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Hey everyone !

Tell me about the first time you felt a deep connection with a horse, whether it be a riding connection, or your first "heart horse". Any type of connection that has a special place in your heart.
Who was the horse ? How old were you ? Was it your own horse or someone else's ? Was it immediate or did it take some time ? etc.


I'll start :

I have always felt a deeper connection with animals than with humans, but the first time I felt a true connection with a horse was at my riding school when I was around 15 yo (not sure). When I started riding her, I was very scared at first. She was known to be a more "advanced" horse and could be quite difficult with younger inexperienced riders like me.
She was of course very different from the ponies and easy horses I was used to ride. She could also be very moody if you took too long with brushing. But after learning what made her angry, what she liked, and to what commands she responded while riding I really started to appreciate her.

She was a very temperamental mare and I was a very anxious person, which didn't go well at first. But I quickly learned to be calm and focused and relaxed with her. This was the first time I felt really united with the horse I was riding. We were a really good team, and I was allowed to ride her almost every lesson, we were always perfectly synced. We would kill it at the dressage exercises and she was also amazing at jumping (but I was a little too inexperienced for her when it comes to jumping). And she was fast ! Which could be dangerous because she was known for getting too excited when picking up speed and throwing riders off her back, but as long as I stayed calm and connected we could slowly pick up speed and go as fast as we wanted.

The first thing I would always do when arriving at the riding school was immediately greet her and talk to her (before greeting the other riders, the teacher and the other horses). I was a bit of an anxious teen and sometimes I would hide from people in her box and just talk to her. She wasn't very touchy (and honestly neither was I back then), but she always seemed to appreciate my presence, which was more than enough for me. It was also at a time that my self-esteem was very low and finding the perfect "teammate" helped me a lot. I felt like as long as we were together, we could achieve anything with the right dedication and hard work !

She ended up being sold to a professional rider. I was completely devastated when I found her box empty and heard that she wouldn't come back, but in the end it was for the best because she had a lot of potential and I was far too inexperienced (and too busy with school) to help her reach that potential.

I guess it was more of a riding connection though, since we didn't do much outside the lessons except grooming and some simple chores. Maybe she was just in the right place at the right time for me, but I haven't found another horse who I was as connected with as her when riding. But I as soon as I'm done with my studies and have enough money I want to start taking riding lessons again, and hopefully some day I will meet another horse who I can have such a connection with.


I'm sorry, that was much longer than I anticipated ^^. I'd love to hear about your horse stories (and don't hesitate to add pictures if you want) !
 

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My first deep connection with a horse was with my middle daughters first horse Cricket an Arab/quarter cross. I was around 30 and my daughter around 10 yo. We had been riding horses at a neighbors and were riding all 4 of the horses he had and had just purchased her from him. Our barn and fences were still being built and I was working on them at every free moment I had. My wife called me at work and said I needed to get home right away, there was a problem with Cricket and that Jerry (neighbor) thought she had been shot. I got home as soon as I could and Jerry was standing out in the pasture by her. My wife had called the vet and he was on his way. I went over to her and she walked right to me and placed her head tight against my chest. It was as though she knew I could help her. When the vet arrived he looked her over and we had already found an entrance wound. He probed it and said we should put her down as it was in the abdominal cavity. She still had her head against me. I knew what the decision needed to be and I made it. It really moved me that she came to me when she needed help even though it was not the help we hoped for.
 

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My very first connection was in a set of 10 riding lessons that I got for Girl Scouts when I was 9 years old. The instructor thought I had potential and put me on one of her more advanced horses. She thought I would do well on him. He suited me perfectly and we got along great for the lessons. His name was Kildare. I learned later that he often didn't go well for riders.

I got my first horse at age 12. Instinctively, I knew that I wasn't to buy a horse until I felt that connection again. I looked at dozens of horses, but the moment I got on Canela, I knew she would suit me. And she did, perfectly. She was probably inappropriate for a child beginner's first horse, being only 4 years old and barely trained. She took great care of me and we had nothing but glorious adventures. She never did one thing wrong.
 

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My first deep connection with a horse actually happened just last week.
I volunteer at an animal rescue, and one of the rescues is named Ali. I worked with her quite a bit, and at first, I didn't like her much. I was only tying her up and applying MTG, or grooming her. But she always walked away from me when I went to get the halter on, and she didn't seem to like me much.
Two weeks ago, the rescue owner, threw me up on Ali. I hadn't ridden in a year so I was pretty rusty, and she was pretty energetic. We rode around for about 20 minutes, and of course I loved it, cause I was with a horse and riding! But I didn't love Ali, I loved riding.
Well last week, I was put on a mare named Daisy. Our ride was not great, and eventually the owner had to finish the ride for me. After putting Daisy away, we had some more time, so I got to ride Ali. It went the same as always. I go in the pen, she walks away, I follow her, she stops,I put the halter on. So I brought her out and tacked her up. Then the rescue owner told me to take her down to the arena and just do walk/trot with her. This alone was exciting, cause the rescue owner obviously trusted me with her horses.
Once we got down to the arena, it hit me that no one else was there, and I could do whatever I wanted with Ali.
We started out walking, but eventually got up to a trot. It was amazing. That ride has been the best ride I've ever had. We were so in tune with eachother. Ali was listening to me, I was giving the correct cues, and posting! (first time ever posting) The whole thing was just amazing!
The whole time I rode, I had the biggest smile in the world! It just wouldn't come off!
When we were done I stopped Ali, and leaned forward onto her neck, and just hugged her. I scratched her neck, and pet her mane. I couldn't have been happier with a different ride. Sure there was probably a lot we did wrong, but that was the first time I've ever really been in tune with the horse I'm riding, and felt that connection.
Ali has been adopted from the rescue and could very well be gone next time I go. But I will never forget Ali, and what a great horse she was.
 

