Just Not Today

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Just Not Today

I have had the privilege of working during my life with many, many animals. Of all species, from small rodents to large cats, rhinos, hippo and elephants and more still. For a few years l worked with horses, both during my marriage and long after my divorce. I love horses as much as l love dogs and porcupines, in fact truth is l love all animals.

I once visited a horse auction in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire which l attended with my stable manager who was looking to purchase some field horses to act as companions with her own horses. My stable manager may have been a hard woman when it came to people, but she was a different person altogether when it came to horses, her first and quite possibly only true love.

I attended three times in the summer of 2011, l could no longer attend these events after that summer, and still cannot bring myself to visit these places, as they distress me too much.

This poem was written in 2011 from two viewpoints: The Observer and The Horse.

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Just Not Today

The horse market can be a busy noisy place indeed,
Saturdays’ in Melton Mowbray have in the past,
Been packed to the brim with buyers looking for steeds,
Looking for the right mount, that will last,

The recessive climate that we find ourselves in of late,
Has taken its’ heavy toll on man and beast alike,
And as such, we now see stock buyers on the predate,
With sellers becoming more business-like,

But the business of selling now for pleasure is hard,
With ordinary buyers looking for the right bargain,
Horse or horses that are suitable for their yard,
Those that are ideal for the purpose of fine riding action,

However not all of the livestock at the market these days,
Are considered an ideal choice by the novice buyer,
Shrewd eyes and experienced hands can hide the betrays,
From those who are there for enjoyable canter,

Whilst it is true that there are indeed bargains to be found,
Just as many present have been here before,
Constantly in the circle of going around and around,
From sales yards or disgruntled riders who no longer adore,

This poor beast that has tried its hardest to please,
But possibly through no fault of its’ own,
Or by hard treatment or lack of patience is to be released,
Back into the market place to be sold to an another unknown,

The recession has also forced many emotional sales,
When owners can no longer afford the upkeep of their charge,
And now look here for the final solution and all it entails,
With broken heart and sadness which is hard,

For me personally, these markets are distressing,
And l take a rather cynical viewpoint to all that is said,
By those who are hard in their bargaining,
Assuring buyers and sellers alike about their pure-breds,

If they cared so damned much about their animals’ welfare,
Perhaps they should see to it that hay and water are present,
In the squalid and clinical stalls in which the horses are ensnared,
Than concentrate more upon the selling environment,

Watching as often as l do, the behaviour of these animals,
Noting with anger how many are visibly frightened,
With eyes wide open in fear, sensing the evils,
And wonder why many a time no authorities are ever present?

Many of these horses are stressed, and should receive a vetting,
By an outside experienced and learned hand,
Acknowledging whether they are suitable for auctioning,
Worth what those selling are keen to demand,

But l have to ask myself in all honesty,
What on earth is going through the mind of those for sale,
Those who look so confused and filled with worry,
Tired or broken, hungry and frail?

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‘What is it that l have done, to deserve this now,
To be here amongst this bustling throng,
Have l upset you somehow,
Did l do something so terribly wrong?

Early this morning, you caught me up,
Herded me into the large lorry off the yard,
Upsetting the morning routine with this shake up,
Your eyes normally so soft now so hard!
I didn’t understand, simply not at all,
How l stood, concerned and worried in the back,
Steadying myself from the jarring so as not to fall,
Looking at metal sides, wondering where is the tack?

This cannot be a show in which l am to attend,
And where are the others that l know so well,
Why are they not with me, my friends,
I have awoken to a major bombshell,

And then there was so much noise, and smells,
And other horses that l know not by any means,
But l have been here before, this stressing hell,
Led into the metal jail which is unclean,

Yesterday, l was grazing in the pasture,
The tired wind slowly whispering in the trees,
Feeling the gentle kisses of a passing shower,
And enjoying the tickling of the moistened breeze,

Relaxing with every minute that l drew breath,
Finally thinking that perhaps l was now allowed to be,
Left alone to enjoy life’s quiet walks without stress,
And that someone now finally loved me,

But here l am back in this horrible place,
With all the people looking at me and passing comment,
Not even looking into my face,
Failing to understand my stressful torment,

Maybe, perhaps someone will see me and understand,
That if they give me the time and the loving touch,
Then l too can become their best friend,
And award them with so very much?’

 

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But l guess l will never truly know what goes through their mind,
If l had the money, l would buy all the broken,
And simply let them live out the rest of their lives,
In the fields where they could relax and not think of auction,

And if many of these sellers cared so much for them,
Perhaps they would not be ruled by greed,
Allowing their horses, companions to go to the meat men,
But would look at those who can afford to feed,

So many are so keen to simply offload the expense,
With sometimes very little regard of the life,
That is being abused and cannot display a defence,
But through small faults is on the path of strife,

Those not sold will go home again and can sigh relief,
For the time being, until the next market day,
Some bought will see a new life,
Others sadly will see a field again, just not today.

Guy or Bloke, Your Choice

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