Horses and Men I Have Dated

About ten years ago, in the midst of a particularly ragged run of dating, I came up with the notion that the perfect man will appear when the perfect horse enters my life.

It was a poetic-sounding dodge, really. I knew I wouldn’t own a horse for a long time—if ever—and, frankly, I enjoyed riding a lot of horses, whether borrowed, begged, or leased. They all had something to teach me. I was not particularly interested in “settling down,” in the equine or human sense.

I also liked dating a range of men, for the most part, except perhaps the time when I threw up in one fellow’s driveway after developing a searing migraine. Or the time my much-younger neighbor, a therapist who was a dead ringer for Dominic Monaghan, bowed out of a short-lived fling with me, saying, “This just doesn’t seem to be working. It’s odd, because I fantasized about you for two years.”

So the fantasy was better than the reality? Gee, thanks.

Now that I really think about it, riding horses has been a lot more rewarding than dating.

Let me introduce you to a couple of hunks I’ve ridden. I’ve got others up my sleeve, but I’ll save them for later, along with some stories about a police officer I’ve been dating. Suffice to say, if he were a horse, he’d be a draft-mustang cross, alpha stallion, with a crazy streak.

Below is Ethan, a 20-year-old Lippitt Morgan with the constitution of a teenager and the brain of a Rhodes scholar. He’s as bomb-proof as they come and has a truly noble profile. God bless Justin Morgan and his horse.

Here’s Sol (Spanish for “sun”), a trail-happy, muscle-bound palomino quarter horse. We spent endless afternoons riding along the banks of the Connecticut River, taking in the sea-level view of Thomas Cole’s famous painting.

As for my notion about the perfect man and the perfect horse, I’ve jettisoned it now that Mystic, the white horse of my childhood dreams, has appeared in my life. Honestly, the thought that my theory might prove true terrifies me.

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