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Fur sure…

May 27, 2011

He was an animal out there,

said winger Alex Burrows…

I knew he was going to come back…

It’s all about heart and his mindset that puts him into those pressure moments…

He came back strong and to see him put it all out there really means a lot for this team…

—  #14 on #17 as quoted in THE Province

One recent afternoon,

in between games two,

and three,

against San Jose,

I was watering,

and grooming the horses,

when the barn manager asked me,

Have you met our farrier???

I hadn’t yet,

but as I was finishing up,

my duties,

for the day,

a truck,

pulled up,

and the woman,

who emerged,

from the driver’s seat,

answered my inquiry,

by saying,

I just have to get into my work clothes,

and then I can show you,

what’s what…

I led a reluctant Appaloosa,

and his sore foot,

into the barn,

and was offered the low-down,

on twenty-years of experience,

in the trade,

as she trimmed,

and hammered,

what is considered,

by those in the know,

to be a beautiful organ,

which needs to be cared for,

as such…

She moved,

with a magician’s precision,

around this gentle,

one tonne beast,

revealing the secrets,

of her mysteries,

There are things I’ve always felt,

about horses,

which I haven’t been able to explain,

to my clients…

I have a hunger,

to back my knowledge,

up with science…

I asked her,

Who’s science???

She said,

I’ve been reading the theories,

of quantum physics…

I didn’t tell her that I’d taken,

to backing up,

what I feel,

and explaining things,

to my clients,

with hockey,

because before I could,

express my findings,

she wrote,

a post-it,

with invisible ink,

about how it was the horses,

who always brought her,

to where she needed to be…

And the more faith,

and trust,

she put,

in her equine messengers,

the more easily she found,

herself carried,

to her people…

With the new shoe,

now in place,

she held my hand,

over a hot spot,

at the side of the hoof,

and said,

This guy could use some,

of what you’ve got…

Horses let go,

of their stories,

so much faster than humans,

so it is very rejuvenating,

and rewarding work…

After some time,

of me giving all I’ve got,

to Joey’s right front quarter,

from the neck on down,

he turned his head,

and looked right into me,

with his big brown eye,

and said,

That’s good…

The farrier applied a shield,

of protection,

to prevent further damage,

and as I led,

this lovely boy,

back to his paddock,

I heard a final assessment,

based on,

her own brand of science,

My guess is,

he’ll be fine by tomorrow…

The thing about horses,

which is very much,

like playoff hockey,

in that,

if your mind,

is on something,

you think you should,

or shouldn’t have said,


or shouldn’t have done,

all it takes,

is a swift kick,

from behind,

with no intent to injure,

and you’re a dumb puck,

in the back,

of someone else’s net…

My mind,

went elsewhere,

for a few seconds,

yesterday afternoon,

in the wash stall,

while I was loosening up,

a hind quarter,

with my sticky fingers…

And Big Ben,

wasted no time,

in letting me know,

that if I didn’t have,

all cylinders,

firing directly,

on what is best,

for him,

I had no business,

holding him,

in the cross ties…

And he told me,

by doing,


only a mother,

should love…

Just the music on the radio...

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