Nov 18, 2009

The Wisdom of C.W. Anderson - Part 1

I picked up a ratty old copy of "Complete Book of Horses and Horsemanship" by C.W. Anderson that was languishing in my pile of as-yet-unread children's books, and was delighted to find it was a delightful little read, charming in its selective choices of topics and peppered liberally with wise-sounding axioms, ancedotes and second-hand stories, such as:

"The horse is a dignified animal.  Tell him he is a fine fellow in good English - not baby talk."

"The true horseman sees much and says little.  We can emulate him to some degree if knowing little, we say little."

"There have been many fine horses.  Swaps, the Derby winner from California, and his archrival Nashua, considered by the veteran trainer "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons the most powerful stayer he ever trained.  Bald Eagle was a splendid Cup horse and Kelso was one of the best.  Then there were the great ones of other days.  Those who saw Hindoo, Syonsby, Hanover, and Domino are gone.  And the tracks are so different that comparisons can have no meaning.  There is no way of accurately evaluating horses of different eras; possibly not even of different years.  Only if they could appear on the same track, all in top condition, might we get the answer.  And possibly not even then." 

You can't help but be delighted by the simple finality with which he makes his proclamations.  When I write my book, I should want it to be exactly the same.

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