Tuesday, 29 March 2011


I really don't care what your customs and beliefs are.
And as long as they don't cause harm to man, woman, child or beast, I will defend your right to celebrate in any way that you want.

Religions of the world amuse me because they all believe that they are right and obviously, if they don't all come to the same conclusion, there is going to be a lot of disappointed people on "judgement" day.

If they are all so wonderful, so holy, so forgiving, so compassionate, then why do they think that it is just them who will get the big reward.

Just for the record, I don't believe that there is any great reward nor do I think there should be----well, not for those who get a fair chance at life---but it would be nice to think that there was seconds for those who got robbed a little early.

I have got to that age where I have attended a few funerals and the daily newspaper is likely to direct me to more.
It is funny that only good people die---well it seems that every service I have heard focuses on the goodness of a persons life.

I attended a funeral for a man in my ex-wife's family where everyone who spoke told of a good gentle, honest man---yet I know that he beat his wife, molested his three daughters and adopted his brother's war heroics and exaggerated an injury to increase his pension.
Yet I attended a funeral for a young girl from work who was hit by a bus on her way home. She was the sweetest kid that you could meet and lived for her family, her husband and her religion.
Her service was cold and so matter of fact that her death was god's will and that she would be back---even to the stage of telling her young husband not to worry because they would find him a new wife.
The things I learned from her funeral was that this "Christian" religion did not believe in cremation and did believe in reincarnation--not the soul but the body---on "the" day, they shall spring from their graves----gonna be some ugly sights if they are right.

Today I attended a Buddhist funeral/viewing for my mate's father-in-law.
There was ceremony, yet not a structured ceremony
There was laughter yet no one made a structured speech
There was customs to be dealt with.
There was chanting, yet it was recorded
There was candles and incense
And there was money

Money---yes money---the coffin was stuffed with money---but it wasn't real---you buy it in bundles with denominations from US dollars, British pounds, French francs--it's all photo copies. They actually remove the body from the coffin and fill it with "money", put him back in then pad it with "money"--give him some new wrapped clothes and a $2.00 watch and then cover him in in "money".
People approaching the coffin drop in a coin of real money (I wondered if I should make a wish) and there is a coin between his lips---his wife had to wash her eyes before she gazed on him
Once everyone has said their farewells, everyone in procession walks around the coffin three times---I waited for Simon to say that I should hop on one leg, but it didn't happen)

We all left to go to the family home where it was just food and laughter and nothing was said about the old bloke--
But it is not over yet
In a couple of days we go back and get his ashes---yes, they burn all of the fake money---and take his remains to a temple and place them in a wall for the dead.
The best bit about this process is that we have got a whole load of this "money" and we throw it from the car on the way to the temple----of course we will get arrested for littering.

Oh, and if we haven't done it right, he will haunt us tonight.

All of these customs and beliefs will give comfort to his family left behind him.
If they get that comfort, then it is a wonderful belief

Oh, and if you can spend that money Joe, let me know and I'll bring some with me.

If you get some comfort from your beliefs, then they must be right

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


Now I am the first to applaud anyone who comes up with a new idea for a business--or a new way to make an existing mundane occupation more exciting.

Like when one of those mass produced hamburger multi national franchise groups actually started putting beef in their burgers or a pizza maker actually uses pepperoni instead of some reconstituted crap pizza sausage.

But this week on local morning TV, there was a report on a new business in the USA--yep, really, in the USA---who would believe this.

A young lady has set up a business as a therapist.
Now I have found out since that she is not actually qualified, but her idea of how to make people feel relaxed and speak openly about their problems is certainly novel and has great merit.
I am sure that her clients would leave her sessions feeling a lot more satisfied that with a lot of other therapists.

Her idea is that she either starts the session naked or during the session, she takes her gear off.
Well, she would certainly get my attention and I would probably tell her my life story.

Now just for the sake of research, I did check her site.
Besides many photos of this young lady in varying states of undress, there were a few interesting statements.

1) Naked therapy allows, encourages and respects arousal in the therapeutic context.
OK, so sitting across the room from a naked young lady might get you aroused, but that is fine because it is therapeutic---
Yes, I've found that to be the case.

2) Traditional therapy forbids arousal, yet our world is saturated with arousal, and men aren't stupid.
Yes, I think saturated is a very good word.
Oh, and I've dated a girl or two in my day, who might not agree on the stupid bit.
Oh, and I want to know how the traditional therapists enforce that no arousal rule.

3) During these sessions, I use the power of arousal to help you gain more control over your life.
Well, I have doubts about being more in control when aroused.

