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.

img_5843
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.

jtc_sat_manfriend

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

Advertisements

3 Years of Manfriend

Non-horse related post!

Manfriend and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary this past weekend. Which is kinda crazy to type out- the only thing I’ve ever done for three years at a time before has been go to school. And I had summer vacations from that.

But honestly? He’s the coolest. An absolute lunatic weirdo, but the coolest.

np_mcbb3f
He paid real money for this photo

You know what he got me as an anniversary gift?

A grooming tote. With a scrubby mitt, other brushes, and fly spray in there. HE GOT ME FLY SPRAY FOR OUR ANNIVERSARY. GUYS. FLY SPRAY. He gets it, he really does.

np_face
He’s also prettier than I am with his stupid face UGH

He has been so incredibly encouraging and supportive of the horse thing. Even though he’s allergic to Frankie and standing in the indoor makes him sneeze, he still comes out to the barn because he knows it’s my happy place.

np_fampic
A stolen moment between sneezes

He’s now located two hours away from me due to work, so we really only get to see each other on the weekends. There has been more than one time where I’ve said, “I can’t drive down to see you, I have to be here so I can ride.” And without hesitating he has said, “No worries, I’ll drive up to you.”

np_halloween
How do you make a 17.1h WB look small? Toss a big ol’ 6’3″ man up top.

I’ve apologized to him for not having any money for date nights, and he’s immediately started listing all the fun things we can do together for free. I’ve shown up at his place covered in sweat and muck and horse hair, and he still calls me beautiful. I’ve excitedly talked about all these different dreams I have that all involve NEVER HAVING MONEY EVER AGAIN, and he’s never paused in rooting me on as I chase these crazy pie-in-the-sky goals.

np_lean
He knows how to lean real cute

Of course he has infinite other good qualities than just “he doesn’t mind the crazy.” But I am so SO grateful that he’s cool with the crazy. He makes me laugh ’til I cry on the daily, eggs on my weird obsession with lizards, feeds me when I’m hangry, is a constant source of fresh clean drinking water, and recognizes the necessity of having a jacket with you at all times. He’s the best.

I actually really hate cheesy corny romantic gooey stuff (despite how this post may make it seem), so I gotta stop now and save the sap for Francis. I’ll have to balance this out by using finger guns instead of hugging him for a month or something obnoxious like that.

Here are some pictures of his stupid annoying face UGH HE’S THE WORST.

np_mcbb2
Our 2nd Marine Corps Birthday Ball back in 2015
np_mchat
STOP EMBARRASSING ME IN PUBLIC
np_mcfence
I told you he’s prettier than me WITH HIS STOOPID FACE
np_easter
Two days before I signed the check to buy Frankie. Poor guy had no idea what was in store.
np_goldcup
For someone who’s allergic to horses, he sure is willing to go to lots of horse-themed events (Gold Cup 2016)
marinecorpsball2016
3rd MCBB!
np_thanksgiving
He’s also exceedingly valuable as a bartender
np_christmas
Our first Christmas tree together! Manfriend wore that hat for a month. He LOVES Christmas.
np_jamesr
Getting out of the house/barn for a New Year’s hike
np_wine
Wine and cheese and selfies. Standard Saturday.
np_polarplunge
Guaranteed looking at a dog here.
np_3rd
Anniversary dinner date!

I’m thinking it’s time to coerce him into another blog post soon so he can chime back in with his lunatic thoughts. ‘Til then, we’re going to keep leaving each other voicemails of screeching for 7 minutes straight, sending each other dat boi memes, and generally doing weird stuff.

Still Alive

I’m still around, I promise! I’ve gotten to work on a big assignment at the office lately- super exciting stuff that will hopefully open some doors, but it also has meant some pretty late hours and weekends. Frankie has been getting some guest rides from some of the other ammies at the barn- I warn them all that he’s wIlD aNd CrAzY but they just laugh at me. I’ll be hopping on for my lesson tonight (if I can escape the office early enough) for my first ride in a week!

Once I have the chance to breath a bit and have some actual spare time to do laundry/grocery shop/do anything besides work and sleep I pinky promise I will have some fun stuff to share.

Until then, enjoy these self-indulgent pictures of Manfriend and myself at the Marine Corps Ball last weekend- my one escape from the office.

mcb_makeup
Wearing actual makeup that I did myself! Nothing classier than a bathroom selfie.
mcb_hair
I did this! Doing updos on the prom circuit is my backup career for when this analysis stuff falls through.
mcb_standing
Wasn’t even an open bar. Jipped.
mcb_selfie
What’s better looking than a Marine in dress blues? Trick question. Nothing. Literally nothing.
mcb_snap
Except maybe multiple Marines in dress blues.
marinecorpsball2016
My new favorite picture of me and Manfriend, I just wish it was less grainy.

And just you wait until the professional picture comes in. I won’t share too much, but the aesthetic is “Early 90s rap album.” You’re gonna love it.

Updates on Frankie and the barn once I get those updates myself!

 

AHA: Ask Him Anything

Ok folks, here’s the deal. Manfriend is psyched to chime in again, but needs your help.

His fun idea is this: you ask anything in the comments on this post, and he promises to faithfully and fully answer all of them, no matter how ridiculous.

manfriend_goat
Oldie but a goodie of this sweet goat-whispering nutcase

I will warn you that he is actually a lunatic. So bring on the crazy questions and you will get a crazy (and wildly entertaining) answer. Promise. Anything you’ve ever wanted to ask the allergic-to-horses SO of an insane horse girl, he will answer with hilarity and wisdom but mostly just hilarity.

manfriend_frenchgirl
Ask him questions like one of your French girls

Please also remember that my parents read this blog (hi Mom and Dad!) , so lets keep this at least moderately appropriate. This is a family establishment, after all.

manfriend_beach
Doing normal human adult things see?!?!11/1??

Get your questions in by the end of the week!