Boss, I am your chosen steed to walk and trot with you.
But when each day of trek is done,
Please feed me, give me water and care for me.
Leave me in my stable, with a clean dry bed
and space enough to lie down and doze.
Otherwise, let me munch the grass and breathe fresh air
and be with friends whilst youíre not there.
Be kind, be gentle and talk softly with me;
Your voice means more than reins alone.
Stroke me sometimes that I may gladly carry you
and thereby come to learn your secret ways.
Do not jerk the reins, there is no need.
And do not whip me when the way is hilly.
Never beat or kick me, especially
after I did not sense what you meant to do,
Give me second chance to follow you.
Donít shout; give me comfort when I feel fear.
This world is full of noise and not as once it was
when my forbears lived here.
I must find my role in life and often thatís not clear.
Watch me, and if ever I fail to do your bidding,
first look to see if something is amiss
Perhaps with bridle, saddle, or my shoes.
Do not draw straps too tightly.
Leave me free to move my head.
Don't force a cold bit twixt my teeth,
but please warm it first as best you can.
I always try to do in good cheer
the work you ask of me.
And day and night I stand for hours
waiting for you to reappear.
My day is yours to order.
An apple here, a carrot there,
A snatch of weeds from off the verge.
Thatís not much to ask for.
Please don't demand of me too much.
Donít leave me tethered in the rain.
Keep me well shod, the farrier to visit when due.
Examine my teeth when I do not eat.
Donít take away my shield against the flies
by cutting short my tail.
Nor hog my mane which otherwise would divert the rain,
I cannot tell you when I feel thirsty
so please allow me fresh cold water freely.
Do all you can to shade me from the sun.
And when I am to stand out in the cold
a thick dry coat put over me.
And finally Boss, if I am in pain or
when my useful strength has gone;
Do not turn me out to starve or freeze
or send me on to owners new;
They did not know me in my prime.
You did, my Master, you should end my life
when the day has come,
in a quick and painless way.
(Barry Godden from inspiration by AE Fisher of Benwick)