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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Tucson
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    6,511

    Default Heart horses?

    Do you/have you had a heart horse?

    I've seen posts in which folks seem to not believe in the concept of the heart horse, and posts in which folks claim to have one but are selling it. I tend to disagree with both of those, but that's because my horse (my 7th horse ever, I think?) is most definitely my heart horse.

    I'm curious about your experiences with heart horses, and how you found them, what you did with them, if you still have them, etc.


    I thought my horse was the most beautiful horse I had ever seen the first time I saw him. As he was at a show with lots of nice looking horses, and he's a solid bay with no white but I prefer "off color" horses, that was a bit odd. At the time, he was known for not liking people and putting his ears back and trying to bite, but his immediate reaction when I walked up to him was ears forward and head down for scratches. For whatever reason, he was never really happy before I got him, and decided he loved me. Two weeks into our trial period, we were bonded to the point he'd leave his food when he heard my truck pull in to look over the fence and watch for me. It was just a kind of strange phenomenon I hadn't ever experienced, and every day I leave the barn thinking how much I adore my horse, and how lucky I was to find him. In order to ensure I can always care for him, I'm moving to horse property and building a barn with a huge run off his stall so he can be happy. I have *loved* every horse I had and never wanted more than I had with them. He's just different, and the bond is different. Can anyone else relate?
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2010
    Location
    Six miles from the beaten path
    Posts
    330

    Default

    I've been lucky enough to have two-one is a bay mare I bought, Bunny, AKA Ms Skeeter Go Lucky, with my parents help, when I was 14. Still have her, she's getting a little rusty around the hinges, but still acts likes she's six. I did everything on her-rodeo, reining, western equitation, jumping, roping, queening, parades-she's ornery, and obnoxious, terrible ground manners, and she will Take. Advantage. of any chance to be excited and be a dink. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1500101509 at 17 YOA.

    But she is one of those horses you HAVE to look at-she oozes charisma, literally-and when you get a good ride on her you EARNED it-and for all of her psycho bits, she's awesome. I learned more from her than any other horse. She's big, bee-yooti-full, and I LOVE her, even though she's definitely got her quirks. My brother has kind of commandeered her, at this point, and I'm fine with that. She gets babied, ridden occasionally, and he thinks more of her than I do, I believe!


    Jaeger (aka Jagged Edge, by Jazzin Around) is the first OTTB I had, and I took him in for a tuneup for a friend to sell, and fell in love with him. He was a handful-forward, sensitive, and SO much fun to ride. I was all set to start competing in three-day with him, when I found out I was pregnant. Shortly after having my son, hubby and I divorced, and Jaeger got sold. He's now 14, and I would LOVE to have him back. But I sold him to a flake, and haven't yet been able to track him down. He's a horse that would be branded as crazy in the wrong hands, and it makes me sick to think of what might have happened. But, at the time, I truly didn't have a choice but to sell him. Every horse I own will be measured against Jaeger-when I find one that measures up to him, we will be unstoppable!
    I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
    Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

    ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2010
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    210

    Default

    I had just started learning how to ride and was working at a show/sales dressage barn. We got a bright chestnut OTTB mare who was WAY too much horse for me, I didn't even canter off the lunge line yet for chrissake. I begged to just do her walk warm up and cool down. Which I weaseled into a lesson and this mare had me hooked. She too was known before as a beyatch who was hateful and didn't like to be groomed, saddled etc. She let me pull her mane while she ate her hay, never laid her ears back came when I whistled. Well, I begged and pleaded to use her for my practise rides in between lessons and we slipped into canter and that mare just racked me around the ring even when I panicked and the experienced riders on the rail who at first were like oh sh*%! Started cheering and it was awesome. 20 years ago and I remember the feeling like it was yesterday.
    We went to our first show - T1 and T2 in borrowed everything, got 60 plus in both, 2 weeks after my first canter. She had only done hunters before. I know, right? She was 15 already but sound and pretty. I was in love.
    My boss talked the person selling her into practically giving her to me and then my boss picked up $500 of it.
    We went on to show at 3rd, Prelim level eventing ( my next boss was a BNT eventer), working on 4 tempis, she gave me regular steps of piaffe and could canter pirroutte a half circle, she and I would trail ride with my dog for hours, swim rivers, jump fences, I rode her until my due date with my 1st baby ( who is now 11). When she was 19 we timed her on a track and she hauled my fat butt around a mile at 1:52 and I hgad to haul her in at the end. I thought it, she did it. She needed me, I was there. I miss her everytime I set foot in the stirrup of any one of the babies I have bred and loved from their conception, there will never be another like her. She was bitten by a rattlesnake and already had advanced cushings so we had to put her down 10 years ago after 11 wonderful years of adventures.

