Johnnersintheraw's Blog

May 3, 2010

Have You Ever Seen Your Horse Naked?

 What a certain colt told me about a certain race, and why you’ll never see a stallion or a mare posing for Playcolt or Playfilly:

Have you ever seen your horse naked? I don’t mean with their manes hogged… although come to think of it, I have seen a horse with a hog on its back. It was not a perfect exercise in compromise, for although the hog was perfectly content to straddle the horse like Edward VII and simply bounce up and down, the horse ended up in the hospital, where the doctors insisted he wear one of those back-braces. You know the ones I’m talking about: all the warehousemen in Asda wear them. They are those humiliating black, harness-like contraptions that make even the most inflated of steroid inhalers look like a greeter at a Star Trek convention. But to get back to my question: have you ever seen a horse naked? I have and believe me they are just as spectacular without the flesh as they are when they are wearing it. And if it were up to man, there would be no end of equine nudist paddocks and naked pony support groups and internet horse porn sites and X-rated Point-to-Pointer dating services. However, when it comes right down to it, horses do not want these things; they know how irredeemably sleazy we are. In other words, they take it for granted that humans will exploit anything and anyone, especially if there is money or notoriety involved. And if we can find a way to indulge in a little pay-per-view inter-species sex at the same time, so much the better. Horses, on the other hand, are very private creatures, and are possessed of a strong moral code and a sense of family. Horses are patient and willing to compromise. They are also, on the whole, extremely intelligent, as well as realistic, which means that even the no-hopers that have trouble finishing fifteenth in a field of two, still possess a certain self-awareness and dignity, as well as a greater sense of perspective than that exhibited by their owners (after all, it is only a race, and the horse is more interested in chatting up that new filly back at the yard). And they also have a sense of what is right. Take St. Nicholas Abbey, for instance. Now, for months and months, the commentators and bookies have been salivating over this colt, rubbing their hands in premature glee over the money he’s going to make for them. However, he is a very wise and self-possessed young colt, and don’t forget he comes from a good family and has been to a good school. He’s also had to work very hard, but because of his family connections he knows that one day, he’ll get all the prettiest girls. But, as I have intimated, he is a deep thinker. He’s talked to his older and more illustrious neighbours, and he’s texted back and forth with such celebrities as Kauto Star and Denman. He has also communicated (via automatic writing) with the likes of George Washington, Horacio Nelson and Shergar. And along the way, he came to certain conclusions. The most obvious was that celebrity is not all that it is cracked up to be, and that the only reason you are constantly on page three of The Sun is that you are going to make a lot of punters rich. You have never met any of these punters yourself and, furthermore, you are becoming increasingly aware that almost all of them would confuse you with a candidate for the knackers’ yard if they saw you hanging out at the pony races and keeping company with a hard-drinking harness horse. Because, you see, they‘ve never really looked at you as you. Without your colours and pet jockey and glamorous trainer, you are nothing – like Katie Price when she takes off her boobs and goes to Home Depot in a Jaeger twin-set and a funny-looking bald man wearing Bermuda shorts and a string vest. Now, after months and months of being the bee’s knees, all the hype starts to wear on you. It’s all very well, you say, looking ahead to a life of rumpy-pumpy with the richest and prettiest of the hotties. But in the back of your mind is that certain niggling “what if…? what if…?” St. Nicholas Abbey suddenly thought of Horacio Nelson and certain other ill-fated young colts who, for all intents and purposes, had had the world as their oyster. But just as they had been entering the home straight of the fame and fortune stakes, their bodies had broken down or they had tripped on a punter’s cigar or they lost had their concentration when a massively endowed bimbo from Beachy Head hung her tits over the rail and simpered, “Go get’em big fella.” Young St. Nicholas tried to put himself in the place of Horacio Nelson. I mean, could he really blame him? In his place – being a red-blooded male himself – if he had to decide between winning the Epsom Derby and making a home with Katie Price – where all he would have to do is play a few chukkas of polo now and then in front of the cameras and perhaps teach her the finer points of dressage and how to make a flying leap wearing a mini-skirt – which would he really prefer? I mean, being a good-looking, dapper lad, he could always pull the chicks wherever he went, so that wasn’t an issue. But, then, of course, alas for young Horacio, he had been so transfixed by that bimbo’s décolletage, that in the middle of the Derby his mind forgot what his legs were supposed to be doing, and he fell apart… And the rest, as they say, is history So anyway, while St. Nicholas Abbey’s was mulling over Horacio Nelson’s story from beyond the grave, who should interrupt but George Washington. This, of course, should come as no surprise, seeing as how he had never been known for his modesty when it came to expressing his opinion. Now, young George had a very different story to tell. Shall we say a different slant on things. A much more edgy type of cautionary tale. Unlike Horacio Nelson, George had always ignored the blatant, waggling distractions offered by female temptresses of various species. It goes without saying that he occasionally got carried away with his own magnificence and in gazing at his feral muscularity as it flashed by on the many wide-screen televisions positioned from one end of the track to the other. And yes, sometimes his very perfection caused in him to forget that he was only there to make the punters happy and to make his owners richer than they already were. However (thanks to his trainer’s counselling sessions) he did remember to win a sufficient number of classics to guarantee him a long, happy, healthy, and overcrowded sex life with the best mares from around the world. Except, of course, from Dubai, but that didn’t bother him, because he was never overly attracted to fillies wearing