Dating Advice: Men Aren’t As Turned On By Horses As You Think.

Wild horses couldn’t drag me away,” Rolling Stones

Charger may be a great horse — but he’s a horse. The last time men got turned on by a woman with a horse was in Catherine the Great’s day. Contrary to what you’ve heard, she didn’t die under a horse. She died in bed. All that talk about her having it off with a stallion is fictional. Even Catherine’s horse found it disgusting. It take a lot to disgust a horse.

Horses are, and always will be, a personal love. Just like with a partner, you’re not interested in sharing. Horses aren’t into three-ways, anyway. And while it shows you’re affectionate, it also shows you’re divided. Should you go on a coffee date or hit the stables? Most horse owners hit the stables.

The scariest sex in the world is when a woman doesn’t know when to let go.

Divided loyalties send up a big warning signal. My favourite is a profile I read recently that said: “I still have three kids living at home, but my oldest is moving out soon. He’s thirty-eight. That’s what my life’s about.” Men appreciate your honesty and your loyalty to your kids. But if your son is still around at thirty-eight, you have a problem letting go. The scariest sex in the world is when a woman doesn’t know when to let go.

Showing yourself on a horse — especially bare-legged — is admittedly hot. There’s something very Bo Derek about it. At the same time, Bo still ran down the beach once in awhile. Some women’s profiles are nothing but horses and chaps. Men love chaps, too. It still raises the question of whether you’re trying to date or find different ways to use a saddle and bit.

The other problem is size. If you’re around horses a lot, you know what a horse is packing. We could be hung like orangutans, and you’ll still say — in the words of Shania Twain — “That don’t impress me much.”

Even a big dog gives us the jitters. We’d much rather you had a chihuahua. Chihuahuas don’t make us nervous about our manhood. They tend to be shrill and overly excitable. What small dog isn’t? It’s still better than a Great Dane that catches its balls on anything higher than a foot stool.

Nothing puts the fear of God in us like a woman holding a pitchfork.

Also, it seems you can’t own a horse without wearing a cowboy hat. Most of these hats slouch down at the front and have an Indian medallion. Men don’t mind cowboy hats, just not all the time. We keep thinking you want to line dance. That scares us more than Great Danes.

Same goes for pictures of you cleaning stalls. Nothing puts the fear of God in us like a woman holding a pitchfork. Most of us will see enough pitchforks when we die. We’d rather you were holding a harp and dressed in white. It’s not like we’re going to see a lot of that when we die.

If you really want to put a date’s mind at ease, show the kids packing, and the horse going off to the proper stables.

Now, don’t get me wrong, loving animals is great. According to OkCupid research, 87% of men like women who have pets. Just don’t show pictures cuddling a Beaujon with three adult children standing behind you, and a horse looking through the window. Even saying “I’ve got everything I need — except you,” doesn’t work if your dining room looks like Denny’s, and your backyard looks like the Ponderosa.

It also doesn’t help saying you’re downsizing. That could mean anything from booting your thirty-eight-year-old to the curb, to getting a dwarf horse. If you really want to put a date’s mind at ease, show the kids packing, and the horse going off to proper stables.

Same with parrots and mynah birds. Teaching them to talk is cute, but when they refer to your last husband as “a dickhead,” any man can figure out he’s the next dickhead.

You have to decide how much you love horses, and whether there’s room for a man in your life.

Lastly, jeans and cowboy boots are sexy as hell, as long as that’s not all you own. Eventually, an occasion will come along requiring more formal attire. Saying you’ll throw a dress on over your jeans doesn’t cut it. Saying you’ll throw a dress on under your jeans is even worse.

If all this sounds terribly judgmental, keep in mind you’re dating — not expanding your stable. Horses make great buddies, but men do, too. You have to decide how much you love horses, and whether there’s room for a man in your life. Here’s a short list of what to keep in mind:

A horse is a horse is a horse: As loving and loyal as they are, horses still eat hay, urinate wherever they want, and don’t bring home a paycheck.

Horses are animals: You may be able to give up sex but a horse thinks that’s crazy. Put a filly in the next stall and they’ll kick over the whole damn stable trying to get into her pants (and they sure as hell won’t text first).

Horses have muscles for a reason: Standing next to your horse in a profile picture is like standing next to Hulk Hogan. Horses are all muscle because they need muscles. They’re still beasts of burden. Look at the physiological makeup of most men. They gave up using muscles back in the Taft administration.

Born to be wild: Horses are still wild animals. They let you think they’re domesticated because they’re getting free room and board. Take that away and they’ll kill anything that moves.

Please understand that I have nothing against horses. My first novel is called “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” I’ve never actually seen a horse scuba dive. Maybe you have. I’d like any pictures, if that’s the case. I need them for promotional purposes.

I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.