Celebrating Christmas For The Horses
This is a story about horses.
Horses are wonderful companions and many of us that love our dogs, also have horses in our lives.
Every little girl’s dream is for a pony.
Over the years horses have endured all kinds of treatment. Sadly, today, some horses are not cared for the way they should be.
Where would this country be if there were no horses 200 years ago?
There are probably not too many people alive today that were in Boston or surrounding areas in 1916, that were familiar with the celebration of Christmas for the horses.
Maybe this a family story that was told to you by grandparents or great grandparents.
A Mr. George Thorndike Angell, who in the 1860’s was an attorney, humanitarian and the founder of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, felt the need to do something to educate people, especially children, to be kind to animals.
This idea was formed after a great horse race was held in 1868 and two of the finest horses in the state were literally driven to death over a 40 mile stretch of rough roads in the wintry month of February.
What were these people thinking?
Mr. Angell felt that it was time for Boston to stop the cruelty to animals, as many horses that were used to pull carriages, carts and wagons were also police horses and were ignored in their plight of being abused, hungry, sick, lame and frightened.
Sadly, Mr. Angell died before seeing his idea come to fruition, but a successor carried on.
These deplorable conditions were made aware to the public.
They then began having this celebration in the Post Office Square, which was a main artery for horse traffic going to and fro through the city of Boston.
The Christmas Eve celebration party for the horses turned into a real feast.
They were treated to ample oats, carrots, apples and ears of corn.
What a wonderful feast for these magnificent creatures!
As the years past and the celebration continued, it was noted that the horses seemed in better health and spirits, as they were being better cared for by their keepers.
Unfortunately, as the city of Boston grew busier with automobile traffic and fewer horses, the celebration became a victim of changing times.
By the middle 1950’s there was no longer a celebration in honor of work horses.
We must all remember the important role that the horse has played in many countries around the world.
Just think of all the settlers with their covered wagons, going west with their horses and other beasts of burden, such as oxen and mules.
These animals deserve respect every day.
I have a difficult time getting my mind around the mentality of someone who would abuse any animal.
However, there are cases of animal abuse reported quite often on the daily news.
Stories of horses being left in fields with no food or water and no shelter from inclement weather.
For those of us lucky enough to have a horse in our life, go out to the stall and give him a big hug.
Some extra oats, apples and goodies are in order too!
A celebration for the horses is a great idea. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful idea if we all took the time to celebrate and show respect and kindness to all the animals in our lives?
How empty our lives would be without our animal companions.
Maybe you could organize a day of celebration in your town or neighborhood to celebrate the lives of your dogs, cats, rabbits or other companion animals.
This could be a wonderful family experience to involve children in and teach them respect and how to care for the animals.
It certainly does not need to be a holiday. Setting aside any day and making that day a “holiday” for the animals is even better.
Get your children involved in making treats for the animals. Make sure the treats are safe foods for the animals to eat. No chocolate for dogs, please!
Take some great pictures and enjoy this family gathering. The kids will love it!
What a great way to teach children about the important role that all animals play in our lives.
So, gather your family, friends and neighbors together and plan a day of celebration for the animals.
Have a great feast!