Wednesday, November 1, 2017
My Definition of a Heart Horse
There is no standard for a Heart Horse. A Heart Horse can be a lot of different things to different people. To some it can mean the ability to go on long, quiet trail rides in the mountains. To others, it can mean successfully competing at the international level. Sometimes people don't even know what they are really looking for in a Heart Horse until the one comes along. When you know, you know.
Everyone knows Klein is my Heart Horse. She has done a lot of cool things that her breed isn't supposed to be able to do. That is all fun and amazing to me, but that is not what makes her my Heart Horse.
This year we qualified again for the AECs at Novice. A lot of people asked me if we were going and were disappointed for me when I said no. I'm not sure why they were disappointed, because I wasn't. If I wanted to go, I would have went. I know something like that is a dream come true to some people, but for me, it's not. I'm not trying to minimize it as an accomplishment, it's just not something that is the end all be all, for me.
Stuff like that is not what matters to me when it comes to Klein. It's much more because we have traveled half way around the world together. I've had the privilege of riding in so many unique places and going on so many random adventures with her. I know that I can take her anywhere alone and we'll have a great time. I don't have to worry about her losing her mind and not being able to handle herself because she doesn't have a buddy, or doing things like trying to kick a hole in the side of my trailer, or escape through a window. I don't have to worry about her spooking at unusual sights in a new place. If she does have one of those rare days where she does see something that genuinely concerns her, I know we will get through it together without it being a huge drama.
She is the horse that the one time we slipped on some ground we couldn't tell was wet and got slammed on the ground (so hard I heard my helmet crack when I hit), didn't get up and leave me. She stayed down until I sat up and told her we were ok. She never leaves me. On days she has an opinion on the ground, it doesn't reflect in her behavior under saddle. She may be upset about something but not once, ever, has she even attempted to purposely dump me.
She is also the horse that every single time I come back from a work trip no matter if it is days, weeks, or months long I can get on bareback and gallop around anywhere without a worry. We never miss a beat. She learned starting when she was three that if I disappear for any amount of time, I will always be back for her.
I also have a massive amount of respect and admiration for her independent nature and all business attitude. She is perfect for me. I think she takes things just as seriously as I do.
So, these are some of the reasons why she is my Heart Horse, and why I have the utmost trust in her. It has nothing to do with shows, and everything to do with our relationship.