I grew up on a farm and we boarded a thoroughbred stallion for a neighbor named Mr. Dobbin; the horse, that is, not the neighbor. When the neighbor was out of town and I was taking care of him, I turned him into the corral so I could clean his stall.
Mr. Dobbin, who had a testosterone-poisoned brain, spotted the mares in a distant pasture and jumping to the conclusion, “She wants me!” he also jumped the five foot fence and ran merrily and optimistically to the mares.
I watched in horror, for I knew something Mr. Dobbin did not. When mares are not in the mood for love, they will kick the shite out of a stallion. “Please don’t let them kick him in his skinny legs,” I prayed. You see, they shoot horses with broken legs.
He ran right up to Comet, “Hey, I’m Dobbin, want to get busy?” THUMP. She kicked him soundly in the chest. He seemed confused and timidly approached Silver. She missed with her kick because Dobbin jumped back in time. They went back to grazing and he stood and watched; all his heated adolescent dreams shattered.
I took the lead shank and caught the poor lad; now sadder but wiser, but I never forgot how beautiful he looked, his sleek bay hide shining in the late summer sun, as he cleared that fence.
We humans often jump to conclusions. Sometimes we get thumped. I thought of Mr. Dobbin when I watched this little clip of a world record jump. It’s a beautiful thing: Watch the horse as he nears the jump-“I’ve GOT this!” And he does. Bravo.