This horse owner really wants a few special things for Christmas, but they're not presents that will fit under any Christmas tree.
The holiday season is the time for big wishes and big dreams. As children, we believed that pure magic was possible during Christmas, and this year, I'm allowing myself to feel a little bit of that same hope.
In the spirit of dreaming, here's a list of what this horse owner really wants for Christmas.
1. 10 Years Off My Senior Mare's Life
My mare is 18, and due to a host of health issues, I know her time here is limited. For Christmas, I want to take 10 years off her life. Let her be agile and athletic again. And yes, I'll even deal with the increased spookiness and super fast canter that come with that. Let me do over the last 10 years with her, now that I'm a better rider.
Give me more time.
2. A Year of No Vet Bills
My wallet would really appreciate a year of no vet bills. And if I can't have that, I'd take a year of just standard spring and fall vet appointments - no emergency calls, no lameness exams, and especially no more x-rays or ultrasounds.
3. An End to Unwanted Horses
For Christmas, I want every horse to have a home. I want horse slaughter to be put out of business by the demand for these creatures. I want horseback riding to gain in popularity, and unnecessary breeding to come to an end, so we no longer have the problem of too many horses and not enough people to own and care for them.
4. An End to Horse Abuse
This year, I rescued a miniature horse who had a rough past. A previous owner was anything but kind to him, leaving this gelding terrified of people. I've never seen such reactivity in a horse before, and it's taken months to get to the point where I can approach him without his entire body shaking. (It still does, sometimes.)
He never deserved the abuse that he incurred, so this Christmas, I want an end to horse abuse. I want each and every horse owner to be blessed with patience and understanding, and to never ever think that hurting a horse is acceptable. I want horses to be able to trust their owners, rather than having to fear them.
5. More Magic Moments
Every horse owner knows them. They're the moments when somehow, everything clicks between you and your horse, and a good ride turns into a great one. Or they're when your normally standoffish horse approaches you in the paddock for a good scratching.
I'd love more of these moments in the year to come.
I know I'm lucky to be able to share my life with horses. If even one of these Christmas wishes came true, I'd be delighted.
What's on your Christmas list this year? Tell us in the comments.
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