Jenn from Stories from the Saddle has a fun topic for us: Do you currently have your ‘heart horse’? What makes a ‘heart horse’ to you?
Moe is for sure my heart horse. Don’t get me wrong, I like Gina (most of the time, anyway), but I don’t feel the same kind of connection with her as I do with Moezilla.
Moe makes himself easy to love: he flings his head up when you call his name and comes to greet you from the pasture. He whinnies in greeting if you see him in his stall. His baby face always looks hopeful and happy. He eats treats indiscriminately and always behaves as if the treat you fed him is his very favorite treat in the whole entire world. He is a good sport who enjoys grooming, eagerly awaits his saddle and bridle, and unfailingly gets in and out of the trailer because the trailer can only mean good things are about to happen.
Some of my love for Moe is certainly born of long association: I got him when he was 8 and I was 16. Currently, we are 20 and 28, respectively. Any length of time can pass from one ride to the next, but the feeling is always the same. Many hours astride Moe’s narrow back means riding him is akin to putting on a favorite sweater or rereading a beloved book.
He is not perfect, and I do not ride him perfectly. But never have I met a bolder, more fearless, more eager, more willing partner than Moe. He is endlessly forgiving, and has never hesitated to save us both from disaster, even when it means he is hit in the mouth or bumped hard on the back. His joie de vivre is boundless.
Even now, in his new role as a dressage lesson horse, Moe is as zealous as ever in his quest to please. He does not know he is old or that he is terrible at dressage. He occasionally bucks with glee or impatience; I cannot decide if he is simply in high spirits some days or if he is expressing frustration that his young rider keeps him confined to the sandbox. (Like all good event horses, Moe knows that some kind of jumping follows dressage, and this is the proper order of things.)
Moe will live with me until he dies, though the thought of his death is enough to make my eyes water in anticipated grief. I am sure I will love other horses as I have loved Moe; I am just not sure they will love me as much a runty, ill-conformed Thoroughbred gelding does.