Life in progress

#JusJoJan 17/20 – A Jade


I’d like to start by saying thank you to MB for our prompt word, “jade,” today. Thank you, MB! You can find her Just Jot it January post here. Go visit her and say hi, and give her a follow!

I don’t have much to talk about on the subject of jade, the stone. And I’m not easily jaded on any subject. So I thought I’d check out the dictionary definition of the word “jade,” and lo and behold, I found something to talk about!

I had no idea that “jade” the noun, can refer to, and I quote from Merriam-Webster dictionary:

a broken-down, vicious, or worthless horse

I’ve known a jade, and I didn’t like it.

I worked, for a time, at a few different thoroughbred horse stables. My job was mostly mucking out stalls and feeding the animals.

There was one place I worked for–I don’t remember the name of the farm, but it was in King City, Ontario, where, at least at the time, there were reportedly more millionaires per square acre than anywhere else in North America, including anywhere in California.

There, I met a horse we less-than-affectionately called “Shithead.” That wasn’t the horse’s real name, and to be caught calling the horse that in front of the owner would most certainly have resulted in being fired. (I don’t remember the horse’s real name, but he was a winner at the track, apparently.)

So Shithead wasn’t a broken-down horse, nor was he worthless. But man, was he vicious. He detested people. All of us.

Fortunately, we didn’t muck out stalls with the horses in them–racehorses and pitchforks should never be in the same place at the same time. But that meant we had to lead the beast out of the stall to put him in a paddock, and bring him back later. It was only a short walk, I managed to avoid Shithead’s teeth by holding his lead rope close to his chest, walking close to his shoulder (he walked very fast, so I was never ahead of him anyway), and flicking at his nose if he tried to turn around a bite my body.

Except one time when I was cooling him down after the jockey had him out on the track. I worked there in the winter, so I had a good thick coat on and thank God for that because have you ever been bitten by a horse that meant to bite? It’s not like the little nibble you might get if you don’t hold your palm flat enough when you’re feeding one. It hurts!

I was happy not to have to punish the horse–I was in too much pain.

At other farms I’ve worked at, punishing a horse was called a shit-kicking. At a thoroughbred farm, it’s called an attitude adjustment, again for the sake of the owners who have tens of thousands of dollars invested in the animals. I didn’t feel the slightest bit bad that the vicious expensive horse received an attitude adjustment that day.

All this to say if you ever come across a horse whose name is Jade, stay away from its teeth. It might have come by its name honestly.


This true story is brought to you by Just Jot it January! Click the following link and join in! It’s fun!

Love quickens beneath the moonlight …

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Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

13 thoughts on “#JusJoJan 17/20 – A Jade

  1. I imagine a bite from a vicious horse really hurts! Ouch!


  2. Oh, ouch! I’ve not been bitten by a horse but a donkey decided to stop running downhill and bent her head and, I swear, laughed as I tumbled over her head and rolled the rest of the way down the hill. I was hurting but it was funny so I laughed, too, in spite of the pain!


  3. The things you learn on this job…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting. Never knew that meaning. One can learn so much from following these prompts! Thanks.


  5. Oh man, I have worked around horses a few times myself, I know what you mean about mean horses! Especially ponies! I used to volunteer for Wings of Hope and we had a mean pony called Freckles. He would try to get you if you weren’t paying attention! They really are just like big ole dogs, most are wonderful to be around but there’s times you come across a stubborn one!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can see how that job would leave you jaded.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You are a brave woman, horses, cows, donkeys oxen, deer, moose anything that big with hard feet and big teeth scary me shitless! 🥴😖💜💜💜

    Liked by 3 people

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