Hali Jones responds to
Religion and Science... and Smarty Jones
the other experts say

The horses I know, like the people you know, are vastly different from one another.  They differ in how they see the world, how they think about the future, remember the past, evaluate themselves and consider their place in life.

Regarding horse races and horse winners, many horses are not athletes despite how they can use their bodies across land, water and sometimes through pure air.  Many other horses are not only great athletes, they are competitive regarding their talents.  These are the horses who enjoy racing.

This said, I am not applauding the training techniques used to bring a promising horse to the winner’s circle.  In conversations with veteran race horses, and many up and coming ones, I am often sad at the injuries and suffering that can take place for a young horse.   What I do applaud is the ability and drive an individual horse may have to compete and to win.  Some know themselves so well they can tell me they are better suited to compete in jumping instead of running, for example.   But they want to compete in any case.  It then follows that if anyone, human or otherwise, is competitive they want to win.

As with people, the world-class race horses are few.  As with people, some are pushed to compete against their will, and that is unfortunate in every case.  But for those who are doing what they love to do, racing gives them a job to which they feel profoundly suited and they are proud of their accomplishments, irrespective of what I may think about them doing it in the first place. 

One point that has been continually clear in my conversation with these amazing individuals is their ignorance of the human greed  endemic in racing.  However, each of them recognizes the esteem and value they feel when among humans and among other animals.

Hali Jones–no relation to Smarty–is an animal communicator and is featured in Jane Smiley's new book “A Year at the Races” as the person Smiley called on for help with her race-horses.

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