Remarkable horse Chester was “a real gentleman”

From our December 2012 issue

By Hilda Szabo – Saskatoon, Sask.

Years ago, I had a very intelligent, purebred Arabian horse named Chester. He thought he was invincible and also thought he was human.

When the waterer stopped working, he stood at my husband’s shoulder and watch to see how he fixed it. The next time it wasn’t working properly, we saw him trying to flip the lid up and have a look at how to fix it himself.

Chester considered himself the herd guardian. One time a small mare had a twig caught in her halter. She was frightened and trying to run from it. He chased her down and grabbed the twig from her halter so she wouldn’t be agitated.

Another of the horses, Barny, liked to walk through fences. A Percheron, Barny could hear when the electric fencer quit working. Because of his size, he’d just push on the fence until he could walk out

Whenever the fence was down, Chester would stand guard to make sure none of the other horses would go out. One time, all the horses did get out, and lo and behold, we saw Chester herding them back home and into the fence.

Teased the others

Chester seemed to enjoy rearranging his living space. We had several 16-foot rails sitting in pasture and he decided he wanted them elsewhere. One at a time, he moved them all to another location.

A neighbour saw him doing it and thought he was hooked on the rail and came to tell us about it. No, he wasn’t hooked. He was just doing his thing. We expected to see him doing just about anything.

Chester was also a playful tease. He liked to taunt my daughter’s horse, who was afraid of sticks, by chasing him with a stick. He’d chase the other horses with an old inner tube. He thought is was great sport!

Despite being a jester with the other horses, he was the perfect babysitter for our newly-weaned foals. You would have thought he bore those foals himself, the way he took care of them. And when the vets came, he understood they were there to help him.

We had to be away when the vet came to remove a sarcoidosis lump from just below his ear. They knew our place well and said they come and use the barn for the surgery and put him out in our isolation paddock.

When we came home, Chester appeared to be telling us all about it and made a big deal of showing us what happened while we were gone. The veterinarian said he was a real gentleman about it all.

Chester was a good show horse and won many ribbons. He also was a good trail horse, who was sensible and never tired out. He always took care of me. What a horse he was!


Chester, the Arabian horse, in an undated photo.

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