On Horses

Today American Pharoah will try for the Triple Crown. I wish I could’ve been there but am in Boston this week.

In honor, here are a few excerpts from a couple of my favorite books, not just on horses, but period.

Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses:

What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them.

Finally he said that among men there was no such communion as among horses and the notion that men can be understood at all was probably an illusion.

John Jeremiah Sullivan, Blood Horses:

We are no longer frightened of nature; what frightens us is the idea that we have triumphed over nature, and what that triumph will mean in the long run, when we understand, too late, that we were nature, that our triumph has been a suicide. This is what the unbroken horse symbolizes now: the strange power of that which is both defenseless and indispensable, that which exists by our leave but without whose existence we would change, become something less than what we are.

Century after century, we have prosecuted our insane conflicts from atop their backs, resting on their sturdy necks when we grew weary, eating their flesh when we were starving, disemboweling them and crawling inside their bodies when we were freezing.


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