Who doesn’t love a proper, relaxing stroll around town once in a while? Most people get cabin fever when they’re holed up inside their homes all day, and getting a little exercise, breathing in the fresh air, and gazing at the world makes for the perfect cure. They might even get a chance to say “hello” to others along the way.
Were you to take a walk in Frankfurt, Germany, you might get the chance to wave at a very peculiar morning stroller. There, even long-time citizens were at first perplexed by a certain neighbor walking around every morning — and some couldn’t help but feel she was putting everyone in danger!
Over the past 14 years, many people — tourists and even locals alike — have turned their heads at an unexpected sight wandering the streets of Frankfurt; Jenny, a horse, goes for the same walk every single day.
The 22-year-old Arabian mare, who was once an equestrian performer, travels from her home in the outskirts of the Frankfurt to the city center to stretch her legs and greet her fellow citizens. Needless to say, she’s pretty incredible.
For instance, she knows how to wait for crossing lights and is incredibly gentle with every animal or person she meets. When she gets tired, she just hops on the tram!
The only damage she does is nibbling a rose bush here and there, but hey, a girl’s got to eat, right? The citizens of Frankfurt don’t mind as Jenny has become somewhat of a celebrity.
In fact, if she ever does get in any trouble, she has friends all over the city who know her and will lend a helping hoof. Overall though, this unbelievable equid is pretty independent and rarely causes a ruckus. But how did she come to adopt this walk?
Well, her owner is a 79-year-old man named Werner Weischedel. He loves her with all his heart but can’t physically ride her anymore. As he grew older, he didn’t want to give her up, but he knew she still needed the exercise.
Werner and his wife, Anna, used to have their own little “caravan” as they called it: two people, two horses, and two German Shepherds that would paint the town red together. Sadly, that envoy came to an end.
After the other horse and one of the dogs passed, Jenny spent a lot of time in her stable or just by herself grazing in a field. Werner could tell she wasn’t happy. She needed adventure.
This was evident when Jenny escaped. She didn’t get too far, but Werner wasn’t worried regardless. After all, he knew she was familiar with the city. Still, he tried to keep it from happening again.
But he failed. Over and over. Eventually, after many more stable-breaks, he just accepted that Jenny suffered from wanderlust and let her go freely. “What can I do?” he says. “She’s a strong-willed, independent lady.”
Now, she makes her walk up to 8 times a day, coming home in between to enjoy lunch and dinner. According to Werner, she has a clock in her belly that lets her know exactly when there is food ready at home. Sadly, not every resident is a supporter of Jenny’s walks.
There have been concerns about the health and safety of the horse, as well as the people that cross her path. Will she bite or kick someone? Will she run into traffic and cause a crash?
The local police station has even received many calls about a wondering horse, but officer Isabel Neumann is well-aware of the situation and always gives Werner a call, just in case. Other than that, they rarely get involved in Jenny’s business.
To lighten the workload of the police, Jenny now walks with a note around her head that reads: “My name is Jenny. I haven’t run away, I’m just taking a walk. Thank you!” Now, most people just leave her be.
On top of that, Jenny’s veterinarian Maren Hellige tells any worriers that Jenny is healthy of both body and mind, and that she seems “very relaxed and satisfied.” What more assurance could they need?
Unfortunately, Jenny herself is unavailable for comments, but her happy demeanor should tell us more than enough. This horse is living her best life, and trying to keep her inside would only break her heart.
Plus, she knows that when she comes home, Werner will be waiting there for her with a little snack, a hug, and a soccer game on TV. What more could a girl want after a long day out on the town?
While it is unclear how long Jenny can continue to wander the streets and trams of Frankfurt, she’s having a blast right now. Perhaps, one day, she can earn enough notoriety to meet another famous horse: Itty Bitty Hope.
See, all the way across the world in Gutherie, Oklahoma, Diana Gilger always knew her miniature horse, Jazz, was special. One day, she stumbled upon a precious sight that showed exactly how unique she was…
Her mini horse had given birth to the tiniest baby that Diana had ever seen! No one had any idea how this baby — whom they later named Itty Bitty Hope — had turned out so small.
Weighing just 13 pounds, Itty Bitty Hope’s weight and height made her the smallest mini horse ever born! However, her record-setting status wasn’t important to Diana and her family…
They just wanted to make sure that this new addition was safe and healthy. While she might be a record-breaking horse, Hope was also an animal who needed to be cared for. A trip to the vet was in order.
Diana asked a veterinarian who specialized in the care of miniature horses to come to the stables, where they could give the newborn foal a thorough checkup. Even though she was supposed to be small, Hope was still at risk for health issues.
Although everyone was worried about potential complications, they could finally breathe easy: Hope was given a clean bill of health! She might’ve been minuscule, but she had an enormous future ahead of her…
Diana wanted to make sure that, when she found a permanent home for Itty Bitty Hope, it would be one where her size would be seen as a positive attribute and not a drawback. She adored mini horses, and she needed to find Hope a home that would feel the same way!
Sometimes horses who are Hope’s size have a very hard time finding people willing to adopt them and treat them with the love and respect they deserve. Thankfully, this wasn’t true for Hope. She got really lucky, actually…
Hope was purchased by a couple named Jim and Linda Woods, who were the owners of a non-profit organization called Mini Hooves of Love. It was the perfect fit for all parties involved…
Jim and Linda were eager to add Hope to their family of helpful little horses! They knew as soon as they met her that Hope would be the perfect addition to their growing family, and there was a very special reason why.
That was because their service provided something that was like nothing ever heard of before. True to their company’s name, Jim and Linda offer therapeutic mini horse visits to nursing homes, hospitals, shelters, and hospices!
Services like this can make all the difference in the world, and it was something that Hope was made for. From the minute she began working with Jim and Linda, she has been a favorite member of their team.
Hope’s specialty was working with children who have come out of abusive homes. Maybe it was her size, or maybe it was her tender demeanor. Perhaps it was even a combination of the two! Either way, Hope really had a knack with connecting with the people around her.
She was a soothing presence, especially among children. It seemed that even the most skittish of kids were drawn to her, and they were eager to give her a big hug. Naturally, Hope was just as eager to be there for them!
It seemed as if little Hope had really found her calling! Jim and Linda couldn’t have been happier with how well she fit in with the rest of their team. She had finally found her place in the world
Of course, people asked about her size all the time, but Jim and Linda said they wanted her to have a quiet, happy life away from the spotlight. They could’ve made a lot of money putting her on display, but that wouldn’t have helped the community at large, now would it?
Though many miniature horses can suffer from serious medical problems, Hope has stayed healthy so far. There were concerns that this would change as she got older, but she’s still in great shape!
Her coat and mane began to turn gray and white at a very young age, but that hasn’t slowed her down at all. She’s still trotting with a true spring in her step. It’s as if she knew her mission was to help people and bring a smile to their faces.
From children who were in need of a companion to senior citizens who delighted in meeting a new friend, everyone seemed to light up whenever Hope entered a room. This mini horse was truly special!
Once you see her on the go, you’ll understand exactly why everyone who met Hope immediately fell in love with her! She might’ve been small in size, but she definitely wasn’t lacking in the personality department…
With such a sweet disposition, it’s no wonder that Hope has been so successful as a therapy animal. Good things really do come in small packages!