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Horse Health

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We don't pick our heart horses...they pick us

When I bred my mare five years ago, I knew I was breeding for her replacement. I wanted that special piece of her to be with me as long as possible. I hope I have another ten years with her but my heart tells me this is our last year together.

She foaled a beautiful colt who has grown into a beautiful stallion. This coming Monday, he becomes a beautiful gelding. He's a lot like his dam, with the qualities of his sire that I wanted. He's no longer mine though. I've watched him the last few months, I've watched his eyes light up, I've heard that special whicker that's made for his special person...and its not me.

My hearts a bit torn right now, knowing that although I will always own him, his heart doesn't belong to me. His heart belongs to my six year old daughter. He follows her everywhere, falls asleep as she sings to him, talks to her everytime he sees her. I watched them this afternoon, him in the round pen, her outside it.

He trotted by her side whenever she ran, stopped and talked to her whenever she stopped. I can't wait to watch them grow up together, I know he'll take care of her. That's the beauty of our wonderful breed...they love.
  • mlharper and Doodlesweaver like this


Mar 06 2012 10:54 PM
what a great thing to be witnessing Pheobe. I agree that our heart horses pick us... and your daughter is VERY lucky to have a horse pick her. I can understand that you would feel torn about this, but at the same time, you helped create a horse that will give your daughter the same feeling as you have with your mare. Thank you for sharing!
I know the feeling. My boy still loves me and the trail rides, but he also loves my daughter. He will do things for her I never thought he would do. Like the horse eating mounting block is no big deal because SHE asked him. He will stand still in the pasture for her to brush him, with no halter. I felt quite upset that the little mini me stole my horse! But she really didn't he loves her too. Watching my fiery beast that challenged me all of the time for years, take such great care with such a small and important person made me love him even more! I can't wait to hear the stories these to will have.
Arlene Magid
Mar 07 2012 03:36 PM
My heart horse, my gelding Rodney, chose me when he was two years old. I was at a horse trader's looking at a mare with a friend-the mare had a very rare pedigree (she was one of just 25 get of US Nat Ch Stallion Hajababa++), but she was nuts. Rodney was allowed to roam free on the farm and both days we were there followed me around like a dog. On the second day, he climbed into my car when I was ready to leave (appropriately it was a Dodge Colt LOL). He's still alive and well at age 31-his sire competed at the US Nationals at age 25 and his paternal grandsire, who was bred by Henry Babson, died at age 37. I miss him so very much.
    • Lacinda likes this
You know what I love about this thread is not only Phoebes story BUT how that story makes every one of us
think of that very special "heart" horse.

For those of us who no longer have that horse it reminds us that they are always right there with us when we read a post
like this.

Phoebe your daughter is very lucky, she may not know it yet but she will.

Here is to my "heart" horse- Azrakenez+/-"Rocky". It was love at first sight at least for me! My parents bought him for me on
March 21, 1976 -I will never forget that day- and he passed on January 12, 2005. We had an amazing time together with a lot
of firsts and adventures that I will never ever forget.
    • starling likes this
Mar 09 2012 07:54 PM
I lost the love of my life 8/21/11 . I owned that mare for almost 20 years and she taught me so much! Now its my daughters turn to find her heart horse.
Mine not only picked me , he charmed me into buying him. He really did, true story!! I literally had no choice. I can not even put it into words enough to tell the story, and plus its embarrassing as I cried the first time I looked at him, and that just isn't normal lol
    • CBJ, NIECE and BeckyAlexander like this
he is still your heart. Riggs picked me his owner didnt want to sell him to me. wouldnt even take my deposit and told me to come work with him a few weeks. he is so much a part of my life i cant leave him more than 4 days or i have a horse off his feed and down. what he wanted even more was for me to give him a child of his own. ;) loves kids. hates to have his bangs brushed but a little people is near and he hangs his head down and loves every minute.
    • JennyM and msjwebb like this
Mar 10 2012 11:37 AM
Sometimes they pick us before we even see them. I saw an ad for Patti's brother and was talking to Brenda Laurel about how he was exactly what I was looking for but I wanted a filly. She commented that he had a younger sister only she wasn't homozygous. She sent me a few pics and the rest, as they say, is history. I fell in love with the first pics I ever saw of Patti and when she stepped off that trailer......OMG! All but 2 of the horses on this place are for sale to the right buyer. Some more than others but 2 are not for sale at any price. Patti & Cloney will never be sold. Cloney would be gelded if for some reason I couldn't keep a stallion, but he will not be sold. Patti....I'll cheerfully die with her lead rope in my hands! LOL!

Posted ImagePosted Image
My heart horse was Sera-Jo+//. He not only picked me but charmed my mother into buying him (at the time she didn't really like horses). He not only enabled a kid without much money to win big (he was the last purebred to go Top Ten in english and western in the same year) but he also taught me how to ride. He was never an easy horse, but he would bust his gut for you if he was asked right. But treat him unfairly and you were in for Mr Toads Wild Ride. He put himself in between me and a copperhead, attacked a stranger who came out of the woods when we were trail riding, and always took care of me.
I have been lucky enough to have 4 other very special horses in my life, two of which I currently own. But Jo will always be my favorite.
By the way dreamcatcher, one of my current special horses is a giant black and white pinto who is also out by Atomic Delux , and I almost bought Patti before you did.
    • Lacinda likes this
loving all of the stories you are all sharing :) makes you feel all warm and fuzzy!
Mar 24 2013 05:43 PM

Mine not only picked me , he charmed me into buying him. He really did, true story!! I literally had no choice. I can not even put it into words enough to tell the story, and plus its embarrassing as I cried the first time I looked at him, and that just isn't normal lol

You're not alone on the crying at first sight... I saw my girl in the pictures on that ad, and tears welled up in my eyes, she was so beautiful.  We are just starting our journey together, but I know she's something special.  I look forward to many more years of learning together with her, and seeing what we can accomplish together. 


