The Force of the Horse

The Force of the Horse: Because of Love

The Eternal Equine Gift of Companionship

It is Sunday and once again time to catch our breath and reflect on why it is we do what we do as we charge forward in our battle to better the welfare of our equine companions, both domestic and wild.  And being that we have rushed into the Holiday season, with little fanfare or warning, I would like to submit for your reading refreshment a story that appeared in my inbox, this morning.  Likewise, we published this story last year and it, too, was submitted by another kind and caring reader.

With all that said, we would like to send out an invitation to all of our faithful friends and readers of SFTHH, if you have a special equine related Christmas story please feel free to send it our way as we will be posting Holiday related tales (tails) on Sunday throughout the month of December.  And be sure to watch for the December issue of trueCowboy Magazine as they will be featuring a special Christmas story written by myself for the magazine…and I promised it to be exclusive so it will not be appearing, here.

Please read and enjoy as there is more news coming today and we have no choice but to share it with you.  So take a moment out for yourself and for the horses:may the Force of the Horse® be with you! ~ R.T.


A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre-
Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents
with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up
and had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which
topped the hill behind the farm. Through the years the tree had become
a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the
countryside… The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood
here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their
lives, and called them away to a different life..

The old folks no longer showed their horses, for the years had taken
their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was
getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in the mornings
and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses
were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day’s end.

Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old
folks. Why do you not at least dispose of The Old One.” She is no
longer of use to you. It’s been years since you’ve had foals from her.
You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves.
How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and
work? Why do you keep her anyway?”

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed
at the barn floor and replied, “Yes, I could use a pair of new boots.
His arm slid defensively about the Old One’s neck as he drew her near
with gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied

“We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love.”

Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife
a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole
through the valley. The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it
had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks.. How is it
that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that
filled their hearts?

So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed
the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None
saw the first spark fall. None but the “Old One”.

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry
flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and
despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced
to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring
now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the
ground, helpless before the fire’s fury. His wife back from calling
for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other, they wept at
their loss.

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins
were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief,
huddled together before the barn. They were speechless as they rose
from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen
as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his
wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as his shaking old
hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he
whispered, “We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve
of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old
pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look
down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and
pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.

And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy
hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old and
withered hand. The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies
in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest
of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill
the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the
incredible beauty before them.

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up
in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it
was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top most bough, a
crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass. Never had a mere
mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as
the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed
and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward.
There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over
and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows
glistening in the night light. Bedded down about the “Old One” close
to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.

At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her
muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great
dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping
cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed
about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry
flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips
and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new years
crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the “Old One” as she moved
calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now, she lay
among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife. Those
she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years,
tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as
she offered her gift—

Because of love.

Only Because of love…

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy… and
again the peace of love filled their hearts.

This is a true story.

Willy Eagle

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24 replies »

  1. This is why we work so hard to save them.. they are devoted and loving animals…thanks again for confirming why we try so hard to help our horses..


  2. When all is lost, most humans believe in miracles; we don’t always get them…but sometimes we do and they are priceless.

    Our miracle is still out there waiting to be cherished with joy and love.

    Love, that is the answer and don’t forget forget hope…it’s is the secret ingredient that helps us keep moving.

    Horse killers don’t posses love; maybe that is why they do what they do.

    Thanks SFTHH…we have the Force of the horse; they (killers) have death in their hearts and contaminated, ugly blood on their hands.


  3. I never loose sight of the love of a horse, but such stories are always wonderful to come across. I was about to feel a deja vu after the news yesterday of a barn fire here in Houston that lost 11 horses. The evening news had film showing several of the horse owners walking among the ruins with tears running down their faces (this was not a high dollar barn, most of the folks were black and looked very working class). And on top of that, last night I went over to Edwards Auction – we are hoping to find a cheap, used pony saddle for the grandkids – and of the 20 or so horses there awaiting their fate was one big, obviously very old mare. She was not pretty, but her dark eyes were very kind and she was the only horse in the pens that wanted to talk with us. She asked if we were her forever home, and I had to sadly tell her no, sorry, we couldn’t be it for her but we hoped she would find one. We did not stay for the auction but I doubt there was anyone that night that would be her saviour. But I do hope that if her fate is unimaginable for us, that soon she will be in greener pastures and happy and young again.


  4. Thank you RT and Amen ,{ to the above comments}..

    Hopefully some of the (killers) who have death in their hearts and contaminated, ugly blood on their hands will read this story and be changed .


    • Sadly, I very much doubt that they will change their hearts. In fact, my guess is they are reading this, laughing at us and sending emails back and forth/blogging what “emotional” fools we are. Because, in the end they lack honor, courage and most of all EMPATHY.

