This post isn't for you.
This post is for your supportive friend or SO who tags along to a lesson or social event. All of a sudden, they're awash in a sea of (mostly) women who (mostly) only care about horses and who (mostly) only want to talk about horses.
Even if you don't know thing one about horses, these people are really easy to talk to. Let me show you how.
1) "Your horse is pretty."
|just say it|
You can never go wrong with a compliment. Even if the horse is a total asshole and she's on the brink of selling him, she kept him to this point for a reason. And if he's already for sale, GREAT. She likes that he looks marketable. There is the one-off oddball (CARLY) who doesn't think her horse is pretty, but she's going to be entertained that you hold a different opinion and certainly be willing to talk about that.
Bonus: horses don't actually care if they're pretty or not (by and large), so you aren't creating long term gender-gap issues for them by commenting on their appearance.
Note: if you're not the sort of person who says "pretty", you can substitute a number of other complimentary adjectives here--"powerful", "expressive", "fancy", or frankly, even "large". Just say something nice and the horse person has already started talking. Score 1 for you.
2) "How did you get started riding?"
|cough and was it with purple boots?|
People love to talk about themselves. Everyone comes to horses in a little different way, but they all ended up spending obscene (for their budgets) amounts of money on an accident-prone quadruped with compactors for feet. If you really can't stand horses, pretend the horse is a dinosaur. BAM. Interesting. Why did she tame the dinosaur?
Bonus: This just invites people to tell stories and lots of stories are interesting. I also think people are interesting, but ymmv on that one.
Note: If you're at a Parelli gathering or carriage-driving party, copy/paste the world your SO uses the most often and run with it.
3) "What are your goals with (horse)?"
|is this a goal?|
So. Ask what they're trying to accomplish and all of a sudden, instead of hearing the minutiae of crossrails or renvers or something else unpronouncable and dull, you're hearing about Derbies and Competitions and Dreams and Plans.
Bonus: If you're a people person, this is another great way to learn about people-as-they-relate-to-horses, instead of just hearing about horses.
Note: This question somewhat pre-supposes that you've already asked a preceding question that gave you ponykins name. If you did not (or just plain forgot), just say "your horse" and smile because who doesn't love that little moment of realizing that they own a thousand pounds of pure muscle?
|you might meet an Alyssa of your own!|
Those are my starter tips. What did I miss?