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Horses in Poetry: The Jockey and Horse Retired: A Poem

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Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

A Belgian mare and foal on an Amish farm.

A Belgian mare and foal on an Amish farm.

Why I Love Horses

Although Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby in 2021, I was fascinated when Justify claimed a victory over the other colts in the race in 2018. The fabulous creature would go on to be a Triple Crown winner. I watched and recalled all my experiences with these majestic beasts. My grandfather owned a horse and mule and as children, we would feed them out in the stable. His horse could be moody, but the mule had a pleasant disposition. I cherish those memories.

I remember the sad day Grandfather had to send them away. He said they were old and needed to die with dignity. They were taken to a place for aging animals to live out the rest of their days. Grandfather bought a tractor for the farm.

This poem is written for horse lovers; those of us who have had a relationship with these majestic creatures. My wife and I both rode horses for awhile and we still attend local horse shows at the county fairgrounds. Enjoy: The Jockey and His Horse Retires.

A bay Quarter Horse watches the photographer with curiosity

A bay Quarter Horse watches the photographer with curiosity

This bright chestnut is a Thoroughbred cross.

This bright chestnut is a Thoroughbred cross.

The Jockey and Horse Retired

Chasing blowing wind she would not excel,

Dreams put to sleep my saddened dry pillow,

Star light stable hoisting her to small fame,

Nightmares taught her to buck beyond willow.

Her light illuminated arenas,

Fans tossing dusty kisses at her trot,

Famous canter revolved around trophies,

Galloping to first place adorned her not.

A Paint Horse mare grazes.

A Paint Horse mare grazes.

Milky white drinking speed in her stern hooves,

To cascading applause she reigned in grace,

Circus ovations throughout the nation,

Pastures and stables now fancy her pace.

“Shall I read you Sandberg, dearest of mares?

A trip to take with Browning esteemed guest?”

She pawed the grassy ground fully brooding,

Lifting her head declining any quest.

Sister said, “She is not a bitter nag,

Old, tired, and needing retirement,

Placid lake bountiful forests surrounds,

Her emerald well-kept environment.”

A bay Clydesdale with splashy white markings.

A bay Clydesdale with splashy white markings.

They put her away; she put me away,

Borders in rooms with and without walls,

My mount a chair metallic legs and wheels,

My track wooden floors in nursing home halls.

Ah! But Asgard gods promised man and horse,

Riches never to be given freely,

Dishonesty brought the apocalypse,

Ride again we will when they can’t see me.

Four Horsemen will plead for her stout back,

Native People will stroke her lustrous mane,

Cowboys will bargain for her mighty strength,

As we travel the Trails of Gold with saints.

A fuzzy Shetland Pony

A fuzzy Shetland Pony

fun Facts About Horses

  • People in America love horses whether they are racing, performing at shows, or have encountered some injury. The cultural importance of horses to Americans encourages a respectful attitude toward the animals. Indeed, there are approximately 7 million people involved in the horse industry in the United States, and there are about 200 million horse owners, according to some estimates. Horses At the nonprofit, Flurry’s Hope – Blind Horse Rescue, are taken care of with tenderness although they cannot see. This rescue is believed to be the only one in the country which helps horses with loss vision.
  • In a suburb of Los Angeles, horses are helping to remind the general public that people of color played a part in developing America through the Compton Posse, another nonprofit. The Spanish mustang herd found at Corolla, N.C. became the symbol for the state’s horse in 2010.
  • A horse can run usually a few hours after birth. The height of these animals is measured in “Hands,” which is four inches. As a species, males have more teeth than females. Coincidentally, a horse’s teeth take up more room in its head than does its brain. Truthfully, horses can sleep standing up, and horses are grazers.
  • Until about three years old, a female horse is a filly, and a male at this age is called a colt. Mares are adult female horses, but a castrated male horse is a gelding. If he is not castrated, the adult male horse is referred to as a stallion. Arabian horses are known for endurance while Thoroughbreds are considered the fastest horses on the planet. In fact, the Thoroughbred, Secretariat, is recognized as the fastest racehorse of all time. But there are nearly 350 breeds of horses and ponies on Earth.
A group of Corolla Wild Horses on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

A group of Corolla Wild Horses on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Let's Gallop Along

Refrain from trotting off just now. Or in horse based vernacular: hold your horses. Many expressions became part of the English language as a result of our love of these astounding equine. I’ve always imagined people discuss topics by coming up with colorful expressions in our past during events like hunting expeditions. Over the centuries, many of these sayings have become part of our language and included in literature, cinema, and poetry.

We are still incorporating horse related terms from fiction and real life into our language in modern times. For example, a Trojan horse is a malicious type of software. A favorite childhood basketball game involves players tossing the ball into the net from different locations on the court until one misses. He/she receives a letter every time a miss occurs until a person is the “horse.” Nonetheless, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Please, join me in quenching our thirst for horse associated expressions below.

Common Expressions with Horse and Pony Association

  1. Eat like a horse: People use this expression to refer to a person who can consume an enormous amount of food in one setting.
  2. Get off your high horse: This phrase is used when requesting that someone stop behaving in a superior or arrogant manner.
  3. Horse about or around: This phrase refers to behaving foolishly.
  4. Horse of another or different color: Believed to originate with Shakespeare, this expression has come to mean different as opposed to similar.
  5. Horsepower: This is a unit of power measurement normally applied to machines, such as an automobile’s engine.
  6. I don’t have a horse in the race: Basically, this term refers to not having an invested interest in the outcome of something.
  7. Pony and trap: This refers to something of poor quality or trash.
  8. Pony up: Settle your debts or pay what is owed.
  9. Saddle up: People may use this term when they are making preparations to travel. For example: Saddle up! We leave in a few hours.
  10. Straight from the horse’s mouth: This term denotes the source is reliable and trustworthy.
  11. Strong as a horse: This is an expression meaning a person, machine, or animal is incredibly strong physically.
Foxhunting is still popular in some places.

Foxhunting is still popular in some places.

References

Nack, W. (2010). Secretariat: The making of a champion. New York: Hyperion.

Stewart, G. B., & Muñoz, W. (1996). Mustangs and wild horses. Minneapolis: Capstone Press.

Underwood, T. R. (2006). Thoroughbred racing and breeding: The story of the sport and background of the horse industry. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing.


© 2018 Tim Truzy

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