We are so very pleased to tell you that Hope and Grace have found a wonderful new home! Yes, the perfect home came around for these lovely ladies that allowed them to not only stay together, but have a safe place through their retirement.
We were contacted by Barbara, a marriage and family therapist who uses horses as part of her therapy program out in Topanga Canyon. One of her horses in the program had passed away, and she was looking for one or two companion horses who might work in her program, and who would also get along with her remaining gelding. We immediately thought of Hope and Grace, especially as they had been used in our Equine Assisted Coaching program. We had been contacted by other individuals looking for a companion horse, but they only wanted one- not two horses. Hope and Grace are very bonded, however, and we were determined to keep them together. When Barbara said that she wanted two horses, it seemed like kismet.
Barbara and her wife drove all the way out to Hanaeleh a few weeks ago and played with Hope and Grace for a while to determine whether they would be a good fit in their program. They were very kind to the horses and after talking with them both, I thought that Hope and Grace would be a great fit for their program, and they they would be a great fit for Hope and Grace.
Early Sunday morning our farrier came out, so we were able to get their feet done before we headed out. We walked them down to the bottom of the hill where the trailer was waiting, and after a minute, Grace hopped in, quickly followed by Hope. I texted Barbara, giving her an ETA of about two hours, and headed out.
Two hours later, I was still on the 10 freeway. There were so many accidents! Luckily it wasn’t terribly hot, but it was still very stressful driving, and it took about three hours before I finally pulled up to the house. Barbara and Mel met me down at the bottom of the hill and I followed them up- and up, and up- until we stopped on the left on the edge of a beautiful canyon.
We got Hope and Grace out of the trailer- Grace had somehow gotten a small nick on her left hip, but other than being a little sweaty, they both seemed fine. We walked them down the hill to the paddock, and Barbara’s gelding Bristol seemed very happy to see the girls. We introduced them (Hope squealed, whereas Grace just kind of ignored him), then we put the girls in the paddock, and they walked straight up to the food and seemed perfectly comfortable.
After a minute, we put Bristol into the paddock with the girls, and he seemed overwhelmed with his good luck. It took him a few minutes to realize what to do, but within a few minutes he had taken dominion over his “herd,” moving both Hope and Grace around. He was so happy! He had been alone for the past few weeks after his buddy passed away, and although he had a lot of people around who love him, it’s just not the same as having another horse. Now he has two!
In about five minutes, Bristol determined that Grace was “his” and they stood around eating like they were an old married couple. Hope had a bit of a tissy fit as she was relegated to third wheel, but when I left she was figuring out her place in the herd. Overall, I was completely superfluous to the situation. They looked around, determined that this was their new home, gave me a cursory thanks to taking them there, then dismissed me, “Yeah, thanks for all of the vet and farrier care and driving us up. You may go now.” I took the hint and after determining that they were comfortable (they looked like they had lived there for years), I left.
It took me another three hours to get back home, but I put on the “Forensic Files” podcast and listened to that as I drove back home. When I got to the barn, things seemed a little off, considering that both of the girls were gone, but the horses seemed OK. We moved Gypsy next to Devon so he wouldn’t get upset when they left, and they seemed to be calm and comfortable. It was very anti-climatic, to tell the truth- the horses got right into the trailer, the trip- while long, was relatively uneventful, and the horses settled in better than I could ever have hoped.
Only a few months ago we were tasked with trying to rehab these two girls, who couldn’t be separated by more than few feet without freaking out. Over the past few months they not only healed physically, but they began to heal emotionally as well. After several months, we were able to help them regain their confidence and trust in people. They are now strong and healthy and their new life allows them to come full circle- they will be able to now help humans work on healing both physically and emotionally.
We are so happy for Hope and Grace, and for Bristol as well! And, obviously, for their human family. 🙂 We know that they will be so happy hanging out with Bristol, and will enjoy all of the human attention they will receive as well!