    So yeah, I know. I can relate.
    bad decisions make good stories



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
    Posts
    7,384

    Default

    I've owned 4, leased and borrowed many over the last 20 years. I loved a few, liked and enjoyed most, and really didn't care for a few.

    My childhood horse was saintly and will always hold a special place in my heart. I've only had one other that was truly a "heart horse" and I don't think I'll ever be able to replicate him or our relationship.

    Ironically he came to me via another COTHer. Some would say I stalked him, this may be true. It took a few years but he was eventually mine. Unfortunately I didn't have him long as he died tragically and unexpectedly.

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...04109739PucpPn

    I will admit my heart really hasn't been in it since his passing. I don't expect to be able to find HIM again. But I do want to ride, and have a horse I enjoy riding, I've just yet to find that partnership again. I suppose it will find me when the time is right, maybe it is not time yet...
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default Heart horse

    My love is named Honor and I loved him the second I saw him. He was very arrogant and liked to buck and rear. My trainer eventually gave him to me because no one would buy him and I loved him so. He was beautiful, arrogant but had that certain air that drew people to him. It took 3 years, but eventually I could compete on him without him dumping me in the middle of the dressage test. Eventually we competed at Training level eventing and he was very good. I still have him at my house and I still love to look at him every day. He is my heart.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,084

    Default

    I can. I've had 1 so far in my lifetime and I have put my hands on at least 100 horses. She galloped into my life all gold and silver and in breathless anticipation I said MINE. She was and still is the most beautiful horse I have ever seen. Saying her name still brings tears to my eyes. She did it all, jumping, dressage, barrels, western pleasure. She graduated Nautical knot school so she couldn't be tied and had a bell on her halter and a bow on her but at shows (kicked and bite to keep me away from other horses). She broke her leg in the pasture coming to see me the day before a show. That sight still haunts me. She was only mine for a very short 8 years. She would have been 28 this year.
    I'm more interested in the people that have had more than one heart horse as that is looking to be a problem for me. I loved my mare and she was my heart horse and then I lost her. Since then I have been severely injured twice and handled at least 50 horses and not one has even really piqued my interest.
    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
    Originally Posted by alicen:
    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2003
    Location
    Up the creek from bar.ka
    Posts
    10,041

    Default

    Oh Flash, that is a beautiful picture. I love too that your shirt has little horses on it!

    My heart horse is one...

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/21162...48495570nOsrRk

    to me he is the most wonderful horse that has ever walked the planet.

    He is part of a partnership and I hope to be able to buy out the other interested parties so that I can keep him for all of his days. To even think of him leaving me makes me cry.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2007
    Posts
    574

    Default

    I first saw my heart horse standing in the pasture at my barn. She was new, she hated everyone and everything. SHe was brought to our barn for retraining and she had lost her trust in everyone. She was/is beautiful and she was ruined. I was fascinated by her and I camped out (not literally in the pasture until she was curious enough to come close enough for me to touch her.

    She had THE SOFTEST moleskin nose I ever felt and I was in love.

    I worked with her for a year regaining her trust and establishing a relationship. In the end, her owners couldn't breed her and they sent her to auction. My trainer worked something out with them and she came back the next day and was given to me. At 18 years young, she is still amazing. I've owned her for over 10 years and she's sweet, loving and a ham - a far cry from the mare who wouldn't let anyone near her.

    She misses me when I'm gone for too long and she screams for me when she sees me. She'll brave anything with me - for anyone else...she's gone.

    I've thought about selling her for a younger, more suitable horse for me. And in the end, I can't do it. She's given me so much, I owe it to her to protect her.
    "the waist is not a joint" I MUST REMEMBER THIS!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    243

    Default heart horse

    Yes. He died this year at the age of 13. Way too sad.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2001
    Location
    Hangin' on by a thread...
    Posts
    3,329

    Default

    I find it funny that a lot of your heart horses were nasty and unhappy when you found him/her, and then warmed up to only you .

    Oliver, my gelding, is my heart horse. i've had a lot of horses throughout the years, but he is truly special to me. I will never sell him, and that's saying something as I usually sell them along once they get to a certain point in their careers.

    I got him from a breeder in South Carolina - went there to look at a bunch of youngsters and he was the first one I saw. I fell in love with him the minute he put his head in my arms and let me stroke his face. he came home with me a week later.

