Henry – May 23, 2020
Today our hearts are heavy as we said good-bye to our beloved horse friend Henry. Henry was estimated to be about 28-30 years old and he came to the farm in 2017 from a horse rescue who realized that Henry needed a sanctuary to retire and spend the rest of his days. We are honored to have been the place for Henry to take a much needed rest from a life we suspect was fairly difficult for him.
Henry was a horse who was very understated by his own doing. He preferred to blend into the background. But Henry was the epitome of a horse. He was deep and grounded and had a heart the size of a mountain. Spending time with Henry, even for a short time, you could get the sense that there was something much deeper in there than he let on to. He was a horse who survived on common sense. He was solid. But he was like a gentle whisper in the background. You wanted to hear all he had to say, but you had to listen through all the other sounds around him to hear him and learn about who he was. You could best learn about Henry by how he made you feel inside when you were around him. Somehow, he brought comfort and peace and a sense that things are ok even when you are not so sure why they would be ok.
Henry was loving and gentle, yet there was a part of himself he guarded deeply and kept in reserve. If you stood with him quietly, you could feel that otherwise hidden part of him and he would fill you with the gratitude he carried for having helped him. Henry had endured great pain in his life. His physical body bore the scars as evidence, yet his heart still remained open to kindness. He had a little flame inside of him that gently flickered from deep within and periodically you could see that light shine out of his eyes with joy and appreciation when he let that protective guard down.
Henry was a soul who came here to find freedom from something he carried inside that burdened him. We watched him slowly and very carefully unfold like a delicate flower opening after a hard winter and growing stronger and stronger with the warmth of spring. He got to unwind, relax, take a breath, and set his heavy load down. It was as if he grew deeper roots from his feet as he healed and gained trust in who he really was.
Henry had many medical issues since he came to us. None of them were ever truly definitive and yet we knew that as a package they were symptoms of something much deeper going on in his body. In the past couple of weeks, diagnostic imaging showed us signs of major trauma earlier in his life. We have no clue about Henry’s history, but we do know that he carried a lot and never let on to the depth of what he went through. Henry just picked up and moved on.
Today, Henry’s body gave out in a way that we could no longer help him to stay. It was time to say good-bye. He understood. We understood. In his final minutes, we could see him take stock of where he was and how far he had come. He could let go now. A job well done. A life well lived. And loved. Armed with all of that, Henry did what Henry knew best how to do. He went deep into his heart, took a breath, and moved on.
Henry was the seeing-eye companion for our pony Molly. He is now the fourth friend that she has lost and our hearts go out to her. Henry was a perfect friend. He was solid and steadfast but he also could hold his ground with a pony mare who sometimes likes things just so in her own way.
We would like to thank Dr. Rachel Fraser for the outstanding medical care over the past three years and for keeping up with all that Henry presented to us in very strange ways. He made sure Dr. Rachel never got bored. And we also thank Dr. Christine Schneider who helped Henry with acupuncture and laser therapy treatments and enjoyed Henry’s unique character. Thank you, Dr. Christine, for making his final days more comfortable.
Fly free dear Henry. It’s your time now to be free.