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Well my first deep connection with a horse was when i was ten. I was rescuing a horse named shallow and she was still green broke but such a beautiful horse so my mom insisted on getting her. She was absolutely crazy when the person that rehabed her rode her. She was a blown up barrel horse and always was. So to get to the point, as soon as I sat on that horse it was like i was in heaven. Everything was clear to me and i knew she was that horse, the one and inky horse who would own my heart forever. Silly me though got her to barrel race. And her being a blown up barrel horse and all, my plans for that didn’t work out. Every time we got good something went bad. She was never mentally healed. I har her for a year and a half and gave her chance after chance. But after so long my dad made me give up. I hate myself still to this day for failing her. I promised her she would live with me for the rest of her life and start over. I tried to make that happen for her countless times but my dad never let me take a step back to heal her mentally. So eventually she went back to the rescue and my grandpa gave me his new horse and i barrel raced her. Everyone still to this day thinks i have forgotten about her, but that is one things that will never happen.
 

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My first connection with a horse was when I was 17. A woman I babysat for let me ride her old mare she didn't have time for anymore. Soon she told me I could consider the horse mine, that she would let me keep her on her property and pay for feed, but I could do anything I wished with the mare.

Shamrock was in good health, although she was 28, and gladly trotted and cantered around the fields for me.

Although she was a friend, Sham gave me almost a mothering feeling. She seemed maternal, and soon I trusted that she would either do as I asked, or else would do what was good for me. For example, I tended to slip off bareback if we went around a tight corner, so Sham would drop back to a trot ahead of time. I might want to work on my balance more, but Sham would not let me do things that made me fall off.

Sham was very gentle and sweet. She had endless patience for my mistakes. After a year, she developed cancer and deteriorated quickly. When she was put down, I was there with her.

After Sham died, I had several months of depression. My mom did not understand, not knowing how horses can fill your heart and life even if they don't live in houses with you.
I've had other special relationships with horses since then, but Sham was my "dam" who raised me.
 

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Although she was a friend, Sham gave me almost a mothering feeling. She seemed maternal, and soon I trusted that she would either do as I asked, or else would do what was good for me. For example, I tended to slip off bareback if we went around a tight corner, so Sham would drop back to a trot ahead of time. I might want to work on my balance more, but Sham would not let me do things that made me fall off.
That was my Canela exactly. Canela was only 4 years old and barely green broke, but she took care of me like a dam. Canela hated to jump (I learned later her conformation was completely wrong for jumping), and I longed to jump. I tried to teach her to jump, and she just was terrible at it. Because I was in such tune with her, I realized she was trying her best but just couldn't do it, so I soon stopped asking her to jump.

Months later, I was galloping her in a huge open field. Children were flying kites on the other side of the field, nowhere near us. Suddenly, I saw a kite string 3 feet high right in front of Canela. She lifted her legs and jumped it perfectly. I knew she had done that so I wouldn't fall if she stopped suddenly or got tangled in the kite string.
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After Sham died, I had several months of depression. My mom did not understand, not knowing how horses can fill your heart and life even if they don't live in houses with you.
I've had other special relationships with horses since then, but Sham was my "dam" who raised me
Seriously. That's so sweet. I read it and just started to cry. Doesn't help that I'm listening to Build Me A Daddy by Luke Bryan either 😭
 

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There was a small TB mare at the yard named Kylie. She was my instructors daughters horse. I started having lessons on her and that was it for me. She didn't stop at any jump I could trust her totally.

Unfortunately then another girl at the stables made sure that she got to ride Kylie every weekend. I was gutted. I would have done anything to part bait her.

I still feel a little bit of resentment especially after my accident.

Brown Stable Horse Horse supplies Wall
 

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MOD NOTE
Please refrain from starting conversations and thread jacking the original post. There have been several replies removed for this reason.

If you would like to continue on a subject or have a discussion between yourselves you need to take it elsewhere.
 

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does anyone still get to see the horse they had their first deep connections with???
Maybe. I'm going out to the rescue today and Ali might be there. She was adopted though, but I'm not sure when she's being picked up. Fingers crossed though! I'm bringing a stud muffin just in case she's there!
 

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My first connection was actually with my friends horse Foz, a 21 year old Polish Arabian. I took my first lessons on him... tackless. For my first few rides I had to ride with my eyes shut. I was told it would build trust. On my fifth lesson I trusted him enough to gallop him up a mountain. Pure craziness. He kept me safe, if I started to slip he would go under me and pick me up. I see him every two weeks now on my trail rides. I think I’ll ask to ride him next time but it will be in three weeks time because I won’t do the trail in the first week of school.
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I just took this photo last week:
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I had my first deep connection with my current horse. We didnt click right away, in fact for months, he wanted nothing to do with me. He was gentle and obedient, but we didnt really bond. I finally just sat and let him show to me and tell me how to be his friend, and i discovered that he was very curious and playful, but i had never given him a chance to show that. After i let him "tell" me, he completely opened up. I actually tried just sitting for a few hours without acknowledging him really to wait and see what he would show me, because of he suggestions i got on horse forum! It was such a special experience.
 
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