Sunday, June 12, 2016

Heart Horses

Why do some horses pull at our hearts and embed themselves so deeply there, while others do not?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  I am trying to identify why my heart responds to Tex so strongly but not to Lucy.  I've had great partners and I've had incompatible partners and the space they take in my heart just doesn't seem logical.

Starman was a fun little horse and he gave me confidence when I had lost it.  I loved him, and I was very sad when we lost him, but he wasn't my heart horse.  He might have been Camille's heart horse, though.


Auke was gorgeous and fun to ride but he wasn't my heart horse either.  I would happily share my root-beer with him and he was sweet but I felt more pride (look at me and my fancy horse), than love.  (He's for sale by his current owner if any of you are interested in a stunning, sweet Friesian).




Jackson was my first heart horse.  He wasn't expensive or fancy; just a grey Paint horse without any flashy markings.  But, he has these huge expressive eyes and a goofy personality.  He marches to his own drummer in many ways but always gave me everything he had -- even when it hurt.  He still does that, hobbling to the barn when his feet hurt, or eating his bute laced bucket (and he HATES bute), taking a bite, looking at me, sighing, and taking another.






Winston and I were incompatible.

Lucy should be a heart horse.  When I ride her, I am filled with joy.  Lucy likes to go and she is willing to try and figure me out, as long as I am being fair.  She follows me around her pasture, begging for affection.  I can hold her head in my arms, wrap my arms around her neck, and she would groom me back if I let her.  I think it must be the pushy, prima dona, princess part of her personality that keeps me from falling in love.  She over-reacts to just about everything; windy days, turkeys, the rain, and bugs.  She is also jealous beyond belief and demands my attention, and everyone else's, all for herself.  Buffy can't visit Pistol unless one of us holds Lucy and showers her with attention.  ...she doesn't share with her friends.  It irritates me.  I know, she's just being Lucy -- she's a sensitive alpha mare -- but someday's I just wish she would give it a rest.


I like quiet, shy animals.  My favorite goat is Whiskey, the one who silently sidles up to me and stands quietly waiting for me to notice him.  It isn't Bear, or even Thistle, who are gregarious and affectionate, and will head butt any other goat who tries to get close.


Which brings me to Tex.  He's quiet, with an undercurrent of brilliant energy and speed.  He's shy and unsure, he wants a relationship with me but he's not sure how to go about it.  Some days, he is brave and almost confident.  He nudges me for cookies and welcomes my touch.  Other days, he is worried and withdrawn.  He steps away and flinches; he drops cookies in his haste to escape to his personal space.  But he always looks at me with his soft, melted chocolate eyes, and asks me to stay.  I think it must be the quiet try in him that calls to me so strongly.




What kind of horse (or animal) personality draws you in?

13 comments:

  1. I have no idea why we are drawn to the horses we choose. I love Irish for his quirky personality and sweetness but his tenseness and inability to relax drove me batty.

    Steele was my heart horse- I love his boldness and curiosity and exuberance.

    Carmen has all the potential to be my heart horse- I think we found each other because we were both wounded. I wouldn't have felt the same about her before my heart was broken. She wants to let me in, I think, but doesn't know how.

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  2. Great blog post idea!

    I definitely fall for the horses with a bit of spice or sass to them. Looking back, this was true of all the lesson horses that were my favorites. Harley has that too, but there is something more to him. It is difficult to identify, but I think that you are on to something when you mention the eyes. Both Jackson and Tex talk to you with their eyes. Harley absolutely does that and I think he understands nearly everything that I say him, verbally and nonverbally, and responds in his own way.

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    1. Harley has always seemed to me to be your heart horse; that shines through in all that you have written about him. I loves spice and sass when I was younger; not so much anymore.

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  3. I still don't know what makes a heart horse. I loved my mare that I had in college. I loved her the moment she walked off the trailer and I saw her for the first time. I loved her until she died. I couldn't name the reasons why. I don't know how to qualify it so I haven't been able to find it again. I guess we just keep searching.

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    1. It is hard to figure out and define, isn't it! It doesn't make any sense at all. My two heart horses are quarter horses trained for the trail (Jackson) and roping (Tex) -- and neither of those are my favorite disciplines. Go figure.

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  4. I'm not sure what makes a heart horse either. It's hard to explain but easier to feel. My only heart horse was Erik. He never made it to the blog because he died of colic before I started it. I started it as a sort of tribute to him by calling it Grey Horse. Erik came to me as a three year old Dutch Warmblood from Holland and I had him until he was seventeen. We just clicked and enjoyed our time together. We learned a lot together too. I think one reason I loved him so was because he would always look for me and come to me. He even gave kisses if asked.

    Here's a quick story to explain how he was: At a schooling show he spooked and dumped our trainer. He then got loose and ran the show grounds until he found me under a tree and neighed and ran to me and put his head under my arm as if I would protect him. He always looked to me to support him and be there for him. Maybe that's why we were a good match.

    I'd like to say Dusty was a heart horse too but she wasn't. She kinda reminds me a lot of your Lucy. Dusty was a lot of fun to ride and safe and she'd do what I asked. Yet, she never would come to me or look for me. She was very independent and liked things her own way.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story about Erik at the show. That must have felt wonderful and cemented him as heart horse. I think you are right that it is a feeling -- it just clicks and you can't plan for it, or predict it, or force it. I know I wanted Lucy to be a heart horse, and expected her to be -- and you probably did the same with Dusty.

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  5. I'm in the same situation with Hickory. I know I should try again, but I just don't have it in me and "on paper" he's perfect. Sigh...

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    1. We've earned the right to do what we want and not what we "should" do based on what others think, right? I call that the benefit of being older and wiser. :)

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  6. Not sure what makes a horse a heart horse either. My two could not have been more different. Velour was very shy and scared but would give 110% when he trusted you, and Bodhi was brilliant, funny, intelligent, and lazy. I loved that I was Velour's safe place and Bodhi was my zen. The two I have mirror those two personalities: Gray is cheeky but obstinate and Oak is oh so skeptical. I think only time will tell if we can connect at that same level. Jackson sounds like my Velour. :) Tex sounds a bit like the horse I have now -- Oak. :) Glad I found your blog.

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    1. I'm glad you found my blog, too -- and even happier that you commented. Welcome! I love that description "skeptical" -- I can picture it so well.

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  7. Very hard to define, but it's definitely a feeling or the amount of emotion that wells up in me when I spend time with them. I have to say that Eagle is a horse that will absolutely be my heart horse if I ever get over my insecurities when I'm riding him. And if I can, I just know in my heart that he will prove to be the best horse I've ever had. Another thought is that the horses that seem to need us, or appreciate our presence with them, and like you said, come looking for us. That is special, and likely what we all want - to be loved and to feel special. I enjoy quiet, loving animals over demanding for sure. Great post Annette!

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  8. An American in TokyoJune 15, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    I love that last photo of Tex...he looks so relaxed!

    I've never had my own horse, but I can relate in that I have had different relationships with different horses at my riding club. Most are good relationships and some are just okay, and one or two were the special kind! =)

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.