Editor’s Note: It was Richard the Third, I believe, who shouted out for a fresh horse in his last battle. From food source to pack animal, engine of war to track-race beauty, the horse has helped and inspired humankind on every continent.
When I grew up in the 1950’s, the horse was a romantic symbol of the Olde West — symbol of freedom, co-worker in cattle ranching, prize of Indian trading, and rodeo star.
I can still name all the horses of famous Hollywood cowboys, from Tom Mix to Alec Ramsey. And I still have my milk glass Hopalong Cassidy childhood mug.
I’ve spent everyday of almost 2 weeks now, going to the barn each morning to tend and keep company with Buddy, my wonderful quarter horse, who punctured a foot in the pasture and has been lame since. Yesterday and today he seemed to become much better, showing signs of boredom, applying equal weight to each leg, and generally acting more spirited.
Having Buddy as my partner and friend is the fruition of a life-long dream, since the days when I entered every annual “Free Shetland Pony (complete with saddle and bridle!!)” contest and begged my father to promise I could keep it in the backyard if I won!
I am thinking about rereading Black Beauty. Here is one of my all-time favorite poems.
1. What is your horse dream? Give it life in unbridled prose.
2. Describe how you feel about horses in a poem tribute.
3. Write about the wild mustangs of the West, or a favorite horse from fact, fiction, or film (Trigger, Silver, American Pharoah?)