Lessons From the Lady

Many women come to Hollywood in pursuit of glamour and fame. Arielle Kebbel had another motivation: she wanted a horse. Badly.

After seven years of equestrian competition in Florida, Kebbel gave up serious riding at age 13, when it became too expensive. But she missed the thrill of it. She knew she needed to do something to help finance her return to the sport. So when she was 17, Kebbel and her mother packed up their old Volvo and drove to California for her first major audition. And she nailed it, scoring a role on Gilmore Girls.

“Acting gave me the same kind of rush that I would always feel when I was on the riding circuit,” she says. A string of television and film roles followed, including the thriller, The Uninvited. So did a horse, – a quick, beautiful mare named Breezy. It’s all part of Kebbel’s plan. “In my perfect world, I go off and make films, and then come home to my farm,” she says. You’d be happy to hang around that farm – if only to catch glimpses of Kebbel, now 23, in her tight tan jodhpurs. She fills them out… well, stunningly.

But to attract her attention, you’ll have to move pretty quickly past how hot she looks in her riding pants. “The only comment I would respond to,” she says, “would be if a guy said, ‘Hey, I ride too. I’m going to be competing against you this weekend.’ And then I would just think about how I was going to kick his arse.”

Kebbel is single now, having recently broken up with a filmmaker she dated for four years. In retrospect, she’s grateful that she didn’t give up so much of herself that she had nothing left when the relationship was over. “It really pisses me off, when I see women doing that,” she says. In the wake of that split, she finds her preferences in men shifting. Where she previously was drawn to the life of the party, Kebbel’s gaze now shifts to the edges of the room. “If I meet two guys at the same time and one of them is coming on really strong and talks a lot, and the other is quiet and reserved, I’m going to like the second one,” she says. “I want someone who isn’t going to give it away in the first meeting.” What other lessons can we learn from her? Turn over to find out.

“I want someone who can respectfully challenge me. I know what I believe, so there’s no point in taking on a relationship with someone who thinks like me or laughs at what I laugh at. I enjoy being with someone who can offer me the opposite.”

“I am very independent and I need a man to be independent as well. I love to do cute, thoughtful things for my boyfriend. But I enjoy caretaking only when I don’t think he’s going to start being dependent.”

“Don’t pay too much attention to every little screw-up she makes. None of that ‘oh, you were five minutes late’ business. Sorry, but if you really want to fight about things on that level, then I can’t be bothered with it.”

“I find it cute when my horse tries to put one over on me. But I don’t want a man who’s going to play games with me. If I’m upset, I’m going to let you know and if I’m happy, you can trust that that’s really the case. I don’t do the whole passive-aggressive thing very well and I don’t want a guy to, either.”

“If you feel like a fight is brewing, let her go out for a run. She’ll come back feeling more relaxed. My ex would know not to talk to me until I came back from running. I’d always be in a better place.”