About Floyd by Madeleine
When I needed to find a place for Floyd to spend his retirement, which included moving 200 miles to a part of the country I knew almost nothing about, I felt the challenge was quite a large one. I had always looked after him myself, but circumstances had changed and this was no longer possible in order to give Floyd the quality of life he needed.
I travelled many miles, but fortune smiled and I came across Freshfields. What I was looking for was the right feeling for a place; its easy when you visit a new space to see whether the stables are nice and the beds are tidy, the fencing is good and the grazing well kept, but by far the most important of all is to find out what the animals living there think. They were (and are) relaxed and happy, not stressed because of ‘over-management’ or the constant disruption of moving paddocks and changing friends. They live in small herds and find their own special friends among them. Different species wander together in harmony and I thought to myself “Floyd will be a happy boy here”.
Floyd and I were both relocating to Shropshire, so I decided to send him on ahead of me so that he would be settled, while I could get on with the stresses of moving myself. Sally recommended a transporter and they came to collect him and take him on his journey. I was asked whether I would be accompanying him, which I would normally have done, but my answer was “no” and I wondered why. It was because I could imagine him on the lorry (he travels well), being driven by experienced people and monitored on CCTV; I could also imagine his exact reaction on arriving the other end, which I said to Sally before he started his journey “He’ll have a look, get out of the lorry, have another look around and then his head will go straight down to get acquainted with the grass and all the new things he can see”. When she called me to let me know he’d arrived safely, that was exactly what he did, to the letter. Animals are quick to pick up when things are right and when they’re not and Floyd would be the best judge. He continues to tell me he is having a great retirement; he’s with his friends, has nice things to eat and space to roam freely (plus a bit of home comfort indoors occasionally in the winter). I don’t see him as often as I would like because of my own commitments, but Sally keeps me in touch and I can visit any time I like.
I’m not sure my retirement will be quite like this, but knowing my animals are happy and well cared for takes a huge weight from my mind since I am unable to provide for them the daily care and time I was able to when they were younger. Giving up Floyd’s daily care was actually a hard thing to do as I had always taken care of every aspect myself. I had to think long and hard about what would be best for him now that my lifestyle was different; I could have carried on but he would have seen far less of me and I would have had to attend to his needs at strange times of the day depending on my schedule. I concluded that I would be doing this for me not for him, so the decision was made. From being very uncertain whether I was doing the right thing when I first considered it, I am so very glad that I did.