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Michael Spoula


What Hind of Horse Are You - An Essay by Michael J. Spoula, Wordsmith


Inspired by the movie Secretariat

What kind of horse are you? In the movie Secretariat the secret was to let the horse run his race. This

started me to thinking about the different type of people that are in the world and how they can

compare to different type of horses. Where do you fit in?


We all like to think of ourselves as thoroughbreds, proud, high spirited, hard working, brilliant, admired,

and inspirational in short at the top of the heap, a real winner. Shockingly, most of us cannot

legitimately claim this title and that is okay. We have to be what we are and nothing else. The human

thoroughbred will do his or her1 own thing, when he wants to. He will be strong willed, intelligent, vocal

about his needs and he will not accept anything less than what he perceives as the best. Thoroughbred

humans can exist at both ends of the socioeconomic scale, from the super rich to the street person. It is

not a matter of money but attitude. On the plus side, the Thoroughbred will get what he needs, on the

negative side he will be hard to be friends with and since he trusts no one’s opinion but his own he will

make mistakes. He may be lonely as people will find him and his needs hard to understand. On the

positive side he will have what he needs to make him happy, on the negative side, he may not recognize

this and find his life empty because of things he cannot reach. He will always be a finisher but he does

not like to look at the tails of the other horses in the race and a thoroughbred human in second place

will be angry but will usually only blame himself for not running harder. This desire to be first will fuel

his ambition. To be a thoroughbred human means you never reach your goal, you have to keep moving,

the carrot on the string is always just out of your reach and you figure that if you run harder you will

eventually get to eat it. The life of a thoroughbred is not all oats and honey.

For the rest of this essay please insert “or her” where needed I just don’t want to keep typing it over and over
again. I mean no disrespect to the ladies in the audience – male of female we can all strive to be ourselves.
What Hind of Horse Are You - An Essay by Michael J. Spoula, Wordsmith


Perhaps you are a trotter. There is something majestic in a trotting race; all of the horses running in

apparent harmony while at the same time each of them are trying to gain an advantage and win the

race. A human trotter will be disciplined to the extreme, taking one step at a time and keeping focused

on keeping in step. The trotter human will have some trouble with other people, especially

thoroughbreds, because they will want to take a disciplined approach to problem solving where others

will want to plunge ahead and get the job done. The trotter will weigh the consequences of each action

and take his time in deciding. The trotter does not make too many mistakes, will not take too many

risks, and while he will maintain a spotless record, there is a danger of the trotter slipping into


The Mustang

The wild mustang is an American Icon, an animal running proud, free and wild, answerable to no one.

This is another horse we would like to see ourselves as. Again, there are fewer mustang humans than

we would think. The true mustang accepts no boundaries, no bridle or bit and when cornered is hard

and dangerous to break. While we might think of ourselves as mustangs, the wildness required to be

one for most of us has thankfully been bred out our kind long ago and is but a dim memory. The human

mustang has a disregard for the niceties of ordinary life, you accept him for what he is or you can go

your way. It is hard to get to know the mustang, he has no fear except of being saddled and

domesticated. He is hard to reason with, unless he agrees with your position. The mustang tends to be

anti-social, will take any advantage that he can to best you and will be ruthless if necessary to gain his

desires which are seen as the ultimate good. The mustang follows his law. In our jails, prisons,
What Hind of Horse Are You - An Essay by Michael J. Spoula, Wordsmith

executive suites of banks, brokerage houses, and in many of our state and national legislative bodies you

will find many fine examples of human mustangs, mores the pity.

Jumpers and Steeple Chasers

There is nothing more beautiful than a horse trained to jump over obstacles in steeple chase. The

human jumper plans and practices and pays attention to form and style. He moves ever forward,

keeping the future in sight and preparing for the next obstacle. It is hard to surprise a jumper, but they

limit their vision to what they can see. They can see a three rail fence directly ahead and make all

preparations to jump it with style and grace, but might not see the water hazard right behind the fence.

Out of all the horse types the jumper will listen to your ideas and take them into account as he plans the

future. While he fiendishly keeps his eye on the goal, he misses seeing the beauty around him. The

jumper is mild mannered and the easiest to talk to.

The Junk Wagon Horse

The final type of horse does not seem to be one we would want to imitate but I think that many of us

most resemble this kind of horse. The junk wagon horse accepts what is, moves slowly but surely down

roads he has trod before. He does not notice the burden of the wagon as he has carried it for many

years and it feels a part of him now. He works day in and day out embracing the day to day chores of

everyday life and feels simple pride when the job is done. At home he gratefully eats his oats and

afterwards falls into a sleep where he dreams of being a thoroughbred, trotter, or mustang. He awakes

in the morning, forgets his dreams and slips on the bridle and bit and goes back to work not noticing the

burden of the wagon because he has carried it for many years.

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