Through uncounted centuries, your hard hooves cut the earth.
In dim, Jurassic forests, a young world gave you birth.
Victim of the predator in countless violent scenes,
Metamorphosed through the ages to produce the equine genes.
Through stages of development, you stepped into the light
Gentle herbivore emerging from the forests of the night.
Pearl of evolution, grace and power creating force
Designed for speed and motion. You became the noble horse.
What primeval situation caused the circumstances when
You blended your lifestyle with the selfish dreams of men?
Is there some deep seated instinct that has lurked within your breed
That made you bow to slavery, to lend your grace and speed?
What can be the connection that has linked your life with Man
When in freedom and unfettered on the open Steppes you ran?
What made you bow that gentle head? By what means were you woo’ed
To accept the bit and bridle, and the yoke of servitude?
Did love reward your sacrifice to keep the exchange square?
Would horses truly state that man has held the bargain fair?
If man would keep a friend like you, please understand he must
Keep faith with Gods of Equus. Never break that sacred trust.
The horse is tied to mankind. You rely on us for life,
And sadly in our careless world, neglect of you is rife.
You have no means to protest cruelty, ignorance or greed.
With all the gifts you bear us, are we there to fill your need?
If we allow your well being and maintenance to slip
We are just as cruel and brutal as a fiend who plies a whip.
Embrace your care. Accept your costs. Reject violence and force.
If we bear this duty willingly, we’re fit to own a horse.
© Jack Drake