Merry Christmas from the Semi Ferals and myself
And for those thinking of their equine friends on this day as well, here is something to read.
The Horses Prayer
Feed me, water and care for me, and when the days work is done, provide me with shelter, a clean dry bed and a stall wide enough for me to lie down in comfort.
Always be kind to me. Talk to me. Your voice often means as much to me as the reins. Pet me sometimes, that I may serve you the more gladly and learn to love you.
Do not jerk the reins, and do not whip me when going uphill. Never strike, beat or kick me when I do not understand what you want, but give me a chance to understand you.
Watch me; and if I fail to do your bidding, see if something is wrong with my harness or feet.
I cannot tell you when I am thirsty so give me clean, cool water often. I cannot tell you in words when I am sick, so watch me, that by signs you may know my condition.
Give me all possible shelter from the hot sun, and put a blanket on me, not when I am working, but when standing in the cold. Never put a frosty bit in my mouth; first warm it by holding it a moment in your hands.
I try to carry you and your burdens without a murmur, and wait patiently for you long hours of the day or night. Without the power to choose my shoes or path, I sometimes fall on the hard pavements which I have often prayed might be of such a nature as to give me a safe and sure footing.
Remember that I must be ready at any moment to lose my life in your service.
And finally, O Master, when my useful strength is gone, do not turn me out to starve or freeze, or sell me to some cruel owner to be slowly tortured or starved to death; but do thou, my Master, take my life in the kindest way. And your God will reward you here and hereafter. You will not consider me irreverent if I ask this in the name of HIM, who was born in a stable.