Horse Slaughter

A Yuletide Moment of Introspection

A Christmas reflection by R.T. Fitch ~ pres/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

It just doesn’t get any better than this!

Pele, Bart and Harley ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Pele, Bart and Harley ~ photo by Terry Fitch

It is a special Christmas for me this year, simply put; I am home.  Due to my rotational, international schedule my paying job finds me on the other side of the world every other holiday season and this year the calendar rolled the dice in my favor so I find myself home at “Laughing Horse Ranch”.

But with the familiarity of home comes a rush of holiday memories that can be both good and some of them bad; not that Christmas causes the passing of loved ones or other tragedies but the holiday acts as a bookmark in time that leaves tags of emotions in one’s heart to remember at a later date.  When my head fills with these thoughts it’s always good to walk among the horses, listen to their breathing, their chewing and inhale the sweet smell of their essence, I did just that last night, during their Christmas eve feeding.

While in their stalls for supper I went to each one and stroked them, barehanded, so that they could feel the warmth from my heart and as I petted their special coats I attempted to shut down my mind, turn off the chaos and listen to the sounds that have taught me so much in the past.  I deliberately imploded and was not disappointed.

It occurred to me that I had so very much to be thankful for and that I am rich in so very many ways.  In the buzz of the modern world it is easy for the basic lessons of life to be clouded over, covered up and ignored as we scurry about, day to day, in an effort to get done what we think we are supposed to get done.  The horses cut through the nonsense pretty quickly and with great precision.

I realized that regardless of my age I possess great health and agility.  I take no medication, liquids excluded, and have never been healthier, walked further and lifted more than I can right now.  The receding hairline aside, I am thankful for this singular and bountiful blessing.

We are blessed with work, a job, a living that provides for my marriage partner of almost 20 years and for the critters.  No one goes hungry nor does anyone want for what is needed and/or required.  For that we are all thankful.

But as I went from stall to stall I became aware of the warmth that comes from being surrounded by good and loving friends of which I am lucky enough to have several, not many, but enough to make my spirit rise and it is not just on the personal level but on the level of equine advocacy that speaks to my soul so strongly.

The individual members of our Board of Directors at Wild Horse Freedom Federation are some of the most professional and sincere people I have ever worked with; Terry, Debbie, Dawn, Carol and Marjorie.  Also included would be our extended advocate family which includes, but is not limited to, Vicki, John, Simone, Ginger, Paula, Ann, Linda, Jerry, Daryl, Julie, Kathy, Lisa, Stephanie and many, many more.  I could feel the horses almost purr as those names rushed across my mind.

As I let the boys out of their stalls and they walked down the barn’s center aisle and out into the cool Christmas eve night I felt a gentle glow in thinking that horses would soon not be crossing our state’s border to be murdered and butchered in Mexico for human dinner plates in the EU, the chapter of that book was closing.  And with that comes the knowledge and expectation that the same will happen for our Northern border and American horses will be forever free of the terror and treachery of predatory horse slaughter.

I joined the horses down in the lower pasture where they were partaking of several flakes of quality hay for dessert, it was going to be cool last night and their inner furnaces needed a little bit of fuel.

As they munched with half lidded eyes in the cool dark evening my mind swam over to contemplate the fate of their wild cousins and the thought almost pulled a dark veil over the moment but the horses prevailed, there is hope.

Those great folks that I have been working with at Wild Horse Freedom Federation have a plan and unlike me who wants to rush right into things and make them happen now, they know how to work a plan and stay the course for the proper results to be acquired.  They have a plan and they give me hope.

It is now Christmas morning and I reflect upon the thoughts I shared with my equine companions last night and can truly say that I am blessed beyond all possible expectations with the gifts of health, friendship, family and love.  The gift of good looks may come next year but I am not holding my breath as the main ingredients of life are rich and fulfilled with the horses helping and guiding our spirits to further elevate our souls in the service of speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.

A very special and blessed Christmas to each and everyone of you and to your family and friends, both two and four legged.

Keep the faith, enjoy this day and thank YOU for being here, at SFTHH; day in and day out you give all of us, collectively, hope, companionship and direction.

Have a very, very, Merry Christmas.

R.T. Fitch

12 replies »

  1. Merry Christmas to you and Terry
    ! I too feel blessed and full of hope for our wild ones. Thank you for being a great part of this.


  2. Here is one way that I explain my appreciation for my two and four legged friends:
    “I wouldn’t trade a good horse for the best Rolls-Royce ever made — unless I could trade the Rolls for two good horses.” — Edward Abbey


    • Perfect saying! There is NO car – anywhere or any kind – that I would trade for a horse – (good or otherwise).
      Merry Christmas to all of you –


  3. Merry Christmas RT and Family 2 and 4 legged…………………. Bless Our Mustangs with the Freedom Promised in 1971 Unamimously…………………….They have given to me and all the most Beautiful gift , their Presance !!!!!! Their Perseverance is phenominal…….Thank You Mustangs!!!!!! and may we all together insure their FREEDOM and PROTECTION always !!!!!!


  4. As always RT you’ve blessed us one and all with your sweet words and deep thoughts. Merry Christmas to you and Terry and all the advocates out there who will continue to work to keep horses safe, and wild ones free.


  5. Merry Christmas to R.T., Terry, WHFF, Debbie, Marjories, John, Vicki, Simone, and all the people who’ve worked so hard to save our wild and domestic horses—the list is so long.

    I think R.T. captured the mix of memories, anticipation, and hopefulness we have at Christmas and other holidays perfectly with the phrase “a bookmark in time” for this expresses the sense of it so well.


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