Trek [undercover]

dr2.0, deletion a potential, 2.5 -let it rest, then fix:/

When I was researching Western genre I took two ladies to a real horse farm.  The farm – keeps horses in sheds, feeds them straw, ships horses to abattoirs maybe sixteen months later on for the saveloy, for the pizza toppings.  I asked no penetrating questions during the tour, sensed intimidation of powerful women in jodhpurs, women who  patrolled perimeters on duties, women striding about the camp. Some had wheelbarrows, they carried pitchforks.

I saw horse folk exercise meat kept tender for butcher masters down that industrial food chain.  I walked as well – among a group of visitors [and my women], but stayed at the back of the group.  They were just the same all women, every one a woman – ladies.  I looked  conspicuous in shorts, didn’t want questioning – why I might be riding horse,  didn’t want to tell them  I was a novelist researcher.  People get hysterical on that first impression, yawn over my face when I reveal true life, and my stories:

‘It’s going down,’ I do say first of all, ‘down on the paper, in the book…’ always I’m saying this to myself pretty much all the time, mutter now really, at the keyboard. You understand.

[But] This farm – stood  way away – away in the North of England, and [they] won’t find me here in the city, of course, but chief, a woman, took us between sheds, and girls chose horses to ride around, and eat later, a month or two later – no reason, and don’t get emotional, real world circumstance.  Each girl rode the horse, trotted to a riding circle.  It came to my turn, I was disrespected.  The horse, or ass stood four foot high, appeared fat, inedible.  [if you have ridden a dog you get the picture.] Nor did I receive proper training, clothing, equipment like the ladies wore on their bodies.  Only a brown anorak for my protection, Wellingtons, an American football hat stuck to my face, kind of stepped around the mount; not a John Wayne jumping experience you read about on Youtube.  Feet swung inches from ground, and if I wanted, I might have picked this horse up, ran with her underneath me, on my own two hooves, like the old days, like hobbyhorses.

Trekking was inevitably the most hazardous event of the day – a day in nature, and we guntered over fields, turned corners on the horses, but then in the  next field seven  bulls lived alone with no shepherds.  Still,  girls rode, farther and farther away from me, the father of the party.  My little pony only leaned over, and munched on grass.  I tried horse talking, cried a ‘giddy giddy,’ stared at bulls in their camouflage coats, they surrounded me – hungrily.  I did not scream, they said I screamed when they marooned me in the cow field, these so-called women..

Never  wrote the Western novel.  Traumatised, I concentrated on science fiction anthologies.  Even today when horse-racing is televised, I turn it off.