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Eight Ways to Make Your Horse Love You 

Smiling young woman standing in a stable affectionately hugging her chestnut horse before going for a ride

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA—Last month, new horse owner Blake Doodlehed, 23, made national headlines with her viral TikTok, entitled, “8 Ways to Make Your Horse Love You.” 

Though new to horse sport and ‘how-to’-themed equestrian media, Doodlehed is no stranger to the Internet.

In fact, she has become something of a viral sensation thanks to a series of widely shared videos featuring a bathing suit-clad Doodlehed posing on various, inflatable pool animals. Last month, she became a proud horse owner for the first time, and plans to compete Hopscotch—her 10-year-old KWPN gelding—in the Low Adult Hunters.

Unfortunately, the budding entrepreneur’s foray into the equestrian space was met with mixed reviews from the community at large. Here, a summation of her much commented-upon recommendations: 

  1. Make your horse’s stall your own. Horses love to share their space, and you should feel as comfortable in his house as your own home. P.S. He’ll especially love if you stop by at meal time!
  2. Re-commit to braiding as a regular part of your program. A mane is your horse’s crowning glory, and he’ll surely appreciate your efforts to keep his look fresh to death, even when show season is over. 
  3. Keep your grooming space organized. Re-used plastic shopping bags for storage can be a great, inexpensive way to trick out your grooming stall. And just think, when they blow away down the aisle, you can always just grab another.
  4. Kick treats to the curb. Your horse should love you for you. Leave the carrots, apples, mints and other goodies at home.
  5. Curry, curry, curry. When your horse says enough is enough—curry more! 
  6. Never miss an opportunity for a horse-selfie. (Bonus points if he’ll let you climb on him when he’s napping.)
  7. Make feeding time fun and flexible. Keep your horse on his toes by changing up morning and evening feed times. Running a couple of hours late a few days a week will help to teach him patience, and we all know patience is a virtue.
  8. ‘Spookify’ your home riding arena. If you want your horse to relax at horse shows, consider making his home arena as spooky as humanely possibly to prepare him. A few ideas: coffin jumps stuffed with clown dolls, strobe lights, or a Stranger Things-themed corner display!
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