Country music legend
The love of a horse is pure and unaltered between man and horse. Since before I was able to walk, I have been on horseback—initially at my father’s insistence, and forever after due to my affection for them. I don’t remember a time, in my 63 years of life, when I didn’t have horses, nor would I change that luxury. I cleared my head and escaped the world more times than I can count when I was one with the horse and the wind…they were my friend.
My dad trained horses and I suppose I somewhat followed in his footsteps, as I spent many hours, both teaching and learning, from my equine companions. I’m not sure who learned the most—often, I got the feeling I was on the winning end of it. When I needed a lesson in patience, I got it. When I needed a lesson in understanding, I got it. When I needed a dose of kindness, I got it. And, when I needed the quietness of a friend, I got it, too! My horses have come in all shapes, sizes, breeds, colors, and temperaments—I learned and loved them each.
Trigger, Jr., son of Roy Roger’s Trigger, was plain ornery. Scout was one of the smartest horses I had ever been around. And, Preacher, is the kindest horse I’ve ever owned. With a wide range of personalities in between, I’ve been blessed with the well-rounded friendships I have found in my horses. After spending almost 6 months in the hospital following my bout with viral cardiomyopathy and massive stroke, I was finally allowed to take an afternoon test-run visit, with Mary, to our ranch. The hour-long drive, now the same man but in a different shell, left me anxious for what I would find, recognize, know, and feel when I arrived. Following the stroke, there was much confusion and lack of recognition regarding much of the life I had once known. When we first pulled up the drive to our ranch, our first greeting came from our pasture of ponies—we drove right up to the fence and one by one, they each came over to the window, nuzzled my neck, and stood around as if they each were sharing their stories of the last 6 months. Preacher laid his head on my shoulder and remained through storytime. So many forgotten memories and familiar feelings came flooding back to me—they were the therapists I would understand the best.
I guess when it comes to horses and mankind, a leap of understanding is needed on both sides…they recognize our shortcomings, and we applaud their sensitivity. My life, my music, my soul would be so different if I had not known the love of a horse…forever and ever, Amen.
Having had a long history with horses and after co-starring in several films with these magnificent creatures I’m excited to be a part of the Seen Through Horses Campaign. Being in the presence of horses is great for the soul, the positive energy you can soak up from horses is unparalleled and it’s really incredible how horses can read –and mirror human emotion.
I especially loved my majestic horse Silk, and her baby Sagan. Silk was present to me and my wife Eliza from Wayne Newton for casting Wayne in The Best of The Best II.
Silk was instantly a member of our family. Especially because she came to us, carrying the best surprise of all. Her foal, Sagan. On our long walks, Silk learned all my thoughts, worries, joys, questions. And she sure knew I loved her. I knew that horse better than I’d known any person in my life. And making her happy was my favorite thing to do…Usually by way of hours running free of saddle, bit, bridle and reins, grazing to her heart’s content.
We never separated Silk and Sagan…We made sure their relationship took the course of nature. When Silk’s time came, I never left her side for the whole of her transition.
She was truly at peace. Not to say I didn’t feel the full load of sadness at her loss.
We made sure that Sagan was immediately joined by his two best girlfriend horses, with whom he remained for the rest of his life.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Silk and Sagan. Doing all I can for horses gives me that big hit of joy at having shared decades with those two remarkable animal friends of ours.