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One Photo; One Story: Horses have feelings too.

I don’t think a horse wants to be friends if it shows you his arse.

The Irish are proper, so they use the word arse.

2005 was a year I was glad to see end. Not a good year, my mother had died, and I was recovering from losing a job the at the end of 2004. I was ready for 2006.

We spent the last day of 2005 at fancy Irish Ball at Kinnitty Castle.

Kinnitty Castle


County Offaly, Ireland.

It was originally built in 1209 and was once owned by the mighty O’Carroll’s. It was burned down by the Norman’s, rebuilt by the same Norman’s, burned down by the IRA in 1922 and rebuilt again.

In the late 20th century, the castle was owned by investors and repossessed by the bank. It had closed and reopened again several times. Kinnitty is now a four-star hotel. Parts of the original castle are built into the modern building.

The Castle IS haunted.

We check into a room named for Silken Thomas. Thomas Fitzgerald was the 10thEarl of Kildare known for rebelling against his cousin King Henry VIII.

After 800 years if the walls could talk, they would tell an amazing story. No wonder it’s haunted. Our room was very small and cramped under the pitch of the old roof. All night long the walls banged as if the old castle were feeling its aches and pains.

As we left the old castle on the morning of January 1, 2006, it was as if we were driving into a new year; a new adventure.

We stopped for one last photo of the castle that is set against the paramount of the Slieve Bloom mountains. Horses grazed about 200 yards from the small driveway where we stood.

Kelly began to snap a few photos and the horses took off towards us in a full sprint. One was kicking and bucking with joy! We could hear the thundering hooves and ground rumble the closer they approached. They were running hard; it was as if they could crash through the fence and run us over.

Horses must have great control, these giants stopped inches from the gate.

They stood staring at us, we stared back.

Kelly snapped a few photos. The horses realized that they weren’t going to be fed and the brown one with the white forehead tried to bite her. They were angry horses.

No food. No friends.

Then they turned and showed us their arses.

Animals set a good example. These horses stopped short of running us over, much like 2005 for me. They turned their backs on disappointment, dismissed it and moved on.

The horses remind us to keep moving on, turn from the old and face the new. As we left 2005 in the dust. 2006 changed the course of my life and career. Happy New Year!

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