Horses kin hurt ya! SOMETIMES ON PURPOSE!
I looked up at the pig-eyed backyard horse. The roll of fat down the crest of his neck quivered as he snorted and flared his nostrils. He was not pleased that I’d managed to get a halter on him in the first place.
He belonged to a thirteen year old kid who rode him faithfully at least once a month. This horse was used to bein’ the boss and he did not tolerate my attempts to force my wishes on him.
I tried to calm him but the suspicion never left his eyes. Maybe I’ll try him without a twitch, I told myself with optimistic bravado. I picked up my plastic syringe of Ivomec paste, took a firm grip on the halter and gently eased the tube into his lips. He froze for a moment.
I pushed in another inch and he exploded! He reared up! I fell back losing my syringe but tangling my other hand in the lead shank! He pawed and struck at me, hooves flashing on either side of my head! My hand came free and I toppled over backwards. He ran to the corner of the corral while I lay there with my heart pounding in my throat. That night I noticed a razor thin cut runnin’ along my cheek. A rough edge on one of his hooves, I guessed. So Close.
Horses kin hurt ya! SOMETIMES IN SELF DEFENSE!
Dr. Voss was demonstrating to my vet class how to castrate horses standing up (the horse, I mean). “Reach up between his legs and grasp the testicles. Inject the local anesthetic into the cord. Then stop and wait a couple minutes,” he instructed. “So the anesthetic will have time to take effect,” interjected the A-student gunner. “No,” said Dr. Voss, “So you can quit shakin’!”
Horses kin hurt ya! SOMETIMES ACCIDENTALLY!
Ol’ Ben opened the big barn door. His four Belgian draft horses tromped on in. Ben tried to close the door but the horses had knocked it off its overhead rail. He backed up to the heavy door and tried to lift it back on the hanger. It wasn’t easy in the boot suckin’ mud.
He had it balanced precariously just about to drop into the groove when one of the horses bumped into the door from the inside. It toppled over on Ben like a giant shoe sole squashing an ant!
The horses spooked and thundered out of the barn...clattering the length of the door! Ben tunneled our from under and lay there gasping like a winded salamander ‘til somebody found him. He survived, just like I did. It happens all the time. Close calls. Horses kin hurt ya!
Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, former large animal veterinarian and entertainer of the agricultural masses. As he puts it, “he has a narrow following, but it’s deep!” He resides in Benson, Arizona. Additional information about him can be found at baxterblack.com.