Everyone has a heart horse. Some may have a few but generally there is always that one horse that sticks out in your mind above all else.
Your heart horse. Hopefully you are lucky enough to be riding him/her right now or had a long go with them. But whatever that case may be. There is always that one.
Charlie is my heart horse. (Don’t tell Dancer). I met Charlie when I was in middle school. He was 20. Back in the day he had a great career on the Arabian horse circuit. He was both national and reserve national champion in jumpers.
His show name is Charleeze +/ because of those titles.
His owner was my 4-H leader. She’d ridden him to those titles but she said they never really bonded. The two of us bonded immediately. He taught me to sit a buck, to jump and to have fun riding. We went to shows, we went on trail rides and he’s the first horse my parents ever let me “ride by myself” meaning go to the barn without some sort of supervision.
But more than that he was my mane to cry in. High School was a rough time for me. Often I would stop on the way home and tell him everything and then jump on bareback and wander around until it got dark.
We went to shows of course. Mostly 4-H stuff but we did qualify for State. We may have even won one of those big neck ribbons if I hadn’t of blown my lead! (He swapped it right back because he was amazing but the judge saw). That show was one of the best experiences I’d had in my life up until that point, even if I did end up puking in a trash can because it was so hot!
When the time came to pick a college I seriously considered staying near home because of Charlie. But alas common sense (and parental pushing) won out and I chose to go to Cal Poly and leave him.
On my first break home for Thanksgiving I was taking care of the horses at Charlie’s owner’s house and I decided to take him on a trail ride to the public arena (it was bigger and I wanted to set up some jumps). We rode there and I left him to set a fence because he was normally good and just stood there.. Silly pony ran off in the arena. When I caught him and as we began to warm up, I felt that something wasn’t right. He stumbled and turned his head to look back at me as if to say ” hey, you really should get off me now.” As soon as I did he lay down, shook once and was gone.
My Mom said I was completely calm when I called her on the phone. Probably a little bit of shock. And she and my Dad came down to help me with one of the most horrible days of my life.
He wasn’t “mine” and I definitely wasn’t prepared to say goodbye that day…. But I’m glad he waited for me.
He was my everything and Dancer has some pretty big horseshoes to try to fill!
Who is your heart horse?