Early this morning, a truly noble animal left this world. He was a successful show horse whose career was ended due to a tragic accident. He had been kicked in the leg by another horse at his stable. His cannon bone was broken and his owner planned to take him to the nearest veterinary hospital for surgery. As they tried to prepare him for the trip, he collapsed to the ground and could not get back to his feet. Everything was tried to help him get up but it was impossible on three legs. His final hour was spent with his grief stricken owner. She cradled his head and prayed that he would find a way to stand again. He was exhausted. His time had come and he knew it. He didn’t struggle or thrash. He did something amazing. As he lay dying, he tried to comfort his owner. His final moments were peaceful. A vet was called to put him to sleep. He passed from this world cradled in the arms of someone who loved him. His end came far too soon. He was humanely euthanized. The loss of such a horse is never easy but he had the best of care and a loving owner. He did not fear death. His body failed him. His heart never did.
There are millions of horses scattered throughout the world. Even within the equestrian world, many people do not see what a truly noble creature stands before them. The horse will not as for your resume or your qualifications. They do not care where you worked before, who you trained with, or how much money you have. They can tell everything they need to know about you within a few minutes. If they wished, they could crush any rider within seconds. Riding them is always a privilege but many arrogant horse people mistake it for a right. The amazing thing is that most horses will trust people and obey them. They have done so for thousands of years, even when it cost them their lives. They fought and died by the thousands in historic battles. Even when they are bleeding and wounded to the point of death, many horses will still try to help their riders. A bond so deep is not easily forged…
It is a difficult thing to describe to someone who has never felt it. While in the pasture, the horse will come to you without being called. Halters and ropes are not necessary. Neither are bridles and saddles. When riding, the rider rarely has to physically ask the horse to do anything. Simply think it and it happens. It is an incredible experience and such a bond takes years to form. It may only happen once in a lifetime and it should be enjoyed every day while horse and rider are together. If either the horse or the rider is lost, the pain is devastating. Even if the person has a hundred other horses, they will not replace the one that was lost. If the rider is lost, the horse will never be as good with any other rider.
Most people are so caught up trying to win ribbons, championships, races, etc., that they spend all their time trying to teach the horse to do things their way. The horse is only useful as long it performs up to their expectations. They spend hours re-training the horse instead of watching the horse and learning from it.
The truly great horses will do things that seem impossible and make it look easy. In Thoroughbreds, it is known as heart. It allows them to keep going even when their physical pain should stop them. Their will to do what is being asked of them overrides the pain. They want to please and many of them have died trying by running even after their legs were broken. Few humans are so big-hearted or so selfless.
Horses are great teachers but too many people see them as students to be trained. Even worse, there are unscrupulous people who will misuse, mistreat, torture, and even butcher horses. These people are so devoid of a moral compass that they think horses and other creatures are their possessions to be used and slaughtered at their pleasure. They could learn much from the horses who have faithfully served humanity far better than we have served them.
If you are fortunate enough to have a horse, remember that they are a rare and precious gift.
They could be here today and gone tomorrow…
who have enriched our lives and taught us to be better people.
It is also for those horses who passed from this world without being
appreciated for the magnificent creatures they were…
If you knew such a horse, please leave a comment with their
name and a few words about them.
The horse pictured above was Amigo. Barrel horse, trail horse, lesson horse, escape artist, locksmith, and comedian…