Life on the farm with the Man…and our critters…

A Promise Broken…

DSCN0849A few years back, as the Farm was in it’s early stages of becoming “The Farm”, the Man came home from work one day with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face and said the words “I’ve found him…I’ve found the horse you’ve been dreaming of.”.  And he had, just a few miles up the road living with a woman that he worked with at the time.  She had a small group of horses on her farm, mostly rescues, and when he told her about my dream horse, she excitedly exclaimed “I have Him!”.  We went to visit Him a few days later, and it was absolute love at first sight.  He was majestic in my eyes, and although I knew then that He would soon be mine, there was work to be done at the Farm before He could come home to be with me.  It took longer than we expected to put up fences and renovate the old barn that He would call home, and by the time that we were ready for Him, he had lost weight and His spirit had been broken.  He had been low man on the totem pole in the herd that He lived with, and had resorted to having to eat bark off the trees within His paddock to survive.  By no means can you fault His owner at the time.  She was saving lives and finding homes the best that she could.  Horses have pecking orders, and He was doing what He needed to do at the time to survive His place within the herd.  My heart broke for Him on the day that He arrived, feeling as though it was my fault that it had taken so long to prepare His new home, and as I stood beside Him in his large dry stall, I whispered in His ear a promise that He would never go hungry again.  And that promise to Him I have faithfully and fervently kept…until today.

Taking a vacation when you run a farm with multiple animals is no easy task.  It takes months of planning, with one person to live at the Farm taking care of the dogs, cats and birds, and another person tasked with daily visits to care for the two large horses, two mini horses and one very opinionated and demanding donkey.  Even then, leaving the Farm and the critters in the care of another is stressful, because nobody truly knows the routine and personalities of my four footed children like I do.  It takes a vast amount of trust for me to leave them, and I never rest easy while I am gone.  One way that I’ve found to help with that stress is to install a live cam in the barn that I can check on whenever I need to to calm my worries.  Perhaps some might think that it is a tad overkill to be so protective and worrisome, but to me it is peace of mind.  It allows me to relax and enjoy my day with the Man wherever we may be, on a well earned vacation for both of us.  It would require multiple cameras to view all that live in the barn, so instead I focus the one camera on Him, knowing that if something were wrong with another, I would be able to tell by His body language, and I would act accordingly.  For this particular trip, I hired a young man that has worked on the Farm off and on for a few years, and I left with the Man for our warm destination knowing that all of our horses would be taken care of the way that I had both instructed and expected them to be.  The time difference between paradise and home is 5 hours, and by the time I rise in the morning, and sit down at the computer with coffee in hand, the routine at the Farm is usually well under way.  This morning, I casually clicked on the link bringing up the live cam, expecting to see an empty stall in a brightly lit barn, but instead I saw darkness.  Through the shadows I could see Him, pacing in His stall with His ears back, tail swishing and stomping His feet.  In horror, I watched as He pawed at His bedding that hadn’t been cleaned in days, trying to find bits of hay that He might have missed. Usually, by this time of day, He and the others would have been fed their oats and hay, and then turned out to pasture to enjoy the sun and fresh air.  With no phone service where we are staying, I was left with only social media to try and contact the person that had been charged with their care.  By the time he finally arrived, with young attitude in tow, it was early afternoon, and the horses were finally turned out to pasture without their morning rations.

I watched as He left His stall, His body language showing both anger and betrayal.  The one promise that I had made to Him had been broken.  I had chosen the wrong person to care and feed Him every morning while I was gone.  As He left the barn with His head hanging low, I broke down and wept, knowing that I had failed Him, and that He would blame me, not the young man that I had hired to care for Him.  I spent the morning crying, and contacting friends that I knew would step up and take care of Him and the others, despite having full schedules, commitments and animals of their own to take care of.  Problem fixed, but damage done.  There are some that do not have horses in their lives that might think that I overreacted, and that He doesn’t have the capacity to blame me for the neglect that He faced this morning, but He does, and He will.  It will take weeks for Him to interact with me again as He did before, and the trust that we shared will certainly be damaged for much longer than that.  A promise broken,  will never be forgiven…

2 responses

  1. Elvis

    Im soooo sorry this happened to you. I know how much all of your animals mean to yall 😦
    This made me so very sad. Your love and care is amazing and your love will make this honorable memory go away with time .. Hugs from Elvis and me

    March 1, 2016 at 5:42 am

  2. Anonymous

    Well here I sit crying for both you and your beautiful horse. I think he will allow you one mistake. I know how you feel because I feel bad for one of Kim’s that is low on the totem pole also. I have watched as the other horses try to keep him away from the water tub out in the pasture and I have fed them their peppermint treat’s and they try their best to keep him from getting any but I manage to give them to him despite the other horses attempts to stop me. They have even tried to keep him out of the outside shelter when it is hot and they need shade. Kim make’s sure he get’s his share of everything and managed to fix the problem with regard’s to shelter outside. She takes such good care of them and her husband has to do a lot of it too since she became a nurse she has to leave early morning and does not get home till suppertime or later. I am sorry I was teasing you on facebook. I did not know you were going through a rough spot while away from your beloved animals. I love all animals too and hate anyone that abuses them and I try not to read the one’s on facebook that get abused because I get so depressed when I see that there are such cruel people in this world. So you cheer up. Your horse will forgive you because he love’s you.

    Aunt Ruby

    March 1, 2016 at 8:22 am

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