“Blucher!”

Paulo the Stallion from Hell’s behavior has been more hellish than usual, just lately. Since two of his ladies came to be in a family way, he seemed to have mellowed right out. But H sold the 12-year-old mare (Cindy) she’d bought a couple of months ago for saddle work because she’s “lazy” and replaced her with another mare named Spirit who is – and I quote – Awesome.

She’s also freakishly big for an Arab mare, and for some reason Paulo has decided that she must be killed. Normally he only behaves that way toward other stallions. Paulo’s worldview is extremely simple: Mares are for mating, stallions are for killing. He doesn’t seem to notice the existence of geldings. Rather than his normal misbehavior of pacing obsessively and carrying on whenever one of his mares leaves the paddock, he has now taken to charging the fence in obviously murderous attempts to reach Spirit. H says she thinks Spirit’s size has convinced him that she is a male, all objective evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Since horses seem to work by scent as much as any dog, I don’t find this explanation convincing. But I don’t have any alternatives, and besides it’s really none of my business.

Anyway, Paulo has gotten a lot more frisky lately and I’ve learned to literally watch my back around him. He’s usually not hostile toward me, but he is mercurial and occasionally violent, and the wrong impulse at the wrong time could get me busted up. Earlier this week, out of the blue, he reached across the shit-wagon I habitually keep between us and nipped my shirt, right in the back. Then he let go and scampered to the other side of his paddock. Since he was perfectly capable of going for meat if he’d wanted to, I think he was actually playing with me and didn’t take it personally. But he’s never done anything like that before, and any activity that involves Paulo’s teeth is automatically suspect in my book.

This morning Paulo was wearing something new: A bright plastic collar. Attached to the collar was something that looked suspiciously like one of those shock collars that hunters use to train dogs. I asked J about it; he said, “Yeah, that’s a shock collar, like hunters use to train dogs. We nail him with it every time he gets worked up and starts charging the fence.”

“Has that worked?”

“No, not really. But it’s entertaining as hell to watch him try and figure it out.”

Later I went into their house for something. On the counter near the door was a small electronic device, like an undersized FRS radio. There was no label, but I had a fair idea what it was.

I held it up. “Hey, J! If I push this button right here, will I hear a horse neigh like in Young Frankenstein?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Probably.”

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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One Response to “Blucher!”

  1. suek says:

    Maybe a dumb question, but why don’t they put up an electric fence?

    Also…that response is abnormal, as you’ve noted. I wonder if she has some hormonal problems that _he_ can detect, but people can’t (without expensive hormonal testing). When he charges the fence, does he lay his ears back? He may just be trying to establish his dominance…has she come into season since she’s been there?

    Interesting situation.

To the stake with the heretic!