A friend in Arizona asked me to find this for her. I hadn't read it in years, and it occurred to me that some of you might never have seen it, or might have forgotten it... Although a little anthropomorphic, it is a good reminder of the master's responsibility to his (or her) animals. It's public domain. Reproduce as you wish.
The Horse's Prayer
To thee, my master, I offer my prayer. Feed me, water me and care for me, and when the day's work is done, provide me shelter, a clean, dry bed and stall wide enough for me to lie down in comfort. Always be kind to me, talk to me. Your voice often makes as much difference to me as the reins. Pat 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 up a hill. Never try to 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 tack or feet. Do not check me so that I do not have free use of my head. If your insist that I wear blinders so that I cannot see behind me as I was intended to do, I pray you be careful to keep the blinders well out of my eyes. Do not overload me, nor hitch me where water will drip on me. Keep me well shod. Examine my teeth when I do not eat, for I may have an ulcerated tooth and that, you know is very painful. Do not tie my head in an unnatural position, or take away my best defence against flies and mosquitoes by cutting off my tail. I cannot tell you when I am thirsty, so give me clean, cool water often.
Save me, by all means in your power, from that fatal disease, the Glanders. 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 Iam standing in the cold. Never put a frosty bit in my mouth, first warm it a moment with your hands. I try to carry you and your burdens without a murmur, and wait patiently for you for long hours...day and night. Without the power to choose my shoes or path, I sometimes fall on the hard pavement which I have often prayed might not be cement but of such a nature as to give me safe and sure footing. Remember that I must be ready at any time to lose my life in your service. And finally, Oh My 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 and starved to death; but do Thee, 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.
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