FC: Horses Rachel Metzger | Photo from www.rainydayfarm.com/images/GooseRide1.jpg
1: Horses | Rachel Metzger Stillwater, Oklahoma November 20, 2009
3: Table of Contents | Names of Horses..............................................................................1-2 The Horse Show Conversation........................................................3-4 Shoein' Pigeye..................................................................................5-7 Wild Horse.......................................................................................8 Riding Lesson...................................................................................9 The Old Mare Watched the Tractor Work.......................................11 The Bond..........................................................................................12 I Have Pulled Your Plows to Feed Your Families...........................13 A Horse is a Horse...........................................................................14 The Horse.........................................................................................15 My Hero...........................................................................................17-19 Abuse................................................................................................21
4: Names of Horses by Donald Hall All winter your brute shoulders strained against collars, padding and steerhide over the ash hames, to haul sledges of cordwood for drying through spring and summer, for the Glenwood stove next winter, and for the simmering range. In April you pulled cartloads of manure to spread on the fields, dark manure of Holsteins, and knobs of your own clustered with oats. All summer you mowed the grass in meadow and the hayfield, the mowing machine clacketing beside you, while the sun walked high in the morning; and after noon's heat, you pulled a clawed rake through the same acres, gathering stacks, and dragged the wagon form stack to stack, and the built hayrack back, uphill to the chaffy barn, three loads of hay a day from standing grass in the morning. Sundays you trotted the two miles to church with the light load a leather quartertop buggy, and grazed in the sound of hymns. Generation on generation, your neck rubbed the windowsill of the stall, smoothing the wood as the sea smooths glass. When you were old and lame, when your shoulders hurt bending to graze, one October the man, who fed you and kept you, and harnassed you every morning, led you through corn stubble to sandy ground above Eagle Pond, and dug a hole beside you where you stood shuddering in your skin, | 1
5: and lay the shotgun's muzzle in the boneless hollow behind your ear, and fired the slug into your brain, and felled you into your grave, shoveling sand to cover you, setting goldenrod upright above you, where by next summer a dent in the ground made your monument. For a hundred and fifty years, in the Pasture of dead horses, roots of pine trees pushed through the pale curves of your ribs, yellow blossoms flourished above you in autumn, and in winter frost heaved your bones in the ground - old toilers, soil makers: O Roger, Mackerel, Riley, Ned, Nellie, Chester, Lady Ghost. | This poem really shows the importance of horses. While they are no longer used for these particular purposes, they are still useful in many ways. This poem shows that mankind would not have been able to do half the things without the help of horses. Horses could do just about anything for "his person." The poem also shows that not only was the horse a work animal, but also a trusty companion. | 2 | Photo by Rachel Metzger
6: The Horse Show Conversation by Baxter Black "A fine lookin' horse you've got there (if yer into modern art) I had a horse like that one time (but he wasn't very smart) I'd guess that he's part thoroughbred (and part Catahoula hound) You get him in a claiming race? (or at least the lost and found) Oh, really, you've got the papers (I'd use'em to train the dog) And he's outta He's California! (No wonder he smells like smog) He seems a little bit feisty (to have one foot in the grave) Yup, I've used Ace myself sometimes (when there's somethin' left to save) What kinda bit have you got there? (it looks like a calving tool) Oh, you invented it yourself (Do them Vise Grips make him drool?) Yeah, I'll bet it sure does stop him (like runnin' into a train) You must of built that tie-down too (Never seen one made outta chain) And where did you get those leggin's? (from a circus refugee) Well, most people like'm longer (At least down to the knee) Good luck, I reckon yer up soon (I'd hate to be in that wreck) You've already finished your class? (And haven't broken your neck) Two firsts and honorable mention! (Whoa up! I'm way off the trail!) A fine lookin' horse you got there (maybe that sucker's for sale...) | 3
7: In this poem, I wondered why the guy that was asking all the questions kept putting the horse down. He kept thinking bad things about the horse and its rider. After all the things he thought, he was wondering of the horse was for sale! I'm sure that I have been to horse shows where people think badly of my horse, so I really kind of connected to this poem. Sometimes we put down horses or really anything just because we are jealous. | 4 | Photo by Rachel Metzger
