Horse Shopping & Online Dating

Horse Shopping & Online Dating

Even before Britt called out online dating being similar to horse shopping, I’d been tossing around comparisons in my head. See, I had never done either seriously before this year – call me a late bloomer. I’m not sure if either is better or worse overall, but there are certainly some strong paralells one can draw.

Before you ask, yes – these are all real screen grabs from Tinder. You’re welcome.


Anyone can look nice in pictures, but you really need to meet in person to see how he uses his body. Nothing is more disappointing than an amazing jump photo, only to watch the trainer jump around on what appears to be a llama.


Make sure you’re okay with someone’s quirks. While some people are totally on board with a cribber, others might not be so into that.


Unicorns don’t really exist. If they look perfect, they’re probably not. They might even be “homeless” if you want to be a dick about it.


You want to stay away from certain buzz words. These vary, and they can be easy to miss. For horses it’s often something like “spirited” or “has potential.” For men, my personal red flags are things like “drama free” and “looking for a partner in crime.” Results may vary.

A short, simple description is best. Say too much and I’m beginning to wonder why you need to write a novel to sell your product.


That being said, I’m going to want a little bit more than a list of accomplishments. There’s more to a horse than what they’ve showed in, or more to a man than how many cars they’ve wrecked. At least there should be more.

Honesty is good, but sometimes too much honesty is … terrifying. I mean, they say there’s someone for everyone.


Grammar and spelling, people. Grammar and spelling. I am not much into Qirter horses, but even on the less extreme end… your / you’re. To / too / two. It’s not that hard. I promise, it’s not.

Whether you’re online dating or horse shopping, the “rules” are exhausting. My best advice is to follow your heart and listen to your gut instinct. On top of that, always bring a friend with you. Having backup nearby is essential whether hopping on a new horse or not hopping on a new horse. 😉

38 thoughts on “Horse Shopping & Online Dating

  1. Also, it’s safest to assume that the picture in the ad is the best picture ever taken of them! (Horse or man.)

    1. I found out after I bought my horse that the picture they used for the sale ad was from when he was a 2 year old! He was a good 200-300 lbs underweight when I actually went out to see him, and completely bleached out/covered in bite marks.

  2. I’ve said this before too! I refuse to try online dating because it feels the same as shopping the equine classifieds. 90% of it is exaggerated and/or photo shopped. #TRUTH
    That said, I’m a lonely old spinster with too many horses… Maybe I should consider it? I think mine would look something like this:
    36 year old woman seeks handyman/stall cleaner/husband. no kids please.

  3. Ugh I’m so over horse shopping and I haven’t even really officially started yet. It’s like trying to decipher riddles sometimes.” Needs a job”= neurotically full of energy, or just young and bored…hmm…. To be fair writing them can be hard too, because there’s a fine line between full disclosure and needlessly bashing your horse for traits that may not even manifest with a different rider.

      1. Man I better change how I describe horses! Monty definitely just needed his person. He is very sweet and wanted someone to attach to him. He could totally do a ton of different riders but he is definitely a cuddly personality guy. He took me a few rides to get used to but now that I have I really enjoy having him and being his person.

      2. I definitely recently bought a horse that has potential and “needs just one person.” Whoops. I should have read the rules first. He definitely has some…issues 😉

  4. I… I… I am left speechless. Do I just not get Millennial humor? I mean, it has only been 5 years since I myself was online dating. Has it really gotten that much weirder in such a short amount of time? Good grief!

    —> crawls back under rock.

      1. I have quite a lot of experience with online dating and some tips and real life success stories! Feel free to PM me if you ever want to hear them.

        1. I’m getting married next week — we met online. All of my relationships, ever, have started online. I am just too busy and so not into the bar scene or whatever. Where do you even meet people when you work full time and have a horse? lol

          You just have to be careful and maybe a little more selective. But, I think the “vetting” process is actually easier, because you’re not sitting in front of them while you do it, lol

    1. Dating for millennials is awful in general, but online is the worst. My coworkers love hearing about all my dating misadventures.

  5. “Drama free” or “no drama, please” means crazy AF and I have actually seen more than one profile with a cast fetish. Did not even know that was a thing.

    I’ve never horse-shopped from classifieds, but every time I see one that says “suitable for experienced riders” I kind of chuckle because everyone knows what it’s code for at this point.

  6. I’ve also found lately there is a strong comparison between barn shopping and apartment hunting. You make a list of must haves, consider the location, the cost, the amenities, the extras… and ultimately make a gut decision and fork over a wad of cash.

  7. I have done no online dating and pretty much no regular dating either in my life and horse selling from my experience of talking to my friends about their dating experiences is a lot the same. Makes me really happy that I’ve decided never to do it, nope rather be a Nun thanks.

    Also comparable to Job Hunting which I have done.

  8. I remember my first date with my now fiance. We had met on Plenty of Fish (or POF for the cool kids). He had listed his height as 6’6″. I had kind of hoped that he exaggerated his height. You know, like that 16.3″ gelding you go to try that turns out to be 15.1″. By tall you meant not a pony right?

    I don’t wish online dating or horse shopping on anyone, but when they go well, they can lead to some of the best things in life!

    1. I don’t think people lie when it comes to 6’3″+ I see a lot of guys say “I’m 6’0″ with heels” which leads me to several questions:

      a) Why are you wearing heels?
      b) Why are you insecure about your height?
      c) Can we both wear heels? I mean, I like heels.

  9. Those are real profiles? I kind of assumed they were jokes.

    My short stint of horse shopping was not fruitful and then Harley literally came to me (a friend of a friend was selling him due to a move). Thank goodness!

  10. With dating and horse shopping I always tell someone who is not with me where I’m going and who I’m meeting. Especially as some of the barns are out in the boonies/no cell phone service. I want someone calling the police if they don’t hear from me after x # of hours. I did the same when I was dating. A friend always knew who I was going out with and what time to expect to hear from me.

  11. This might be one of your best posts, I am laughing so hard!!

    Recreational casts??!! what the?

    Horse shopping is a nightmre but I think selling is worse. GAH

  12. Love everything about this! I feel like I’ve become an expert between reading between the lines thanks to the insanity of horse shopping. Real life example from an event horse ad: “Always in top 3 after dressage” probably means “But will fuck up real bad in one of the jumping phases”


    1. haha yup… “always in top 3 after dressage” would definitely go in my horse’s hypothetical sale ad right now lol!

  13. My online dating adventures have led me to refer to OKCupid as OKStupid. I mean seriously some people need to think harder before they send a message.

    Then again has been pointed out to me that the site is “Ok”Cupid, not “Fantistically great”Cupid so there is that.

  14. this is hilarious lol. weird… but hilarious. but also, basically whenever i screw up to/too/two (which happens wayyyyyy too(!) often ugh, i just want to die a little bit inside….

  15. Christ on a crutch, that’s horrific. My friends often texts me what she sees online and it just boggles the mind. If my marriage ever tanked I think I’d be better off as the crazy cat/horse lady.

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