Friday, March 26, 2010

Ron Turcotte still dreams
Of thundering Red hoof songs
Forever in sync


Buzz Kill said...

Nice Haiku. I like the "hoof songs" part. I think that's what swayed the Troll to your side of the field.

fishy said...

Thanks Buzz,
There is actually an individual cadence to the movements of every horse. All are different due to stride length, weight , gait, and pace. The " hoof song" of our beloved mare still plays in my dreams.

chickory said...

well done fishy! its terrific. and what an important haiku challenge to win. bravissimo!

chickory said...

you know theres an "egg song" too

fishy said...

Chickory ... Please write about the egg song!
Is it the individual sound made while laying the egg or sounds the hen makes in her day to day scratch for life?

h said...

Why this was great haiku:

1) All three close words "dreams, songs, sync" were well-chosen.

2) Expressing a sonic theme in haiku is a challenge that Fishy well-met.

3) She brought-to-life Turcotte's unique experience in a highly articulate manner. Something he himself struggles with. As have fine professional writers like Bill Nack.

4) I thought it contained a specific reference to The Belmont but also had an universal vibe to it. Even if I'm wrong about The Belmont, it doesn't matter. Really good haiku often takes the reader somewhere the author didn't intend.

Historical Note:

Ron Turcotte was a hard-working journeyman jockey. Thought of as the STRONGEST jockey in the game, but not the best. (He used to wrestle and beat Goliath-Sized lumberjacks to make extra money).

As a rider, it was thought that he sometimes used his exceptional strength to yank a horse into trouble. Lucien Lauren, Secretariat's trainer, gave him specific instruction NOT TO do so with Secretariat early and often.

"Don't rush him, Ron. Don't try to force him. Let him find his pace."

That sort of thing.

At the Belmont, Lauren and the Racing Writers all had one eye on the clock. And as Secretariat ran that incredible pace, they all said things like:

"He's going too fast". "He's going to burn out".

And even:

"Turcotte is PUSHING him to run too fast. Turcotte is going to burn him out".

What they couldn't know was what Fishy captured in her Haiku and her explanation. Only Turcotte was atop the GREAT BEAST on that historic ride and only he could HEAR that "hoof song" and his breathing.

And what he heard was perfection. And he alone knew Secretariat was in no danger of breaking down whatsoever. And that putting the brakes on was NOT the thing to do even though the pace was torrid in a LONG race.

He'd agreed with Lucien all along that trying to force the Immortal One was a mistake and altered his usual riding style.

That was especially evident at The Belmont where he hand-rode the ENTIRE race.

moi said...

Congrats, Fishy! A mighty fine Haiku it is and a proud win.

fishy said...

Loved your commentary and the compliments. Thank you.

I did, in fact, know a bit about the Belmont, a bit about the training advice on how to ride Red but mostly my knowledge was general, not as specific as your account.

What I do know from years of being a horse show mom and years of observing many riding disciplines is this: those riders who enforce mastery on their mounts lose. Those who learn to partner with the intrinsic nature of their mounts, those who "sync" with their horses, champion the sport.

I have been blessed to hear the
"hoof song" of many a fine horse, learned to recognize which horse was in that perfect sweet spot from the sound as much as the vision.

I have observed fine equestrians, my own beloved Mermaid amongst them, who so beautifully perfect species to species communication I could swear heartbeats and breaths
are, in fact, synchronized.

It is a song to never be forgotten.
A dream too encompassing to define.

h said...


You expressed that beautifully. Methinks that kids need to do something to earn the respect of a horse early on to get the basics done. Especially with stallions.

But you're dead right. You'll never BEYOND the basics if it doesn't become a partnership of sorts.

Pam said...

Congrats on the haiku contest Miz Fishy! Sounds like you know your subject well!!!

sparringK9 said...

fishy what is your horse experience? it sounds like plenty. how about a horse story in the future?