veils. But then young George retired. He was, of course, very wealthy by now, and he wasted no time in relocating to the Monte Carlo of the thoroughbred world, where he was placed in the hands of makeover experts. Glossy extensions were woven into his mane – for in spite of his magnificence, the young hunk was showing signs of male pattern baldness. His muscles were toned, and he was groomed to gleaming perfection, his penis was polished, and he was prescribed with courses of vitamins and maximum-strength Viagra. He was also given elocution lessons, for in spite of his good background and excellent schooling, young George had taken to speaking in the guttural and incomprehensible accents of the Tipperary traveller ponies with whom he routinely went out binge-drinking and set-dancing on Saturday nights. It was during his elocution lessons, given of course, by Clare Balding, that George started to re-examine his priorities. Did he really want to be the big man about town? Now, Ms. Balding is a very intelligent and perceptive young woman, and she herself had been going through certain realignments in her own life. She was aware of emotional conflicts and sexual uncertainties. Therefore, she couldn’t help but notice that young George was going through a similar set of crises. Being the positive sort of person she is, she confronted him and offered to help. And while what the young colt told her didn’t come as a complete surprise, it did knock her back on her heals a bit. For George had broken down and confessed that all he really wanted in his life was to run away and share a small hill farm with… Yeats. “Yeats?” she gasped, breaking out in a sweat and swooning from the images that flashed through her mind. “Yeats!” roared George Washington, his voice vibrating with ecstasy, “He is the man I love! “But isn’t he…? stammered Ms. Balding. “Yes!” cried George. “He may be a big brute of a man and he may look like a rugby player, but I’ll make him love me!” And then he cried out in great, shuddering sobs and threw himself on to the ground in despair. “But he doesn’t want me. All he thinks about is Zarkava and Ouija Board!” Here the colt bolted and bashed his head against a tree. And then he whispered, as though his heart were braking, “He is an unfaithful bigamist and a bully, that’s what he is! And I hate him!” Anyway, to cut a long story short, young George threw his Viagra out the window, along with all his vitamins, and we all know what happened after that. He couldn’t do it with the girls, and when he did, all he fired was blanks. And he couldn’t get the man he loved. And so it went. One tragedy followed another, and the telling of it left young St. Nicholas Abbey in a pool of tears. It goes without saying that at this point, Shergar chimed in with a few suggestions of his own, such as how to disappear in the dead of night. However, St. Nicholas Abbey wasn’t altogether certain he wanted to end his days working with The Bearded Lady in a Bulgarian Circus, so he thanked Shergar and told him that, if he really wanted to do something positive, he might ring up and explain himself to The Aga Khan. He then paid off the automatic-writing lady (hired for the afternoon from the pony racing circuit) and settled down to think. In the end, of course, St. Nicholas Abbey realised that what he really needed was a short respite from the media glare. And the only way he could do that was simply not to win. And so he didn’t. And while he knew he would be in deep doodoo if he did a Twist Magic and sat down at the off, he took a leaf from the lives of Kauto Star and Denman and so many others, and in the process showed them he was not a machine and did not have to sell his soul for the sake of a few pieces of silver. After all, there was always another race. Now, in order to explain how he actually came to his decision we must go back to the issue of horses and nakedness. Exactly one week before the Guineas, a certain representative of a certain media empire sidled up to St. Nicholas Abbey’s paddock when he was basking in the hot Irish sun and enjoying a few quiet moments of solitude. The colt had finished his workout, Aiden had had his little chat with him, Johnny had given him an extra treat, and the colt was in a good frame of mind. And that being so, he decided that – since no one was around and he was a lifelong naturist – he would quietly slip out of his clothes and soak up a few rays. It was then he heard a twig snap. He turned his head and saw – not only a single paparazzo – but a whole camera crew from one of the gutter satellite channels. And that was when St. Nicholas Abbey decided to the only thing to do was to throw the race. For if he won, the image of him – naked as a jaybird and playing volleyball with one of the barn cats – would be flashed around the world. But, on the other hand, if he lost, he would be yesterday’s news. And so, then and there and without telling anyone, he made his decision. But why is it that we humans, who certainly win no beauty prizes when we disrobe, have never ever seen a horse in the altogether? Is it that they are ashamed? It is that they actually look like boiled chickens when their coats are off being cleaned? Or is it that they simply don’t trust us? Horses have been studying people for a good many centuries, and certain episodes are bound to have left a bad taste in their mouths. As I said before, horses are intelligent; they are sensitive. And they are also pragmatists. Long ago they reasoned that perhaps it was better to humour us than it was to end up like just so many faceless farm animals, namely pigs and sheep and cows. But always at the back every horse’s racial memory there are certain historical episodes that illustrated man’s inhumanity to the horse. And I am not talking about the eating of equine flesh in French restaurants, or bull-fights or the genocide of the abattoirs, or even the mass slaughter on the myriad killing fields of war – for horses fully understand the basic cruelty of the human species, and are simply biding their until we finally finish each other off. What I am referring to now can be summed up in two names: Caligula and Catherine the Great. No! No self-respect horse will ever disrobe in front of a human being. It is not as though they look like boiled chickens – for they most certainly do not – they simply know what we are like. And if you don’t know what we are like, why don’t you close down your computer, go out to the barn, and ask the ewe with the red ribbon tied round her neck to remind you what you did to her last night. Does that answer your question?

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