It's hot, we have horseflies as big as horses and the barn fans got struck by lightning and I haven't fixed them, or the dog's invisible fence, which was on the same circuit. Poor Markus, our lovely new horse, thinks he has been sold down river. (Photo from Pony Club camp.)
Seems like everything we do to take care of him backfires. I got him way expensive gel galloping boots to protect his beautiful, precious legs. At Pony Club camp we used them for the first time. He tried to outrun the rear ones, galloping forever in a circle while the Pony Club instructors stopped all the classes nearby and Lily pulled and pulled and pulled. She looked stable and safe, in that way you tell yourself when you see your daughter on a runaway racehorse pulling to stop him to absolutely no effect. She didn't have that "I'm about to fall off look," and she looked scared but didn't panic. She couldn't hear the instructor yelling, "pulley rein!pulley rein!" and honestly I don't know how she stopped but she became famous for not dying and is greatly admired, or something, by the little girls who kept coming up to her afterwards and saying, "You're the one with the really fast horse."
The only thing worse than watching this was seeing her old horse, Buddy, come out of the woods without her. The mother sitting next to me kept saying, "Breathe! Breathe!" And I don't think I would have if she hadn't continued to remind me.
Lily thought of turning Markus into the fence to stop him, but that would have been a mistake because it was not a big fence (for him) and he would have jumped it -- and I hate to think what would have happened next. So they went round and round and round. As fast as he could go on what must have been about a 60-meter circle. I think they must have done about 30 laps but surely not. But they went round and round and Lily looked like she was getting worn out and I prayed for her safety and for her to have the sense not to bail out. He couldn't go on forever, she was stable, they were on a track of sorts, and I kept saying they can't go on forever. She's been taught the pulley rein and to pull him in a circle, but I think she lost IQ points with every lap. Neither one of us remember how she got him stopped. I am here to tell you that it wasn't because he was tired or gave up. He's not that kind of horse.
The instructor got them to stand in the center, that is, after Lily got him stopped, and that's when she noticed that he was kicking at his rear boots. So she took the fancy, save-his-legs, million-dollar, brand-new gel boots off. And he was fine from then on. Anybody need some million dollar gel boots? Will make your horse go faster!
His former rider, who was instructing from a nearby ring, watched the whole thing. And that's when she remembered the time they put rear boots on him for a show and he quit jumping. They took the rear boots off and he started jumping again.
So, while I've been trying to decipher the tattoo on his lip, just for fun, to find out who he was in the race world, I've had an epiphany: forget his Jockey Club number. What should really be tattoed on his lip is: DO NOT PUT REAR BOOTS ON THIS HORSE.