Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Good Reads

Two things I've read today that I've liked quite a bit.

First, an excellent post from Mustang Adventures about a defensive trail riding clinic.

Jerry walked around the arena, but with big, menacing, scary, purposeful energy. He didn't even have to wave his arms or shout or "do anything" that looked scary, but the horses definitely got the vibe and all shied away from him, so we had to practice control in trying to walk over/through someone.
Excellent read, highly recommended: full post here.

The second is a well-written but sad article about the Grand National, and the fate of English steeplechasing in the 21st century. I love horse racing, but each year it seems to get more deadly (or maybe I'm more aware of its danger) and I take a small step back.

A giant's claw came through the spruce. The air smelled suddenly of Christmas and a great black horse was falling. It was Paddy Mourne, an Irish outsider, and one of the things that TV doesn't tell you is how far and how massively and how intricately these animals slide. I saw the short hairs of his belly, his hooves, and his head rising while his knees sought purchase. Everything was in motion, 20 feet from the jump that had tripped him. The rest of the field poured around him like water and then he was up and running with the herd. The jockey limped off, cradling his arm.
Death and Tradition at the UK Grand National


  1. I'll have to check out the article on the Grand National. I've always found that race fascinating, but am bothered by how much more dangerous it seems to get.

  2. One interesting thing the article points out is that the Grand National is unique, even within steeplechasing, and they keep tinkering with it every year, so they don't have a lot of data on how to make it safer, if it actually is getting more dangerous, what's causing crashes, etc. I've watched it in the past but I agree, it's tough to watch the horses crash like that.


Thanks for commenting! It's great to hear from you.