You may find this hard to believe, but the majority of this young lady's clients are men--but she explains that more men need therapy and they are comfortable with her--but she does have some female clients.
Oh, and the clients can strip before or during the session themselves.
Hmm, was just thinking of all the bum prints on her leather couch---oh, and does she disinfect the couch between between sessions---or just hose it off.

Oh, and as an extra service, you can actually do your session on line---fancy that---you don't even have to be in the same country as some naked girl, while you are talking about your sex life.

Now you might think that this is a lot of crap---well, go and check it out--Sarah White, Naked Therapist.

Now not being one to miss an opportunity, I thought that being a very compassionate bloke and a good listener, I could start up something similar but with a twist.
Ms White seems to cater for the guys, so I thought that I could complement this service and cater for the ladies.
The twist---well, I always like to have people feel at ease, so in my service, the clients will be naked or can strip.

I will give my live on line address to anyone interested.

And remember--
I will respect arousal in the therapeutic context.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Got an e-mail today from a bored local housewife, 43, who was looking for some hot action!

So I sent her my ironing.

That’ll keep her busy for a while.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


It was 8 months that I honoured another guy's ring but it was still hard to hear that Jenny had decided marry her interstate fiance.
Although I was in love with her, I couldn't help but think of Red---what now ?
Jenny wanted to take him with her but I couldn't talk my mate into selling him or giving him to a good home----after all, he was 9 years old and retired from the track.
I left him at Jenny's parents til the day after she left
I couldn't take him back to my mate, so I took him back to my trainers property---I was going to find him a good home, no matter what.

We were breaking-in two young horses that had been sent to us----our normal slow quiet process involved tying the youngsters alongside an older horse working in the cart and getting them used to the cart, the track and a horse right next to them.
Our biggest problem was that every horse we had in work, had some sort of problem and it would not be the greatest idea to lead a youngster from their shafts.---so I put old Red in the cart and took him out on the track to see how he behaved.
Compared to every other horse I had driven, he was a Rolls Royce--he answered ever call I made on him with voice or rein---I was in awe of this big red horse who had not been in a cart for nearly two years.
He was fantastic with the young horses--so patient with their buffeting and pushing but all of the time, proudly striding along.

I couldn't stop working him every day even after the youngsters were well and truly broken in----there was only one horse left to work so I was harnessing old Red for his outing when the stable foreman said he would like to drive him and I should take the other horse.
We jogged down to the track together and did our warm up two laps side by side---I moved into the lead and started to work the other horse into a full speed work out---I was expecting to pass old red as I lapped him but I looked over my shoulder and he was right on my back---I couldn't believe he was working at that pace especially without proper trotting shoes but I couldn't worry about him---I had the other horse to work--and as we turned into the back straight, I started to urge my horse along to finish his work in a sprint---but I could still hear him---I sprinted my horse to the finish and heard the old horse gallop under the pressure.

He excited me that much that I had trotting shoes put on him a couple of days later.

I went to see my mate to see if he would lease me the horse on a racing lease--he said no but told me that he actually belonged to his mother, so I could ask her.
I knew his mother well and she knew her son, so she said that she would be pleased if I never brought Red home again and offered to draw up the lease papers if I liked to pick them up in two days. Of course I was there to sign the papers but she then said something strange--"That will be $50.00 please"---now you don't normally pay for a lease other than a fee for registering it with the trotting authorities and an agreed percentage of any prize money won back to the owner---but I didn't mind and gave her the $50.00 and was on my way to the Authority Office-----
I didn't even check the papers, just signed them and handed them in. The office girl said "$50.00, that's cheap"---I laughed and said "well I've never paid for a lease before"---she said "lease, this is a sale---you now own him"---I looked at the registration certificate and admit there was a tear in my eye---he was mine.

