It's Valentine's Day - as appropriate a time as any to talk about equestrian dating sites: the good, the bad ... oh, and of course, what to wear.
For this post SHADBELLY scored unprecedented Gold Membership access to the "world's largest and best equestrian dating site for equestrian singles", EquestrianCupid.com. No denying many of my single equestrian friends (and there are a lot), dream of finding a partner who shares their love of horses. But really, we wondered, is that even remotely realistic? Here's what we discovered:
FIRST - THE BAD
- (Not that we have anything particular against cowboys) Be prepared to wade through a lot of cowboys, lots and LOTS of cowboys;
- Profile pictures - most of them are AWFUL. Guys apparently don't have a CLUE about what constitutes an acceptable profile picture;
- It all seems a little stale - the forums abandoned and many of the "potential matches" we found had not been on the site in "over a month" - which could actually mean YEARS;
- We hear these sites can be like bad ex-boyfriends, tough to get rid of. So if you subscribe and later cancel, be sure to check your statement to make sure you're not on auto renewal.
- Hey, there actually ARE some interesting possiblities out there - guys like Manhattan, looking for "the kind of gal who can drive a horse truck" (he's Australian so save up your miles); and
- German professional Equivajk who invites you to "let the horses lead you to my hearth [sic]". Aww, that's kind of cute isn't it?
- Back in Florida, check out Marathoncde "a dressage guy looking for his equal" or Dhorse9064 in Ocala "looking for that special horsewoman";
- Dreaming of a guy like Nacho Figueras? Take your pick from a number of polo players including Kerrycicc from New Jersey who is looking for a riding buddy and (hopefully) long term partner;
- You have to admire BillH11's brilliant example of marketing genius: posting his shiny new truck and horse trailer as his profile picture. Only problem, Bill, is the date stamp on your photo is like 11 years ago - crop that out and get back in the game!
Now for the fun part ... WHAT TO WEAR
Ok, you joined the site, met someone really REALLY interesting and now you're ready to take that big step and meet in person. What to wear? The best advice we can give you is DON'T DRESS LIKE A HIGH MAINTENANCE DQ. Go for a look that is comfortable and casual, but still has that little touch of horsey style, like something from Cowgirls for a Cause.
Don't let the name fool you - Cowgirls for a Cause has a ton of dressage inspired casual wear, like the Dressage the Ultimate Dance T-Shirt, shown above, or the Synchronicity Scarf, featured below, available in either grey or mauve for $27.95. Check out their fabulous style video for ideas.
So go ahead, single equestrian SHADBELLY readers, and log onto EquestrianCupid.com for yourself and explore the possibilities! Gold Membership on the site is on sale for $29.95 for the first month (regularly $39.95), so for about a buck a day, at least it'll keep you entertained and out of the bars.
And if you don't find your ideal, horse-loving, human soul-mate right away, don't worry. The sound of a soft nicker is about all the chocolate and roses most of us need anyway.
Happy Valentine's Day from SHADBELLY.