The other people-day, I got turned into mare. Yeah, you read that right. I’m a bonafide mare now.
I can’t say I’m pleased with it. But I don’t feel no different yet, not as far as I can tell, anyhow, and not as far as my buddies Original Coors and Coors Light could tell when I asked ‘em if they could maybe have a look and tell for me. It seems like County Island mares still get fed the same as geldins, so I got no complaints so far in the grub department, bein a mare. And while I can’t say for certain what breakfast and suppertime might bring tomorrow, a good horse has got to remain hopeful toward his hay and grain even in the most dire and dreadful situation — such as when he gets turned into a mare by the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady under the direction of his very own formerly almost entirely trustworthy and reliable bucket gal.
From what I gather, I’m supposed to feel different now, and somehow better, bein a mare.
Right now I object to bein turned into a mare mostly on principle. I’m a real practical horse. I was raised with the rule if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, ‘cause there’ll always be more than enough broke things a horse has got to go around and help fix. I wasn’t broke at all, except in the “good and broke” sense that the people like a horse to be, and surely I didn’t need no fixin.
I was snoozin flat-out in the warm sunshine. I like to lay down in the sun, especially here inside our own li’l horse-corral where we got such soft, warm sand in what was the prancin arena but which now’s mostly our nap sandbox on account of neither of the Coors brothers prances much no more. And I certainly don’t prance. Except maybe sometimes when the weather’s cool and I got a good tail wind up my tail and I feel the need to let loose a li’l bit. But that ain’t the point.
The point is, these days, I like to lay down kinda a lot. It takes the weight off my old hocks, which I used to believe the people was callin hawks, like hawk-birds in the sky. It makes my bones feel good to take a load off ‘em. It ain’t like I got work to do that requires a horse to be standin up all the time or bein rode from one end of the ranch to the other, fixin stuff. That is to say, there’s plenty that needs fixin around the County island in my own ranch horse opinion, but it surely ain’t my job to fix all that’s broke in these parts. When you’re mostly retired, you get to pass the buck like that. Oh, and I can BUCK, when I want to! Not as hard or as often as I used to, but still. And when I’m rode, I walk along alright.
What ain’t alright at ALL is to wake a sleepin old horse from his sunshiny nap in the warm sand, and stand him up for the arrival of the rumbly truck of the evil but sweet-talkin vet lady, and then talk about a good old horse right in front of him like he ain’t even there, and set up all the bad metal things and ropes and the big horse halter that hangs from the barn roof to hold a horse’s head up and thusly hold him still to drill into his own teeth and head like there was any reason at all ever to drill inside a good horse’s head, and to talk about turnin him into a MARE before even pokin me, I mean him, in the neck, which thusly sends him off into some kinda foggy, forgetful slumber.
I thought I was only gettin my teeth drilled, which is bad and pointless enough. County Island people and their vet ladies is all obsessed with how pointy a horse’s teeth are. Of course we got pointy teeth. The point of ‘em is to chew our hay with. What’s it matter if they’re real pointy, or not real pointy, or worn entirely flat, or even entirely missin out of our own heads?
But while I was still wakeful, I heard the vet lady and the bucket gal talk about my hocks and stickin a needle into my neck smack full of somethin other than only the knock-out thing she normally sticks me with.
Coors and Coors Light, shut in their stalls to wait for their own turns with the terrible horse-tooth drillin contraptions, exchanged startled looks.
“Esta-gin!” Coors Light snorted, or somethin that sounded like it.
“Esta” like “está” that I heard a lot of in cowboy lingo back at the ranch, meanin “there is “ or “here it is.” And “gin,” which I know to be a fancy people-likker, sometimes made extra fancy with “gin and juice” when the people is livin high of the hog. Not a real hog, though. So… here’s the gin? We got the gin? Whiskey’s about to get juiced? What was they likkerin me up with??
And, dammit, I fell asleep when the sweet talkin but evil vet lady poked me in the neck. It happens every time.
I awoke with my own teeth feelin entirely too smooth within my own mouth, where I still got teeth left.
“The vet shot you with esta-gin while you were out to get your teeth done,” Coors Light said somberly. “It’s OK, though. Lots of top prancing horses get shot with esta-gin to help them perform, so you’ll probably be able to prance half as good as me now. Also, it means you’re a mare now, because esta-gin is what turns fillies into mares. I learned all about it when I lived in California.” Leave it to Coors Light to talk about the California Ranch like it was a good thing, when they was goin around turning geldins into mares like that and forcin ‘em to prance against their own good sense!
Now that I’m a mare, I ain’t pranced at all per se, but I feel compelled sometimes to run around for no good reason except it feels good, more like I used to back in the day when I was still a young geldin. And I still like my sand naps, but I been takin less of ‘em.
But the moral of this here story is, a County Island horse has got to sleep with one eye open. Don’t get lulled into thinkin you’re entirely safe here bein mostly retired and a pointless backyard pet pleasure horse. If I myself can get turned into a mare pumped full o’ mare juice, it can likely happen to any horse. It appears the epidemic from the California Ranch of juicin geldins is spreadin far and wide and there ain’t nothin a good horse can do about it once he’s been poked. But if the unthinkable happens, it also ain’t half bad once the deed’s done. It ain’t half good, either, so try not to let it happen to you.