A Good Horse
By Dan Sumerel

All he wanted was just to be a good horse,
That’s all he really could be,
And try as he did every way that he could
He was sad that no one could see.
That all he wanted was just to be a good horse
But the people just seemed not to care
They demanded so much and were so very rough
His spirit soon turned to despair.

They used so many things to control him so
There were bits and chains and such
That all made him hurt in so many ways
Pretty soon the pain was too much.
The leather was bad but the metal was worse
So hard and sharp and cold
He hated the bit and what it did to his mouth
When they’d grab the reins and take hold.

They’d pull and they’d pull with not a release
It was torment and torture at best
With pressure so constant he did not understand
What was meant by each brutal request.

Then one day at a show, with the crowd large and loud
His rider lost balance and fell
But he held to the reins, he just wouldn’t let go
As panic in the horse starts to swell.

The pain was so great and fear gripped the horse
He must, yes he must get a way
So he thrashed and he struggled with all of his might
His fear overcame him that day.
Then under his hoof he felt such a crush
As the weight and the pressure came down
A great scream from the man, then silence so loud
There was tension and fear all around.

The reins were now free, so he tried to escape
From the panic and pain so intense
But he still was not free, for another had come
With anger so strong and immense
One hand on the bridle and one striking hard
To the mouth of the horse in revenge
Till teeth bit down hard and the hand spurted red
And the screaming now started again.

All he wanted was just to make it all stop
He never had wanted this war
All he wanted was just to be a good horse
He’d not hurt a human before.
Yet now so many were running at him
With ropes and rage uncontrolled
So he started to run to try to escape
As hell began to unfold.

Then suddenly a woman, with a look not the same
Was between him and all of the rest
She had none of the fear and none of the rage
As she offered one simple request
“ Please stand very still, and I’ll take it all off,
I’ll help you if you let me try”
So he gave the chance to be as she said
She had seen only fear in his eye.

She had not seen the killer, the others had thought
Existed in the horse that day
So she screamed to the others to leave them alone
As she gently lead him away.
He followed her well and began to relax
With this one who did understand
That all he had wanted, was to be a good horse
For someone with love in their hands.

Once back in his stall she stayed for a while
To help him get over the night
When a really good horse and people unwise
Ended up in a terrible fight.
Now I wish I could say that it ended right there
But humans are so quick to blame
That when it goes wrong, it’s never ‘their’ fault
Getting even can be such a shame.

So all he had wanted, was to be a good horse
But the next day the wrong people came
To end the life of a really good horse
For people are NEVER to blame!

It must be up to us, those who do care
And who know what is true, of course
That all that is wanted and all they desire
Is simply to be a good horse.
We must be willing, to speak up at least
Against those who do not understand
That the wonder of horses and all that they are
Is a gift from God to man.

© 2003 Dan Sumerel

Based on a true incident at a major horse show