Valentine’s Day can conjure images of a cringe-worthy dinner with white table clothes and a lone red rose, surrounded by other smug-looking couples. So steer clear of the cliche this year with our pick of equestrian-themed dates.
1. The Whip (pictured)
Stuck in the Big Smoke? Take your date to The Whip — a racing-themed cocktail bar decorated with horsey memorabilia.
2. A ride and a pub lunch
Why not box out to your nearest horse-friendly pub and, if things are going well, top off a great hack with lunch? The Bell at Sapperton in Gloucestershire has a tying post outside for its equine customers.
3. Equestrian art galleries
If your date is passionate about horse and culture in equal measure, why not woo them by suggesting a trip to an equestrian art exhibition? Find out more about upcoming exhibitions at www.equestrianartists.co.uk
4. War Horse
This classic tearjerker is now a fixture at the New London Theatre. Be warned — you might want to take a hanky.
5. A horse and carriage ride
If you want to wow on your date then nothing says romance like a carriage ride. Orchard Poyle Carriages (www.orchardpoyle.co.uk) offers rides in Windsor Great Park, while Black Horses (www.blackhorses.co.uk) runs tours of Cartmel in the Lake District.
6. Go racing
Celebrate 50 years of jump racing at Ascot with free entry today (14 February) for the Ascot Chase Raceday. Gates open at 10.45am and racing kicks off at 1.30pm.
Haven’t bagged yourself a date yet?
Quick – get yourself on one of these rural dating sites:
1. Muddy Matches: the go-to site for horsey and countryside types looking for love. www.muddymatches.co.uk
2. Horse Lovers Dating: a free resource for equestrian daters.
3. Kissing Gates: another free-to-join rural dating website with a special section for over-40s.
4. Countryside Love: aimed at people who live in rural communities, this site is free to join and claims to have over 300,000 members.
5. Horsey Hotties: an equestrian-themed dating site run by event rider Ginny Rose. www.horseyhotties.com
Read the full article about finding love in the horse world in the current issue of Horse & Hound magazine (12 February 2015)