Regardless of the depth and breadth of materials it holds, I find so much that is good on Facebook. For me to note it, and then to wish to save it, and/or post it on my Blog means that I have been very moved by a particular piece of writing and it has made an impact on me. I don’t know how all these disparate items appear in my feed, sometimes forwarded by a Friend, or just appearing out of the blue, but I receive the most astounding pieces of writing about life, the world, and our place in it. Unquestionably, this one that I received today, stands among the best. I feel compelled to share it with my Facebook friends and my Blog readers. It follows:
Seven is the number of years I served my owner, trotting, walking, loping, quiet and gentle. I carry her children, husband, friends and neighbors. I have plenty of hay, horse friends, and time to myself. Green pastures, blue skies, I am at peace.
Six is the number of months I carry on in pain after falling. I do it for her, anything for her. She is impatient with me. I try hard to keep up but the pain slows me down. Every step hurts. No one wants to ride me. A new horse arrives to carry on in my place. I do not know this word, “useless”.
Five is the number of hours I stand in the small pen at the auction. I hurt. I do not know these horses; I do not know these people. I am far from my pasture. I search for comfort, switching weight off my painful leg, the people notice. I do not know the word, “lame”.
Four is the number of times my value is calculated by my weight. I don’t understand their words but I can read their eyes. Hard stares. I try to be invisible, but they see me. I do not know this word, “slaughter”.
Three is the number of sniffs I take of your face through the pen before deciding you are kind and safe. I like your eyes. They are soft. I like your hands. They are gentle. Please don’t leave me here. I try to pick up my feet for you. It hurts. I try hard. I rest my muzzle in your hand.
Two is the number of minutes it takes for me to pass through another pen. I am scared. I am trapped. I am alone, people are shouting. It hurts to walk. A man is talking; his voice echoes all around me, there are so many people watching the hard stares. Suddenly it’s over.
One is the number of hours it takes before I walk onto the trailer. I am alone. I am scared. It is moving. The door opens, I hold my breath, and brace at the light. It’s you! I stand still and breathe slow. Kind hands, soft words, I’m not afraid now.
Two is the number of x-rays the vet takes while I stand quietly for you, anything for you. Many days have passed. I have energy now, my pain is less. I like my new pasture, I like my new stall, I like my new hay. I don’t know why we have a vet but I stand still for his visits. So many visits. I do not know the word, ‘rehabilitation”.
Three is the number of months before the pain is all the way gone. I am relaxed with you, we start to ride together. I am afraid the pain will come back, butt you are gentle, so I try. I try hard for you, anything for you.
Four is the number of weeks I learn a new way of riding. Another person rides me every day. I’m becoming strong. I understand my lessons.. I am proud to work, I feel you are happy with me, visiting me, and learning together. I do not know this word , “training”.
Five is the number of years I work hard for you. We travel to shows, we work cows, we ride with friends. We do hundreds and hundreds of miles together. You trust me and I trust you. I give you everything I have, everything for you, anything for you. I memorize your rhythm, your looks, your moods. I know when to be wild and when to be still. We are a team.
Six is the number of minutes I try to hide the pain after a fall, but you see through me. I stand for the vet, still as a stone. The pain leaves but I sense your sadness. I remember a word from before when I had pain, “useless”, but you never say that word. You no longer ride me but I see you every day for carrots and treats and long walks. I relax again. You will not abandon me. I do not know this word, “retired”.
Seven is the number of breaths I take in your arms. I has been many years, we have grown old and wise and slow together. I lay down like so many times before but could not rise. You came right away. I tried for you, but I could not stand. You say, its okay, sink down next to me, I breathe slowly. You are very close, holding my head, weeping.
I feel your sadness so I put my muzzle in your hand one last time to comfort you, anything for you. I breathe out. Green pastures, blue skys, I am at peace. I know this word, “loved”.
How sad it is today that society has such a diminished use for horses over the last one hundred years that owning them has become a sport, or an expensive pleasurer hobby, or a breed farm for the horses to be sold for profit, with great emphasis on the economic worth of the animal that needs to offset the ever growing expense of owning it. Although we are grateful for the advances in veterinary medicine that allow them to treat and relieve previously untreatable pain conditions successfully, thereby keeping their economic value viable, it comes at a high cost to the horse owner, an expense that they may not be able to afford. Then, there is the kill pen slaughter. In today’s story, one lucky horse found his Guardian Angel, a lovely lady who saw him broken down and thought she had a chance to heal him and could see the potentially good horse he could become for her. She took that leap of faith; she did the right thing by purchasing, and transporting him, then by vetting him, then by “rehabilitating” him so he could live pain free. In return, he worked his heart out for her, as in “anything for her”. The story makes some serious assumptions, like the lady having the time and resources to rehab this horse and retrain him, with success. She then had a great horse to ride and love, and she was loved back in return. She had a huge heart for her horse and always did the right thing. I cannot help but be very critical of society for failing to do the right thing regarding our domesticated animals most of the time. Whether it is puppy mills, or breaking or breaking down horses, abusing donkeys, slaughtering donkeys for their hides and milk, seeing young thoroughbred break down on the track, I wonder, where will this end? With horses no longer needed for work, will they go away like so many other animals that no longer walk this earth? In the canine world, one may think there will always be dogs, and there are many, yet many breeds have been lost over the last 100 years, especially in Terriers and Sporting Dogs. Once the breed is gone, it really cannot be brought back, as some breeds claim to have done, as with the Irish Wolfhound, by recreating it using similar dogs to create a resemblance. It is better not to lose the breed at all than have to reconstruct it. Likewise, it is better not to break down a young horse than have to rehab it. People do not think that way, they are abusive and selfish, thinking only of what they want to do with the animal in the present, and throwing it away when they are through with it.
The roots of mankind’s responsibility for animals is in the Bible. Yet, we have done a sickening job of failing them. There are no shortage of tears I weep for the canines and equines who depend on mankind for their wellbeing. God sees and knows everything and has no inhibition to unleash karma for betraying the trust of animals in the hands of humans who betray it. When I pray, I pray for the abused, abandoned, and dying animals before I pray for myself or others. Animals do not have a safety net and need the prayers more. Perhaps most of mankind has forgotten the animals, but God and I have not.