Meredith Ekstedt, CEO and Publisher, Heart Horse

To me, a Heart Horse adds something to your life; you never knew you were missing.

Meredith Ekstedt, Publisher Heart Horse

Sir Herbert or Herbie, Heart Horse

HHD: June 14th, 1981

I was a shy, socially awkward kid and tiny for my age. I never really fit in at school; it was a struggle. I was an anxious and maudlin kid, but one thing I cared about more than anything else.


My parents had the foresight to encourage this passion. At ten years old, I took my first riding lessons. My parents were just happy to see me happy about something.

After two years, my parents decided it was time for a pony.

He was a 14'2" hand high liver chestnut gelding named Herbie.

He was smart. He was known to open doors and let himself out of his stall. One time he let the whole barn out and opened both grain bins. My parents got vet bills from the boarders. Everyone got colic, except Herbie.

He loved to jump, and he knew he could. Late in the summer, the grass was non-existent he would trot the fence line, raise his head above it, turn and pop over.

He measured the fence to see if he could make it to the green grass. Nobody at the farm had ever seen anything like it.

He was bombproof. I use to stand on his rump or vault over his backside and land square on his back. I would hang on his neck, and I could sit on him when he was lying down.

I recently saw an old friend of mine from those days. She has children of her own now and was looking for a pony. I said, "Maybe I can help you find one, what kind of horse are you looking for," she said, "I want a Herbie."

He taught me to care about something beyond myself and to be in the moment. When riding, we were not two separate entities, we were one, and that made me whole.

I was in college when my Mother called. I could tell that something was wrong and she just blurted it out. Herbie had died. I lost it. She said he had declined quickly and when the veterinarian came, before he could administer help, Herbie took his last breath.

I will always wonder if he was waiting for me to come.

I owe so much to that chestnut pony, and all I can hope was that the love I gave him was equal to what he gave me in return.