no bulls appear in this

I have a theory: People love horses. Not much of a theory and I won’t be able to write a good enough proposal to get a grant unless I can cloak it in academia a little better. How’s this: The Equine as Social Imperative in North American History 1820–1890. Bingo! Don’t you hate people who study stuff and make tables and charts instead of working for a living? We should force all these people to get jobs. Next time someone says to you that they just got a grant from the NEA or something tell them, “Why don’t you get a job, you beatnik!”

When I worked for a vet we saw a lot of horses. Horses are the stupidest animals alive. You all love them so you’ll get mad. You may even have used the expression horse sense in your life. You were wrong to do it and you should apologize.

Horses will do whatever it is that is worst for them. They will eat the wrong food. They will eat poison. They will eat so much of the right food that they die. They will break their legs in cattleguards which even cows are smart enough to avoid.

Horses lived in North America about 10,000 years before the Spanish brought them back and traded them for potatoes. There is a theory that the Indians hunted the horses to extinction. That would be a good one if it turns out to be true. So much for harmony with the land. What people fail to realize is that nature enforces harmony NO MATTER WHAT. If humans destroy the environment, we’ll get pruned too. That’s harmony. That’s nature. Not some cute painting by a Franklin Mint artist of lions and lambs laid down together in peace. Nature isn’t about peace. Nature is about bloody violence and ruthless exploitation of anything weaker than yourself. There is hardly a single animal that lives past 1/6th of its maximum life span in nature. Humans included. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if Indians killed all the camels and horses once. Neither would I be surprised if all the horses just ran out into the sea like lemmings. They aren’t quite that stupid.

We were giving a horse some worm medicine. This goes in the stomach but they won’t eat anything that’s good for them so you have to put a tube down their nose, through their throat, into their stomach. You must do this carefully or risk drowning them.

We had one horse that wouldn’t swallow the tube once it got half in its throat. It took forever and it gave the horse a pretty good nose bleed. Its blood was just going and going like a spigot missing a washer. The blood was coagulating in the air and forming a pile on the ground. There was a pile of blood. I can’t stress that enough. That’s how much blood this horse was losing. It was piling up.

I reported this to the vet. I was worried for the poor thing. It had lost at least a quart of blood and I imagined it was more like a gallon. The vet wasn’t interested at all.

He said: “You wouldn’t believe how much blood a horse has in it.”

I didn’t like to hear that at all. They should never say that to someone who doesn’t need to know. If you don’t need to know that to fulfill the duties of your office it ought to be topsecret. I’m sorry I told you. I was going crazy not telling somebody. Sorry.

Another time he was giving a horse a shot. I’d seen too much TV. There were air bubbles in the syringe. Lots of them. I thought, he must not know, I’ll tell him before he kills the poor horse. I told him. He was not interested one bit.

He said: “In vet school they showed us a film of a guy who put a bicycle pump into a needle into a horse’s vein and started pumping. You wouldn’t believe how long it took to kill that thing.”

I’ve done it again, haven’t I?

My theory is this man became a vet because he loved animals more than people. He was good at it too. He took care of a lot of animals that he didn’t have to and never got paid for. I’d like to see a lawyer do that. Go to litigation for a cat that was gonna die anyway. I saw this vet operate for free for four hours on a cat that he knew was gonna die but he thought, mmm… maybe, so he tried. Anesthesia is not cheap.

He didn’t like people, including me. He asked me what I spent my money on; from my paychecks he wrote me. I told him rock and roll records. He got mad at me for it. I had to do a super job or get yelled at. One time I got yelled at anyway.

We were gelding (castrating) an Appaloosa. These horses have the blood of Satan in their veins. They take twice as much knock-out juice as regular horse breeds. No shit. This horse had his double dose and that wasn’t enough.

It was down on its side, the vet was sitting on one leg and I was holding the other tied up in a rope. He showed me how to do it. I was doing it differently because the leverage felt better but he told me to change and change damn fast to the way he told me to do it in the first place. I did. He was the boss.

When he put the crimper (emasculator) on the thing, it wasn’t nearly sedated enough. It tried to get up. It almost kicked him in the head.

Man! Did I get yelled at. It was no fun. I was just doing what he told me exactly the way he told me. It was not my fault. I was a strong kid. I could press 500 pounds on one of those Nautilus machines with my legs when I was 15. So I think it really was his mistake. I hated getting yelled at for it but I understood.

I understood because he got clopped in the head by a 1,200 lb. draft horse once and was in a coma for two months and the doctors were surprised that it wasn’t quite a bit longer than two months. The horse owner took a picture of it right before it happened. The horse up the air and him down on the ground. He didn’t have an assitant then.

The Appaloosa we were gelding stood up, fell down the other way, stood up, fell down down the other way, hit the side of the vet office and stopped there where we went back to work. Double dose. If you want a tough horse, get an Appaloosa. Have someone else geld it.

I was going to tell you about how you give a horse a pregnancy check. I thought it over. Decided against it. They’ve got that stuff in the library if you feel gypped.

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