“The rain it raineth on the just And also on the unjust fella; But chiefly on the just, because The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.” Charles Synge Christopher Bowen

It’s not as if we don’t need it to rain sometimes.  In fact, at the very least, it keeps the dust and pollen count down.  It cleans the roofs, washes a few cars, most of the roads, and gives us an excuse to skip that dinner we didn’t really want to attend.  But if you are a racetracker, it’s a different story….


It wasn’t supposed to rain yet.  Weatherbug AND the local news forecast clear skies until after training hours… but water is now running over the top of your helmet collecting in your goggles and running down the sides, trailing under your collar and finding that oh-so-sensitive spot between your collarbone and the top of your sternum.  That irrepressible shiver begins somewhere between the middle of your shoulder blades and travels around you and into your belly button, just in time to connect to the stream of ice water running down the front of your shirt.  Spilling into your boots from the sponge that used to be your  jeans, the rain seems to sense your utter inability to escape (because you’re galloping in never-ending left turn circles).  The possibility that you may drown is only overwhelmed by images of suffocating in mud if you jumped, so you remain where you are, soggily attached to a large wet piece of leather, attached to an even wetter large animal… who is also not particularly happy about being out in the rain.

Finally under cover in the barn landing as a squishy pile of wet, muddy, human and tack, you realize that the rest of the morning will be more of the same; “just keep your eye on the prize…” you mutter… “hot shower, hot soup, hot anything. I’ll make it.  I can’t get wetter.”  Somehow, you are mistaken.  Not sure how, but you get wetter….

…..(hours later)  The only thing keeping you from getting in the door to your apartment is your soaking wet, slippery keys that render you incapable of sticking anything in that tiny, god-forsaken, little hole.  Warmth and comfort exist on the other side of that immovable door and with those frigid unmoving fingers, you may never get there.  More attempts, multiple curses, and after dropping everything you brought from the car, you crash through the entryway dropping all that might be eternally valuable on the floor so that you can peel the wretched, cold, watery, clingy material that used to be jeans, shirt, socks and underwear off your poor frigid, wrinkled body.  Leaving wet footprints across the hallway you climb into the heaven that once was merely a shower and remain there until all memory of this tragic morning is washed away with the bits of dirt that were embedded into hair, eyebrows and nether places…(I have no idea how it got there either).

Finally, carefully exiting that place of comfort and solace, carefully wrapped in the biggest, fluffiest towel you can find and heading toward an even warmer haven, previously thought of as only a bed, you hear a voice….:  “Hey Babe,…. How about lets go do something,… like a movie?  It’s only noon…”


About michellenihei

Bachelor of Science, University of Saskatchewan Diplomate in Veterinary Science, University of Saskatchewan Master of Science, University of Saskatchewan Doctor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky Post-Doctoral and Jr. Faculty, Johns Hopkins University, MD Assistant trainer to Christopher Speckert, Rebecca Maker, Todd Pletcher Independent business owner and racehorse trainer; StabelLab Evangelist
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