Circus horse Toni
takes away a little boy's fear of animals
In his old age, Toni takes away a little boy's fear of animals
From the perspective of Gut Aiderbichl
(written by Gisela Pschenitschnig)
Being 42 years old, Toni, an Arabian mix, is a horse that could tell many stories.
In 2004, Toni, Zenzi, Leslie and Ali Baba were bought from the horse dealer and lived from then on at Gut Aiderbichl in Henndorf. The horse dealer had taken them over from a man who was confined to a wheelchair due to an illness and could no longer care for his horses.
For years the horses traveled the world
The circus horses traveled the world for years - from one city to another. Their task was to walk in a circle. On their backs sat screaming, excited children. Round and round the horses went, undeterred by the noise all around them. Their task had been to bring money. Where was the love for the animals? The worry about their well-being? Whether they had enough to eat, whether they were tired?
The health condition of the horses was shameful
When we took over the horses, the halters were partially ingrown, the eyes were sick, the hooves bad. Arrived in Henndorf, the grooms let the circus horses immediately on the paddock. It remains an unforgettable picture, an atmosphere that no one who was there can forget. There was sun, blue sky, a green pasture and vastness as far as the eye could see. For years, the Arabians walked in circles one behind the other - just like back then in the circus, when the children sat on their backs.
Toni has survived them all as if to admonish us
Zenzi, Leslie and Ali Baba have been over the Rainbow Bridge years ago. Toni has been living in our old stable at Gut Schellenberg for seven years.
Toni's eyes had to be surgically removed, because for too many years the eyes had not been cared for and medically treated.
Toni has known how to deal with his blindness. Some people, when he was still standing at the visitors' farm in Henndorf, turned away in horror, because where otherwise horses' eyes shine, there are two caves overgrown with fur.
Just like blind people, Toni has strengthened his sense of hearing and his sense of smell for orientation. Hearing is now also over due to age. But the nostrils are in full action. They smell the muesli, the hay, the wind brings Toni the scents of the flowers and the other horses. He smells his grooms and he may still be alive. It is a joy to watch Toni in his life.
Toni loves children and took away a little boy's fear of animals
In the course of a guided tour, a family got to know Toni, who was blind, deaf and old. The people listened to his story with great emotion, and one little boy, who until then had avoided all the animals he met in a wide arc, stopped at Toni's stable as if rooted to the spot. At some point he asked "Can I please pet him, can you lift me up? How do I not hurt him?".
Toni smelled the little hand and slowly approached, let himself be stroked and came closer with his head. The boy stroked him and both were lost in another world. How beautiful feelings can be for animals and how quickly positive feelings can drive away fear.
There was a great harmony between Toni and the little boy, who stroked the eyeless horse with a devotion and tenderness that I have never been able to experience myself. Thank you for existing, Toni.
Sincerely, yours Gisela