Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Only two weeks left

The horses will be leaving soon. There are only two weekends of racing left. It will be just a matter of days after that and they'll be gone again for another year.

The closing of another season, like a chapter in a book.

This time of year used to be a much bigger deal for Oz & I... we'd be preparing to pack up the barn and put all of the equipment in storage, making winter boarding arrangements for any horses of ours and getting ready to ship home all the clients' stock. Then trying to decide what we were going to do for a living for the next four months.... We had lots of "winter" jobs - jobs that we always abandoned, come spring, to once again fall into the track life. A couple of years we followed the horses - lived and worked with them (for other people) in Florida. I groomed horses down there that were worth more, back then, than my house is right now. I owe alot of who I am today to the years I spent living the track life. It's very character building, to say the least.

It was like another lifetime. And yet it seems like just yesterday. I think once you are a tracker, you're always a tracker. It doesn't matter that I haven't had a horse in 8 years now.... I still belong here. And I miss it some days. But having my girl attending the daycare here lets me linger around the fringes of my old life... smell the horses, watch them work... say 'Hi' to old friends in passing.

It seems strange to me that our children don't know any more about horses that the average city child. They've been riding a few times at their uncle's place, sure, but it seems odd that any child of ours hasn't grown up around them, as comfortable with them as most would be with the family dog.

I think I'm a sucker for the day one of them comes up to me begging to buy a pony.... and it will probably be my girl - she loves them. It must be in her blood..... or, maybe it's just a girl thing?

It's been our habit, all summer, on mornings that I'm not racing insanely, hard-pressed for time (so maybe once a week if we're lucky, lol), that she and I would pause our morning rush just long enough to stand at the rail and watch a few horses go by on the main track. "Horsies mommy?" She was always very good, as excited though she was, and never over stepped her bounds or startled one of them (a good thing too - because if we'd ever spooked a horse and unseated a rider it would have been our last day standing at the rail!).

Some of the riders would even say 'Hi' to us and wave in passing... she'd always be ready with a wave back and a huge smile.

I know she'll be asking me soon where the horsies are... just like her brothers did for years before her. I know I'll be repeating my same old answer about them having "gone home for the winter honey".... And I know she'll be dissappointed all winter as we drive through the ghost town to daycare... as will I.

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