Posts Tagged ‘Silhouetta’

Matias feeling frisky

Matias Showing Off

I wonder if Silhouetta and Matias would have ever managed to get together without help.  Matias, a magnificent 16 hand breeding stallion often needed my help putting his business where it did the most good.  Breeding can be dangerous especially for the stallion, so these kinds of liaisons are usually carefully supervised.  My job was to lead him up to the mare’s head so he could nibble her ears and bite her neck until she squealed, raised her tail, and held it quivering to one side.  Then, his polite foreplay dutifully accomplished, he was ready to earn his keep.

I would lead him around to her backside, where a sniff would confirm his suspicions.  He would snort, shake his head and point his nose to the sky while he drew in great gusts of air between bared teeth in order to taste her state of readiness.  I would lead him forward urging him to mount the mare.  He would rear, grasp her rump between his front knees, and with an awesome pelvic thrust, attempt to impale the now wet and willing vulva.  It often didn’t work, a problem of aim, not of motivation, and I was required to grasp his  erection and direct it into the object of his lust.  The rest was horseplay, unremarkable but effective.

* * *

The foal was a beauty, her first.  When I entered the barn for morning feeding, there it was, a pile of pure black Andalusian horseflesh, still wet, steam rising from the hot little body.  The new mother stood, sniffing, snuffling, then nickering, questioning this wet thing that smelled of herself but also of some new amazement.  She still trailed the torn sac and umbilicus, but seemed to have lost interest in them.

I dropped the armful of supplies I carried and slipped into the stall, approaching slowly, carefully.  “Look at what you did.  You pretty girl.  Easy now.  I won’t hurt your baby.”  I grasped her halter and stroked her face.  “It’s OK.  Good girl.”  She turned to the stall’s automatic water basin, the pressure of her nose activating the cool flow.  She slurped, gulped and swallowed, then spun around to check the foal one more time.  She tasted, sniffed, licked.  Then she set to work cleaning her baby.

Kneeling, I rubbed her smooth warm neck, my hand sneaking down beneath her jawline toward the still steaming foal.  It was hot, sticky-wet, still slick with blood and amniotic fluid.  I slipped out of the foaling stall and ran for a towel and the case, packed just for this day, that I had stored in the tack room.  I let the mare smell the towel before I applied it to the baby curled up in the deep straw, then slowly I began to dry its head, neck, and back.  The long legs splayed out willy-nilly, attached to, but not yet acknowledged by the newly launched organism.  Silhouetta spun around, sniffed a reprise, then turned and this time buried her nose in the hay rack.  She was hungry, no doubt had ignored the sweet cured grass during her long hours of primagravida labor.  Her trust in me was evident as she seemed resigned to my ministrations to her foal.

My left hand cradled the baby’s nose, slipping two fingers between black rubbery gums.  It sucked them in, dry swallowing with gusto, instinctively assessing them as teats, not fingers.  I rubbed roughly with the towel held in the other hand.  Stimulated, the baby lunged forward trying to rise, feet scrabbling to no effect.  I scrubbed the long legs and underbelly, checking for gender.  No testicles, but no vulva either.  It was obviously a colt, the balls not yet descended.  I worried.  What kind of stallion had no balls, but what did I know?  Maybe they came down later.  I hoped.  This was my first time midwifing.  The baby tried to get up again as Silhouetta turned, hay trailing from her mouth while she chewed.  The baby thrashed about, his still soft rubbery hooves running in place as he lay on his side, but then folding up underneath himself ready to try again.  I unpacked the case and took out noisy waxed paper which I crumpled up and rubbed all over his body.  Every place had to be accessed with the crinkly paper and its crickly-crackly sounds.  Then I plugged in a Wahl electric trimmer, not to cut any hair, but to mimic the noise of an actual grooming.  I rubbed the vibrating device over the little body, now nearly dry, much as I had the paper.  This would render the colt unafraid of grooming devices, annoying contraptions that in the natural order of things terrify horses.  A new foal has a short window of opportunity to get used to things that horses instinctively fear.  The first day they are quite amenable to accepting new stimulative sensations, the first hour almost magically so.  I was making full use of that initial sixty minutes.

More and more the new baby tried to rise and nurse.  How did he know?  Instinct is powerful, and this experience was showing me just how powerful.  Front legs straight and angled out in front, he pulled his back legs under himself, looking like a seated donkey bookend sold in Tijuana.  Then with a grim determination, he pushed up with his strong back legs.

He was up!   Silhouetta circled him, again and again, brushing against him with her flanks.  How could she know to do that?  I rose to help.  It was too frustrating to just watch.  I turned him around, pushing his head down between her belly and back leg.  He butted the mare looking for he didn’t know what except that he wanted it.  How could he know?  He smelled the engorged bag then, and his urgency mounted.  Then his legs buckled, and dumped him back in the straw.  But right away he was up again, butting, nosing, licking.  His mouth was agog, his tongue reaching in a grim grotesquerie of want.  He found the teat, curled his tongue around it and sucked.  He drew it in—in—deep into his hungry mouth and psyche.  The full warm teat filled him with a sweetness too beautiful and complete for expression.  Had he words, they would have been inadequate.

But he wasn’t worried about expressing himself, only drawing into himself this authentic source.  Suck and swallow.  Suck and swallow.  Mother reached around nosing the spindly-legged colt.  She lashed her tail, swirling it about his body, chasing away all distractions from her enjoyment of their moment of triumph.  Santiago wiggled his little bushy black tail.

That’s what I named him as I squatted there in the straw, watching him mount his valiant assault on the life he had committed to, and fought for, and won.  Santiago, a battle cry used by warring Spaniards in the decisive battle that freed Spain from the Moorish conquest, was an appropriate name for the fighter son of Silhouetta and Matias.

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