Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shameless Plug and Eight Belles

You must know someone deserving of one, two, or even three awesome horse books. I might even be convinced to offer a three-fer. One never knows. All three of my books are available through iUniverse, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and me (if you're local--no point throwing shipping costs to the wind). It's a Horse's Life! traces a year in the horse world with instructions on how (or how not) to turn a backyard barn into a boarding farm. Horses in the Yard is a treatise on what it is to own horses and deal with their quirks and sublime craziness. Horses Happen! is a how-to and survival guide for the poor soul thinking about buying their first horse and for the more experienced horse person who just wants a trip down Bad-Memory Lane. Buy them! You'll like them, I promise.

So much for the Shameless Plug.

On to the legacy of Eight Belles. I must credit this photo as deserved to the site Eight Belles Legacy where you will find ample photos of this lovely girl and other racehorses upon whose sadness stands a wonderful effort to bring about some changes in the racing industry.

If there's anything sadder than the agony of a fatally injured horse in any discipline, it's the willingness of critics to jump on every effort to improve the contributing situation. The initiation of the NTRA SIA, an independent commission set up to ask the important questions and take feedback from the public, should have been welcomed by all horse lovers. Unfortunately, there will always be naysayers in the muddle. In this case they are nay-saying that this is a hired-gun committee under the thumb of the racing industry and that no change will come from its efforts. This is almost as rational as the Palin Death Squads and my suspicion that the aliens took my excellent horse and replacing him with a weird doppleganger resistant to my perfect training methods.

But if you are a fan (or a foe) of racing and would like to have your say, email your comments to They take all comers. Tell them how you feel about training methods, breeding, track footing, feeding, how cute those jockeys' silks are...anything that you feel needs to be addressed. Then do your homework and stay on top of what's going on in racing. If you're dissatisfied with the speed or efficacy of the changes, say so. What you can't do is loiter around the networking sites and the horse forums and grab just any post by any stranger and take it as gospel to be passed on relentlessly.

Change in any area of life requires commitment and reasonable expectations. Join the effort or leave it alone. Undermining it isn't an option for a Thinking Horseman.

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