How to be a Better Horse-Show-Boyfriend

From my favorite horse-show boyfriend himself, here’s Manfriend’s instructions on how to survive as someone who loves a girl who loves horse shows:

Alright gents.

If you’re reading this, there’s a fairly decent chance that you’ve been to a horse show. If you’re reading this and you haven’t been to a horse show, then: A. Why are you here? and B. You’re a terrible horse-girl significant other and she’s probably mad at you.

Being a horse show boyfriend/husband is unlike watching any other sport because quite frankly, there’s not a lot of spectating going on. It’s a relay race of hauling, holding, schlepping, reacting, and then maybe a little bit of watching. Being around your woman while she’s competing means that for the next several hours, the horse is the center of her universe and you are essentially Pluto. You have to be barely seen, not heard, but if she needs a planet then it’s handy that you’re there.

I was actually there for this show, I just wasn’t allowed close enough to show up in any pictures

Now, before I’m made out to be a hater who dreads going to shows, you must know that watching Olivia compete, win, and win some more is an absolute joy for me. Frankie is an awesome horse and equestrian sports (once you learn how it all works) are a blast to watch. Having said that, I felt compelled to post my “Crack Commandments” as it were so my other dudes in the game can survive and thrive as well.

Here’s a man’s guide to surviving a horse show.

  1. Embrace the smells. I think there is something wrong with Olivia’s olfactory receptors. She seems to think that horse manure, hay, urine and general barn smells are like a Yankee Candle burning softly in a cinnamon factory. This is the same woman who will get in my car and gag at the Febreze air freshener. Barn smells aren’t something I’ve gotten used to and probably won’t for a long time, but it’s something you’re just going to have to suck up- figuratively and literally.
  2. Become “The Invisible Mule.” After your lady has walked her course, she is in the zone. She is Eminem before facing off with Poppa Doc at the end of 8 Mile. She will need things like water handed to her, someone to hold the reins while she takes care of something, or someone she can hand her phone off to when it’s go-time. If you’re one of those guys who rocks flip flops and those Chubbies shorts, you’re gonna have a bad time. You’ll need something with ample pocket space to hold water, gloves, her crop, etc.- a hoodie at the bare minimum. You will have to be silent and unseen until your services are needed. Also, you’re going to be walking alongside her while she’s mounted quite a bit, so flip flops are a bad idea. Actually, no man should ever wear flip flops in public for any reason so write that down.
  3. Learn to be a cell phone camera expert. Unless you’re a step ahead of me and you have a nice camera, learn how to film a round. You need to get good at keeping the horse in frame and zooming in and out as you go (without making it a shaky Cloverfield J.J. Abrams-esque mess). Olivia has this blog in which she posts her video/picture content, but trust me, your horse lady would love to (and should) watch her rounds to review her technique. Not only does it help her progress, but it also equals mad likes on Instagram. And as we all know, if you can’t post it on Instagram then what’s the point? Does it even count?
  4. Bring water. Seriously. Half of you people are dehydrated throughout the entire day. This has a bit to do with horse shows and being outside and everything to do with not being a moron and wondering why you have a headache around 1:30PM. Sure, it may not look that cool to be having to make a bathroom stop more often, but it’s even lamer to be a grown man who passed out because you forgot to drink a beverage that keeps you alive.
  5. Learn the sport. As cool as it is to watch your girlfriend/wife pilot around a 1 ton beast that has a mind of its own; it’s MUCH more fun when you actually know what’s going on. Imagine going to a hockey game for the first time and wondering why all the figure skaters with shoulder pads are hitting each other. That’s what watching the jumpers without knowing the scoring system or rules is like. Once I learned what I was watching, I found myself muttering “sh*t yea” a lot more when I watched Olivia nail the last fence. Also, if you’re like me and curse like a 14-year-old on Call of Duty when mom’s not home, watch your language. There are lots of kids at these things, I’ve probably gotten stared at.

Hopefully by now you’ve learned a few things from a guy who has committed nearly every faux pas in the horse show universe and learned from it. Have fun at these things- they’re seriously a great time if you like competitive spirit and watching your loved one be better than other people.


After all, in the words of Coach Reilly from the first Mighty Ducks: “it’s not worth playing if you can’t win-WIN!”

20 thoughts on “How to be a Better Horse-Show-Boyfriend

    • npech001 10/02/2017 / 7:55 pm

      Thanks, but don’t die. I may be posting again in the future.


    • npech001 10/02/2017 / 7:56 pm

      Thanks, wasn’t supposed to be cute but thanks for giving Olivia ammo to mess with me.


  1. Bette 10/01/2017 / 8:18 am

    Oh I so agree with you Olivia! Febreeze car fresheners are the WORST!!!! Ugg… gag.

    Also I might make my husband read this 😂 He might need to up his game heheheh

    Liked by 2 people

    • npech001 10/02/2017 / 7:57 pm

      Febreze air fresheners separate us from the savages.


  2. diaryofahunterprincess 10/01/2017 / 10:41 pm

    I feel like I need to print this out and make copies for any man who ventures into my life in the future. This is so perfect. Also he sounds like a keeper.

    Liked by 2 people

    • npech001 10/02/2017 / 7:58 pm

      Had I known this, I would have written this in pamphlet-friendly form.


  3. Kelly S 10/02/2017 / 8:54 am

    Ha ha…just shared this with my husband who is a newb HSH (horse show husband), which also means he is STUCK with me since his wedding band literally says “MINE” on the inside of the band (its an inside joke with us and he is totally cool with it, btw). I was stressed out at my finale show this summer and he and our dog had come to support me. Well, I apparently put on my bossy bitch breeches that morning and didn’t prep him on what to expect/do. Wish I had been able share this post with him prior. I was eating humble pie and apologizing profusely after my victory (4th place + first ever neck ribbon!!!) gallop. Thanks, y’all!

    Liked by 2 people

    • npech001 10/02/2017 / 8:00 pm

      Bossy Bitch Breeches are Olivia’s favorite brand. (Yep, I know you’re moderating these comments Liv come at me).


  4. Centered in the Saddle 10/02/2017 / 9:21 am

    This is so accurate. But even though we basically want our guys to stand quietly with water, a rag and a crop, the moral support is the most meaningful, right? I always tell my fiance that it means so much that he comes to every single show and even though I essentially ignore him much of the time, I know he’s there and that’s really what matters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • npech001 10/02/2017 / 8:01 pm

      Picture me as Patrick Swayze behind her metaphorical ghost as she spins her pottery…except I’m not dead and I wasn’t in Roadhouse.


  5. Stacie Seidman 10/02/2017 / 1:55 pm

    This should definitely be submitted to the Chronicle. There are many a horse hubby who could use the tutorial!

    Liked by 2 people

    • npech001 10/02/2017 / 8:02 pm

      I can do a clinic once a month for an absolutely absurd and off-putting price.


  6. Stephen Carr 10/02/2017 / 2:21 pm

    Insightful, humorous, and completely on point. The advice also applies to horse show daddies and mommies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • npech001 10/02/2017 / 8:06 pm

      It seems the dads are on a whole other level considering they MADE a horse girl instead of meeting one.


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