It wouldn’t be New Year’s Day without taking at least five minutes to contemplate the past year and the one ahead, and so I’m indulging that with a little nostalgia and lot of excitement.
2011 was my first non-riding year, and the first one that I devoted entirely to writing. When I left Florida in 2010, it was with the conviction that I could accomplish more in the world as a writer than as a horse trainer, and I still believe that. Although looking at Thoroughbred trainer listings on a regular basis will always put the idea into my head, at least for a few delusional moments, that I ought to be running a not-for-profit Thoroughbred retraining agency somewhere in the backwoods. That’s not for me, although I am very impressed by the people who do it! You’re all amazing!
In 2012 I resolve to get back on a horse at least once, although in what capacity, I can’t say. It might just be to demonstrate a technique to one of the other volunteers at GallopNYC, where I walk horses in therapy lessons every week. It might be for a dressage lesson (or, shall we say, a post-until-your legs-cramp-up lesson). You never know what’s around the corner.
But that’s a personal-gratification resolution. Here’s my big one, my promise to the world.
I resolve to make a difference to retired racehorses.
I know, that’s vague. But it’s January first. Who can say what is going to happen this afternoon, let alone next week, next month, next winter? But whatever opportunities arise, I will take them. Whatever actions I can share with you, I will share. Whatever is going to happen, I am going to embrace it and make something big out of it.
Why? Because I love them. I can’t help myself. When I see them at the racetrack, or in a field, or poking their noses out of a semi-trailer on the interstate, or leaping a cross-country fence, or in a photo doing anything, anywhere, I melt a little. When I read a story about a horse who should have been retired properly, and wasn’t, I hurt. They are all my darling children, like the babies I once had on my farm, and I adore them all.
I can’t help it. I’m well and truly horse-mad, and the objects of my affection are blood horses. And so that’s my Retired Racehorse Resolution: to make a difference, in whatever way I can.
Will you join me?