I went to see James Cameron’s Avatar like everyone else when it came out last winter. I was particularly smitten with the Mountain Banchee scene in which Jake has to prove himself a warrior by “breaking” and bonding with a flying creature known as a Mountain Banchee. I was not sure or really questioned much why I was fascinated with this particular cinematic section of the saga until I watched it a few more times on the small screen. Then it came to me. I was Jake as are all thoroughbred farm trainers! We all select which colts we want and though we tend not to resort to such brutish force as Jake was obliged to in this scene, the scenario is mostly the same as is the process and the exaltation. After long months of your colt trying your patience every step of the way, he finally acts like a race horse, skimming effortlessly over a smooth race track rhythmically floating. Flying, if you will. Yes, I suspect nothing on this earth comes as close to riding a Mountain Banchee as a young thoroughbred flying over a track on a cool morning.
Of course, there are those animals that will do everything right the first time, but there are a precious few others that fight you every step of the way and in the end there seems to be a deeper bond created when you two finally get it. That was my Mountain Banchee experience coming back to me which I have long forgotten until that movie. This is what makes training racehorses infectious and forever fascinating. The bond between you and an animal that can simply fly.