    He's pretty uncomplicated, and perfectly behaved on the ground. He loves everybody, but I'd like to think he loves me best . So, I definitely think that he could be someone else's heart horse, but he's mine, and he's here to stay.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
    Posts
    1,848

    Default

    My grandfather bought me a Morgan gelding when I was 15 in 1967. My parents and I had been looking for a new horse and had tried many. We drove out to the trainer who had Faunty - he had his head out of a stall window, we saw that look of eagles and we were all hooked. I showed him saddle seat in the beginning and he was consistent, beautiful, trustworthy...just a fabulous horse. When I went off to college, my next youngest sister showed him, he was fabulous for her, and so it went for the three sisters of mine who rode. We showed him western, hunt seat, saddle seat - you name it, he would try it. When I returned to the area after grad school I took him from my youngest sister, showed him for a few more years, and then retired him. We put him down at the age of 29 in 1993 and let me tell you, that was the one of the saddest days of my family's life - he was truly a member of the family. Still makes me tear up to think about it.

    We've had a lot of horses in the interim that we loved dearly but only one comes even close in my heart to Faunty and that's the Arab I have now - maybe he's Faunty reincarnated?

    So yes, I can relate to the idea of a heart horse. I hope I'm lucky enough to have experienced two of them.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default

    I think you can have more than one....I love my gelding that I ride now alot. Its not the same intensity as the love I have for Honor, but I sure do love Billie alot too. I had a heart dog too at the same time I competed on Honor. Her death was devastating for me but over time, I have great relationships with other dogs that I adore as well.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,190

    Default Yes, I have my heart horse.....

    .....it started with her mother, who I adored. She was a 4 year old Friesian mare just imported from Holland and due to foal in 6 months. I was training at the barn at the time and was able to work with her daily.

    What a lovely mare Sientje was, so young and kind.

    Daatje was foaled in February, this sweet little bouncing, curly coated, wrinkle eared filly. How sweet she was!

    Sadly, Sientje was lost to colic when Daatje was only 28 days old. I'll never forget walking into the barn that first day after Sientje was gone.....and seeing the little filly in a stall all alone, calling for her mother. (she later got put in with a mini donk for company)

    I worked with my vet to set up a bottle feeding schedule, and was on the crew responsible for bottle feeding her every 2 hours around the clock.

    To say we bonded would be an understatement. She and I became close friends and when she was six months old, I bought her from the farm and brought her home to live with me.

    That was 2001.

    I have since gone in directions that Friesians aren't necessarily the best choice for, but she has tried her heart out to do the best she can. I have contemplated selling her on as a dressage horse and getting a faster, cattier horse for foxhunting and eventing, but I just....can't.....do it. I can't. I love her too much and couldn't imagine my life with out her, or her life in someone elses hands.

    So yes, she is my heart horse and we will be together until death takes us apart.

    Here are photos of her as a young one:
    www.freewebs.com/princessdaatje

    And her pages from 2009 and 2010:
    www.daatje2009.webs.com
    www.daatje2010.webs.com




  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    6,511

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh Flash, that is a beautiful picture. I love too that your shirt has little horses on it!

    My heart horse is one...

    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/21162...48495570nOsrRk

    to me he is the most wonderful horse that has ever walked the planet.

    He is part of a partnership and I hope to be able to buy out the other interested parties so that I can keep him for all of his days. To even think of him leaving me makes me cry.
    Geeze. The thought of being in your position is making me teary! I totally get teary at the thought of anything happening to my baby.

    Quote Originally Posted by eventer_mi View Post
    I find it funny that a lot of your heart horses were nasty and unhappy when you found him/her, and then warmed up to only you .
    I actually don't think it's a coincidence. My trainer evented my horse for a year before I started riding with her, and loved him. Before we went to try him out, she told me he *really* needed to have "his person." She said he wanted to be sweet, but just needed to feel as if he belonged with someone. And I think she nailed it.

    I think most horses can have a bond with whoever works with them, handles them, and treats them nicely on a regular basis. Part of that herd mentality, where they're supposed to fit in with the group dynamics. I think the horses who end up really heart horses are looking for something different which they have never gotten in the past, and someone comes along with whom they click. I don't think it's about riding ability or horsemanship skills being superior, but about for some reason or another, the person they're with being "the one" for them.