I could have sent him to Jenny but he had been back with me for 4 months and I really loved that old horse----he turned 10 years old and I started to doubt what I was doing but my trainer encouraged me by saying "Don't tell him and he will never know--you have him looking and feeling like a 5 year old"---she was right, he was magnificent.
A friend of mine had raced a pacer which just couldn't win a race and had converted him back to a trotter--(trotters are born, pacers are made)--very few pacers know how to pace til you hobble then and teach them the gait. Any way, he was telling me how fast this horse was going and asked me to come and watch him work---I wasn't being cruel when I told him that his horse was not fast enough and that I could beat him with a 3/4 fit old red off their automatic handicap marks---the challenge was on---really I shouldn't have done it because Red had won 14 races and off automatic handicaps, he had to give the other horse 140 metres start---my trainer was not impressed but told me to go ahead--it would give me a real feel of where we were as far as race speed was concerned.
I had to travel old red 200 kilometres to the country track---I thought it was just my friend and I in a match race but there was 8 other horses there and it was a full race trial.
The Authority race steward asked me who was driving Red---I told him that I was only there for track work against a friend and was not prepared to let anyone there to drive him---he laughed and said "Neither would I--and as you are starting 140 behind the front and 110 behind the nearest horse, I'll let you drive him"--hey, I don't have a trotting driver's licence.----
The barrier strands went back---well at least theirs did---they didn't have one for a 140 handicap, so I had a guy to yell go.
Old Red fired into a trot and started chasing like a greyhound--I had to ease him not to break his heart in the first lap but we had passed two horse that had galloped out of the race----half way through the second lap we were up behind another horse that had obviously made a mistake in the run but was trotting pretty well---it gave me a chance to let the old bloke have a bit of a rest but it wasn't long before he was telling me he wanted to go, so we set off after them---with a lap to go we were on the tail of the field and probably only 40 metres from the leader---I wasn't going to push the old bloke to hard but I eased him out three wide and he started his trek around them--I eased as I got along side my friend and asked him how he was going--the look on his face was priceless and he hit his horse with his whip--the horse went into a gallop as he fell further back in the field----I had nothing to prove to anyone so I just let Red have his head--we were third turning for home but the leaders were too far ahead for me to think about--but not Red--it was like he changed gear as he set out after them---no, we didn't win, but we were only beaten by less than a metre
I could not be prouder of him and I think he was proud of himself----we stayed at my friends place for a few hours and Red had a big lunch and a good afternoon sleep before we headed home----my friend retired his horse.

I raced Red vary sparingly over two seasons, with plenty of spells in between---he started eleven times for me--he won 4 races and was placed at the other 7---he won at his last start and was 12 years old.
I had every intention of giving him a home for life but he got bored very quickly and he could jump and I mean jump big fences.
I got back from a two week holiday to a problem---my trainer said that he went missing out of his paddock one day---they could't find him but he was back in the paddock at night---and it kept on happening---they had not caught him going but had caught him comming home.
I let him out in his paddock and hid back near the stables--he watched and once he thought he was clear, he jumped the front fence a headed down the road---I followed in my car and saw him jump into a paddock----there he was with a mare and her foal--and he was babysitting the foal---I went up to the house and was pleased that I knew the owner---he laughed and had no problem with Red being there but was worried like me, that he was comming down the road.
For his own safety, I had to lock him up in a big yard.

A lovely old volunteer lady at work asked if I knew where she could get a cheap horse for her grand daughters---they lived on a rural farm and had one horse between the two of them.
I was hesitant but told her that they should come and meet Red and me the next time they were in town---she arranged it for that weekend---they were really nice polite kids--the oldest was 15---she loved Red from the minute she met him and he followed her like a dog---she took him for a ride and even let her little sister have a turn.
I said that the next weekend I would come to their property to check it out and that they should seriously think about having a horse that big.
Their place was perfect and the stable, yard and paddock that they had ready was wonderful---and yes, both girls wanted a big red horse----their other horse, a medium sized Arab gelding was in very good condition, well fed, well groomed and happy---I invited the girls down for the next day with Red---they loved him and helped out with the other horses---they were happy to get into all of the dirty work.
When their parents arrived, I told them that I couldn't sell Red to them--there was sad faces everywhere---but I told them that I would deliver him the next weekend and they could keep him for as long as they wanted him---but I would check on him from time to time--and if anything went wrong with him, he was still mine and had to come home to me---.
I did check on him fairly regularly for 5 years and decide that they loved him as much as I did---it was funny that he was still my boy whenever I arrived---he would call out to me.
The last time I visited I said that they should remember that he was still my responsibility, and they shouldn't hesitate to contact me when anything happened--he was 18 and even though in good condition, time wasn't on his side.

Well it was actually---there it was in the paper in the horses for sale section---an obituary---To my darling Red Heart 35 years old. I will love you forever. Thank you for being in my life. Michelle.
I could still shed a tear for him.

Oh, and Jenny---well her marriage lasted about 9 years---but I was married by then---she married again and I got divorced---she was diagnosed with MS and she and her husband moved to a warmer climate---she has always kept in touch---
Her husband cannot understand that her MS doesn't allow her to do a lot of things, but she tries---she is a fighter---oh, and so is he---it looks like their marriage is over.
She may be back soon

Oh, and thank you Red Heart for letting me be part of your life---I will never have a more courageous horse.