8: Shoein' Pigeye by Baxter Black "Just count me out," said Wilford as he lay there in the dirt, A shoein' rasp behind his ear, a hoof print on his shirt. "I'll handle this," said Freddie, "You jus' git outta the way. This sorry bag of buzzard bait has met his match today." The horse weren't much to look at, just the kind a trader'd buy But you knew it was trouble when you looked him in the eye. It was small and mean and glittered, as deep ad Jacob's well, Like lookin' down the smoke stack of the furnace room in Hell. Freddie grabbed a set of nippers and bent to grab a hoof. When he woke up...his shoein' chaps were danglin' from the roof. His shirt tail hung in tatters and his watch had come unwound. The nipper's orbit finally peaked. They clattered to the ground. "Go get a twitch," said Freddie, "I'm about to clean his clock." He tied a rope around his neck and fished it past the hock Then pulled back on the sideline to instill a little fear When Pigeye bit a good-sized chunk from Wilford's offside ear. Wilford tangled in the sideline and tried to navigate Whilst draggin' 'round the horse corral like alligator bait. Freddie tried to this trollin' with a loop around the head, And it might'a worked if Freddie'd only roped the horse instead. | 5
9: But, of course, he caught pore Wilford, who left a funny track... Sorta like an oil slick, when Freddie jerked the slack. By now the boys were testy and tired of this travail They figgered they'd be done by noon but they'd not drove a nail. "Go git the boss's Humvee! We'll winch him to a post." They got cayuse necked up tight, and set to work...almost 'Cause the halter broke and Pigeye walked the length of Freddie's back. They rolled beneath the axle like two lovers in the sack. Freddie heard the sound of gunfire like a thousand amplifiers, "I've got the sucker pinned down, Fred, I shot out all the tires!" It was dark when Wilford stood up and laid his hammer down. A gross of crooked horseshoe nails lay scattered all around. The place looked like a cross between the tomb of Gen'ral Grant And a Puppy Chow Explosion at the Alpo Dog Food Plant! | Continued on next page | 6 | Photo from www.profarriersupply.com/HammeringAnvilPic.jpg
10: Wilford couldn't move his elbow but he grinned and proudly said, "Ol' pard, we done a good day's work," to what was left of Fred. Freddie crawled out from the wreckage and staggered to one knee, "What say we wait till mornin' to put on the other three...?" | The description of Pigeye in this poem made me think of what farriers have to go through. Most farriers are stooped over and rather grumpy. By the end of there horseshoeing career, most of them hate horrses. While most horses are good, some, especially racehorses, can be crazy. The description of Pigeye is exactly how some horses act. They lean on the farriers, stomp on their feet, kick, bite, and rear. It makes for an eventful, but sometimes painful, day in the life of a farrier. | 7 | Photo from www.profarriersupply.com/NailingShoePic.jpg
11: Wild Horse by Jewel Kilcher I'd like to call you my wild horse and feed you silver sage I'd like to paint my poems with desert tongued clay across your back and ride you savagely as the sweet and southern wind through a green and wild Kentucky I'd like to make you my secret sun blazing dark and red in the orchards and I would steal away to watch the way your silver belly bends and bows beneath me I'd make you my wings in the foothills of Montana my lover in the oceans of the world I would make you my many calico children and I would scatter you across my green memories of home | I'd make you my hungry valley and sow your golden fields of wheat in my womb | This poem reminded me of the song "Wild Horses" by Natasha Bedingfield. It uses the same kind of descriptions as this poem does. I like how this poem is about horses, but at the same time it's not. It has more than one meaning, and if can easily be mistaken for just another old horse poem when it really has another meaning. The song "Wild Horses" also has two meanings: one obvious and one deeper meaning. | 8 | Photo from http://media.rd.com/rd/images/rdc/mag0704/troubled-teens-taming-wild-horses-01-af.jpg
12: Riding Lesson by Henry Taylor I learned two things from an early riding teacher. He held a nervous filly in one hand and gestured with the other saying, "Listen. Keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." He turned and mounted. She took two steps, then left the ground, I thought for good. But she came down hard, humped her back, swallowed her neck, and threw her rider, as you'd throw a rock. He rose, brushed his pants and caught his breath, and said, "See that's the way to do it. When you see they're gonna throw you, get off." | 9 | Photo from http://www.localriding.com/image-files/fall-off-horse-5.jpg
