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The Ex-Stallion, continued ...

Just a week earlier, we had gelded Lightfoot. The vet sedated him with an intravenous injection. When Lightfoot looked groggy enough, I pulled forward on the lead rope while the vet pulled back and sideways on his tail. Sure enough, the colt toppled over on his side like a tree sawed off at the base.

The vet had me sit on Lightfoot's neck just in case he woke during the operation. I watched and could see that the vet removed both of the colt's testicles. It was a good thing, too, because later events would make almost anyone wonder.

The vet had warned me that even though Lightfoot was only 14 months old, he might be able to get a mare pregnant. For up to six weeks after castration, enough sperm might remain in his genitals to do the deed. So when I saw Coquetta acting sexy, I ran out, haltered Lightfoot, and moved him into a pen where she would be safe from stray sperm.

The next day our farrier, Philip Johnson, came over to shoe Coquetta. He parked his pickup truck in the driveway, opened the back of the camper shell in which he kept his tools, and started setting up. I called to Valerie, "Go get Coquetta." She slung a halter and lead rope over her shoulder and headed out to the northeast corner of our ten acres.

Sandia was nuzzling Coquetta. She nuzzled back. She spread her hind legs, lifted her tail and arched it to her left. Sandia grabbed the crest of her neck with his teeth and reared up on top of her.

I turned to Philip. "Looks like Val is going to have to wait a few minutes to catch Coquetta. Do you suppose it's safe for her to be up there?"

"I think it will be OK."

"I guess I have to learn not to be so worried when she is around horses."

Sandia got inside Coquetta, then leaped off backwards. Coquetta aimed both hind hooves at him. Although the horses were some 50 yards away, I heard the thud as her hooves struck Sandia's bloodied chest. How many times, I wondered, had they already coupled? How many times had she punished him?

Sandia whirled, seized Coquetta by the loose skin on the right side of her withers, and pawed his way back onto her back.

Philip stepped closer to me. "I don't think your daughter should catch her. We could have a wreck."

Wreck. It was the first time I'd heard that term applied to horses. It wouldn't be the last, either.

I called Val back and we left the lovers to their violent courtship. This went on for almost five days. Sandia managed to give Coquetta some pretty good scrapes on her back. That solved the mystery of her many scars -- they must have been from previous matings.

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© 2004 Carolyn M. Bertin. All rights reserved.