It is true. In the time since Christophe and I met, we have gradually developed this idea to become digital nomads. And now, it is almost time. In two weeks, we will leave the apartment and start our adventure. We are both really excited and looking forward to it, but there is a down side. And that is saying goodbye.
For me, the hardest part is saying goodbye to my horse Wouter. Saying goodbye to family and friends is hard too, but they understand what’s going on, they are happy for us, and we can keep in touch long distance. With a horse, it’s different. Of course we will visit every now and again, but compared to the time when I saw him every day, that’s very meager.
On n’est jamais mieux servi que par sois même
(One is never served better than by oneself)
I have trimmed Wouter’s hooves myself since the summer of 2004. No-one else has touched his hooves since. (I’ve been a certified hoof care professional since 2005, so I know what I’m doing.) Today, I had an appointment with Gerrit, the farrier who takes care of the hooves of most horses at Stal Lenferink. Because I won’t be around anymore on a regular basis to take care of Wouter’s hooves, I had to arrange for someone else to do that.
Gerrit is a very kind and gentle man. He is good with horses. Never shouts, never hits them, always keeps cool and patient. But he comes from a very different background and we have a different approach to hoof trimming. However, he’s prepared to trim Wouter’s hooves the way I want them to be trimmed, so today we met to compare notes.
He trimmed Wouter’s hooves for me while I watched and explained the differences to his normal trim to him. He did his best and it will just have to be good enough. I know I’m a (control) freak when it comes to hoof care, and I have to let go of that. Gerrit promised me to trim Wouter’s hooves once a month. That’s way more often than the other horses, but I know from experience that Wouter needs it.
When Gerrit was ready, Christophe and I took our time thoroughly grooming Wouter. With spring approaching, he’s shedding and that tickles. Brushing out all the lose hair is a relief for him. He stood very still while we worked on him, enjoying the attention. Once that was done, there was no more to do. Time to release him back with the herd and say goodbye. I am sure I’ll miss him more than he will miss me…