Chazot Thoughts XIV


Helyn told me, your mom is coming back. So I ran through the field screaming my mom is coming. I did not really know the meaning of what I was saying but it is very common in the horse business that trainers repeat phrases and quotations without having any idea of their meaning. I knew that Helyn worked on the project for many months. He arrived one morning at the barn, rested his forearms on my window giving me carrots like he does every morning when he is home. He then told me, Helyn found your mother on the Internet. Don’t ask me how. I know that your mom is currently living in Canada nursing her last foal. She is 17 years old and I will bet you that she will be here soon. I have no idea how Helyn is going to do it but I can guarantee you that your mother will be here one day.

One night he worked quite late in the barn finishing the construction of a stall on the other side of the alleyway. Two days later, a trailer arrived and a beautiful black equine athlete entered the barn. I was shocked that my mother would be black. I was even more surprised to realize that my mother was a gelding. Progress has been made in genetics but I decided that more than likely, he was not my mother. The next day, he came back from a clinic asking, did you meet Disco? Nice horse. He is also a very good mover in freedom. Under the saddle, he needs to learn how to control his balance. This is why he is here. That same evening, he worked late at night again, finishing the second stall. At one moment he had difficulty with a screw. The drill jumped smashing his fingers. He went on with a loud tirade in French, which included the word Mother!!! That is how I knew that she was coming.

As he was drilling the last screw, Helyn arrived saying, She is here. Helyn was holding the video camera in one hand and the still-shot camera in the other, already planning her photo session. Then, Helyn was so excited that she ran toward the front gate leaving both cameras in the tack room. He grabbed the video camera and walked toward the gate. The rig was so big that it could not enter the farm. Minutes later she arrived. My first thought was that she was too small. I could not have nursed on so small a mother. Manchester reminded me that I was smaller at birth. She looked tired but very kind. She almost missed me as she entered the barn but he turned her around so she could meet me. The general consensus is that we do not remember our parents. However, as we stayed nose to nose for a few seconds, I had confused feelings. I knew that she was a female but there was this smell that was vaguely familiar. The beautiful black athlete was acting like a stallion rounding his neck above his stall door and calling frantically. He was feeling her as a female. I was feeling her differently. As she walked toward her stall, I smelled her body. There was something familiar with the smell.

I like to be the center of attention but I was not jealous of her presence. Manchester was stretching his neck as far as he could to reach her. As he realized that I was looking at him, he told me, well, I don’t know what you feel as her offspring but she is not my mother and my opinion is that she is damn cute. In fact, to be fully honest, I don’t even remember why I like to look at cute mares like her, but I do.

Later, when the barn was calm, I stood, looking at her. Once in a while, she holds her head above the dutch door watching in the barn as well as outside. When she sees something interesting, she shakes her head and neck up and down. Manchester noticed the move and when I told him that she was shaking her head and neck like I do, Manchester corrected me. Sorry, but she was here first. You are shaking your head and neck like she does. Manchester added. She also has this discreet whinny when she sees the food coming. She vibrates her nose and lips but no noise comes out. You do that too. Manchester had this amused look telling me, as you know Helyn created a complex network of friends to make possible your mother’s arrival. I heard Helyn talking with Rosie telling her that with a mare in the barn he can see the end of a peaceful life. Rosie responded “just wait”. You remember Rosie. She took care of you when you were in trouble during your racing career in Seattle. Rosie also took care of your mother when she arrived from Calgary. She transitioned a few weeks at Rosie’s place until the transporter was ready for the trip across country. I have to say that I can’t wait to get to know her. Even if your mom is only half responsible for your personality I can’t wait to see her personality awaken as she gradually recovers from her long journey through America.

Now I am wearing a bell and pulling a sleigh. I am not rearing; I am cantering vertically into the sky. He is in the sleigh behind me. I almost do not recognize him. I am used to his long white hairs but now he also has a white beard. I have never heard this laugh before; it sounds like Ho Ho Ho. I slow down when I hear this strange laugh but he tells me, no, no, faster. We are flying at incredible speed. In fact we are dive-bombing toward our barn. I can see my stall by the large opened door. We stop at the barn entrance and he tells me, look at her; she is your Christmas present. She is here to kick your butt.

I woke up breathing fast. He is there looking at me and asking, did you have a bad dream? He is not dressed in red and does not have a white beard. I stood up. I needed to come back in touch with reality. I walked toward him and touched him. He gave me a few carrots and we were back in our usual relationship when he asked me, did you dream that she was here to kick your butt? I looked at her and she was half way sleeping with her neck resting on the dutch-door and her head in the corridor. With her eyes half way closed and her long white hair, she looked so soft. I watched her for a long time and when I knew she was fully asleep whispered, Hi Mom, glad you are back.


Science Of Motion

Jean Luc Cornille