13: The mood of the poem reminded me of the past riding teachers that I have had. They have all had the same mind set as the teacher in this poem. Almost all riding teachers celebrate when you fall off and don't consider their student a rider until he or she has taken a fall. At the very first barn where I rode, the trainers had a white board labeled, "Ground Breakers." When a student fell off for the first time, they would write his or her name on the board and would celebrate the fall. | 10 | Photo by Rachel Metzger
14: The Old Mare Watched the Tractor Work by George Rupp The old mare watched the tractor work, a thing of rubber and steel, ready to follow the slightest wish of the man who held the wheel. She said to herself as it passed by, you gave me an awful jolt, but there's still one thing you can't do, you cannot raise a colt. | When I read this poem, I thought of my mare, Jessie. This poem reminds me exactly of her. In my case, "the man who held the wheel" is me. She would do anything I ask as long as she knows that I will be right there with her. I even plan on breeding her and I hope she will raise a world champion colt or filly someday. | 11 | Photo by Rachel Metzger
15: The Bond by Diana Christensen I looked into his eyes and saw his soul. He looked into my eyes and saw my soul. He was my horse and I his person. We knew each other's thoughts, each other's feelings. We trusted one another. We took joy in each other's company. He was my horse--I his person! We shared a bond, a bond of love. | This poem also reminded me of Jessie. We have a very close bond. When I first got her, she was scared of people, but now she is my princess and she knows it. When I get to the barn, she is always waiting for me with a whinny. She always keeps an eye on me, and I always keep an eye on her. | 12 | Photo by Rachel Metzger
16: I Have Pulled Your Plows to Feed Your Families by the American Quarter Horse Association I have pulled your plows to feed your families. I have carried your flag in parades to celebrate your independence. I have run with all my heart for that buckle hanging on your belt. I have shown you the world from my back, And now we'll show the world together, You are America, and I am your horse-- America's Horse. | 13 | This poem really describes the American Quarter Horse. The Quarter Horse is a very versatile breed. They can do just about anything but they are named for their ability to run a quarter of a mile the fastest. They are very docile creatures and make great kid horses. I personally own two Quarter Horses. The Quarter Horse in my opinion is the best breed of horse out there. | Photo by Rachel Metzger
17: 14 | A Horse is a Horse by Tomas O Carthaigh A horse is a horse and a man is a man And neither can be the other And each can survive but is much better In the company of one another. And while a horse is a horse and that is true A horse is but a beast As a cow is a cow, some ask how On its flesh we should not feast? For they do so in France as in other places And I don't know how they can For while a horse is a horse and only a horse It is less a cow than it is a man! | I really liked this poem's idea because I truly believe that horses have more of an impact on people than other livestock. People become attached to horses when they might not become as attached to a cow for instance.People seem to be fascinated by horses and so many little girls beg their parents for a horse. I certainly did. I am always asked how my horses are and if they can come out sometime. | Photos by Rachel Metzger
18: 15 | The Horse by Ronald Duncan Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride, Friendship without envy, Or beauty without vanity? Here, where grace is served with muscle And strength by gentleness confined He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent. There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient. | This poem really characterizes the horse extremely well. Horses provide great friendship and companionship to people. It is amazing that horses, with all their strength, are so docile. They could easily overpower a man. Instead, they let man be the boss or the herd leader. | Photo by Rachel Metzger
19: 16 | Photos by Rachel Metzger
20: 17 | My Hero by Rachel Metzger Your eyes are shining like the sun, you run just like the wind And before I could just blink an eye, you'd be coming 'round the bend. You had won every race before the Triple Crown, And on that joyful Derby day you didn't let us down! You were ready early on, since they put your saddle on. You walked around the walking ring, but were ready to start galloping. You stepped onto the track, your eyes were open wide. That lead pony came trotting, trotting by your side. Before you know, the doors fly open. He says, "The race is on," You break very quickly, 'cause you're ready to run on. You're running very fast, you've got lightning at your heels, The jockeys' silks are flashing by, reds and blues and teals. You come around the final turn, you give it all you must, But that's not necessary 'cause the others are eating your dust. You won that Kentucky Derby race, you had it in the bag. You thought you should be humble, but you couldn't help but brag! They put a bunch of roses all upon your back. You stood for the paparazzi with smiling Prado on your back.
