My name is Platinum Decision and I’m a thoroughbred; the fourth horse to join the herd. Platinum is a valuable metal so I guess Platinum Decisionmeans it was a great decision to buy me – and I agree. Even people who don’t know much about horses have heard of thoroughbreds, because many of us are famous racehorses. We start our training at the track when we’re two, but we only stay there if we’re very fast. Most of us are sent off to new homes and new jobs. I was pretty fast, winning seven races before I left.
All thoroughbreds are registered with an organization called, The Jockey Club. We’re given a name and a number which is tattooed inside our upper lip. You can find out our birth date and racing record by researching this number. My Jockey Club name was Sicilian Lover, which I think sounds like a pirate’s name. I prefer Platinum Decision. I’m too fancy to be a pirate.
After I left the racetrack, I learned how to be a “hunter”, which is not the same thing as a person who tracks down animals. A “hunter” is a horse who is taught to move in an elegant style called, English riding- but you don’t have to be from England to do this! Even a Martian could be an English rider with the proper training. Hunters also jump, which is a job I really like. I feel like I’m flying as free as the birds I see high up in the sky when I soar over a fence. Mom only rides me over little jumps because she’s a chicken – like Sonny. I’ve tried to convince her to go over something higher but she says, “No thank you Platinum. I’m afraid I’ll fall off.” Since I have good manners and don’t want her to get hurt, I resist the urge to go too fast or jump too high. I save that for bolder riders.
NAMES WILL NEVER HURT ME
I am the second biggest horse in my barn. At 17 hands, Beau is the tallest. I have great “conformation” which describes how I’m built. All my parts, like my neck, shoulders, back and haunches – or what you might call my hips – are the perfect size and shape, which makes me strong and fast. I have a white mane and tail and hundreds of rust and gray freckles sprinkled all over my white fur. I really stand out in a crowd since most horses are chestnuts or bays. A horse with my coloring is called, “a flea-bitten gray”. Even though it’s not a pretty name, it’s still a pretty color. Remember, it doesn’t matter what someone calls you. It doesn’t change who you are.
Even though it was winter, with snow covering the ground, it had been pouring rain for two days. Mom kept us in the barn so that we wouldn’t catch a chill. We may be big and strong, but we get sick easily.
I had plenty of hay, so I was content. Not Trinity. Mom says he has “ants in his pants”. There’s bound to be trouble if he gets bored. When he reached over and opened my door latch with his teeth, I couldn’t resist the temptation to leave the barn. Uh, oh. I felt guilty because I knew I was being naughty.
I must admit it felt pretty good to be free to go wherever I wanted to, but I wasn’t dumb enough to go near the road. That would be dangerous. I took my time exploring our property until Mom spotted me standing near the barn. I pretended I’d been standing there the whole time, but the hoof prints in the snow told the real story.
She frowned and asked, “How did you get out Plats?” I didn’t tattle on Trinity, but she figured it out pretty quickly. Since I wasn’t wearing a halter, I knew she couldn’t force me to go back into my stall and I was tempted to ignore her. Then I thought, “That’s silly. Where would I go? Who would feed me? Who would love me?” Cherokee has told us scary stories about owners who didn’t take care of their animals. Frightened that Mom might sell me to someone like that, I walked quietly back into my stall.