Equine’s eye - book one
Belle’s Chime
1. Racehorse
Three, two, one, go! The flag dropped and off I shot. I am Belle. My racing name, however, is Belle’s Chime. My long, dark bay legs eat up the turfy ground. I stretch my neck out like a giraffe foraging for leaves. I could run like this to the end of the universe and back. The saddle and rider is no burden to me as I run, faster and faster. In fact, they are as light as a feather on my long, straight back. The other Thoroughbreds in the race are my competition. The other horses in the race and I push on, the silks around our faces limiting our vision ever so slightly. Our eyes are wild. This is what we’re born to do.
I increase my speed as my jockey cruelly digs the sharp, cold, spurs on the ends of his boots into my sides. I pull ahead of the starting pack.
The formation of the race comes clearly into view now. The leading horse with two others following close behind. And there is a bunch in the middle. Sometimes there are stragglers trying to keep up with the rest of us. Not today though. I could already tell that this was going to be a tough race.
The finish line comes into view. A wide-blazed chestnut and I are leading. We are lathered in sweat, foaming at the mouths. With a grunt of effort and a kick from my jockey, I lengthen my stride and gallop harder. Two, now one stride away from the line. I stretch out my neck, pushing ahead of the chestnut. I have won. No beating tonight. No going hungry. Tonight I will get food, get water. And be left in peace.
I am treated badly, compared to most horses. For example, if I do not win a race (even if I come second), I go hungry and thirsty for the night. I also receive several beatings. Everyday is hardout. I am galloped around the mini racetrack at Winter Wind Farm 3 times a day, everyday, except on race days. There is no time on a race day, as we get there early in the morning and leave late at night. But if there was time, that probably would happen on a race day.
I have never been out in a paddock before. I am always cooped up in a stable. So are the other horses that live with me.
The paddocks on the farm are never used, apart from the Master’s daughter’s pony. The pony, Maybelline, is a palomino with no markings. Maybelline is not a nice horse. Always showing off about being able to eat what she wants, when she wants, and having the freedom of her paddock. We have learnt to ignore her and her snobby comments on us. This is why I love being on the racetrack so much. I love the freedom of it.
I do have one good friend, however. Vanilla, or Sweet Vanilla. We have known each other since we were foals. Now, as you are human, you are probably wondering what horse friends do. Well, here is what we do. We talk with each other, and comfort each other. Like when Vanilla had gone hungry, I let her have some of my food. Like when I don’t do so well in a race, or my jockey is angry at me, Vanilla had had sympathy for me. Some horses also play-fight, but me and Vanilla prefer not to.
Vanilla is very good at telling when you need or want sympathy, and when you don’t need, don’t want, or don’t deserve it. And who you want the sympathy from. This makes her a very good friend.
Vanilla is a dark-coated palomino mare. She had no markings. Her coat is the colour of that stuff that you humans call ‘vanilla essence’.
When horses from Winter Wind Farm go to the races, they stay for the whole day. Competing in every single race. Every time they go. The humans only take three horses each time. There is no room for anymore saddles in the disgusting, crumbling, dilapidated old tack room for anymore saddles.The Master owns a lot of what you humans call ‘money’. But he spends it all on himself and his daughter. And Maybelline. But then again, that probably comes under his daughter. So not much of what he earns from the races goes to his horses and jockeys and grooms, who do all the work for him. He just sits in his who-knows-how-many-stories mansion all day. Never pays a speck of attention to his workers. He doesn’t even come to the races!
Anyway, I hope that gives you an idea about my life. Well, right now, anyway. I have no idea what the future holds for me.
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