Monday, January 6, 2014

Racehorse Tales - Claim the Trick: The Royal Ass

Sunday January 5 2014

…Claim the Trick charged into the paddock like he knew where to go, with me flapping uselessly off his side. I had intended to lead him into stall number three, which was the same as the number on his bridle, where Claim the Trick would be saddled and where trainer Harris stood waiting for him; but Claim the Trick had other ideas. While Harris stood there and laughed at me (and did not offer to help me), Claim the Trick stormed all the way around the walking ring, dragging me with him, until we came by his stall again, where he made an abrupt left-hand turn and marched right inside, stopping beside Harris.
Then Claim the Trick changed his mind – he spun in a half-circle; so I thought I'd let him stand with his head facing out while he was saddled. But Claim the Trick wanted to walk some more, so, he charged right on back out of the stall and drug me on another forced march around the paddock. I hissed at him in exasperation, “You Ass!”, trying desperately to surreptitiously dig my heels into the ground to gain control of him, while trying even harder to make it look like all this circling around the paddock was all my idea, not my little horse's. I was sweating profusely and already out of breath. Harris, and now Clel the valet, who was holding Claim the Trick's saddle in stall number three, were both laughing at me, greatly enjoying the show we were putting on.
I managed to spin Arthur in a tight circle, and he let me take a left turn and lead him back into his stall, where I tried with all my might and leverage to stop him and keep him facing inward. He stopped, all right, after he ran me into the wall and he could go no further forward...

Above is an excerpt from Claim the Trick: The Royal Ass, one of my series of Racehorse Tales, available on Amazon/Kindle. These short stories are a tribute to the lovable and entertaining, hard-knocking, working class Thoroughbreds I groomed on the racetrack for so many years.

This little racehorse, Claim the Trick (aka Arthur), has a mind of his own and is as strong as a mule. He entertains people as he drags me on unplanned detours whenever and wherever he feels like it, as he trains and runs at Longacres racetrack.

Check out Racehorse Tales, and if you enjoy them, please recommend them and consider leaving a review on Amazon!


  1. Sounds like an entertaining read! I'll check it out.

  2. This sounds fantastic! I'm buying for my Kindle now!

  3. TB's definitely have strong opinions about things. It's part of their high intelligence. I need to look into you book for more. These stories are too good to miss.

    1. Stormy TOTALLY agrees with the "high intelligence" comment ; )

  4. OMG that reminds me of the little thoroughbred filly I raised from a foal. She was a handful like that too.

  5. now you've brought me back in my past again, merri.

    i worked at a TB yearling sale for Riverbend Farm. i was taught how to stand up a horse for buyers, so they can see all 4 legs. i remember how they used baby oil on their coats before the sale, how they were conditioned on a treadmill, and how they got them into the trailer by backing the trailer up to the barn aisleway and running them in. i remember the riverbend owner's home had a gorgeous stain-glass window of racehorses. i cannot for the life of me remember *where* riverbend is - Renton? how can that be? anyway, at the sale, we just walked those horses around and around, and i remember one lady had such a fractious horse, she had a chain over his nose and she would pass the leadrope behind her butt and actually SIT DOWN on it to try to slow the horse down. i'll never forget that. you're sitting down on a rope that ends in a chain on your colt's nose. *shudder*

    the only other thing i remember was straw in the stalls, no tying up of the horses (they couldn't tie) and the barn colors on brand new halters: orange and blue. but at home they all had ratty looking ones.

    it seems like a dream to remember it, but i was there: ) longacres yearling sale....circa.....long ago.

    now your'e gonna tell me you were there too, huh?: )

    1. Lytha, we MUST have crossed paths somewhere in the past! I didn't work yearling sales at Longacres (I did a couple of times at Emerald), though I was there, particularly one year that one of my racemares had a filly in one of the sales. I worked at some farm on a river in Renton one winter too.... might have been Riverbend though I can't quite remember the name of it!!!