Friday, 4 March 2011


I had been working with a little stallion for over 12 months.
He had been sent to my trainer as a last resort after he had nearly torn his hoof off after rearing up and getting his hoof caught between two cyclone gates.
All veterinary advice had been to put him down but his owner wanted to give him every chance to live----so he arrived at the property unannounced followed by a pleading phone call.
Even if the cheques had stopped coming, I think we would have worked on him---he was a lovely horse with so much guts and seemed to have an understanding of his predicament---he helped us help him.
After nearly 12 months of glued on rubber hoofs, hand made leather hoof boots with rubber souls (thanks to my father's leather work skills) myriads of old witch's potions and a very inventive farrier, we had a very cheeky boy on our hands----and his three times a week swimming exercise had him feeling very well.

I pulled up next to the barn with my car and horse float---I had just been to the pool with the little bloke for his big swim----there was a car up next to the house that I hadn't seen before--it had interstate registration plates---
As I got out of the car, a girl walked up to me and said "I'm glad you're back--we were about to leave--let's see him"
Having never seen her before, I just looked and asked her who she might be and what was she talking about-----
Turned out that her father was the owner of the little stallion and she introduced herself as Jenny.
As I let the tailgate of the float down she said "Watch out--he rushes off---you cant stop him"---
I just chuckled as I swung the back bar across, put my had on his rump and said "Steady son---off you come"---and he backed off slowly, stood on the tailgate and roared like the very fit naughty boy that he was.
He pulled away as she grabbed for his lead rope, snorted and reared up over the top of her----she yelled and ducked as I yelled "Aye, that's enough"---he shook his head, snorted and walked up to me---I turned to she that Jenny was OK----she was standing there smiling---her father was with her---she said "He is a different horse--happy, fit but different"

Jenny kept coming out to the property and even came to the races with us
She had a love for horses and wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty.
It wasn't til we went out to dinner one night that I found out that she was actually engaged to a guy interstate but had come back when her parents moved home to work out if she really wanted to marry him.

It had been about 4 months and we were playing the friends game---she still wasn't sure and I wasn't pushing---but she really wanted a horse to ride---wanted to keep it in a paddock next to her parents house in the hills---but she didn't want to buy a horse and then move away.
I went to see my mate, who had horses everywhere-----he always broke his horses to saddle before breaking them to harness---I asked if he had anything, maybe retired or out spelling that he would let Jenny have for a while.
He laughed and said that my timing was perfect "Here, take that big red bastard--he's good under saddle and he's kicking the place down"

I couldn't help myself---he probably wasn't suitable, but I took him---I knew that if I didn't, he wasn't long for this world.
I worked on him every day keeping him hidden from Jenny's eyes---I didn't want to disappoint her but more, I knew that I would find a home for him sometime.
Away from my mate, treated with kindness and fed like a king, he became a pleasure to be with---he had time every day in a paddock with my broodmare, he had an hour tied up and groomed, he followed as I led him on our daily walk and was happy to be led behind the cart of horses that we were working.
He had an awful reputation for tearing and destroying rugs but if he was going to be paddocked in the hills, he would need the warmth of a rug or two.
I had bought an old industrial sewing machine and a lot of canvas pieces at a property sale and had been repairing all of our old stable rugs---I found a couple of rugs that would fit him---sewed webbing belts with Velcro tabs from front to back and got my dad to make a leather bib with light chain work across the front
It was almost like a straight jacket when I put it on him and strapped him in--the bib went across the front and strapped back to the rug---and I stabled him for the night.
I watched his contortionist act while we fed all of the other horses but he gave up and headed for his manger as soon as his feed was poured in----I left him alone for about an hour and went back to give him an armful of hay to keep him occupied.
I couldn't be there in the morning--had to work---but I got a call to tell me that he still had his rug on----he wore it like that for a week, even out in his yard til I changed it---I took off the webbing straps so he could get to the sides of the rug--he left it alone---so I took off the bib and got the same result.

I had long since lost my balance for riding---don't know what it was, but I was not comfortable in the saddle any more. I went to bring big red out of his day paddock to stable him for the night---I don't know why, but we were just walking along the fence line and I walked up a strainer post and slipped onto his back---there was no flinch, no nothing---he just kept walking to the gate.
He surprised me as he backed away from the gate as I undid the chain---let the gate swing clear and walked through heading for the stable---
No sooner had my old trainer yelled "what the hell are you doing" than I was on my arse on the ground with old red looking me in the face---
It was my fault--no bridle, no saddle, no balance and the stable dogs chased chickens out through the door---red only ducked, but I didn't--I was just far too impressed with myself to think---not something you should do around horses.

