– Procure a boyfriend – preferably one that is not too expensive.

– Convince said boyfriend that a horse show is a fabulous way to spend his sunny Saturday.

– Do not mention you have to be at the barn by 6am! Simply hint at the early morning departure by offering to buy coffee on the way.

– Suggest that cleaning your horse is much more exciting than cleaning his car. After all, shiny horses are much prettier than shiny cars.

– When he asks what time you will be showing, give an ambiguous answer, such as, “Not before noon” (even though there is a good chance you’ll start warming up at 5 P.M.).

– Once at the show, hand him a clean rag and introduce him to his new role for the day – official boot and leg shiner.

– To keep him hopeful that the end is near, mention that you’d like to go for ice cream after the show. You know of a great place that is open after 10 P.M…

– Ask him to read the course to you – not only will it be entertainment for the boring ringside wait, but it will also help settle your nerves.

– While you wait for your round, go ahead and explain the history behind your horse’s show name.

– When describing your ride, be sure to use terms he would know, such as, “That was a home run round,” or, “I fumbled that single vertical.”

– Most importantly: Do not mix up the pet names for your horse with the pet names for your boyfriend. Chances are, they overlap (but he doesn’t need to know that).