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Bar tender…

December 17, 2012

Lingering by the rail when Perez dismounts,

I see how hard Blackie is breathing,

the sweat that coats her shanks,

the dirt splattered on her front quarters…

This time when I watch her I see Thoroughbreds as the brittle creatures they really are—

running backs with ski poles for legs…

For me to win is to finish and get back to my house and eat and not have pain…

That is my winning…

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I also watch with the image of the slaughter auction in mind…

Who was I to think there was nothing at stake in a claiming race???

If a big-time horse rides for glamour and prestige,

then the claiming horse rides for her life…

— MY YEAR of the RACEHORSE by Kevin Chong

One thing,

people will say is,

In my next life,

I want to come back as a dog,

seein’ as a dog’s life,

can look,

for all outward,

appearances,

as being the epitome,

of the good life…

I’ve yet,

to hear it said,

In my next life,

I want to come back,

as a horse…

If you can hear,

the things,

a horse has to say,

or feel their collective pain,

amplified,

through your body,

you’d know why,

that particular wish,

doesn’t often,

if ever,

make it,

to the wish list…

My next door neighbour,

had been concerned,

about episodes,

of dizzy spells…

She went to specialists,

and through,

a battery of tests,

to get to the bottom,

of it all…

Some time later,

she read,

the fine print,

on her bottle,

of sleeping pills,

and the sign said,

Warning:

May cause dizziness…

She stopped taking,

her sleeping pills,

and her dizziness,

evaporated,

into thin air…

One thing,

which racehorses,

are rife with,

is ulcers,

and other digestive disturbances,

due to the steady diet,

of non-steroidal,

anti-inflammatory agents,

they are fed,

to race,

through pain…

When horses,

are bored,

stressed,

and confined,

to a stall,

they will start,

to develop vices,

as coping mechanisms…

And it will be,

explained away,

by the owner,

as that’s just,

something,

this horse does…

Cribbing,

is the self-stimulating practice,

wherein a horse grips,

a stationary object,

with its upper teeth,

and arches the neck,

so as to suck in,

or swallow,

air…

This can become,

habitual,

as it creates the release,

of endorphins,

and a momentary blast,

of feel-good,

into a sensitive,

and highly stressed,

system…

And when one horse,

starts to do this,

the others in the shedrow,

will watch,

and learn,

and before you know it,

the habitual behaviour,

spreads,

like wild fire,

and you have a major,

problem,

in your barn…

The well-being,

of racehorses,

both during,

and after,

their careers,

is of primacy,

among my concerns…

And as owners,

of hockey players,

and their bodies,

the NHL,

should be doing,

everything,

within their,

expanse,

of power,

to protect,

their investments,

if and when,

we ever see,

agreement,

on when,

that puck drops,

again…

There is a strong wind,

blowing me,

east today,

and what I’m noticing,

is that when,

I attempt,

to stand straight,

in it,

the strength,

of this message,

just won’t be stopped…

And it’s about GD time,

we listened,

to what,

this song

has,

to say…

I never would have heard of yoga...

I never would have heard of yoga…

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