Broken by Horses

by Stuart Mackie

Since being dismissed from the stables, whenever he dreams, he dreams of horses. He sees them enclosing a midnight field, manes merging like waves of corn, a blur of burnished flanks strafed by the searing beams of vehicles racing along the adjacent highway. Blue-grey in the moonlight they hoof the scrub, flare, contract, and expand again. He stirs in his sleep as, encased in their own steam, they slow to a snorting trot, nose to tail, nose to tail. On some collective, unseen signal they accelerate again, assume single file and, one by one, vault the perimeter fence towards disappearing glimpses of tarmac. Woken by the sound of fetlocks fracturing on fenders he lies there, haunted by the thought of forsaken jockeys holding empty harnesses in silent, darkened barns.


Stuart Mackie lives in London and is new to all this. Witness his faltering steps here.