The Inside Rail

Sometimes I forget. It doesn’t take long to remind me.

The first horse, a filly by Hard Spun walks out of the barn, takes a few ambling strides and reminds me. Reminds me how much I like to watch horses train. Train? I didn’t say how much I like to train horses, I said, how much I like to watch horses train. A Will Take Charge filly comes out next, she powers around two pine trees, bounces on pine needles and sand, in the shade, you can hear birds chirping if you listen. She’s big and strong, looks like a 3-year-old. She’s only 2. The Hard Spun filly has improved in three weeks, like batter-to-waffle improvement. She’s tall, leggier, scopier, forward. Her breeder called me about her a few weeks ago, I send her videos, like live streaming, hoping she likes her as much as I like her. The ride – good or bad – is better with company, that I’ve learned.

The fog lies like a wet blanket, heavy in the air, we can’t see across the Aiken training track, the tree in the center, the most famous tree in the south, breaks the fog, it’s about all we can see. The Hard Spun filly emerges from the shroud, a dart through a cupcake. She looks free and easy. The Will Take Charge filly comes later, brawn and brute. I love both of them, the dream lives.

And that was just the first set.