The shoe was on the other foot for me this weekend. Instead of having someone coming to the farm to visit their horse, Jason and I drove 440 miles one way to visit my horse Hoffy in North Carolina. Hoffy has been on lease with Jessie in North Carolina since April as I simply did not have time to ride him along with Bonnie and Lexi. I have missed him and have especially missed seeing his big, white face waiting for me every morning since he left. I think Jason was sick of listening to me talk about how much I miss Hoffy as he happily spent his weekend driving 900 miles so I could visit him. Any horse would be happy to be living with Jessie, and being the compassionate horse lover that she is Jessie recently rescued Jakob, a Friesian gelding. You can read more about Jakob on Jessie’s blog about him.
I was rolling my eyes at myself as I babbled on about Hoffy as we drove to Asheville on Friday evening. I kept asking Jason if Hoffy missed me, what Hoffy was thinking when he was on the trailer to Jessie’s farm, if Hoffy was as happy there as he was with us. The answers to all of those are no, Hoffy doesn’t miss me, he wasn’t thinking about anything except eating the hay in front of him as he was on the trailer, and he was every bit as happy in North Carolina as he was in Tennessee.
How did I know these answers before ever seeing him? Because horses and all animals have the gift of living in the present, not the past and not the future. As long as their present circumstances are as good or better than their previous circumstances they are content and happy. Hoffy’s life with Jessie is the same as his life here. He lives in gorgeous, well maintained pastures in a temperate climate with compatible friends. All of his needs are attended to and he wants for nothing. But every bit of common sense and horse knowledge I had seemed to be flying out the window onto I-40 as I talked about Hoffy.
On Saturday morning we got up early and left Asheville to drive the last 100 miles to Hoffy’s new residence. When we arrived Hoffy’s reaction was exactly the same as how the residents here greet their owners when they visit. He definitely recognized me, he was quite happy to see me, but was definitely more interested in the treats I had brought for him. As long as I was feeding him treats it was “Oh my gosh mom I’ve missed you so much, where have you been???” As soon as I stopped feeding him treats and he realized he was not going to be getting any more his reaction was “Well, thanks for stopping by. I would really like to go rejoin my friends now.”
I now understand why it is so tempting for our clients to keep feeding the treats when they visit. Because I felt so loved and so missed as long as I had the treats. Without the treats he honestly was more interested in eating the grass in front of the barn. Eventually even the grass in front of the barn wasn’t enough and he was ready to rejoin his friends. I was thrilled that this was the reaction I got from Hoffy because it told me he was perfectly happy with his life and didn’t need me.
The pictures don’t do the scenery justice; my camera couldn’t pick up the colors on the mountain tops as they were too far away; I took this with full zoom so I could capture some of the mountain colors