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Horses in Love, a chapter from Killer Buyer


The soaring price of horse meat and a deepening drought was dooming thousands of Spanish mustangs to the slaughterhouses of Ft. Worth
.

Tomorrow and Zebra Girl nuzzled each other across the pipe fence of the round pen that separated them. They nickered deep in their throats, the love song of horses. They had first met just moments before. Tomorrow was nineteen months of age, a virgin stallion. Zebra was five years old, a decidedly experienced mare.

Zebra Girl, on the right. She's bugging a gelding (a male horse that has been fixed, on the left) and a colt less than a year old about, ahem, her feminine needs. Photo courtesy Carolyn Bertin.

Overhead magpies, black and white, trailing long tails, flashed through cottonwoods where buds swelled. It was March 5, 1996, and these horses were in Chimayo, New Mexico.

Each spring, as Easter draws near, this town welcomes pilgrims who have walked dozens or even hundreds of miles to its ancient Santuario de Chimayo. They come to fulfill a vow or show their devotion to the Lord.

I brought Zebra Girl there hoping Tomorrow could get her in foal.

Tomorrow arched his neck, tossed his grey mane, and pranced before the mare on legs tiger-striped gray. His appaloosa-spotted buttocks flexed. Those striped legs meant he was a "zebra dun." Spanish mustangs are often striped and spotted.

The mare, also a zebra dun, turned her gold buttocks to him. A black stripe reached from her mane to an ebony tail which swept the ground. She lifted her tail and swung it to the left, revealing a glistening purple vulva. Zebra made embarrassing motions with her vulva, and shoved her rear end against the pipe fence.

Tomorrow's eyes widened. He pressed his muzzle against her vulva. It was his turn to do something embarrassing with his anatomy.

Karin Begg turned to me and laughed. "I think we don't need to give them any more time to get to know each other."

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© 2004 Carolyn M. Bertin. All rights reserved.