I love reading stories like these.  :)  <3

Aug 20 2013 07:47 PM

Phoebe that is one of the sweetest posts ever. 


Got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes reading this thread. They do pick us. 


My daughter and her horse are almost like one person sometimes. My big guy is really the love of my life second only to my daughter.


Pattie is beautiful, Dreamcatcher.


We are all so lucky to have horses in our lives. 

She's still his girl :-)

She was the first person ever on his back. He always talks to her and follows her around with his head lowered towards her. She's the first person he looks for when he comes in at night, not his food, but her. Then they talk and she rubs his head.

Its very cute to watch. He's about to turn 5, she just turned 8.
    • Doodlesweaver likes this
Aug 21 2013 06:22 AM

What a timely bump on this thread...


I get married this weekend. I always wanted to give my fiancĂ© a beautiful Western saddle, dark leather and heavily tooled, with silver accents. He's not a rider, really, but he rides like a cowboy and loves to wear his cowboy hat and I thought he'd love it. He's always wanted a "clown pony" (a Paint) - a gelding so that he "could understand him"  - and I thoguht it would look very fancy!


Last December we bought a horse farm to renovate. We also incorporated three new beautiful mares into our family - Starlet, Ember, and Vienna. From the very time Bryan saw Vienna (in a photograph) he said that she was the most beautiful horse in the world. When she came home to the farm Bryan always had a special scratch for Vienna (he was the first to find her favourite itchy spot) and would greet her first and say goodbye last.


Vienna sometimes plays tricks on people, including me. She'll refuse to go forward, or stomp her feet if you're forcing her to walk when she wants to race, or put her head so high that her ears are almost touching your nose, or deke sideways at jumps. But when Bryan rides Vienna she is a perfect angel and has never, ever pulled a trick on him. He learned to ride bareback on her and routinely rides her in a nylon halter and leadrope. He admonishes her with a, "BAD PONY!" if she pins her ears at another horse, and I'll swear that she stops.immediately. He calls her his "Cadillac."


I get married this weekend. But I'm pretty sure the highlight of the day for Bryan will be discovering that he is now the proud new owner of his very first "Heart Horse." He didn't choose her - she chose him. He may not cry at me walking down the aisle but I'm pretty sure he'll cry when he sees the bow around her neck!


Attached Image: vienna cropped.jpg

    • Meralee, greygelding and Pheobe like this
Aug 21 2013 07:43 PM

It has been two years today that I lost my heart horse. She took a HUGE piece of me when she went. I can not go by her "spot" without crying to this day. I learned everything from this mare. She was a nice english pl. horse who just had that 200% all or nothing attitude. She was a ha/nsh and showed her "hottness" every time. She never disappointed when asked to put on a show. Now I have a colt that I bred and am very excited about. I can not wait to see what he breaks out and does in the ring! 

Attached Image: Gem in wash rack july 2013.JPG

DW Paradas Gem

Riggs always thought he would be second to none. I guess I really did too but.... Sometimes when we are not looking we get taken by surprise and wonderful things happen.


Very true....


I found my boy on this forum needed a new home so I looked at his pictures and it was love at first sight. He was shipped all the way from Utah to Texas to me at 5 months of age. The minute he stepped off the trailer and met my eyes he chose me right then and there. He is now 4 years old and I started him myself under saddle about 6 months ago.

Spirit will always be my number one. He is my first horse my first arabian and he has always been my best friend, but Roxie she is special. I fell for her when her breeder first put her up for sale. I watched as there was a threat of her going to the meat man, i cried, and watched as so many people came together to save her, I was over joyed for her, I watched as home after home backed out on her, so I asked ever so nicely if I could have her for my Christmas present. The hoops I jumped threw to get her here ASAP after the updated photos, she was worse in person. She put her head on my chest when I picked her up in NC. I pulled into my farm at 1:20 in the morning, my honey was still up waiting for us. I opened the trailer and he cried with me as we walked her to her pen. The expressions on her face sometimes is priceless. She is such a neat horse. Even when she was going crazy with her magnesium deficiency, I could look her in the eye and she would come to me as her safe place. She would put her fears aside when I was upset and would try so hard to be good. She will always have a home here at our farm.
    • kukrae likes this
Whispering Meadows
Aug 23 2013 07:48 AM
I was lucky to own my heart horse from day 1! For me it was love at first sight. She was my dream horse. I thought for years she loved everyone the same until one day she got after a gelding for charging at me during feeding. I realized she has never felt I was threatened until then and since she has showed me I am her person. If I'm upset she tries her best to comfort me. If I'm mad at her she knows it and forces me to forgive her, she will follow me around with her nose on my shoulder. Although she will always love whoever gives her food she will always come to me first and last and will always protect me when she thinks I'm in danger. She always gives me hugs and kisses when she sees me. Nothing in this world (other than death...hopefully thats a long ways off still) will take this horse from me.

I've got a 6-8wk old colt that is making himself something special in my life as well. I fell in love with him when I first saw him but never expected I would love him as much as I do. Even though he is independent and wants to do his own thing, I'm the only person he will come up to and I don't see him leaving my side til death either.

This is a wonderful wonderful topic!!! 


I am enjoying reading everyone's Heart Horse stories.....my heart goes out to those who have lost your dream horse over the Rainbow bridge or are close to that decision....

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  • carolyn thompson