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One Lonely, Cold Horse

Updated on June 19, 2014

Two Horses Are Better Than One

Last year while visiting family in Saskatchewan for several winter months, I was taken by my elderly relative up a highway -- not the Trans-Canada Highway which is nearby and runs east-west -- but up a highway that runs north-south. My elderly relative was very upset about a horse who is out in the cold, day and night. The horse doesn't have any shelter. He doesn't have another horse with whom he can commiserate. He stands forlorn by the barbed wire fence half way up the property in the snow. In the wintertime, the temperatures often reach 32 degrees below zero, Celsius. Saskatchewan can be a windy place in the wintertime. The Weather Network states every day what the temperature in certain parts of Saskatchewan actually feels like -- compared to what the thermostat states. 32 degrees below zero, Celsius, with a wind chill can feel like and actually be 42 or 45 degrees below zero, Celsius.

If I Ruled the World

I remember when I was 15 years old and in a conversation with somebody about something or other and they mentioned that a person cannot just go into another country without permission. There are boundaries. There are territorial laws and military to back it all up.

It seemed absurd to me. We are all humans and we should all love one another. I remember the epiphany that the world is not the way it should be. The world is not a happy, loving environment for everybody.

Each of us, so full of life and love for other people when we are young, crash into the realities of life as we grow from teenhood to adulthood and mature back into a childlike state -- or try to. And some things in life, some realities -- for example -- the abuse of children -- are so crushing and so in need of every adult's attention and assistance that they almost make a person feel helpless. One hardly knows where to begin, but when the situation calls for it, adrenaline kicks in.

Abuse of animals is another heartbreaking area of reality in the world. I'm not trying to compare apples with oranges. There is no comparison between the abuse of a child and abuse of an animal. I am just saying when you learn of an instance of abuse to an animal, it is heartbreaking in its own right.

Viva La Vida. Why Can't Life be Simple and Good?

A Different Type of 'Breaking a Horse'

Horses are so much happier when they have other horses to neigh and whinny with. Horses trust their human owners to understand their needs. Horses have strength and intelligence. They have a strong will to live. But they have their limits. Just like a man or woman who is put into solitary confinement in prison and has to muster every bit of courage and will to survive it physically and mentally, a horse -- a magnificent creature -- has to take stock of the situation when he finds himself alone day after day after day. And then to be alone in the most severe weather, hour after hour, day after day, lonely night after lonely night is more than any human with a heart should expect of a horse and yet the horse will try to endure until his mind and heart can take it no longer.

Every Horse Needs A Buddy

These two have each other, come what may.
These two have each other, come what may. | Source
Two is better than one.
Two is better than one. | Source
Four or five horses together is better yet.
Four or five horses together is better yet. | Source

Not Allowed to ask Someone Why they Don't Shelter Their Horse

Everett, my elderly relative, finally could not bear to see this horse out there in the coldest of days all alone and without shelter. He drove up to the house on the property, knocked on the door and asked the lady of the house if he might inquire about the horse. I was with him. I stayed in the car and didn't know exactly what he planned to say to the residents of the house. He was quiet about it. I learned minutes later how it went. Everett introduced himself to the young woman who answered the door. He asked the lady how the horse came to be there. The lady said their young relative who lives 70 miles away wanted to have a horse and since they have enough acres, they said she could get a horse and keep it there on their property. "She can't get out this far from the city too often to visit -- especially in the wintertime," the lady added. Everett asked if the horse is for sale. It was not for sale.

We drove down the long driveway to the highway, passing the lone horse, as Everett explained to me how much he wanted to help this little horse.

The horse disturbed my sleep. His lonesome eyes and flying mane in the wind entered my dreams. Thoughts of the horse kept elderly Everett awake some nights. The horse stood in the cold against the blowing wind and snow. Each time we drove by on our way to the nearest town, the horse was always in one spot, looking silently toward the highway.

The temperature finally came up to zero Celsius for a few days and we felt relieved.

The next week the temperature plummeted again. Everett took it upon himself to drive to the property and knock on the door again. I didn't know he was going there that day. I am not sure what he said to the lady, but I know he is a polite person. That evening Everett received a loud and threatening phone call from the lady's husband -- telling him to never step foot on the property again or he would be served with a lawsuit.

The Lone Horse in Autumn Before the Severe Weather Arrives

This horse walks around and around the perimeter of his area, I believe, to keep his sanity.  He is doing his best to keep himself strong, but he is not doing well.
This horse walks around and around the perimeter of his area, I believe, to keep his sanity. He is doing his best to keep himself strong, but he is not doing well.

