salt).
2. The quick getaway
That feeling of pulling into some sketchy allotment, with a lonely looking horse tied to a trailer, is uncanny to catching a glimpse of your date through the window flicking through a railway magazine while he (or she) waits. Both prompt the same response: what’s the quickest escape route?
3. The lameness issue
As the seller trots up your prospective mount, it’s blindingly obvious he’s not sound. Similar to your date telling you before you’ve finished the starter that he’s allergic to horses — as good as lame to you.
4. Déjà vu
You’re swiping through Tinder and there’s something strangely familiar about that man with an extraordinary six-pack lying poolside. A bit like the ‘top class eventer’ who appears in the classified section week after week. Something tells you they’re not all they’re cracked up to be…
5. The horror stories
You spend a whole girlie supper discussing the man you met on ‘happn’ who is almost 100% a serial killer or — and then you seamlessly move onto the 16.2hh thoroughbred you tried who bucked so much you saw your life flash before you. And then you all swiftly decide you: 1. Want to be single for the rest of your life 2. Never want to move off your trusty cob. Ever.
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Oh sunglasses. Everyone knows that anyone can look good in sunglasses. A dating profile picture with sunglasses is void. A bit like an advert where the horse is rugged up beyond all recognition, hood and all. No. Good. To. Anyone.
7. The power of mutual friends
That feeling of relief when you realise you have a (sane) mutual friend works for both horses and humans.
8. The waiting game…
You like what you saw. You’ve laid your cards on the table. And now you just have to see if they accept your price (… or suggestion of a second date).