Valentines day is fast approaching. There are literally thousands of romance novels featuring horses. And I must confess that I enjoy them (as long as they get the horse bits right). The beautiful but troubled heroine, the dashing and slightly exasperating hero. The horse that brings them together. Love and passion come together against the backdrop of barns, hay and riding.
Let me now say that that has never been my experience.
In fact I would argue that horses interfere with romance far more than they foster it.
After Ed and I have spent the hottest day in July picking up, transporting and stacking hay we are not looking at each other with lust. We are too busy craving a shower, a cold beer, a hearty supper and collapsing into bed. If either of us mentioned romance at all the other would collapse into hysterical laughter followed by a mental note to make a referral for a psychiatric evaluation.
A weekend away requires planning on the level of a military excursion. First I arrange for the sitter. Then I make sure that she has everything she needs. There is the last minute packing because I'm so busy getting the horses and barn ready that I forget that I need to get ready myself. Then there is the frequent texting I do to the sitter asking if everything is okay. It's not that I don't think she can handle it. It's just me fretting. (For the record, I do the same thing if I leave Ed behind but this is about romance so of course he's with me).
Which brings me to Example #3
The local hotel decided to have theme nights every Wednesday during February. This past weds was a Thai theme. I love Thai food and the closest Thai restaurant is 90 minutes away. So I decided that Ed and were going to have a date night. That in itself is a rare occurrence. Then Ed had to work in the city that day so we decided that I would go home, take care of the horses and we would meet at the restaurant.
How romantic does that sound? Two adults meeting up at a hotel restaurant for dinner? The mind boggles at the possibilities.
So I head home quickly from work to get my chores done. I put nylon pants and a winter jacket over my clothes and go to get the horses supper. I also had stopped and picked up bales of shavings and some feed. Both horses are hanging around the little paddock. They've eaten up all the hay that I put outside and are hungry.
Lexie comes into her stall. Because hers is the only one I can open I have to lead Irish through hers and into his. So I grab Lexie and put her in the cross ties to go and get Irish. The first time I did this she was confused but she's very intelligent so this time she stands as good as gold.
I head out to get Irish. Who promptly heads out to the big field.
I don't want to come in.
Fine. I say. You can wait.
I close up Lexie's stall and put her in. She had fresh water, shavings and hay so was pretty happy munching away and hanging out. I begin to bring in the shavings. After dancing around the field Irish comes back down to the little paddock. I go to get him. He heads off again.
Irish I have a date tonight. I don't have time for this foolishness.
Where are we going?
What? no WE aren't going anywhere.
Can Lexie come? I'm not going without her.
Neither one of you are coming.
But you said you had a date.
yes, I do. With Ed.
Yes, you know - Ed.
Oh the male servant.
I don't know how you can have fun without me.
We do our best.
Irish again won't be caught. This time as I approach the gate and he leaves I turn around right away.
Me: Fine. You can wait out there until I get back.
Lexie: "Can I have his supper? I've been very good and I'm STARVING"
I finish unloading the truck. Irish is standing at the gate.
Hellooooo. I'm ready for my dinner now.
Sighing I bring him in and feed both of them. I'm now running late. I rush into the house, throw food at the dogs and head out to the car.
I send Ed a text that I'm on my way. He's waiting for me at the restaurant.
As we eat this lovely meal and chat about our day I am trying to subtly pick bits of shavings and hay off of my pants and put them in my coat pocket.