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In this together

The View

Our lives are inundated with shiny things.

Television commercials tell us what we should want. A bigger car. A nicer house. A better body. Store windows shout out at us, convincing us how great we'd look in that new outfit, or how much better life would be with that new smartphone.

Even our social media feeds show us our friends and family on their best days, at fancy restaurants, sitting on the 50 yard line, or at the theatre about to see the hottest show. Kids are well groomed and smiling. Spouses are saying loving things about their perfect lives.

And then there are the horses. We read stories every day about the rags to riches tales. The low priced yearling that won the nation's biggest race. Trainers, drivers and owners smiling in the winner's circle having the best day, week or year of their lives. Horses are going to yearling sales, and we read about the breeders who had good, prosperous sales. We hear about the wins, but rarely the losses.

We may celebrate the success of others by sending a note, or clicking "like" or "share." We may be genuinely happy for those who seemingly have their lives perfectly together. Or we may feel something else completely.

But rest assured, despite the shiny things presented all around us, the purified picture of the world that we see daily is far from the everyday that each of us faces.

We suffer from loss. Whether it be loved ones passing, relationships ending or horses hurt or unable to continue on. Sometimes the true story is riches to rags, not the other way around. We may take pictures of winner's circle celebrations, but what about everyone else, trying to make a living, feed their families, and take care of their beloved horses?

Away from the shiny things, sometimes we are feeling hurt, alone, misunderstood, exhausted or even hopeless.

The emotional toll of this industry is higher that most could imagine. And for each of us, who is living the roller coaster ride of life, at the same time as the high wire act of horse racing - things are not always well portrayed in a 15 word Facebook post.

This holiday season, if that's you, please remember that you are not alone. The shiny things are nice to look at and appreciate on occasion, but I assure you, that is far from the real picture that most of us face every time we wake up and take on another day.

The REAL things to be cherished are the moments that matter. Whether it's the people that you care about, or care about you. Or the horses who cherish your attention and affection. Or perhaps the way the wind feels on your face as it hits you when you first come out of your home in the morning.

For some reason, all of us are tested. And none of us are alone.

We wake up. We face our struggles and challenges with courage and bravery. And we do our best to make today a better day than yesterday.

And most importantly, we never forget to love. We love ourself, because we truly deserve it. And we love others because we are all in this together.

Wishing all of you the very best this holiday season!

Darryl Kaplan
[email protected]


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