I’m branching away from the norm this week because I have been wondering about something. Is there a difference between finding a horse and finding a man? I don’t know that there is. 

You see I have a student that’s between horses and she is keen to find her new forever mount and I suppose I’m keen to find my new forever… man. The only difference that I can see is I don’t have to pay for mine, or at least shouldn’t if my dignity remains important. 

The problem when searching for either is the battle to keep a clear mind and low expectations. 

I admit, I know significantly more about horses than I do men, so the odds of getting my student sorted are far higher than getting myself sorted.  


My student found an ad online boosting the brilliance of Knight. He’s a 16-hand bay 12-year-old gelding, 13 in March, that has done extensive trail riding, natural horsemanship, some dressage and isn’t opposed to popping over a few jumps. He loads, clips, bathes and is great for the farrier. He goes English and Western and loves a good hug.

Sounds promising.

My student sets up a viewing and the next thing we know we find ourselves at a farm we’ve never heard of being introduced to people we’ve never met. 

After the pleasantries are passed my student and I are heavily scrutinized by the owner and rider, while the reverse is also true. The horse in question is standing quietly in the crossties pondering his life choices.  

My student wanders over to Knight and pets his nose, “Aren’t you a handsome boy,” she says. And he is. Meanwhile, I give him a quick once over visually and then run my hands down his legs looking for lumps, bumps and bows and silently question why his feet haven’t been done.

Needless to say, my student rides English and therefore it stands to reason a Western saddle is brought out. After a brief confab, the saddle is put away and an English one is put in its place, the bridle, however, remains the same with a lightly shanked bit.

I know this isn’t the right horse for my student, but she seems keen, so I roll with it because you never know.


I’m now at home lamenting my single status and turn to whichever dating app I’m using. My phone alerted me earlier that I have 18 new likes but as I’m a seasoned pro, which in this context isn’t a good thing, I know better than to get excited.

Of the 18, one looks okay. He is independent, self-sufficient, 6’1 and 52. He loves to write, read, travel and cycle. It doesn’t say how he feels about hugs, but I suspect he likes them.  

Sounds promising.

I swipe right but am aware it’s unlikely he will message or reply if I make the bold first move. So, I go about making a cup of tea and talking to my foster cats. I wish I was making that part up.

Surprisingly, the man in question sends a message, this intrigues me but I’m skeptical. 

The conversation is fine but lacks oomph. Towards the end of the convo, he tells me he finds me delightful, which suggests I’m not being myself, but I knew a request for a date was imminent. Lacking sufficient interest, I tell myself to say yes if he asks because you never know.  

The date is set up and the next thing I know I find myself in a part of town I’ve never been to outside a restaurant I’ve never heard of. My friend is tracking me from her phone, so she knows which ditch to look in if she needs to find my lifeless body.  

My expectations for success are low and my enthusiasm wanes. This isn’t my first rodeo, and I already have a vague idea of how the evening will go. 

We meet in the parking lot, as agreed upon, and as he walks towards me, I start my head-to-toe assessment. 

He is tall, which I like but his legs look skinny. He’s grey, which is fine, I am 50. He’s narrow-chested with a small girth, which is opposing to my general structure and that could be an issue for him. He wears glasses, which suggests intelligence but doesn’t confirm it. His shoes are nice, which is a good sign. He’s a little short-strided but otherwise has a decent gait, though he appears to have some minor back issues. It looks as though he has a kind eye. He is waving and smiling and I’m unsure how I feel about it.  


The test ride is successful, to a degree. Knight is well-behaved while I’m riding but when my student gets on, I detect a slight glint in his eye. I know there is more beneath the surface but he’s holding it together.

“I like him,” my student says as we leave the barn. “What do you think?” 

I constantly feel I’m raining on her parade, but waste no time in saying, “He isn’t the right horse for you.” 

“Why not?”

“He’s nice, no question, but he’s a bit sharp. I think you’d enjoy something quieter.”

With a sense of dismay, she double-checks. “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.”

And from there, we go our separate ways until the next promising horse is found.


The conversation over dinner is pleasant enough but I notice a glint in his eye, and I know there is more below the surface. 

“What’s that ring you have on,” He asks. 

I wear numerous rings and have learned over the course of the last several months that they’re, apparently, an open invitation to hold my hand. The scamps. 

“I like you,” he says to me as we leave the restaurant. 

There are no major faults with this man, other than that glint, but because I tend to dismiss men too quickly, I tell myself to say yes to a second date should one be on offer. However, I have a sneaking suspicion he’s going to offer a one-time trial and a late-night viewing, as it were.

I’m correct.

Unable to read what I think is obvious body language he asks, “So, what do you think?”

I constantly feel I’m raining on a man’s parade, but in order for me to agree to his one-time offer he would need to have one hell of a nice face, perfect conformation and preferably no back issues.

With a sense of dismay, he double-checks, “Are you sure?” 

“I’m sure.”

And from there, we go our separate ways.

That settles that

Searching for a horse and a man is far more relatable than I’m comfortable with. Both endeavours require a strong constitution and a suspicious eye. At least I got a free hamburger on my date, but I’ll always find horses easier to contend with despite the added leg count and weight difference.