So, I was wondering.. what is everyone's favorite poem, quote, saying about horses?
And he looks at me, with eyes wiser than his years. He cannot tell me what his mind is saying, so instead he uses his powerful body to communicate. Sometimes his eyes alone can show the meaning behind his actions and other times just they way he carries himself tells me how he feels. There is no truer friend then him, for he knows me inside and out. When I sit astride him he listens to what my body tells him; not because he has to, but because he WANTS to. You cannot trap his spirit or be his master, for his soul alone is purer, his body, rippled with muscle, more powerful, his heart more forgiving than your own. He is an Angel without wings, his forelock and mane, his halo. He is more courageous, more loving, more trusting, more powerful, than any other being in this world - and yet so gentle as to let me join him on his Journey. He is my best friend, who tells no one of my secrets, who rejoices in my joys, shares in my sorrows, and his neck is always there to wrap around me in a caress. A caress that gives me everything I've ever needed: Warmth, security, hope, strength, and reassurance. I cannot break his spirit, nor would I ever want to. I cannot be his Master; only his Partner. When I do wrong, he does not judge me. When I cry, he comforts me. When I laugh, he prances around with his head held high and his tail streaming behind like silk. It is not I who teach him, it is he who teaches me. He does not need to talk for me to listen, I understand him in a way I'll never understand even myself. And he knows me, more than anyone that walks this earth. And he accepts me, for everything I am.. and everything I am not.
I just wrote that, so I appreciate no negative comments.
"Grief is the price we pay for knowing a love that runs so deep"- Gretchen Jackson
"You are a great champion. When you ran, the ground shook, the sky opened and mere mortals parted. Parted the way to victory, where you'll meet me in the winner's circle, where I'll put a blanket of flowers on your back. "- Cale Crane, from the movie Dreamer
"A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character" - unknown
and hearing/reading these words always gives me goosebumps
"They're on the turn, and Secretariat is blazing along! The first three-quarters of a mile in 1:09 and four fifths. Secretariat is widening now! He is moving like a TREMENDOUS machine! Secretariat by twelve, Secretariat by fourteen lengths on the turn! Sham is dropping back. It looks like they'll catch him today, as My Gallant and Twice a Prince are both coming up to him now. But Secretariat is all alone! He's out there almost a sixteenth of a mile away from the rest of the horses! Secretariat is in a position that seems impossible to catch. He's into the stretch. Secretariat leads this field by 18 lengths, and now Twice a Prince has taken second and My Gallant has moved back to third. They're in the stretch. Secretariat has opened a 22 length lead! He is going to be the Triple Crown winner! Here comes Secretariat to the wire. An unbelievable, an amazing performance! He hits the finish 25 lengths in front! It's going to be Twice a Prince second, My Gallant third, Private Smiles fourth, and Sham, who had it today, dropped back to fifth." - Chic Anderson
Though it is morbid, I have always liked the Kipling poem, "The Undertaker's Horse." While it would be incongrous in India, I always picture a Friesian:
The eldest son bestrides him
And the pretty daughter rides him
And I meet him 'oft o mornings on the course,
but there arises in my bosom
an emotion chill and gruesome
As I canter past the undertaker's horse.
With your mane unhogged and flowing,
and your curious way of going
and your businesslike black crimping of your tail,
E'en with beauty on your back, sir
Pacing as a lady's hack, sir,
Is it any wonder I turn pale?
(That may not be exact, and there are many more verses, but you get the idea)
Kipling, of course, has a fair number of horse references: I also like "The Winnersi" which includes what has become an old saw: "Down to Gehenna or up to the throne, he travels the fastest who travels alone!"
And of course, while it is not poetry, his famous short story, "The Maltese Cat." He refers to one horse in it has having legs of iron, that it would not feel being struck by a polo mallet. Always made me think of my old Appy eventer - a real tough guy.
For sheer sadness, I can never forget Vachel Lindsay's "The Bronco that Would Not Be Broken of Dancing." (Makes me think of my horse, but not the sad ending! SOMEDAY he'll stop "dancing" on the trail!)
"Horses are just like people; there are smart ones, dumb ones, miserable ones, honest ones, simple ones, cheats, freaks, leaders and laggards. They have good days, bad days and plenty of average days. They can be brilliant one minute, horrible the next. They can remember something that happened a year ago and forget what they learned yesterday. They’ll walk placidly into a metal starting gate that clangs and rings when the doors open, and then be scared of a bucket that wasn’t there yesterday."
I believe this was said by Quality Road's trainer after he wouldn't load into the gate for the 2009 Breeder's Cup Classic.
I have a sign in my tackroom that says "No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle" as quoted from Winston Churchill. Its one of my favorites because I get to look at it every time I'm trying to squeeze a ride in after working all day!
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.
This one kept me sane when I lost my 2 boys - Vern & Cash - the same awful day.
And oddly now, I hear it in my mind as Sam displays some of the same Cash's sweetness and Kouma replays Vern's TB 'tude in pony-size.
I cannot read this without tearing up:
(stoopid of me to post a printout by my desk at work...)
When I am an old horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.
I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead of flowers growing,
stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to all
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009