I want to thank everyone for the kind thoughts and condolences I received after the passing of my horse Jazz two weeks ago. He had been my best friend for 32 years and we shared so much. He will always be in my heart and my memories.
It’s also been a tough two weeks on Apollo as Jazz was his father and he has been with him pretty much every day for the past 29 years. Apollo has never been alone until now.
But we have spent every day doing something together, even if it is just hanging out and mourning together. The time we have spent has been really helpful for both of us.
During these past two weeks, I have learned firsthand that horses mourn just like we do for family and friends. I’ve seen Apollo go from running around, whinnying, and searching for Jazz to being quiet, moping around and not eating. I was really worried at this point. I felt helpless not knowing what to do for him.
But I saw the most amazing thing happen…
The other horses changed their normal behavior and they all started to help Apollo go through his mourning process. Taz and Maxie in the next pasture started to stay at the gate between pastures and call to Apollo. Then after Apollo went over, they would all stand there together for hours on end. They had never done this before.
I also noticed that the 4 mares in the pasture on the other side of Apollo started to come to the fence line, on the back of their pasture, just to be closer to Apollo. They would call to him too and then just sit and stare. The mares would just hang out with him when Maxie and Taz left to eat. It was as if they wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone and that they cared about him.
It was precious to see because I knew that I was not enough to get Apollo through the loss of his father and that he needed the other horses to help him. And they knew it too!
So, here were 6 other horses that didn’t interact much before, now coming together as a herd to help Apollo and to take care of him. It warmed my heart and broke it at the same time. I was very thankful that they stepped in to help him heal.
I was amazed that all the other horses on the farm seemed to know that Jazz had passed and they also knew that Apollo needed them. How horses behave in different situations still surprises me and I am constantly learning from them. They are a lot smarter and more emotional than some people give them credit for.
When I saw how Apollo was reacting and how he was enjoying their company, I decided to take him over to Danny and introduce them since Danny seemed lonely as well. If you’ve seen my Stallion Series Program you know that Danny and Kit have been alone for years, side by side, but I have been working on socializing them.
And sure enough, Danny and Apollo hit it off immediately and they bonded right away. They are best friends now and it has helped Apollo tremendously.
Now the three of us hang out together every day. Danny and Apollo are still on opposite sides of the fence line, but they stay close and are grooming each other as they hang out over the fence.
I am very hopeful that I can put the two of them together soon and they can share a pasture. That would be a blessing for both of them.
My mother used to tell me, “count your blessings, not your problems.” And in the last few days, I have definitely counted my blessings to have such amazing horses on the farm.
While hanging out with Apollo and Danny the last few days, I started thinking of all the things that I love about being with my horses. They bless my life every day and I am so grateful and thankful for Apollo, Danny, and Kit.
So, let me ask you…
What is it that you love about going to visit your horse? What sights, sounds, and smells do you think about when you are with your horse? What do you look forward to?
This is my answer to that question:
I look forward to seeing my horse at the gate with his head over the fence wanting to be with me, happy to see me, and then when he whinnies an excited hello because I’m there, it just makes my heart sing.
I love taking Apollo out to explore and eat grass. He’s happy doing this with me and it makes me feel so calm and relaxed. It’s something enjoyable the two of us can share. It’s special just between the two of us.
Hanging out on a warm summer morning, under a beautiful shade tree, just listening to the lovely sounds of nature, feeling the soft cool breezes and watching my horses is just magical.
Horses, to me, are such majestic, amazing creatures that are wonderful to watch and be around. They are poetry in motion when they are playing. There is something about the whole experience with horses that is so soothing and grounding to me.
When I’m with my horses the rest of the world just disappears and nothing else matters. Any negativity from the past day or week just melts away and is turned into a positivity that radiates throughout the rest of the day. There’s no place else I’d rather be.
How about you? How would you answer that question? Please let me know in the comments below.