Let’s talk Valentine’s Day gifts. And while we’re at it, let’s talk horses. To be more precise, let’s talk about horses as Valentine’s Day gifts.
Now, Belle from Beauty and the Beast already had a horse, which is probably why the Beast opted to give her a library instead. No one can deny that a library makes an above-average gift—I mean, really, a library?!—but if Belle had been horseless and the darling Philippe had not been created by the animators at Disney, the Beast surely would have recognized this great horse-shaped void in Belle’s life and immediately set out to remedy the situation. He would have searched Dreamhorse.com and found the perfect pony or maybe an OTTB, then given them to Belle in lieu of the library. Or maybe he’d have given her the library, too. (The Beast is generous like that.)
And why not? When you get right down to it, there isn’t a better Valentine’s Day gift than a living, breathing, nickering horse. After all, flowers wilt and fade, chocolates get eaten and converted into (ahem) pounds, promises are only of value if kept, and libraries are hard to gift-wrap.
But a horse is a friend, a companion, a confidant, a bright spot of happiness! A horse is a gift that can’t be found in a store, a gift that will stick with you through thick and thin, a gift that inspires and encourages, and one that can be wrapped in a red or pink halter. And unlike chocolates and flowers, a horse is a gift that keeps on giving: long trail rides through the woods, fun times at horse shows, peaceful grooming sessions, an excuse to shop for tack…
So if you’re looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift this year, take a cue from the Beast, because this guy really knows what he’s doing in the gift-giving department. When in doubt, give books—but when the occasion presents itself, there’s no better Valentine’s Day gift than the love of a horse, because that’s a tale that’s truly as old as time.
Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of several books, including The Field Guide to Horses, (Voyageur Press, 2009). She raises Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin and is a certified horse show judge. Follow her on Twitter: @miraclewelsh