Songs that lend a voice to the equestrian world in a way only music can.
The jokes about falling in love with a horse lover run rampant. And that’s mostly because they ring true. She will always be with her horse. She will spend far more on the horse’s shoes than her own, and, as her partner, you will be asked to adapt to a certain level of handiness around the farm. But it’s all worth it because, I’ll just say it, horse lovers are the best women around. They are strong, self-sufficient and a heck of a lot of fun! But for a guy to catch one, he needs to know the ropes.
This playlist exams the inner workings of courting a horsewoman, from initial attraction to happily ever after. With these songs as a guide, a guy might just stand a chance to snag one of these rare creatures.
Get the full playlist on Spotify here: I Go To The Barn Because I Like The…
1. I GO TO THE BARN BECAUSE I LIKE THE… by Band of Horses from the album Everything All The Time
“I Go To The Barn Because I Like The…” by the appropriately named Band of Horses is where we begin – partly because the title of this track is mysterious as to its intentions, which is usually the case with attraction early on. Who hasn’t joined an activity or shown up at the most out of the way place, not because you particularly liked the event, but because you were interested in someone who was likely to attend? So this guy is going to the barn because he likes…I think you know the answer.
This song also deserves top billing for the quality of its lyrics. “Well I’d like to think I’m the mess you’d wear with pride, like some empty dress on the bed you’ve laid out for tonight. Maybe I’ll tell you sometime.” Clearly we’re at the start of something – perhaps a love affair with an equestrian woman whom he is attracted to because she can help him shine. But how will it turn out. We’ll just have to listen and see!
2. RACES by Glen Hansard from the album Rhythm And Repose
Attracting an equestrian woman usually takes a little bit more than just showing up. It will probably involve being asked to put pride aside and maybe even try a few things that fall into the crazy column. Glen Hansard seems to really understand this: “If I ride some horses, with great speed over courses, it’s just cause you waited for me at the line…. For you I could throw with abandon old glories or fame to the wind.” Certainly this is a great place to start.
3. HE LAYS IN THE REINS by Yasmine Tourist from the album Yasmine Tourist
In 2005, Calexico and Iron & Wine released a beautiful joint EP called “In The Reins.” “He Lays In The Reins,” is the first track from that EP, and it is a perfect track for this playlist. Unfortunately, the original song is not yet available on Spotify. Luckily, Spotify does have this acceptable cover version of the track from a little known German artist, Yasmine Tourist. If you are recreating this playlist for mobile music player, I strongly suggest you preview both versions and determine which you like better for the final mix.
But why is this song so prefect? Obviously this track is steeped in equestrian imagery, but I particularly love the second verse: “One more kiss tonight from some tall stable girl. She’s like grace from the earth when you’re all tuckered out and tame.” This man truly understands the attractiveness of an equestrian woman.
4. HORSES by Joseph Arthur from the album The Graduation Ceremony
All of the above is completely lovely, but remember what I said about those equestrian women jokes? They are mostly true, and she will need her freedom to pursue her passion. If a man makes her his hostage or over-protects her too much, she will only run away. Then he’ll be as sad as Joseph Arthur sounds in this track.
5. OLD LOVE by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons from the album Old Believers
Or maybe he’ll end up a little bit annoyed like Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons in “Old Love.” “Oh my, my lover is gone. Her horse is in the river. There’s things I can’t forgive her for… And if that storm turns on you, well you better know your way back to the gate… well, you better know what you dug into.”
Cory Chisel probably takes an outlaw’s look on love because he is a big fan of Jesse James. When he was a boy he loved a book about the famous outlaw and has subsequently covered himself in symbolic tattoos from the tales he learned in that book. My favorite of his tattoos is of course the two horses he has on his chest, which symbolize the two horses James had when he put his first gang together as well as the point when the Wandering Sons really started to work for Chisel. Check out the entire Old Believers album for even more horses references!
6. SHE LIT A FIRE by Lord Huron from the album Lonesome Dreams
So we move from one outlaw sounding tune to another, but this one is more on the right track. Lord Huron’s Ben Schneider croons of finding a girl who “left no trail, but I cannot fail. I will find her,” while truly sounding like a cowboy crossing dusty lands with nothing but a horse. He is on his way to find the girl he lost, perhaps because he didn’t know how to handle her independence. “When last I saw her she was dancing all alone. Perhaps my chance was then, I’ll never know.” Will he find her?
7. THE GREENEST GRASS by Joshua Radin from the album Underwater
For the sake of this playlist, I say yes! And if he has two brain cells to rub together, he’ll start sounding a lot more like Joshua Radin, “I am a lucky man to recognize your grace.” The result? If he’s very lucky, she’ll say, “I know I’ll never find another like you, where I’m going. I know I’ll never find another like you where the winds are blowin’. You’re the greenest grass growin’.” Trust me on this one guys. If an equestrian woman calls a man the “greenest grass growin’,” it should be received as the greatest of compliments. She’d want nothing less for herself and her horses.
8. DEER CREEK CANYON by Sera Cahoone from the album Deer Creek Canyon
And now for a woman’s perspective. In “Deer Creek Canyon, ” Sera Cahoone sings, “I know you’re right. Might just take a little time. Deer Creek Canyon’s where I’m from, and it’s where you are, still.” These are words of contemplation. She’s thinking over coming back now that the tune of the love affair is different and more to her liking. It sounds to me like she just needs one final nudge.
9. LEADING ME NOW by The Tallest Man On Earth from the album There’s No Leaving Now
And what is that appropriate final push? Let The Tallest Man On Earth tell you what to do! “On the gallop to mother’s field we would lose our breath and fight, and you give me the look of thorns we give liars every night. But I get you somehow. Leave the reins inside. You are leading me now.”
The Tallest Man On Earth is Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Mattsson, and it’s no wonder he gets this right. Though he doesn’t call himself a rider, he regularly helps at a stable near his house, and has a tattoo of a horse to remind him of home. Even more telling is the fact that he shares a horse named Golden Sky with his fellow Swedish singer-songwriter wife, Amanda Hollingby Matsson, who performs under the name of Idiot Wind. Turns out he has the inside track on this subject!
10. WE CAN’T BE BEAT by The Walkmen from the album Heaven
So we come to the close, and what have we learned? Let The Walkmen sum it up in “We Can’t Be Beat:” (a) “I was the Duke of Earl, but it couldn’t last. I was the Pony Express, but I ran out of gas.” In other words, when a man goes after equestrian woman in an overbearing, over-hyped manner, it’s not going to work; (b) “Loneliness will run you through” when she leaves thanks to this behavior; (c) After the loss, both parties hopefully learn this lesson – “Give me a life that needs correction. Nobody loves perfection;” (d) And come to this conclusion – “If you want my heart, take my heart. It’s right here for you,” or, as The Tallest Man On Earth would put it, “leave the reins aside” because you’re “leading me now;” and the result is (e) “The world is ours. We can’t be beat!” It truly sounds stupendous!
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