The 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 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 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 not wrong with my harness or feet.
Do not check me so that I cannot have the free use of my head. If you
insist that I wear blinders, so that I cannot see behind me as it was
intended I should, I pray you be careful that the blinders stand well out
from 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 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 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 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 not be of wood but 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 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