He was ready---I was confident in him
I knew Jenny would be there in the next 30 minutes---I borrowed a riding saddle and bridle from my trainers daughter----I had to let every strap out to almost full length---he was a big boy.
I brushed him out to look his best, saddled him up and had him tied to the rail when Jenny arrived.
I was harnessing a horse to work when she came over to the rail--we talked for a while---she kept looking at big red and finally she said "He's a nice boy. Who does he belong to ?"
"Oh, him, he's yours"
It didn't sink in at first but then it was all smiles---OK, and kisses---she raced back to her car and grabbed her riding helmet.
She looked to me for a leg up, but I told her that if she was going to take him home, she had better work out her mounting for herself---there was a scowl, a chuckle, a yes well and she scrambled onto his back, adjusted her irons and away they went.
I've never been sure of who enjoyed themselves more but they were both fairly tired when I saw them about 3 hours later.

Thus started a love affair---oh, and I was there too

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


I first saw him early in his life.
There was something about him that made you notice him---not so much imposing, but there was this presence about him.
Some called him ill mannered, some called him mad but that fire in his eyes was not anger, it was fear.

There was no doubt about his talent but under pressure he was unpredictable.
Even though he had proven his ability he was was not well favoured by those around him and his manner soon saw him dispatched into the wilderness of life.

I caught sight of him a couple of years later.
He had changed significantly---yes, he was taller but lighter in frame---he looked beaten--no glow, no presence and a sadness in him eyes.
The talent was still there but there was no zest to his performance---just seeing him saddened me.

A few years later I was at a friend's stables and helping him for a week with a few horses because one of his employees had left. He asked me to get feeds ready and feed the four horses in the outside yards behind the barn because they were not in work---I'm always glad when he leaves me to feed as I am a fairly generous feeder compared to his norm and believe our animals should enjoy meals as much as we do.
I got to the last yard and there he was.
He had put on some condition but his coat was dull and there was still that sadness in his eyes. I walked up to him in the yard but he swung away as I tried to put a hand on him---I poured his feed into his manger and waited for him to come to it but he just stood back----I talked softly to him and sat down next to the manger.
I don't know if it was his stomach or his curiosity that got the better of him first but he finally came over to eat----I just sat and talked to him---he kept an eye on me all of the time and flinched every time I moved a hand---but I stayed and talked til my friend came looking for me.
"Jesus Clyde", he yelled, "what are you doing with that brumby---he bites, he kicks, he tears rugs to pieces and tries to tear his stable down---if my mother didn't own him he would be at the knackery by now"
I got up to walk out of the yard and the big horse swung his rump to me to kick--I just roared "Don't you" and he stopped--he turned and walked forward and let me rub his face as I talked to him.
I spent time with him every day while I was helping my mate and every day was a more trusting day.

I had a full time job and horses of my own at another property so I didn't see him again for over a year. I had asked about him and knew that my mate's mother had made him put the big horse into work.
We were at the race track with two stable horses, neither with much talent but their owners loved them and we did our best to get them to the line. I was harnessing up one of our horses when I was bitten in the middle of my back by the horse being led into the next stall and heard this voice say "Geez, he remembers you"----I turned to see this magnificent big red horse---it was him.
He stomped his feet like a petulant child and roared like a wild beast---he lashed out behind and kicked the backboards of the stall and lunged forward to bite the stable attendants---I was pleased to see him looking and feeling so well and grabbed the stable girls hand as she tried to find his manners with a whip..
I walked up to him talking all of the time---his ears pricked up and he looked and snorted as I help out my hand for him---he stood like a statue and let out with a low murmur as I stroked his face---I looked at my friend and said "Yes, he does remember me"

We had a horse in the next race and after driving him in the parade ring, I walked up to watch him race----we had planned everything out for this horse for months and this was going to be his best chance of winning a race---we told the owners to have a bet on him but not much.
There was a lot of smiles after the race as he won by the shortest of margins but he had won his race--it was almost sad because we had said that he should retire if he won and the owners agreed---but we knew he had a good life ahead.

There was a lot of yelling as we got back to the stalls---there was the big red horse tied to the fence and my mates racing cart in pieces all around him---someone had forgotten to tie the kicking strap behind him as the pulled the cart over him and he lashed out--and once he had started, he kept going til there wasn't a lot left of the cart.
My mate said that he couldn't race now because no one in their right mind would lend him a cart for the big kicking bastard---I laughed and pulled my cart over to him--I grabbed the big horse by the bridle and spoke to him as they tied the cart down and away they went to the track.
He ran a great race without having any luck
Two weeks later he led all of the way in a Cup series race and my mate decided to retire him----not so much for the sake of the horse, but more because they couldn't get on with him----and they doubted him winning in the class he was now in.

more later