Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thoroughbreds are such stuff that dreams are made of…


From winning a local race to conquering Cups around the World, thoroughbreds bring us joy unmeasured and enrich our lives in every way. Breeding and raising horses is an awesome responsibility which bears much planning and forethought. After 8 consecutive nights with my eyes glued to the foaling monitor, I am delighted to finally introduce our beautiful new colt “Clint“. My partner Andrew, who lovingly supports my horse habit, had his eyes on Eastwood in the western classic Unforgiven when nature called.

Clint (pictured below with Andrew) arrived at 10:30PM on March 23, 2009. He is big, healthy, and strong; we are blessed with his presence and look forward to our time with him. As with the birth of each new horse, hope springs eternal. No matter what its breed, each foal comes with a renewal of our own youth and inspires us to dare to dream. Standing stall side as we watch our newborn take its first steps we can here the crowd’s roar as the stretch call plays out, we see the victory and we experience the euphoria that only a horse can bring to our mind; a win at Saratoga, the run for the roses, an entry on the Breeder’s Cup Day, a trophy held high and a bloodline brought forth to influence generations thereafter. Even though we know the odds of a champion thoroughbred are literally about 36,000 to 1 we endure the endless daily chores of raising our horse as if he or she is the “one“.

To many, thoroughbreds are a commodity, worth only what they can win. They are raised in luxury and kept better then most people live until they falter. It is then that too many are discarded in disgust because they weren’t fast enough or weren’t sound enough. Perhaps they should have never been bred in the first place; perhaps they didn’t receive the right nutrition or their parents were poorly matched. Whatever the reason, remember, the horse didn’t ask to come into this world or be placed in the service of racing.

Along with the privilege of breeding thoroughbreds is, or at the very least should be, the very daunting realization of the moral responsibility that comes with bringing a life into this world to ultimately serve human pleasures. In and of itself this obligates those of with a conscience to plan for the care and well-being of this magnificent animal throughout its time with us here on earth; anything short of that is simply unconscionable and represents totally irresponsible breeding.
Horses are not a commodity, they are a precious living breathing gift from God. Whether racing, steeplechasing, show jumping, eventing, pleasure riding, pasturing or performing in any of the myriad of sports in which they are our partner; a horse brings new life and blessings to all involved with it.
Each horse hopes too that each human involved with it is a blessing --

THE HORSE’S PRAYER

To thee, my master, I offer my prayer.Feed me, water and care for me, and when the day’s work is done,provide me with shelter, a clean, dry bed and stall wide enough for me to lie down in comfort.

Always be kind to me.Your voice means as much to me as the reins.Pet me, that I may serve you the more gladly and learn to love you. Do not jerk on the reins, and do not whip me. Never strike, beat or kick me when I do not understand what you want, but give me a chance to understand you. Watch me, and if I fail to do of your asking, see if something is wrong with my bridle, saddle or feet.

Do not restrict me that I cannot have free use of my head. If you insist that I wear blinkers, so that I cannot see behind me as it was intended I should, I pray you be careful that the blinkers stand well out from eyes.

Do not overload me, or hitch me where water will drip on me. Keep me well shod. Examine my teeth when I do not eat; I may have a bad tooth, and that you know, is very painful. Do not tie my head so I cannot see, or take away my tail: it is my only defense against flies and bugs.

I cannot tell you when I am thirsty, so I pray you will give me clean, cool water often. Save me by all means in your power from fatal disease. I cannot tell you in words when I am sick, so watch me, that by signs you may know my condition. Give me all possible shelter from hot sun, and put a blanket on me when I am standing in the cold. Never put a frosty bit in my mouth; first warm it by holding it a moment in your hands.

I try to carry you without a murmur, and wait patiently for you long hours of the day or night. Without the power to choose my shoes or path, I sometimes stumble on hard ground, please give me safe and sure footing, and keep me properly shod. Remember, I must be ready at any moment to lose my life in your service.

And finally, My Master, when my useful strength is gone, do not turn me out to starve or sell me to some cruel owner only to be slowly tortured and starved to death, but do thou My Master, take my life in the kindest way remembering I gave you my best years. Do this and your God will reward you here and hereafter. Please do not consider me irreverent by asking this in the name of Him who was born in a stable.

~ Author Unknown

1 comment:

Handride said...

We just switched people in charge of allowing in new members, so I thought it would be a good idea to refresh memories w/ those that have thought about it in the past.

To be a TBA member, you will need to do the following:

* Carry the links of other members on your blog. We make this easy with a widget that will be sent to you when you are admitted.
* Carry the TBA standings. Again, the code for this will be provided.
* Donate $50 in the name of our TBA Horse of the Year to Old Friends. Checks made out to Old Friends are collected in December.
* Have posted regularly for 2 months.

Our entire group votes on the admission of new blogs, so if you are still interested, let us know about a week or 2 prior to our next vote which will be the last week of May. So email me around May 15th if you'd like in.

The TBA is the best way to be part of a community of like minded individuals, get your blogs heard, and hopefully we'll all make a change in the sport for the better.


Thanks,
Patrick