I Don't Rule the World

Here I am back in Saskatchewan again. In late autumn, I had occasion to drive past the property where the horse, name unknown to us, stands. But he was not standing still when I drove past. He was walking slowly along the barbed wire fence. When he got to the corner of the property, he turned and began the walk toward the house. After my visit to the town up the highway, I drove past the horse again on my return. I felt so sad for him. I pulled over to the side of the road and took the photograph above. It seemed he might have been walking around the perimeter of the property the whole hour since I had seen him last. He stopped only for a few seconds to watch me take the photograph. He looked as though hope had left him. He turned away and slowly walked on.

I have no power to help this lone horse.

I know there are many horses left alone in the fields and in cold climates to live out their days in hopelessness and uselessness. They were not meant for such a fate. Only God above can cope with seeing -- at once -- all the instances of mercilessness and absence of concern individual persons can bestow upon animals.

I don't rule the world.

I can only barely cope with knowing the coldheartedness bestowed toward one horse who stands in severe weather, year after year, in Saskatchewan. There are others. There are many others. But I have not seen them and they do not enter my dreams with eyes that cry for my help.

A Year Has Passed Since I Wrote this Hub

While talking with Everett long-distance the other day I asked if the poor, lone horse is still out there -- with winter approaching. He said the horse is gone. We can hope someone took that horse to a happy farm where other horses live. I do know of a lady who learned that the Saskatchewan SPCA does look seriously into cases where animals are left out in the elements without shelter. The lady was told it does not bring any benefit to phone the local city SPCA but the provincial SPCA does usually take action. The lady phoned the SPCA of Saskatchewan.

© 2012 Pamela Dapples


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    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Angela, thank you for your heartfelt comment. It is heartbreaking -- the things humans put animals through. Makes it hard to sleep at night when there's nothing one can do to help. But thanks to moonlake's comment, I did phone the humane society again -- and found out there's a different organization that might look into it. They said they will. I'm hoping.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Oh, what a heartbreaker this Hub was for me -- this type of cruelty has gone on forever and I never fail to be amazed at what brave hearts horses are. They keep going through weather, unkind humans, abuse. . . the list is unending -- yet most are faithful as long as they can get up on their feet and keep going. I'd rescue them all if it were possible -- perhaps that'll be my job in the hereafter (one can only hope!) Wonderful Hub and superb writing. Best/Sis

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Bob, men are not viruses. Neither are women. We are made after God's image. We are his sons and daughters. Your comment hints -- or perhaps I'm misunderstanding it -- that you think God should save all of the animals from the abuse by people who are choosing to be bad. I believe He does intervene sometimes -- for unknown reasons to us -- but most often he lets people use their free agency. We will be judged by our actions -- our thoughts, words and deeds. If people do not choose to repent and change, they will suffer -- even as His Son suffered -- in the Garden of Gethsamane before being lifted up onto the cross. How difficult it must be for God, to watch atrocities being committed -- so that those peoples' judgments will be fair -- will be exactly what they deserve.

      I've never seen blankets on horses when I've been in Alberta or Saskatchewan, but then I'm not out in anyone's stables. I hope it's done here. That's an excellent thing to do. Thank you for your comment.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela Dapples 

      6 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      moonlake, I called the nearest Humane Society last winter. It's about 60 or 70 miles away. (Hard to know exactly how far -- everything is in kilometers in Canada.) The person who answered said they don't have any jurisdiction over horses. Thanks to your comment today, I phoned again -- this time not distraught like last year. The person who answered the phone answered my query -- again to the negative -- but this time I had the wherewithal (thanks to your comment) to ask if there is any organization that DOES look out for the welfare of horses. She said the Saskatchewan SPCA does. They are based in Saskatoon, some 200 miles away. I phoned them. They took the information and said they will be looking into it. I'm not sure when -- as they are 200 miles away -- but I will be checking back with them in a week to follow up. Thank you, moonlake.

    • diogenes profile image


      6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Pam. A heartrending story. What a joke to say a Creator has a say in all this. When man - the virus - took over the planet there began this kind of suffering caused by ignorance and stupidity. People here put blsnkets on horses outside during the winter and the UK is relatively mild. We had a similar sad story about a circus elephamt - Annie - who was being abused badly. The lelephant was rescued and the circus owner fined (but not jailed). What a shame there isn't any realistic Judgement Day...if there was, the Almighty would be the first for the death house.


    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Don't you have someone you could call like the Human Society? No animal should be left in the cold like that and if the people can't take care of him then they need to be turned in for what they are doing.

      Voted up on your hub.


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