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Anu Joshi, Program Associate, Detroit Horse Power and Creator of "Every Rider Has A Story," Podcast

Name and occupation:

Anu Joshi, Program Associate at Detroit Horse Power.

Where do you live (country & city):

Southeastern Michigan, USA

Out of all of the horses you have met in Who is/was your heart horse:

Both of my current horses, Achates and Basilio, are definitely my heart horses.

When did you meet your heart horse, and how old were you:

I met Achates as a teenager and Basilio in my late 20s.

What was/is he/she like:

Achates is really kind and gentle; he's a one-person horse who works and tries his heart out. Basilio is inquisitive, playful, and sweet. He's happy to make friends but also likes to stick close to the people he relies on.

What made him/her your heart horse?

The connection I feel to both of them is strong and different from what I've felt with other horses. I see a lot of who I am and how I exist in this world mirrored in both of them.

How did your heart horse change your life:

I really credit Achates as being the horse who built me. As a teen, I was really volatile and headed down a path that would have ended up in either me or someone else getting hurt. Bringing him home changed that. He gave me a reason to get up, work hard, and set up goals that I wanted to achieve. My time with him made me into a kinder and more empathetic person. While Achates built me, I think Basilio helped me find my confidence. He's always trusted me from day one without question. That's something I work really hard to protect and nurture. He's a fantastic horse, and I want to make sure I can always be an anchor for him, especially as he's been growing up and developing.

Can you tell me when you knew this was your heart horse:

Years into my partnership with Achates, I felt the kind of comfort that I've only ever felt before with family. He's a part of me and probably the longest working relationship I've had with any living being. With Basilio, I felt something similar when he was about a month old and marched up to me in the pasture. My heart cracked open for him, and at that moment, I gave myself permission to love him fully and without worry.

Can you tell me your best memory:

Bringing both the boys home! Achates came home on New Year's Eve in the middle of a snowstorm, and almost 10 years later, we got Basilio home. I'll never forget the happiness and relief I felt seeing them come off the trailer.

Can you tell me your worst memory:

Any time I have failed to be their advocate. Those are the moments that weigh heavy on my heart.

Can you tell me what heart horse means to you:

A heart horse is that one horse that changes you and the perspective you view the world through.

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