A Horse's Prayer
To thee, my Master, I
offer my prayer.
Feed me, water and care
for me, and when the day's work is done, provide me with shelter, a clean,
dry bed, and stall wide enough for me to lie down in comfort.
Always be kind 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 you.
Watch me, and if I fail to do your bidding, see if something is not wrong
with my harness or feet.
Do not check me so that
I cannot have free use of my head. If you insist that I wear blinkers,
so that I cannot see behind me as it was intended I should, I pray you be
careful that the blinders stand well out of my eyes. Do not overload
me, or hitch me where water will drip on me. Keep me well shod.
Examine my teeth when I do not eat, 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 defense against flies and mosquitoes by cutting off
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 I am 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 burden 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 hard pavement which I have often prayed might not be of wood but
of such a nature as to give me safe and sure footing. Remember that
I must be ready at any moment to lose my life in your
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 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.