Yesterday I posted about the Greatest Horse in the World. As I suspected several owners have replied to me that their horse is the Greatest Horse in the World. How wonderful! That means they love their horse and the horse loves them in return and no matter what their discipline or riding pursuits they are enjoying time with the right horse.
I have also had some wonderful replies from Facebook groups that I belong to and shared the post with. They have brought up some other ideas about which horses should be considered the greatest. Not perhaps the elite athletes who become the stars of various sports but worthy of the title of “Greatest” nonetheless.
Horses from the First World War. This war took the lives of hundreds of thousands of horses. These were heroes who were on the front lines of battles and also pulling carts with the wounded or ammunitions to and from the front lines while living in deplorable conditions. These War Horses were indeed great!
I featured another War Horse hero back in November. Sgt Reckless , of the US Marines, was a true fighter in the Korean War. On her own she carried munitions and lengths of wire back and forth from the camp base to the lines of battle. To learn more about this brave mare please read this post.
Also the Pit Ponies were put forward as candidates for Greatest Horse. In Britain the Mines Act of 1842 forbade the use of children under the age of 10 in the coal mines. The children were replaced by mini horses that were called pit ponies. These minis worked an 8 hour day with a handler/miner below ground. In 1913 there were 70,000 pit ponies working in British mines. By 1960s the use of the ponies was mostly phased out and the RSPCA and the National Coal Broad worked to find homes for the retired minis. Some had been so used to a daily work schedule and lives below the ground they were very stressed. Many of them did not even know how to eat grass. However they were all found homes to see out their last days.The last pit pony, named Robbie, was retired in 1999. Theses valiant little workers could well deserve the title of “Greatest”.
Finally there are the horses and donkeys working in developing countries today. Families depend on these horses and donkeys to make a living but the conditions can be dreadfully harsh and the owners ill educated on how to best look after an equine. But they still work on tirelessly, sometimes until they drop. I would like to give a mention here to the Brooke . This charitable organization works in developing countries all over the world to educate owners, treat and help working horses and donkeys. This year they will assist 2 million working equines.
The truth is that all of the suggestions I received are worthy of being crowned Greatest Horse. Horse lovers the world over will salute these wonderful animals who have served and fought for us and are continuing to do so.