13 Jul

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…

This post is dedicated to the memory of those great horses

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…


Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “Requiem

  1. Kalie Clarke

    July 14, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    A very sad story and wonderfully wrote article.

  2. darlene supnick

    July 14, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Horses are the most amazing creatures on earth. I have had many Arabian horses but only recently started to save slaughter bound horses. One such lame mare with the heart of an Angel had to be euthanized yesterday. She was only with us since March but I am sure these were the happiest days of her life. She passed too with her head in my arms and even though she was not a show horse or a race horse she was the most beautiful and loving animal I have ever known and I am going to continue to help slaughter bound horses in her name as Angel’s for Horses Rescue. I understand your loss and I know your horses is at the Rainbow Bridge running in the clouds.

  3. Crystal Keenan

    July 17, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    I miss my quarter morgan gelding “Macaroni” still today. Have not and will not ever be able to replace him. I had him for 24 years, euth’d age 30 in 2009. He was ready to go to horsey heaven though and had his last meal in a clean stall before leaving this world. We had a tremendous bond, no other person would or could ride him really…we went thousands of miles together across rough terrain, barrels, endurance, trails, parades, etc. No one wanted to ride him because he was so choppy & rough not to mention, tear flying fast! He had the worse conformation and flaws that a horse could have…Roman nose, pigeon toed, swayback/high wither, short straight shoulders, splints on both front legs but I would give anything to have him back. Macaroni, you are greatly missed but will always be in my heart…

  4. Diana Harris

    August 15, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    I got my Annie when she was in her late two’s and was a OTTB. She was in someones field and was offered for sale as a “show horse”. When I got there she stood there a bag of bones with hair on it with her head down and a sad look in her eye she was most likely days from death so I bought her on the spot. She put on over 400 pounds and grew 3 inches quickly and then stood a stout 17 hands and 1250 pounds in time. She was all black not a white hair on her and was the most amazing horse I had ever seen. That was nothing compared to her kindness, her love for me, and her willingness to do whatever she could to make me happy. She was my best friend for 22 years when one morning my life stopped, she had colic and we couldnt save her. I was there with her until she took her final breath and I felt her heart stop. That was on January 23rd 2010. I laid down on the ground with her with my body curled up in her neck and chest and talked with her for a hour after. I still cry, it still hurts like it was yesterday. I miss her so much. I love you Annie my best friend, the best horse I ever had and will have. Until I see you again and I know I will please take care of all the horses that come your way. Look over Deputy Broad for he is now part of the family. May you both run free of pain and lay in green pastures and have as many treats as your heart desires.


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