Monday, December 13, 2021

Milliron Monday: John Hutchison

A stop at Bethel Cemetery: L/R - Britain, Mark, Jessica, Jelea, Peggy Jo, John, Bill and Moose

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

"Pete was always a daredevil. I was riding a 
Thoroughbred that I knew could outrun Pete's 
Quarter Horse. I couldn't resist showing him that.
John Hutchison

Arriving at John Hutchison's farm, black beauties are harnessed to a wagon in the barn. The day is cloudy, but not too cold, with a small chance of rain. A happy German Shepherd runs through the yard. We waive and smile at John as he steps out of his two-story farmhouse. Horses are grazing on the hillside to the left. The scene is countryfied and I hope this day will never end. I think of Jody and wish she could be waiving at John, too.

Jody, Pete, and John were friends. Besides being John's veterinarian, they spent many hours on horseback. John remembers, "We were out trail riding. Pete was always a daredevil. I was riding a Thoroughbred that I knew could outrun Pete's Quarter Horse. I couldn't resist showing him that. Then I came off, broke both of my collarbones. We were in the middle of Zaleski State Forest. I rode back to the horse trailer, about three or four miles. It was painful. On the way back, I was thinking about all the soldiers throughout history who had been badly injured, were captured and had to ride."

John has lots of great stories. We say hello to the team, hop on the wagon, sit on a bale, and begin the ride down John's driveway. In the hillside pasture, the Mustangs and Charlie, the donkey, raise their heads. John's Christmas tree farm is on the right - a family is searching for the perfect Christmas tree. John stops the team, greets the family, and talks about the variety of evergreens. Okay, boys. John gently lifts the reins. Bill and Moose trot down the road, jingle all the way.  

We take a rural road to the right, the place where John was raised. The homeplace is still there, the old barn that his grandpa built, and the many memories of long ago. Along the way, John tells horse stories of Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and more. He is an engaging storyteller and seasoned horseman. And I wonder how Bill and Moose can hear John's soft commands through the stomp of their shoes and jingle bells, but they do; they move with intentional grace. They can feel John's hand and his sincere respect through the line. Jingle, stomp. Jingle, stomp. Whoa, boys, whoa. 

Bill and Moose are Percherons. Bill is a 19 year old gelding with a good disposition, although he is not crazy about parade bands. Moose is an 8 year old stallion who tolerates Bill in harness but has to be stalled separately (because he is a stallion). Both are black, sleek, and giant! 

Bill, John, and Moose

John and his team bring joyful memories to many. Besides being a good horseman, consider daily care - grooming, feed (grain, hay, supplements), farrier care, vet care, tack, barn and wagon maintenance. On top is insurance and other accounting responsibilities that go with small business. Magic memories mean integrity, dedication, and hard work. 

Up the driveway, the harness bells ring louder as the horses trot to the farmhouse and barn. So much fun in just a few hours. We pet the horses, take more pictures, love on Charlie, thank John, Bill and Moose for an amazing afternoon, and say our goodbyes.

John teaches Team Driving at Hocking College, a local community college offering a degree in Horsemanship. You can take a wagon ride at one of John's local events - see his event schedule and more here

Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.


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  Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:   June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010 Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - Ma...