Thursday, April 5, 2012

In Memory of Hoffy

Although I should be able to write a truly moving memorial to my beloved Hoffy, I am too sad and words fail me. He was euthanized today and I am still struggling to accept the idea of a world without Hoffy.

He was the sweetest, kindest horse I've ever known. He did everything I ever asked him of him with no hesitation and no questions asked. He showed in the hunters, he raised my two foals after they were weaned, would trail ride anywhere, when I decided to do some eventing he jumped water jumps, banks and ditches without a second's hesitation although he had never seen anything like them before, and he took me foxhunting. He got me through many personal heartaches, moved with me to Vermont and back, took many of my non-horsey friends on trail rides, and was the only horse Jason was ever willing to ride.

I have so many memories of Hoffy but a few stand out for me. The first being when he raised my two foals after they were weaned. Many afternoons I would see Hoffy and the two fillies out in their pasture. The babies would be sleeping hard, laid out flat on their sides, with Hoffy standing between them watching over them.

I loved our bareback trailrides in Vermont during the fall. I would get on Hoffy bareback with just a halter and a leadrope, and we would meander along under a beautiful canopy of fall colors. Hoffy appreciated the scenery as much as I did, and we would quietly enjoy our surroundings and each other's company.

On a whim I decided to do some low level eventing with Hoffy several years ago. Hoffy had never jumped outside of an arena, had never seen jumps that didn't fall down, and had certainly never jumped natural obstacles. We went to our first event with neither of us schooling cross country beforehand. When I walked the cross country course and Jason saw the solid obstacles and terrain he begged me to scratch. I refused to scratch as I had full confidence in Hoffy. Hoffy jumped everything from the stone wall to the ditch, and did the water jump without blinking, and he ended up winning his first event. He was just that kind of horse.

Hoffy was always happy and smiling and so full of affection. Lately he had not been happy or smiling although he was still full of affection. My friends all know the story of Hoffy's botched knee surgery from many years ago where the vet (not in my local area and who shall not be named) operated on the wrong knee. Hoffy's knee issues finally caught up with him and nothing worked to address his pain, which left only one option.

I miss him terribly, the world was definitely a better place with Hoffy in it.











16 comments:

Bif said...

I am so sorry for your loss. He epiomized all that horses are meant to be.

An American in Tokyo said...

I am sorry to hear that such a wonderful angel like Hoffy had to go back to heaven so soon. I'm sure he will miss you just as much until he can see you or Jason again.

Kate said...

I am so sorry - words are of no comfort at a time like this - I hope your many good memories will help.

Sylvia said...

I'm so sorry, Melissa. Thinking of you.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Heartbreaking...

RuckusButt said...

Despite how you feel, you did write a lovely memorial to Hoffy. Nothing rings truer than your honest reflections and life with him.

What a great horse to have known - wish we were all so fortunate. Wish all horses were so fortunate as to be owned and loved by you and Jason.

My heart goes out to you.

Marissa said...

So very sorry for such a great loss. It's simply not fair that we are forced to outlive these beautiful creatures. Hoffy sounds like the best of the best.

Wendy said...

So sad for the loss of your Hoffy. You gave him a wonderful tribute, though. What a wonderful friend he was! It makes me want to go to the barn right this minute and hug my mare.

smazourek said...

I'm so sorry, it's truly awful to lose one of your best friends.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss of a love so dear.

lytha said...

i'm so sorry you lost hoffy. what a wonderful horse. your photos are great...i wish i knew him.

Lori Skoog said...

A very sad day for Paradigm Farms, you and your husband. Hoffy was so versatile. Deepest sympathies from Skoog Farm.

phaedra96 said...

I am so sorry to hear this news. Hoffy was a love and you will miss him so much.

C Tanner Jensen said...

My heart is in this one with you. Sending love and light.

Landers said...

I'm so sorry.

Laura Crum said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss of Hoffy. It touched me very strongly as we lost a great horse named Pistol, who had a bald face and over the knee white socks for, believe it or not, the same reasons. His knees had been operated on before we got him and the surgeon had operated on the wrong knee. We retired him to the pasture when arthritus started to bother him and were able to keep him comfortable for almost ten years. But in the end he was in too much pain and we made the choice that you made with Hoffy. Reading your story and seeing your photos of Hoffy brought Pistol back very vividly. I wish you all the best as you go through the missing/grieving. It is very hard. But Hoffy obviously had a very good life.