    I've also been on the other side of the equation. My first horse had belonged to a teenager who was going away to college, and I think she was that girl's heart horse. And she got NASTY when we bought her. I think for her it was the lack of that special bond she had with her previous owner. She eventually settled down and became a wonderful horse who enjoyed and bonded to her people. I sold her to a family with a bunch of kids she loved and totally babysat around 5 years after we bought her, and I adored her. But I think she never bonded with anyone like she had with the person I bought her from, and have looked for that girl to try to tell her how well she ended up doing, because I'm sure she would have wanted to know.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2003
    Location
    Charlotte, NC, USA
    Posts
    551

    Default

    I have had just 1. The year I was graduating college I flew down to TX from NC to interview for jobs while the Appaloosa world show was going on (how else was I going to get to miss classes for a week). I interviewed Mon/Tues then drove from Dallas to Ft. Worth to watch my friends show. Wednesday night I got a job offer! Thursday night was the ApHC world show sale. I was to fly home Thursday but hey I had a job why go home! So I stayed at the show to drive back with one of my friends. Of course said friend every year purchased a horse at the world show and my instructions from her husband, "DONT LET HER BUY ANOTHER HORSE!" Now we all know that means lets buy a horse....so we went to the sale barn to look at an older been there done that gelding for me. Nice horse, broke, could keep at home and not pay training. Rode him, liked him, had in my mind what I would pay for him. We then looked thru the rest of the sale barn and come upon 2 yearlings that were so nice. One was a knockout, blow your socks off. The other small and plain headed but had something about her. They were half siblings. I drooled over the knockout and was all "I dont need a yearling, dont need a yearling". Sale came, friend is bidding away, I am all stop bidding, still bidding. Crap your husband is going to kill us. She purchased a plain bay yearling just based on the papers in front of us and seeing her in the auction ring. So we go back to see what she purchased. It was the small plain yearling. I looked at friend she looked at me and we started laughing. I said if she trots Ill buy her from you. Friend is all oh thank god husband is going to kill me.
    I got to spend 8 years with that mare. She was born broke. We did TL dressage, App shows in hunter, western, showmanship, she taught my god daughter how to ride. She was always honest but believed in making you work for it. That little plain yearling grew up to be a 16.2 trotting machine. She saw me thru a move from NC to TX back to NC. My first job, my second job, and my third job. Grad school. Nurmerous bad/good boyfriends. She was an ole soul who was always kind.
    I lost her in a freak pasture accident. It will be 5 years in another 10 days. I still miss that mare. After her I didnt ride or go to the barn for about 7 months. I know own something totally different after having had stock type breeds for 17 years because none of the App/paints/qh compared when I rode them.
    Pamela Ellis



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2000
    Posts
    1,840

    Default

    These are the BEST stories... and such beautiful photos.

    Eklecktica- what a beautiful mare and foal!!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2002
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    531

    Default

    I have a heart pony, he's a Welsh-Arab. Bought him off the internet as a baby. I saw his face and didn't know if he had four legs and a tail. I was smitten at first glance. Don't do much but feed him and play with him these days, but that doesn't matter. He knows he's mine, and I don't hope to have another like him. Every day, every ride is a gift, and as a friend of mine likes to say: thanksgiving, every day.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2003
    Location
    Up the creek from bar.ka
    Posts
    10,041

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by netg View Post
    Geeze. The thought of being in your position is making me teary! I totally get teary at the thought of anything happening to my baby.
    Ya, I just try to not think about it too much. Every morning I wake up and and smile because he is in a stall in my barn waiting for me! It seems sort of foolish to love a horse as much as I love him, but I can't help it.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I've had two heart horses. My first was my second OTTB. She was a pretty well bred mare who was broken down at the track by the age of two. She came to me at three or four and as full of piss and vinegar as you will ever see. She and I bonded over many years of retraining and she became my jumper who won me quite a few blue ribbons. She would dump herself before she would let me fall off. Unfortunately, she never lost her fire and after many years of riding she just got to the point where she was no longer fun and perhaps not even safe for me to ride as I got older. I ended up selling her as a broodmare and she's had at least three babies. She's now in her mid twenties and what I wouldn't give to have one of those babies... I miss her terribly to this day.
    My second heart horse is current one, a three year old Morgan gelding. He will even leave his chow to come and say hi to me. He's another who watches out for me with every fiber of his being. I'm hoping that I'll still be riding him thirty years from now.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2010
    Location
    Six miles from the beaten path
    Posts
    330

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberbay View Post
    These are the BEST stories... and such beautiful photos.

    Eklecktica- what a beautiful mare and foal!!
    Thanks! This is baby all grown up-Here He was supposed to be Bunny's replacement, but severed a tendon in his hock, and then the guy that I sent him to for training screwed him up-so he's sort of out to pasture until I can get him broke of rearing. It's a HUGE waste.

    But how do you sell a grade (AQHAxHann) gelding with a big scar and a talent for the vertical? He's a doll on the ground, but easily the hardest horse I've ever ridden, under saddle.
    I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
    Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

    ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.



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