Upset, Saratoga’s Dark Horse, Reminds Us: Identify Your Own Giant, and Fell Him.

“Though he be but little, he be fierce…”
Thus Tobey Maguire as Red Pollard paraphrased Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream” in the 2003  film, “Seabiscuit.”  Red knew that the outside of Seabiscuit in no way reflected the inside–the REAL ‘Biscuit–the Champion who lurked beneath his horse’s diminutive stature.
These were the words the came into my heart immediately yesterday, as I approached the front of the Saratoga City Center for Day Two of Equestricon…
First, Katey and I saw the horse trailer.  JOY!  An actual horse, on campus!  But then, immediately I worried about the horse’s psyche, with all these rabid fans–many of whom may have never actually touched a horse.  (I’m always worried about the horse, never about the possibility of a human getting kicked in the head.  LOL, as they say…)

Though he be but little, he be fierce.

Then it came together.  This beautiful boy–who’s maintaining firm eye contact with me, in this picture–is he, whose limousine-trailer was parked in front. This hero is Upset, the King of Broadway in Saratoga–Impressions of Saratoga’s Mascot.  Upset is a delicious creature, whose name pays homage to the horse who brought down Man o’War–98 years ago in the Sanford Memorial Stakes, right here in Saratoga.
Upset knows a secret, that whomever maintains eye contact the longest–is in control of the conversation.
So this steel-spirited horse brought me to my proverbial knees, by staring me down.  I kid you not.
And he made me think a hundred things at once, including these ideas:
In this first photo (above)–he looks to be perhaps 15-16hh.  Hard to tell exactly his height, but from this perspective–he could be a Thoroughbred, or a Quarter Horse.  Beautiful, shiny, quite confident in his own bad self.
And, as so many animals out there in The Wild know–if you think that you’re bigger than you look–your enemy/predator may very well believe it, too-and thereby, leave you alone/not eat you.
Perception is Deceptive
But no, Upset is not a 16hh horse of any breed, for in fact he is a nine-year-old Miniature Horse.  He’s also the CEO of The Dark Horse of Saratoga, the  brand that honors his namesake, and all dark horses against whom the odds are stacked–and yet, who have a golden moment when they fell a giant.  As Upset told me just yesterday, “In Saratoga, the smart bet is always The Dark Horse.”

When you see Upset in perspective–you gain some insight into his actual, physical stature.  

I suspect that Upset is not actually FIERCE, but certainly–he is a spiritual giant.  And a shining example for we mere humans who see him:  we can observe his behavior, and witness his mission via The Dark Horse.  Upset wants us to know:  the only limitations we have are those that we choose to accept.  Life may have dealt us a rough hand:  we may be physically small/weak/disabled.  We may be unemployed/ divorcing/struggling with illness.
But those things don’t have to define us–and they won’t, IF we don’t let them.
No, I’m not being a cockeyed optimist–oh, my God, you should know me better than that.  (My picture is in the dictionary, under, “cynic.”)   I’m writing merely to tell you that which Upset knows, from his core–out:  that we can look at our circumstance (or, our limitations)–at those things that are holding us back–but we do not have to bend over for them, and take the spanking.
We do not have to be defeated by our challenges.  No, I’m not telling you to go into Denial Mode.  (Upset is too straightforward a guy to accept that silliness.)  Upset looks to all the world like a tiny, little horse.  But he knows that his physical size does not define him:  HE is the one who defines himself–and HE is mighty of spirit.  A freakin’ Force of Nature.  The CEO and evangelist for The Dark Horse of Saratoga.
Upset is named ironically, because of course–his own challenges have no power to throw him off the balance beam.  Nothing upsets him, because  he is mighty of spirit, and so–he stares down humans with the heat of  a thousand lasers.
Upset knows his value, his merit–and he won’t let anything as silly as his physical attributes define him, or his mission. 
And this is why he founded The Dark Horse of Saratoga, and why he continues to evangelize, to teach you, me, all humans who are too silly to see beyond our own noses.  In Saratoga, as Upset sez–the smart bet is always on The Dark Horse–and in Life, the smart bet is always on YOU.
We are our own Dark Horses.  If you don’t stare your enemy in the eye–maintain eye contact the longest–and thereby, fell that monster–you cannot win your own race.   Your circumstances may make you feel like a Dark Horse, but if you don’t believe in yourself enough to bet on you–why should the rest of us?
Your assignment for today (MINE, too):
1)  Identify the predator that has you in his sights, whether that predator be a health issue; money or employment worries; relationship problems or just-plain overwhelming sadness.
2)  Stare said predator in the eye–take control of that encounter–and
3)  Bring your enemy to his knees.  
He may be a serious contender–it may take a while, even a long while–to wrestle him to the ground.  And he may not fall in the way that you think he should.   You cannot change your enemy–and you may not be able to change your circumstances, right NOW.
But you CAN change the way you perceive your foe, and let that new perception encourage you to tweak your game plan with renewed courage, hope and gratitude.
If Upset (the original) and Upset (the King of Broadway)–can do it, so can you, I and everyone who needs to realize how very big, how strong and wonderful–we really are.  You may see yourself right now as being the tiniest horse in the field–but with prayer and the desire to deal with that enemy–you can take back your situation from your predator–your enemy that has no claim over your wellbeing.
Thank you, Upset, The Dark Horse of Saratoga, and God bless you for your mission to heal and encourage those who need the courage to overcome obstacles–to run like crazy past the field–and thereby, to cross the wire first.