Tribute to Engar
The first time I saw this stallion, he was a bedraggled mess: matted mane, forelock, and tail, ribs showing with a decided limp. His owner, though it was apparent this stallion was following all instruction, was almost brutal in his handling of this fellow.
I popped out the video, looked to my husband, and explained that this particular stallion and a three year old mare in foal, were going to be sold at a “meat auction” within two weeks, if someone did not purchase them as a pair.
My husband just shook his head and said it was too bad, but as I was a newcomer to horses, a stallion, especially one that was mature, was not even an option. It was suicide. It takes years of horse experience to handle a stallion with both respect for the animal and the knowledge to care for oneself.
“What is a ‘meat auction’?”
I could tell he did not wish to answer, but he is an honest man, so explained that this was where horses were sold to be slaughtered.
He verified that yes, this was true and yes, this did happen to unfortunate horses. It truly was a shame, for anyone could see this stallion was a diamond in the rough.
A few days later, I still had not gotten this thought out of my mind and while cooking supper, simply burst into tears. My husband knew immediately what was wrong, and tried to comfort me. I asked him if he noticed Engar’s eyes? Their depth of soul? He said he indeed did notice this, yes. I then stated that the blood of Engar had flowed through the ages, and surely even the Valkyries would be honored to ride a steed such as he.
Engar came home.
Through the years, Engar has shown us the utter majestic beauty of the equine. He has diligently guarded our farm, his mares, babes, even our own son. He has been patient, loyal; he is a true friend.
He would call to us when our son at two years of age, would get out of our sight. He would face in the direction our son had meandered, until he saw us with our boy tucked safely in our arms.
He would call to us when a foal was born early, then nuzzle the newborn with a joy only a father could express.
He stood vigil on the awful day we had to put our young mare, Mary, down. He stood at the fence throughout the digging and preparation of the grave, the euthanizing of Mary, and finally, her burial. He stood there from dawn until dusk, and then again until dawn. He stood there until he saw Mary’s soul rise, to finally gallop in the freedom of no pain.
He has called to us to warn of an ill mare. He has stood over her until we arrived to care for her. He is the guardian of our farm.
The name, Engar, translates to “fertile fields”, and there is no doubt in my mind his bloodlines reach back through the ages, and will continue to reach far into the future. He is indeed a horse of the gods.
The most amazing, and tragic, thought is his life lay in the balance of a simple “Yes” or “No”.
Yes, he lived and continued in his magnificence. No, he died a brutal death, drowning in his own blood hanging from the rafters by a leg, while someone skinned his beautiful head while he still carried the breath of life within.
That is all it took. A simple yes or no. Life or death. Beauty or travesty.
We chose yes, and will be forever thankful for the joy he has brought to us, the love he has brought to us: Engar is the essence of the equine companion; he is the essence of the spirituality of the horse; he is the essence of life.
Thunder rumbles in the distance, dark clouds scurry across the sky. I lift my face and feel soft drops of moisture caress my face. Engar is aging; soon it will be his hoof beats I hear rolling across the sky, and this almost breaks my heart. However, Engar WILL live on; in our thoughts, dreams, and in his offspring. His son will carry on, and Engar will again become a companion to the gods.
Copyrighted by Lynda C. Welch, 2003. All rights reserved.