Wednesday 17 July 2013

If you can't be with the one you love, love the wall you're with

As I am sure you are well aware, the battle of the bulge never quite disappeared.  It became one of those passive aggressive barn topics that lingered around until the day the trailer rolled out of the driveway. I poked my fingers into Ms. V's spongy fat tailhead with a critical look on my face when I thought Dr. Lana was in eyeshot. She beamed with pride when the farrier said how good Ms. V was looking - and so on, so forth. We smiled and joked about it on the surface, but I know each of us secretly thought the other person was way off base, totally wrong. 

But never fear. The fun had not ended. Soon, project porker morphed into something new.  Project...uh...pork'er.  As in, my horse was apparently a raging, nympho slut.

As a border, it is easy to forget that your horse has her own little social life gig going on during the 22 hours per day you are not in her presence. Apparently, a few weeks of the year Ms. V liked to spend these 22 hours polishing the stall walls with her ass and screaming out for love like a 13 year old Justin Beiber fan.  (No, no. They don't do the polishing part. I don't think so, anyways.  Just the screaming).

Now, I kind of had an inkling this was the case, as the top of her tail often looked kind of like she had been electrocuted.  And, her hocks sometimes were a little on the crusty side - nothing a little leg hosing and a stiff brush couldn't fix. But in all the time I had owned her up until then, that was about the extent of my exposure to her nympho slut tendencies.  She was no different when I rode her, so frankly, I really didn't care if she wanted to get busy with - whatever - when I was not around.

Neither Muddy Acres nor Liliput had mentioned anything to me about this "problem" other than in passing (hey, your mare is in heat, eh?  Why yes. How about those Blue Jays. Etc.). No barn has had a huge issue with it since either - it has been managed by choosing a stall in the corner, or next to a crabby old gelding who has long since forgotten he ever had testicles.  I would likely have never ever known that my horse was a sex starved nympho slut...

But then... we met Dr. Lana.

Actually, I was first made aware of the problem by Miss Lana, one of the Dr's daughters, on my return from a week long business trip to Kamloops or someplace equally as fascinating.

"It is a good thing you are back. Ms. V has really missed you. She cries all the time".

Oh, how sweet. This little urchin thinks my horse is pining for me. I smiled and said "oh, well - no worries.  I am back and I have lots of carrots.  She will feel better now". And I thought that was the end of that.

Well, no. It was not the end of that at all. The carrots were the right shape, yet not quite the right size for what Ms. V was really pining for.

Oh! Oh! I know Curmudgeon - Ovarian Cysts!  Ms V. had Ovarian Cysts! 

No. And no. Mares do not get ovarian cysts. Don't post this in the comments.

Nor do they act like wingnuts when you ride them during their heat cycle due to feeling "crampy", like a 13 year old Justin Beiber fan trying to skip gym class.  Don't post this either, it drives me insane when people say this.  It doesn't even make any sense. If you don't know why - well, you should have paid attention in sex ed when you were a 13 year old Leif Garret fan, we don't have time to review this now. Besides, you likely don't have time to read a review anyway - you are probably busy taking care of your 18 children conceived while using the rhythm method of birth control. 

Now don't get me wrong - I do think mares can be more tricky to ride. All the time.  Every day. And some people just aren't cut out to ride mares.

But I suspect that much like "poorly fitting saddle" or "in need of chiropractic adjustment", many instances of riders reporting that their mare is"not herself during her heat cycle" are actually due to kind of an equestrian nocebo effect - i.e. I have been told that mares are idiots when in heat, my mare is in heat - therefore thus - she must be acting like an idiot. Suddenly normal spooking or resistance to do whatever it is you are asking them to do is not due to lack of rider skill, but instead is  is all due to the MSG in chinese food.  Or gluten.  Or your mare being in heat.

I just can't seem to do a decent transition today.  Either this guy is in heat, or those windmills are fucking with me again.

But what do I know, I don't have any well researched proof of this, and the anecdotes of many horse owners on bulletin boards all over the internet say I am wrong - which is almost as good, right? I am probably just being my Curmudgeonly self. Maybe your mare really does morph into a board-stiff angry hateful bitch when in heat. My condolences. I have never once noticed any difference in Ms. V's way of going at any time of the month or year (other than in the winter or spring due to lack of turnout as a result of excessive ice or mud). 

But I did notice a difference in Dr. Lana's way of going immediately.  She let me know that under no circumstances was this acceptable or normal behaviour. I had to get to the bottom of this problem right away.  There would be no sex starved nympho mares at Lana Acres.


I realized that I was not a vet.. but I really and truly  thought I did know what was at the bottom of her behaviour. Ms. V wanted some hot loving and baby birthin. That's what animals generally want out of life. I really didn't see it as a topic in need of an investigation.

Wrong again, Curmudgeon. I may have gotten away with riding around on my totally sound horse without investigating her cocktail weenie legs, but Dr. Lana was the vet.  I was not dissing her knowledge twice. I needed to get a repro specialist in right away to do an ultrasound and investigate.

Lucky for me... I happened to know one.  Otherwise I most certainly would have been too lazy to do the work involved in hunting one down to deal with a problem that was in my mind, non existent.  The prof over at the vet college was a friend and she agreed to do a field trip with some students out to see Ms. V and determine if there was anything abnormal going with her ovaries that could explain her sex starved nympho behaviour.

Five or six students showed up, told me how good my horse looked (shut up already!), quizzed me on the life and times of V and her VeeJay, got busy with the K-Y jelly type stuff, poked and prodded with the ultrasound wand, and eventually reached a unanimous decision as to the crux of my horse's problems.

It seemed that Ms. V's sex starved nympho behaviour was due to the fact that she is a mare.  Her symptoms could be cured by introducing her to a sex starved nympho stallion, or reasonable facsimile.  Or - they could just be ignored, since acting like sex starved nymphos is generally what mares do when they are in heat.

Done and done. Right?

Well, no. Because the bottom line was that it was still Dr. Lana's barn, and if she didn't want a wall polishing urine squirting whore in the joint squealing the night away, that was her perogative. I had to fix the problem or move out.


Friday 12 July 2013

And so it begins... Again. Groundhog Day Dressage

Good morning readers - are you all still out there?  Or have you died of old age waiting for my next post?

I must apologize for my delinquency, yet again.  Unfortunately, the happenings of the last few months have really taken the wind out of my proverbial sales. Ooops - did I really type that?  It is an honest Freudian Slip. Because as any of you who enjoy virtual shopping on Warmbloods-for-Sale already know, Ms. V is back. And I am find her the "perfect home".

Up until now, I have done fairly well at poking fun at my misfortune, and in fact I started this blog as kind of a cheap form of therapy to help myself talk through the insanity... but I really am kind of bottomed out right now.

I kept hoping I was going to pull some fairy tale ending out of my ass to share with all of you, but alas, this will not be the case. In less than a year, I have lived through a "sale" gone horribly wrong ("didn't anyone tell you not to trust those people?"...  Said several incredulous acquaintances after the dust settled, not seeing the irony in the fact they they did not tell me not to trust "those people" that actually ironic?  I am always paranoid to use that word after everyone mocked Alanis Moressette ), and a lease gone horribly wrong (stay tuned for my rants on young riders entitled "PSG is hard. Who knew").

The good news is of course that I lived through these things.  The worst news of all is that the one person who I would call up and bitch to when the nutty world of dressage was too much for me to handle - the person who could always make me laugh no matter how whacked out things in the horse world happened to be... has died. I still really can't believe he is gone.

So please bear with me.  Don't worry - you will get to read about all of this someday.
I am sure I will get my shit together and get back to merrily mocking my life soon.