Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Horse Sense"

In today's NY Times, Sean Clancy says this about horses:

"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."

He nailed it. Wolfie can walk quietly along the side of a road with cars whizzing past (some way too fast and way too close for safety), but if there is a piece of bark on the ground, he'll snort and shy away from it as if it was going to eat him. Their wiring is unique: by spending a lot of time with a horse, you can learn a lot about how he thinks, but you'll never be able to predict with absolute certainty what he'll do in any situation.

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I hope the Belmont goes well today: no injuries, no horses being put down on the track. I don't care who wins; as exciting as a horse race can be, I will wait to watch it until the race is over and I know everyone is alright.

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