Esther’s Blog: Rock hard horses on the last day of the year

Images provided by Ane van Rees

The last days of the year in the stable are always special days. There is an atmosphere of comfort and warmth. This heat is often from Hessel, which can be regularly found at a fire barrel. We had many visitors again this year. For example, Maureen Cohen brought a beautiful 2022 calendar filled with photos she took of a colt from last year’s Pelle NP fan de Hesterhoeve. Alice Puig, editor-in-chief of the Phryso newspaper also attended. Alice always comes once a year and that’s between Christmas and New Years. “Hello,” I heard while working at the last of the stables, I was already there. There Alice stood, with 3 KFPS hats and a KWF horse orthotics under one arm and a bag of olibulin under the other! Hey, I said, come quickly, I’ve already made coffee. While I was pouring my coffee, Hessel and Berber joined in, too. It quickly became fun, and while enjoying olipole, coffee and wine, we listened to Heysel’s wonderful stories about the past. Before we knew it, it was morning. Alice had to leave again and we still had a lot to do because Heysel was in mourning the next day…

New Year’s Eve Mourning Journey

“Heskey and Waits stayed inside today, so we can clean them up today for the mourning trip tomorrow,” Hessel said. I said that’s a good thing and we started with the Berbers brushing the horses. How special, a mourning trip on the last day of the year. Then a trip to the crematorium. A funeral coach is usually used at funerals, but nowadays we are often asked for this kind of game, and it’s just nice. Because if I say it myself, it’s very touching to be taken like “Who’s going with you, Hessel?” But you take care of yourself. I think it’s something on the last day of the year with that blast. And then also a car ride to Hoogkerk (Groningen) where a lot of fireworks usually go off. Hessl looked at me with a smile. ‘My horses bang!!! Don’t worry It will be fine.

Join the ride

The next day my phone woke me up. After a time I already had it on my hand. Hessel was. My breath caught in my throat. If Hessel calls early, something is wrong with the horses. Hessel I said and immediately asked: It’s okay with horses, isn’t it? No, Heysel said. Not but I have a problem. Janco just called and due to circumstances at his company he cannot attend today. You can come, no one can and you know how to load the coffin into the funeral coach. I was relieved that there was nothing wrong with the horses, so I said okay. I immediately called Berber who was just as shocked as I was. Can you work horses and stables today? I have to go on a mourning trip. “Sure,” she said. I quickly jumped into the bathroom and put myself in thermal clothes with mourning clothes. I didn’t have time for that anymore, so I took a few drops of Olibolin from the counter for the road.

Hours of heavy rain

The barbarians had already visited Heskey and Waits, so they could go right in front of the funeral coach. While Heisel was already sitting on the box, I quickly picked up my black hat and climbed next to him on the box, and we sped off. We had barely left when it started to rain. I told Hessel it would still be dry. I quickly looked at the weather wheel. Oh no, it will rain heavily for hours with a lot of wind blowing. Well everything will be fine, we were well dressed and with Hessel’s great stories it didn’t take long before we were almost there. But the closer to Hoogkerk, the louder the explosions. Fortunately, the horses didn’t care much. Once at the deceased’s home, I opened the funeral carriage and helped load the coffin. I heard more and more explosions, two of them sounded like bombs. I thought to myself not to stand here too long, I closed the carriage and stood before the horses. Together with the funeral director we walked through busy traffic to the crematorium. All went well, what a gracious farewell, I said to Heisel as I went back to the box. Now we go home before things get any worse with the fireworks.

warm soup

The light rain has since turned into torrential rain and the wind has blown very hard. We sat together on the easel, the bitter wind chasing our faces. What a hellish ride. Carbide shooting sounds rose, but the horses looked up for a moment and then walked obediently. Hey, I said to Heisel, there’s that guy again. From afar I saw a car with a man taking pictures of us. I’ve seen him several times. When we approached the house we passed in front of it. He said “Can I have your email address?” For pictures. Well, how nice, we are behind, we are close to the house and you will have a coffee. The Berbers were already waiting for us so that we could quickly harness the horses and take care of them. I said to Heisel: Only now I notice how cold I have become. I could see from his face that he wasn’t much different. Fortunately, his wife Henny had prepared a pot of delicious soup. Well, we’ve done it beautifully again! It was a beautiful and grateful last day of the year. ‘Es, we will never forget it; Said Heysel satisfied with the cold in red, but with a smile….

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