This is a story of two wonderful racehorses that used to be a part of our training stable. They both have their own great stories in their own right – however this little anecdote is about the differences between two incredible athletes.
Easy Gambler was a big horse, solidly built, refined quarter horse gelding. He was the character in our stable. Always seeking attention, up to games, and into trouble. He was a great horse to ride and extremely well broke for a racehorse.
Tudy Fruity Judy was a small fine boned but solid quarter horse filly. For the most part she was quiet and unassuming, behaved as well as she could. She was a lady of manners.
These two horses trained together regularly as three year olds. Each was very different in their style of galloping and each was very different in temperament. Tudy was all business, out to get the job done, enjoying the moment and eager to please, Gambler was full of games, squealing in delight, kicking up his heals, generally full of mischief and eager to run. They were both racing quarter horses bred to run ¼ mile or shorter. Their speed was incredible. Quarter horses have been known to accelerate from 0-50 MPH in 2.1 seconds. These two horses had the speed they were two of the top running quarter horses in British Columbia at that time.
The interesting part of these two horses was that Gambler was the faster of the two. In training whenever the two worked together – he could out run the little filly hands down. His speed was so incredible that he could put a fair distance between them when they worked. Tudy on the other hand was the better racehorse. She was focused and she was out there to win. Tudy proved this by becoming the reserve Canadian Champion three year old that particular year. She was fast and she was competitive. She was all business.
Now you can imagine our frustration when we knew we had a horse that was faster. Tudy won her races or came in second doing her very best each and every time. Gambler on the other hand… well, he had decided that 3rd was good enough. That was his place. It didn’t matter whether we raced him with the fastest horses or the cheapest claiming (slowest) horses. He would come in third. Running with the crowd is where he wanted to be. He did actually win two races in his career – one was by accident when he came in second and the first place horse was disqualified and the second one was when we tricked him into coming out of the starting gate so hard and fast that he was far enough ahead of the other horses when he realized he was alone – they didn’t have time to catch up to his rapidly slowing pace. (That trick never worked again even though we hoped that he had finally awakened to a desire to win).
Thinking back on these two great horses now I can see the wonderful lesson that was there to be learned. We all have the abilities to do anything that we choose to accomplish in our lives. It’s all in the way we apply ourselves and how we direct our intentions. Tudy was focused on her ambition of being a great racehorse. Gambler was satisfied with just being a part of the crowd. We all have this choice in life and its up to us to make up our minds to decide which it is to be.