True love

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

“A Change of Heart” (True Tale, EQUUS 487) was a won­der­ful story that brought back mem­o­ries for me. Over a decade ago I was hired to look af­ter three horses, one of whom was re­ferred to as “the old horse wait­ing to die.” An English Ara­bian of Crab­bet breed­ing, he was cov­ered in rain scald and turned out daily in all weather, in a turnout rug that came off only in sum­mer or on sunny days.

I be­gan spend­ing time with him, treat­ing him to clear up the rain scald, groom­ing and tak­ing him for walks in hand. I used to sit in the field with him, watch­ing as he in­ter­acted with the deer. Ev­ery so of­ten he’d come over and check that I was still there.

Grad­u­ally, he came back to life. He even en­joyed some light work car­ry­ing the grand­chil­dren, who were sur­prised at how fast he could pick up a can­ter, beat­ing some of his younger com­pan­ions. I made his day when I con­tacted his first two own­ers and they vis­ited, sur­prised at first that af­ter 29 years he was still go­ing strong and look­ing well. He did pass away even­tu­ally but only af­ter he had a chance of a good life with dig­nity in his fi­nal years.

The time I’d spent with him helped me un­der­stand the needs of older horses, and I went on to give more of my time to these won­der­ful crea­tures, who shouldn’t be for­got­ten. Horses are liv­ing crea­tures and not throw­away items. They still ben­e­fit from ev­ery­thing you have ever done with and for them.

Sim­ple ob­ser­va­tion and chill­ing out to­gether can give back so much that is of­ten missed in this over-fast world. But a gift of life and friend­ship, I be­lieve, is worth so much more. A. Sams Rochdale, Lan­cashire, Eng­land

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