This is probably going to sound lame, but both my cousin and I have lesson horses for our "heart" horses.
Let me tell you about my cousin's situation first.
There's a young (compared to the other horses at the barn) paint horse named Peanut. She's classified as an advanced horses and takes a lot of talent to ride. Every time my cousin got on this horse- which was only once in a while at the time- everyone would compliment her on how she was doing, and she would fall head over heels for her everytime. A few years passed where she did not ride Peanut, but rode some of the other lesson horses. One day my cousin went to get her from the pasture, and she told me she felt like "she already knew her very well". She proceeded to have an awesome ride and get Peanut on the bit, and everyone started freaking out because no one else can get her on the bit. Now she rides her more often and I can't look into people's hearts, but I think it's safe to say she's going to become my cousin's lesson horse. (The kind where no one else thinks of riding her when she's there, because they know she's hers even though she's not my cousin's in terms of ownership).
As for me, I have a chestnut Thoroughbred named Lucky. When I rode her for the first time, I loved how spunky and fiesty she was, but I didn't know just yet that she was my "heart" horse. I rode her for a few weeks straight and then rode a horse named Junior. I rode him two weeks in a row and both times he managed to get me off of him. (Perhaps the universe trying to give me a hint?
). My second fall was my worse fall in a while- he bucked me over
his head and I landed in a kneeling position, the wind knocked out of me. When I got back to riding two weeks later (my knee needed some time to heal, it kept swelling up) I rode Lucky. Now, usually she is extrememly fast and just raring to go, but while I was still nervous she just acted like a little angel. She got my confidence back and, voila- she started acting like her little race-horse self again. I still was too dumb to realize what I was feeling for this horse, pinning it down to the "honeymoon" phase for lesson horses, where you're obsessed with that horse for like a week and then move on. Then for several weeks in a row I got the chance to pick the horse I rode. I kept picking Lucky- I made different excuses- "I don't know the other horses as well", "I might as well ride her, I rode her last week", etc. I forget when, exactly, it happened. But something changed with me and her. Everytime I thought about riding, it was on her. Everytime I wondered which lesson horse I rode, I hoped it was her. I went to school and just thought about riding- but not just any horse, Lucky. Then my cousin went to my lesson a few days after my birthday. Some of the barn helpers were talking to her.
"Are you more used to riding horses or ponies?"
"Horses." (My cousin got assigned a pony).
"Well, you could try switiching with Danielle, but she really likes Lucky."
"Oh, no, it's fine, she talks about her all the time."
Well, I just about smacked myself in the head, and stopped denying what I had already known in my heart was true. Lucky had become my
lesson horse, and I wasn't complaining.
Before I started riding her, she was very girth sour and was kind of reluctant about people picking her feet. When I say girth sour, I mean she would turn her head and pin her ears and bare her teeth (though as a lesson horse, I very sincerely doubt she would actually bite, just trying to seem tough). She would also bloat out- I would have the girth as tight as it would go and then a few minutes later it was so loose I would have to tighten it several holes. Now she is a nice lady for the girth, and when I tighten it and I check it, it has stayed as tight as I made it in the beginning. She is letting me pick her feet with less reluctance and impatience- although I know it kills her inside to stay so still for a few seconds oh my goodness-
and she is just beautiful under saddle for me. She knows when I mean business and will trot like a normal horse now. I can walk with my feet out of the stirrups and my hands at the buckles on the reins, and I wouldn't have to worry- I trust this horse. She loves jumping, and going fast- and I could go on forever (and I think I already have). I just love
this horse- and I'm thinking she loves me back :).
Sorry for the insanely long post/rambling.
And I think that defines a "heart" horse- when you just click with a horse. I've ridden many horses, thought I "loved" them- but I haven't bonded with any horse like I've done with this Thoroughbred.