A couple of men, including our neighbour, got out and walked towards them. The woman put her arms around the horse and then, as the man stood in front of it, it struggled to its feet. The man stood in front of the horse, took out a gun, pointed it at the centre of the horse's forehead and killed it.
The sound of the shot thudded over the field and we felt it inside our house.
The horse tumbled, instantly dead. The woman sat down with it and cradled its head in her arms for a few minutes.
It was a huge shock.
It's not part of our daily lives, violent death. I thought of taking a photograph of the horse which was then dragged across the field to a waiting trailer. But it seemed intrusive so I didn't.
But it dovetails with all the discussion about horsemeat which we have on the news all the time. First of all I don't understand why people are so exercised about eating horse- if they eat beef and lamb why not horse? (That horse , I assume, will go to the Hunt kennels where fallen animals are boiled up and fed to the hounds)
The scandal is not horsemeat but the way meat is super processed in an unaccountable, untraceable way. We have for a long time refused to eat ham which looks innocuous but is, when you read the label "formed ham" which means it is scoured from pickings at the slaughterhouse and the scrapings at food processing places. It is a horrid mixture cemented with gel and dyed to look ham-pink. And mostly it tastes horrible and synthetic.
No the problem is really should we be eating meat at all. I don't think we should. I like cows, enjoy lambs and sheep and watched with pleasure a herd of goats which spent last summer in the same field over the river but which disappeared one morning to be turned into Halal meat, each one to be strung up with a cut throat dying slowly as it blood drained.
I want to be a vegetarian but I still can blank off my mind about the connection between meat and creatures. Yesterday we had roast beef. It smelled and tasted wonderful. Somewhere, last month, someone killed that bullock like someone killed the horse yesterday but no one cuddled it before or after death. How do we llive with that?
btw the horse was 38 years old and had been "retired" for the last 10 years. I talked to its owner, it had evidenlty been in great pain and she had to make the hard decision to have it shot it or to kill it by injection, She was of course grief stricken.