      But we won’t go away….we will never go away.


      • Dear Denise and Kelly, we are not asking for all to love them as we do, we are asking that they are given every compassion, and to use common everyday sense, Where is FORD MOTORS The Mustang Made them Rich , the mustangs made many Millionaires for Ford I would like to know where is their compassion IS in this??????? and where is their respect???? Our Mustangs ARE IN DEEP TROUBLE , THEY NEED TO BE GIVEN THEIR JUST REWARDS NOT DEATH AND TORTURE!!!!!!! BY AN AGENCY THAT HAS NO REGARD FOR THEM, NOR CARES WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM, COME ON AMERICA , (and to think we foot the bill for this is unreal )if If we are who we think we are………… We need to drop what we are doing and Help them……………..


  5. Thank You RT Love is the emotion that completely empowers one to do the impossible, it crosses all gender, and species lines, the love shared by a human and a horse is a special magical love that only those who feel it can understand its velocity and power and its innocent beauty, it can and will move mountains that once were thought to be unattainable, the numbers here that poccess this love here are astounding , out of this beautiful love will come the once thought impossible Quest , Freedom and peace for the Wild Mustangs and burros…………………


  6. Rt, I love this story and I know this happens more often than we know. Kerry, I cannot attend auctions for this reason. It is so heart breaking that they can and do communicate with some of us. I pray every day and keep taking those lottery tickets because I know the horses need us so much. I certainly would help any elderly couple in my neck of the woods take care of their horses if they were in such need. Some peoples children fail to see the faith and healing in our horses. But those of us who love them know what’s in their heart. I was on my way out to see my horse and thought that I would check my
    emails, hoping for a miracle too. My Nicholas is one of the miracles. He is a big beautiful Arabian whose fate was almost sealed until I persuaded the owner to sell him to me instead of the “Killer Buyer” on the next street. I had 3 other horses which I dearly loved, but he is something special. Miracles can and do happen around this time and who knows there maybe a miracle coming
    down for all of our horses. We can only hope and pray.

    Have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy your family including those loving and beautiful horses who give us so much.


  7. Kelly: I wish Habitat for Humanity could take the mare asking for help. Maybe we will get lucky and they will see your comment – not only helping her but the other horses as well. How I wish that all the killer buyers would meet their ends and we would see all our gorgeous horses laughing at them because of their greed, and having no feelings of any kind for man or animal. May God protect all our four legged horses this year and that it will be the year we see all the slaughterhouses down for good, along with Wallis and her entourage, as well as auctions and killer buyers. May God answer our prayers this year.


  8. I forgot to add to the above. I cried last year when R.T wrote this and this year I am doing the same. To Kelly above, I would have come home and tried to find a place for that mare at anyone’s home that had a corral until I could find her a new forever home. I couldn’t live with my self by leaving her there and having her asking for help. There must be something someone can do for her in the area. R.T. Thank you for your work for our four legged ICONS. I wish there were more people like you to help us.


    • Unfortuantely Lynne, I don’t have even a corral. I have a backyard (about 130 ft. x 100 ft.)with 2 ponies (we’re not talking mini’s here, and 11hh and a 11.2hh). I have to be realistic and I cannot afford to feed another horse for even a few days (and this mare was big! At least she looked well fed, compared to so many of the others there – I won’t talk about the hinny looking boy that had sunken eyes and all sorts of scares on his face). What would happen if I can’t find a home within a week? Suddenly it turns into a month, or two….. a friend of mine who does some ‘rescue’ is up to 22 horses on a 2 acre lot (and that lot includes the barn and house). She just bought a 5 acre parcel 2 doors down from her, and that will help, but she just keeps rescuing and rescuing – there has to be a limit – and not every horse can be found a home – sometimes YOUR the home! I don’t go to auctions much either, and never stay for the horses (just looking for tack – anyone have a childs pony saddle for $40?).
      We won’t be able to rescue everyone. Like people, some horses, dogs and cats just end up living a miserable life, and grateful when it ends. What we can give good lives to, it makes all the difference in the world to them, and they repay us tenfold. After we lost our beloved Shadow, we rescued a year old heeler from a kill shelter and he is just an awesome dog! I will never get any horses or dogs from anyplace but a rescue for the rest of my life. I’ll keep buying those lottery tickets, maybe someday I can help purchase food, land and vet care for those in need. Until then, I guess I’m going back to school to learn accounting so I can earn a bit more money – and maybe rescue another dog and horse in the near future! 🙂


  9. This is ever a reminder of the knowledge the old ones hold and why they are needed so much. I did not want to see this as I knew I would cry… but it is lovely.


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