21: 18 | You were named a star, you and Edgar in the news, Oh how we all were wishing to be in Prado's shoes. On that sunny Preakness day, one could hear me say, "He's going to win the Triple Crown, he's gonna win the race today!" That day, it broke my heart. It made me want to cry. That day broke my heart, right from the start. You stepped onto the track, you loaded up to wait. When all at once, you were crashing through the gate. You were turned around, you loaded up once more Waiting for the gate to open up its doors. You finally break smoothly, running as fast as you can, You're almost in the lead, going on Michael's plan. I was cheering from my home then you started to drop back! I wondered what had happened, why you weren't up in the pack. Your heart was in that race, you were running with the wind. When Prado jumped right off your back, for the vet they had to send. I knew it hurt a lot, you held your back leg high. I just sat there watching with a tear in my eye. They tried to calm you down before they put you in the van. I was so worried, to the track I could have ran. Continued on next page
22: 19 | They took you to New Bolton and put you in a stall. We said you should have won it, won it after all. And through my sorry tears, there was one thing I did know, I just knew you weren't going to let go. Twenty-seven pins and one big silver plate, Why'd this have to happen? I guess it just is fate. You started to heal up, feeling like a stud once more. You started to take interest in the pretty mare next door! You developed a disease, laminitis in your feet. I started to worry, is this the race we cannot beat? You fought 'til the end, until you had become Unable to go to sleep. They knew the time had come. At ten-thirty A.M. for the very best, On that Monday morning, they put you to rest. Your body's in the ground but your soul is in the sky. You'll always be my hero. but in my heart you'll never die.
23: 20 | Barbaro | I was inspired to write this poem after the tragic death of Barbaro. Barbaro was a phenomenal racehorse that won the Kentucky Derby in May of 2006. He was going to try to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes-a tough feat for a horse. However, many thought Barbaro was fully capable of it. At the Preakness he took a bad step and shattered his back leg. After many months in the equine hospital, Barbaro started to heal, then unexpectedly took a turn for the worst. When he died, I wrote this poem in memory of him and sent it to his owners. Barbaro was a fantastic horse that touched the lives of millions of people. | Photo from http://lilacres.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/1barbaro.jpg
24: 21 | Abuse by Rachel Metzger When I watch you Creaking around a barren pasture Ribs poking through your skin Like a road full of speed bumps Or When I watch you Being beaten mercilessly By a so-called owner That just doesn't care And takes his anger out on you. I say When I watch you Looking at me helplessly When I drive by Silently begging for help I stand up Through your pain I stand up | The description of horse abuse in this poem hopefully will make people realize that dogs and cats are not the only animals being abused. So many horses are neglected and mistreated but go unnoticed. Everyone seems to be more worried about the smaller household pets. There are so many commercials featuring skinny dogs or mangy cats looking sadly at the camera but none involving horses. A horse doesn't have to be beaten physically to be considered abused. Pure neglect is just as bad as beating the animal. | Photo from http://www.skinnyhorse.com/images/Skinny%20Horse.jpg
25: 22 | About the Author | Rachel is a student in Mrs. Dawson's class and a horse enthusiast. She has had horses since seventh grade and currently has two- Jessie and Levi. She shows Jessie all over the state. | JessieInvestedWisely (Jessie) MBZ Riviera (Levi) | Photos by Rachel Metzger
26: Works Cited | Black, Baxter. "The Horse Show Conversation." A Cowful of Cowboy Poetry. Arizona: Coyote Cowboy company, 2000. 122 . Black, Baxter. "Shoein' Pigeye." A Cowful of Cowboy Poetry. Arizona: Coyote Cowboy Company, 2000. 112. . Christensen, Diana. "The Bond." Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul. Ed. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. New York: Scholastic, Inc, 2003. 217. Duncan, Ronald. "The Horse." Quotations about Horses. 21 November 2009.
27: O Carthaigh, Tomas. "A Horse is a Horse." Poemhunter.com. 21 November 2009.