When the rubber glove had finally been unrolled, it stretched two feet long, roughly the distance from the doctor’s fingertips to her shoulder. She and two others stood sternly at the horse’s rear end, scratching their chins and throwing around words combos like “vulva” and “inflamed urethra” like two drunk guys discussing football stats. The horse, Ella, now restrained in a “horse stock,” seemed only aware that she had
been separated from her baby Tucker who screamed from the barn next door. I hovered with Meg around the horse’s head justifying my presence as equine moral support though in truth it was morbid curiosity. With a clinical smerp, the vet technician squeezed a Big Gulp’s worth of lube onto the equine vet’s now gloved fingers and a moment later, as Ella’s eyes bulged like a “Bug Out Bob Toy,” the vet’s arm, from fingertip to shoulder, disappeared. From the other barn, once again, Tucker screamed.
A day earlier the same vet had been called out to the barn to remove as stick from the same horse’s throat. For no good reason, Ella had decided that after 22 years of successful life earth, that it was time to complicated it by swallowing small tree branches. These branches would get stuck somewhere inside her long horse neck and the only way to get it out involved forceps and prayers. And while the idea of shoving your arm down the throat of a very powerful horse seemed daunting, what the vet was doing now, though teeth were not involved seemed far more so. Each time Ella’s yearling would scream from the other barn, some herculean combination of powerful muscle contractions followed by a loud Winnie, would fire the doctor’s arm out of the horse’s back side like a cannon for a moment and back in it would go.
“She’s an old breeding mare. She’s used to this,” said Meg, who stood dutifully at the horse’s head, trying to calm her.
“No one could ever be used to that,” I managed as the horse’s eyes continued to bulge, the doctor prodding repeatedly. Finally the vet pulled her arm from the horse’s backside with a smile.
“Everything seems fine in there,” she said. As much for myself as the horse, I was thrilled the whole was over.
“Glad it’s all good,” I said, trying to sound like what I’d just seen was normal.
“All that is left now is a vaginal exam.”
“Wait… Then what exactly was that?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
As the next exam began, this time involving a pink ribbon around Ella’s tail to allow easier access to the next unfortunate frontier, once again, for the other barn, Tucker whinnied for his mother and like only a mom taken away from her child could do, Ella whinnied back.
There is something oddly humanizing about watching a horse take an entire arm in ass. In one revolution of the planet, Ella the horse had been violated in more ways than an over-ambitious porn star and once again, I had seen things that could not be unseen… Life on a farm… Most harrowing of all, in the end, the only thing wrong with the horse was that Ella was simply getting older. Ella had been a horse that thus far I hadn’t gotten to know very well but my heart couldn’t help but swell as she returned to see her little yearling Tucker whose panicked “whinny” had sent the doctor’s arm flying from the worried mother’s backside more than a half dozen times. Never mind the body cavity intrusion… All she cared about was her kid. Yet as they were reunited, it seemed so easy for a horse to forget such a violation. Not so much the case for a city guy like me. The next time I saw Ella, she would definitely get an extra carrot or two… though perhaps after the day she’d had she might just prefer a flake of hay.