“What is a horse going to do for me?” That’s what Gordon asks in a recent documentary on Saratoga WarHorse. Great question.
I’ve been involved with horses for so long, the question came to my mind as well. What’s a horse going to do for a veteran? Then I met Rob, Sean, Troy, Adam…they talked about not being able to turn off their minds. I knew what they meant, albeit, on a smaller, less heroic scale. Way smaller, way less.
When my mind races over deadlines that aren’t being met, bills that keep coming, family requirements that aren’t being met, I struggle with the ability to turn off my mind. In today’s world, it’s hard to turn it off. I went fox hunting Saturday, I turned off my mind for two hours. It was the horse, this time, The Peloton. He pulled hard, jumped high, made a 90 degree left turn when he was meant to go straight, fly-leaped a creek. Yes, my mind was turned off. On the way home, I thought of Gordon’s question. “What can a horse do for me?” Ah, yes, that’s what a horse can do for me.
It’s not that you have to ride them for two hours for them to turn off your mind. We ran Valdez at Exeter last week. For a few hours, my mind was turned off, thinking about his chase debut, then watching him win his chase debut, then regaling his chase debut. I now understand why people own racehorses, part of it is to turn off their mind.
By now, you might think I’m a paid endorser for Saratoga WarHorse, I’ve written about the program for years. A couple of times, simply because I needed a subject while desperate to fill space in The Saratoga Special. Other times, because I felt like I owed my friend Marilyn Lane, who helps run the program. Other times, because I felt guilty for feeling stressed, feeling down, feeling important. A few times, because I felt compelled. Over a couple of years, I’ve met veterans who have been involved in Saratoga WarHorse, they were able to turn off their minds, at least for a few days, a few hours. That’s big.
Watch HRTV’s documentary about Saratoga WarHorse.