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  • Christie Bonham

The Working Horse

Updated: Sep 29, 2019

My husband Keith and I are on a bit of an adventure this week. We are on a road trip around Northern California. Its been such a long time since I have been in these parts. It reminds me of visits to see my Dad, when he lived in a little town outside San Francisco called Petaluma. On one visit we enjoyed the Butter and Eggs Parade. There is a lot of farming in the culture in these parts. Even today as the city of Sacramento celebrates the Farm to Fork event. I thought about all the horses that have been a part of farming for over a century. All the working horses that were used to plow fields to grow crops, and help put food on everyone's table.

Yesterday while touring around Old Sacramento, we came across the abandoned "Pacific Stables" building. Along with all the old photos we had seen in the Railroad Museum of horses used during the construction of the great railroads, it got me thinking about the history of all working horse.

The building was constructed in 1855 and has two stories. The ground level was where they kept the harnesses and the stalls for the horses. Upstairs was where they stored armory. Its hard to imagine how things went back in the day. Just knowing what these steady and strong animals provided for the growth of our society. But what about their welfare? I can't help but feel for the conditions and the hard work they endured.

Milagro spent most of his life as a working horse. He didn't have the kind of life that afforded play, or much rest. He focused each day on doing the task at hand. And for that he was given his food and water. This was the only world he knew.

And the working horses of days gone past must have lived much the same life. Seen mostly as only a means to an end. No doubt they were respected, and cared for to keep them going as best as they could. But the World was a different place. And the times, they were changing fast.

Milagros job of riding people up and down the beaches of Cabo was not one you will find in a history lesson. He was the modern day working horse, but a respectable duty non the less. What he did was to provide a living for his owner. So he could feed his family, and the rest of the herd. They all worked together for one common purpose. And for that he is proud. If you met Milagro, you would know what I mean.

Luckily for us our worlds collided and Milagro no longer works the long, hard hours on the beach. He spends his days grazing under big blue skies and white puffy clouds. He is catching up on lost time, and never seems to miss an opportunity to play or nuzzle with the other horses in the field. His eyes are bright and clear as he looks to a forever future with us. One of love and family.

Next time you see a working horse, stop and take a moment to appreciate them. You won't be sorry, and they will thank you for it.


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