A Contract between Me and My Horse
At the time I bought my present horse I accepted that I had entered into a binding contract, not so much with the seller but with the horse, a mare called DiDi. In passing over a cheque, I had paid the previous owner of the horse for the privilege and responsibility of taking DiDi into my care.
As part of the purchasing process I had arranged for the horse to be checked by a vet to ensure that she was healthy and without health issues. Once I had got her home, other specialists checked her teeth, her back and her feed. It was important for me to know that I started my relationship with the horse having a clean bill of health. From the day of purchase the financial risks of injury or ill health were covered by insurance. I had also during the purchasing process ascertained, as far as I could, that the horse was fit for my purposes.
Was she up to my weight.?
Was she temperamentally sound?
Would we get on together?
Would we enjoy each other’s company?
I already rented the horse’s new facility, which is located close by to my home. She inherited my previous horse’s stable and his pasture. The stable is dry and clean. The pasture is well fenced and has its own supply of water Because the field slopes down towards the south east there is shelter from the elements to all but the South Easterly winds Anyway at night or during very inclement weather, she will be coming in to the stable. The sward is adequate and free from obnoxious weeds. The grass grows throughout the spring and summer months for her to graze on but for much of the year as a matter of routine she will be given two meals a day and have access to all of the hay she was likely to need. The livery yard is located in open countryside and close by are country lanes and woodlands over which to ride.
Nowadays it is important for horse to be recognised by and registered with, the State. My horse is chipped, freeze marked and passported. In this way she is readily identifiable and can be traced back to me. Even her saddle carries a little tag giving my name and telephone number.
My previous horse’s saddle was unsuitable, so a new saddle was chosen to fit her exactly and bought from a competent saddler. Her old bridle was replaced by a new one and experiments were made to establish the best bit for her. After experimentation she acquired a mild Myler bit together with a flash nose band. She also acquired a full set of protective boots. In the tack room cupboard there are now numerous potions and lotions to help keep her in good nick.
After all as the human owner it is my responsibility to look after her health and well being to the best of my ability and for so long as she is in my care.
It will be my intention to school her on to develop her capabilities but it will not be my intention for her to need to push herself in competition for my own self aggrandisement. She will not be asked to jump too high, nor to gallop too fast.
When the time comes that I am incapable of exercising her then no doubt it will be time to pass her on.
She could easily live longer than me. She came into this world as a horse, she will in due course leave it as a horse. As a human I can only protect her to the limit of my ability, to a certain extent she must find her own role in this life.
There is also the chance that one day she may find herself in severe distress and it may become incumbent upon me to make the final decision in life for her. At such a time I will make any decision based on the best solution for her - regardless of my own emotions.
In return I ask of her that:
She does not bite, nor kick, nor strike.
She does not rear, nor buck, nor bolt, nor baulk
And that she willingly carries me where I believe it to be appropriate for us to
I cannot make her into a happy contented horse but I can provide her with the care that hopefully she is comfortable with.