Close Your Eyes

Everyone knows I am adamantly against sentimentality.

And that works both ways. I’m “against” stress, too. I’m “against” pessimism.

But that only works for so long. I’m also against offshore drilling, and you can see how persuasive my silent protesting waves of “against” energy have been with domestic energy policy for the past few decades. Sooner or later, all the emotions and all the problems you try to shove aside will catch up with you. They’ll do it when you’re tired, when you’re overworked, when you’re pushing yourself past your limit. And then it seems like there’s nothing for it besides a tub of Starbucks Mocha Chip, a bottle of red wine, a bath, and maybe a one-person listening party of Achtung Baby.

Cantering Final Call

Old-fashioned stress relief. Pre-aromatherapy, pre-ice cream.

Oh I’m stressed. Oh I’m worried. Oh I’m even pessimistic.

I mean, I’m moving in three weeks. It’s a hundred degrees and sunny outside. I work late and get up late. I have furniture to relocate and boxes to pack and a disastrous mess of a house and outside I have two yearlings and a retired racehorse who have to be worked. And did I mention the retired racehorse has to be sold? In three weeks?

Bring on the ice cream, the alcohol, the bubbles, the Irishmen playing guitars!

How conventional, though. I have a perfectly good stress reliever outside. Oddly enough, he’s my biggest worry. But he’s also still my espresso shot, my lovely fast Thoroughbred, and as we all know, all we who love the blood-horse, there is no feeling like slipping into a strong, smooth gallop stride, and letting the world go.

And with the perspective of a gallop, I can look at things analytically. To be perfectly honest, I’m not bothered about how much money Final Call brings in. Did I want some money to help with the move? Of course. I have to pay sales prep on the two yearlings and that is not a cheerful prospect anyway. I have to drive an F-150 full of books to New York and that is not going to be cheap. (You wouldn’t expect me to leave my books behind, would you?) Did I want or expect to turn a handsome profit on Final Call? Certainly not. I wanted to make enough to justify the time and effort and sweat that I put into him, which I think is only fair. Not that, I know, fair counts for much. So I drop his price. I mark him reduced, with little asterisks to emphasize. “Seller Moving! Must Sell!” Tragic, I know. I’m reduced to craigslist tactics. But what of it? As long as I get some e-mails, as long as I get some phone calls, as long as his soul mate comes out and her jaw drops (I assume it’s a girl) and she gives him a hug. It can happen. It will happen.

Won’t it? Off the horse, the little worries creep in again. Finding a home for him is on my mind day and night. But while I’m riding him, while we’re galloping, when I press my hands into his neck and he puts his head down and digs into the turf – I can just close my eyes, and feel free.



Filed under Final Call, Selling Horses

9 responses to “Close Your Eyes

  1. Thanks to you, I learned how to feel that freedom, too. BTW, wonderful pic of you and FC!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Wow, thank you so much. I’m so happy and honored to think I’ve helped improve your relationship with Vince!

  2. Beautiful post. Jingles Final Call finds his (next) soul-mate soon:)

  3. Sara

    How calm and steady is Final Call? Can he do lead changes? Could a 15 yr old intermediate rider ride him?

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Hi Sara, I’d like to refer you to a little thing called The Rest of This Blog.

      LOL I’m just kidding. Kidding kidding kidding. 🙂

      Final Call is much quieter than my first OTTB, who I got when I was thirteen. I went from schoolhorses to five year old right off the racetrack. I think there’s nothing better for a teenager with decent hands and confidence. Or just confidence. The horse will teach them decent hands 😉

      Final Call was a confidence-builder for me; he brought back the heady confidence I had when I was a teenager, and had beat out of me by a few bad apples later in my twenties. The absolute, flat-out, worst behavior he has ever shown me was about twenty minutes into the hunter pace – we’d done most of the hunter pace up to that point sideways, which I honestly had no problem with, and I’m not sure anybody would… he was quiet enough, just, jigging sideways – and we were in a clearing before a coop that he decided he really really wanted to jump, and he started cantering in place. I think. I kicked him and he went sideways, still cantering. I spun him in a circle and he stopped and went forward nicely. We jumped the jump. That was it.

      I haven’t found him to be strong enough behind to start lead changes. I think I was too hard on Bonnie with lead changes and on-the-bit work, and I’ve taken it slower with him. Can he do them? Of course. He was a racehorse, he was expected to change leads at every turn. I’ve gotten them at the gallop. But I don’t think he’s ready to do them at the canter, that would require a lot of his hind end. We are just really developing nice trot-canter transitions. They’ve been his most difficult lesson.

      All in all, this is a five year old OTTB I ride with my eyes closed while listening to music on my BlackBerry. And update my Facebook status from the back of. Oh – you didn’t know that, guys? Hahaha!

  4. Laurie Bochner

    Ok I’m not sentimental either but you had me at F-150 full of books….

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Laurie – we gave about six boxes of books to Goodwill… that I am aware of.

      When we would go on long weekends to New York, we’d buy so many books I once had to buy a new suitcase to get them all home. (That was before checked bag fees.) The dollar book carts on the sidewalks in front of the Strand are like my Disneyland.

      So we’re taking books, some clothes and my riding boots and hard hat to the city – and not much else.

      • Laurie Bochner

        what else do you need? I have trouble parting with books. They are like old friends and I feel comfortable when I am surrounded by them. We seem to be in a sentimental mood today eh?

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