Thoroughbred Retirement Home

I’m not a horse person. I don’t dislike horses, I just don’t know any. I sometimes nod at things my friend, Lisa, who is a horse aficionado, tells me just so I won’t look so stupid.

Between Louisville and Lexington on I-64, there are not quite 100 miles of horse farm after horse farm. All the same. One after another, after another. Rolling fields, pastures I’ve heard, covered in snow after the weekend blizzard and corralled by low, dark wooden – I think – fences. An occasional barn. Some as big as houses. A horse here. A horse there. Nothing remarkable once you’ve seen the first ten or fifty.

And then.

At the end of the trek, right before the nirvana of Lexington, is the “Thoroughbred Retirement Home”. Huge happy bright green sign. Barn? Looks like a clubhouse. Brick. Crowned with gables. Country club lighting. Swimming pool? Maybe horsey hot tubs.

Deliberately lined with trees. Impeccably spaced and manicured. Letting in only the perfect mixture of sun and shade. Every so often, buckets of sorts. Actually, they look more like oversized loving cups. Full of something cool to drink. Filtered water, perhaps?

Higher and possibly heated ground. Not a speck of snow in sight, yet in any other direction, there is tons of it. Greener pastures, as it were.

I see cables. Not yet underground utilities? Lights to read by? Outdoor space heaters? Stereo? Intercom system? To call for dinner in the dining hall. Or to the parlor when family comes to visit.

The equine retirees gather in groups. So much to talk about after all. Such full, happy and productive lives.

Lone - and probably bitter - horses on the outside stare longingly in the Home’s direction. I wonder if they’ve ever tried to jump the fence. Only to hang their heads in shame at being returned to their subsidized homes where they belong. Probably only do that once.

If only they’d performed better. Saved more. Made better choices. Had a better start in life. Had more talent. Were encouraged by their parents to pursue said talent.

Somebody got mad at me last week for comparing human beings to animals in our survival of the fittest instincts. Hrmmmph.

Knoxville. The drive was beautiful. The hotel room view was beautiful. Room service was beautiful. And Tom Jones. As he puts it, he’s just “200 pounds of heavenly joy.” Then. And now.

Back home now. And so sad. I know why, of course. I count twelve reasons. Unrelated to each other, too. Oh wait, thirteen reasons 'cause I know I'll probably never make it to the people version of the Thoroughbred Retirement Home. :)