Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Horse Called Eagle

Or - why I love social networking. I belong to site called Goodreads and on that site, I recently listed a horse book I plan to read. It's by Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley, and it's called THE GEORGES AND THE JEWELS. That's a strange name for a book - but I related to it, because apparently the main character's father sells horses (like my father did) and in an effort to prevent her from becoming too attached to them, they all get named either George (for a gelding or colt) or Jewel (for a filly or mare.) This book is now on the top of my to-read pile, and I'm anxious to dive in.

So - last week I get a message on twitter (a tweet) from a horsewoman named Natalie Reinert, mentioning that THE GEORGES AND THE JEWELS looks good. Natalie recently joined Goodreads, and friended me there (see how this works?) So I mentioned that once I owned a horse named Eagle, that my dad bought for me off a truck load of horses from Idaho. He was a flea-bitten grey, part Arab, and colored like the horse below. I loved his name - Eagle, and that's what I called him.

Sometime later I found out that the man unloading the truckload of horses called every horse Eagle that day. "Come on, Eagle. Easy there, boy. Whoa, son. Good boy, Eagle." Boy, did I feel dumb. But still, it was a good name.

So when I told Natalie that story, she messaged me back that she once owned a horse named - wait for it - Eagle, who arrived in Florida off a truck from Virginia. I know, small world, huh?

Anyway, Natalie gallops thoroughbred horses at Aqueduct race track in New York, she's a writer, and she has a fabulous blog. Read her post right here about the thrill of riding a horse out of the starting gate for the first time: Wow. I could never be so brave!

I am delighted to know Natalie, because we share a love of writing, reading, and horses. (Not to mention former horses named Eagle.)

Do you have a friend you've met through social networking, or a crazy story like that to share? Tell us. Or (gulp) have you, too, ever owned a horse named Eagle?


Judi said...

Dad rode a horse named Current. Whatever horse he was riding that day was named.....yup, Current.

Team Caffee said...

Wow Linda that is a cool blog. I was also an aspiring race horse rider at one crazy time in my life. My first time in the gates was a training experience for the horse and we were by ourselves. First thing the darn horse does is flip over in the gate and luckily the gate held us up till we could get him straightened out and back on all 4 feet. We finally got all straightened out and settled back in and the gates open! I can tell you there in no drug in the world that can give you the same high as that! My gosh the thrill of all the sudden seeing the track without bars and then the feel of that first jump and we were at a dead run. I was on a quarter horse and you know how fast they move. In all of these years I have never forgot the first time and the feeling that gave me. I can see why jockeys put their bodies and lives through hell to maintain the weight to keep racing. I am going to have to see about the book also!

Linda Benson said...

Judi - Current? LOL - that's hilarious! That's not even, like, a really cool name. Funny, huh?

Team Caffee - Wowsa - very cool that you've done that, too! On a quarter horse? Wow, they break fast. I am in such awe of the athleticism of jockeys, perched up there on those wild-eyed horses and in such a tiny little saddle. Such balance. Such coordination. Such guts and strength! Yeah, in my next life I'm going to be a jockey (one that never gets hurt.)

Natalie Keller Reinert said...

Oh Lin, thanks so much for the shout-out. That was a crazy coincidence, wasn't it? I remember to this day, we were like "Eagle...who'd name a horse Eagle?"

He certainly didn't look like an Eagle.

Anyway, the day a horse flips on me in the gate is the day I sell my hard hat on eBay... just to insure I never do anything so foolish as get on a racehorse again! I'm told by other riders that I ride some pretty naughty horses - I don't know, they're not that bad.. a buck here, a rear there... :)

Linda Benson said...

You are welcome, Natalie. And continued good health to you, dear, while you ride those naughty, unruly horses. May your mount never flip in the gate.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

What a fabulous post! It is a small world! Thank you for the book suggestion and the link to Natalie's blog. I'm on my way over to check it out.