Your horse may have been part of your life for decades, and the death of your beloved animal may be the most difficult thing you have ever experienced. Please know that you are not alone. Others mourn deeply for the loss of their animal friends. In fact, some people write poems to express and manage their grief.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Poems for a Horse’s Funeral or Memorial
- Poems for a Horse’s Death Anniversary
- Poems to Help You Grieve the Loss of Your Horse
Consider using these poems for a horse’s funeral or memorial or to read in private as you mourn the loss of your equine friend.
Poems for a Horse’s Funeral or Memorial
If you surround yourself with horse lovers, you may consider gathering them together to say goodbye to your horse. You can display photographs of your beloved animal, listen to music that provides comfort, and read a few poems. You may also choose to display poignant quotes about losing a horse.
If the loss was recent, consider collecting a portion of the horse’s mane. This hair can be used to create pieces of memorial jewelry. You may also use the carbon from the hair to create a memorial diamond that can be in your family forever.
Here are some horse loss poems that might work for your event. If you are comfortable with the written word, you may even consider writing your own verse to share.
1. “Don’t Cry For the Horses” by Brenda Riley-Seymore
Many poems about death provide solace to readers by reminding them that their loved one is no longer in pain. The poem “Don’t Cry For the Horses” also does the same. It begins, “Don’t cry for the horse. That life has set free. A million white horses forever to be. Don’t cry for the horses now in God’s hand. As they dance and they prance in a heavenly band.”
2. “Somewhere” by Stanley Harrison
This short poem about horses in the afterlife reads (in its entirety):
“Somewhere… in time’s own space, there must be some sweet, pastured place
Where creeks sing on — and tall trees grow, some paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again.”
Why not create a display in your home with this poem and a photo of your favorite animal?
3. “The Hooves of Horses” by Will H. Ogilvie
Scottish poet Will H. Ogilvie wrote “The Hooves of Horses” about his love for these fantastic animals. Although this poem isn’t specifically meant to help someone mourning a loss, it is undoubtedly an appropriate tribute.
4. “My Wish” by Shirley Cruickshank
This poem would be appropriate to any animal lover who had to euthanize a pet. This version was written explicitly for a horse because it says, “One more time please stroke my mane and know that I’ll have no more pain.”
5. “The Grandest Foal” by Unknown
God is the speaker in this poem, and God asks someone to care for a foal for a short time while it experiences life on Earth. The person does so only with the understanding that the horse will only be on Earth for a short time before returning to God.
This poem begins, “I’ll lend you for a little while, my grandest foal, God said. For you to love while he’s alive, and mourn for when he’s dead.”
Poems for a Horse’s Death Anniversary
Grief does not expire. It encompasses a myriad of emotions that may ebb and flow over time but never completely go away.
You may still think about a beloved horse one year, 10 years, or 20 years after its death. You may want to read the following poems on the anniversary of your horse’s death. You may consider sharing these with others or reading them for your own comfort.
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6. “The Best Place to Bury a Horse” by Unknown
Although the title of this poem may feel jarring to someone who recently lost a horse, this poem is about traveling back through your memories to relive the good times you had with your equine friend.
As far as the title goes, the best place to bury a horse (according to this poet) is “in the heart of his master.”
7. “Why Some Girls Love Horses” by Paisley Rekdal
Some children have a much easier time connecting with members of the animal kingdom instead of other children. This is explained in “Why Some Girls Love Horses.” The speaker in the poem looks lovingly at her horse named Dandy and thinks, “He was smarter than most of the children I went to school with.”
8. “Rainbow Bridge” by Unknown
There seems to be some discrepancy over the originator of the idea of the rainbow bridge. Regardless, the concept of a rainbow bridge (a bridge that animals cross after death that leads them to a beautiful place) gives animal lovers comfort. Our pets and horses wait for us there until we cross the bridge at the end of our lives.
9. “A Pet’s Peace” by Tracy M. Johnson
We know that some people don’t think of their horse as a “pet,” but the poem “A Pet’s Peace” certainly speaks to someone who has lost an animal companion.
The pet in the poem gives the reader permission to love again.
10. “They Will Not Go Quietly” by Linda Barnes
Several versions of this poem exist online. One is about the loss of a dog, and another is about the loss of a cat. You may consider writing an homage to this poem and changing a few words to express your love for your horse.
Poems to Help You Grieve the Loss of Your Horse
We have given you several poems about losing and grieving a pet, but there are always more. If you haven’t found one that speaks to your situation, keep looking! People have made connections with horses for centuries. William Shakespeare even wrote about these beloved animals.
Some other poems about love and loss may speak to you.
11. “Gone From My Sight” by Henry Van Dyke
While this poem is not explicitly written about a horse’s life and death (or any animal), it gives a unique illustration of death. It describes someone standing on the shore as a ship sets sail. Once it goes over the horizon, someone says, “She is gone!”
Even though your loved one is gone from your sight, someone “on the other side” is probably saying, “Here she comes!” as the boat peeks over the horizon.
Again, this poem isn’t specifically about animals, but it reminds the reader that death isn’t necessarily the end.
12. “The White Horse” by D.H. Lawrence
Sometimes the most poignant poems are the shortest. This poem reads:
“The youth walks up to the white horse, to put its halter on
and the horse looks at him in silence.
They are so silent, they are in another world.”
This poem perfectly describes the simple, quiet connection that some people have to members of the equine family.
13. “You’ll Meet Me in the Light” by Unknown
This poem is similar in theme to the Rainbow Bridge. The speaker of this poem is your deceased animal friend talking to you from pet heaven. One poignant stanza reads,
“So often I see you crying,
many times you call my name.
I want so much to lick your face
and ease some of your pain.”
14. “To a Beloved Pet” by Susie K. Parkhurst
The speaker of this poem is trying to figure out how to memorialize the life of a beloved animal best. Many animal lovers struggle to know how to share their grief. This poem addresses those concerns.
You may consider creating a memorial garden for your pet. You can decorate the space with memorial stepping stones and even put up a plaque that features the name and depiction of your favorite horse.
15. “Forever Free” by Unknown
This rhyming poem offers comfort to someone who lost an animal friend. You can purchase a print of this poem displayed with the image of a horse. This could make a kind gift to give to a grieving friend.
Caring for Someone Who is Mourning a Horse
Whether you or a loved one is suffering from the death of a horse, these poems may give you respite from your sorrow. If they don’t, they will help you realize that you aren’t alone in your grief.
Your friend who is saddened by the death of a horse wants you to recognize their sorrow. They want your support and love. Consider giving them a horse memorial gift or, at the very least, drop off a sweet treat at their home.