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I got to see a stallion…

February 18, 2011

….do stallion things.

My major allows me to take nine credits outside the Literature program. These outside credits are intended to supplement the student’s knowledge about their thesis, but from a non-literature perspective. That said, it is supposed that the student will take other liberal arts courses: history, sociology, creative writing, philosophy, etc.

I took Equine Behavior.

Luckily my proposed thesis has to do with horses, so I can justify taking Animal Science courses. Honestly, these courses will in no way advance my thesis, but my advisers don’t have to know that, do they?

Anyways, I love my Equine Behavior class. Yesterday we got to observe a maiden stallion being introduced to and finally mount a phantom mare. It….was….awesome. I’ve never seen a stallion mount anything in real life, and it was very interesting to watch. We learned about breeding behavior and the training process of getting a stud to respond to a dummy.

The most interesting thing I learned was that one of the biggest sexual stimulators for a stallion was a “mare” that didn’t move. The instructors told us about a study where a stud was let loose into an arena with a mare not in estrus, a pregnant mare, a gelding, and a tranquilized stallion. The test stallions almost always mounted the tranquilized stallion because he moved the least. The mare not in estrus wasn’t interested, obviously, so she kicked. The pregnant mare, obviously, wanted to kill the stud. The gelding, obviously, wanted no part in sodomy. But the tranquilized stallion didn’t have a care in the world and just stood there. I guess just standing there reads as consent in the horse world. A mare that kicks and runs away doesn’t want to be bred and probably isn’t ready to receive. The instructors also told us that this is why stallions exhibit really obnoxious behavior around a mare they want to breed: they rear, shove, kick, bite, etc…..all the behavior we call “studdish”. All this posturing is apparently a litmus test to determine if the mare is ready to be bred. If she puts up with all his antics, then she’s more likely to accept him, which means she’s more likely to be fertile and take.

I have absolutely no knowledge about breeding (other than the boy horsey puts his boy horse thingy in the girl horsey…after they fall in love of course) so this was all new to me.

As I was standing there amidst my fellow ariat and carhartt clad students, watching a stallion do his business, I had to seriously wonder what exactly made me choose the academic path I did. I’ve always loved horses. Surely at some point I considered doing the Equine Science, or pre-Vet route. What stopped me? It doesn’t make any sense. Did I stubbornly ignore my constitutional affection for horses to pursue some career I chose only arbitrarily?  Did someone convince me that there was no career in equine sciences? That plan clearly backfired, says the communications turned literature major. Why the hell didn’t I try to become a vet? It’s probably because I was a difficult and oppositional child. I liked the exact opposite of what everyone else did.  If all the little kids chose pink and blue as their favorite colors, I chose grey and brown. If everyone said they hated fish, I said I loved it. If all the little girls wanted to be vets, I’m sure I discarded that option on the virtue that everyone else wanted to do it.


Oh well, what’s done is done and that ship has sailed. Guess I’ll just have to be content with taking 6 more units of equine classes. I hear there’s a pretty awesome colt starting class…


5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2011 10:43 am

    I can’t stop laughing about the poor stoned stallion getting molested. Thanks for stopping by my blog – yours looks awesome!

  2. February 19, 2011 5:23 pm

    Last time my stallion bred a mare she was booked in to remain three weeks. I put them in a field together. He chased her for a couple of minutes. She kicked him then changed her mind. They mated. Then they spent the rest of three weeks at opposite ends of the field. After that they parted never to meet again. Horse breeding is curious.

    Admittedly there are people like that: except that the mare is too lazy to kick and they part immediately as no-one shuts them in a field. Usually we pay for the outcome via taxes and welfare.

    As for your career maybe don’t worry overly – at least you’re young. There’s time to change tack. You’re finding out what you want to do. I wish that I’d figured that out in my 20’s. Take time to figure out properly what you want to do.

  3. February 21, 2011 8:49 pm

    Seriously, I think you may be be twin separated at birth. Most of my childhood I stubbornly refused to jump on the vet bandwagon because that’s what EVERYONE who liked animals wanted to do. When I was in middle school, I was told to declare “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” I wasn’t sure, but finally settled on vet tech despite my long-term resistance to being a vet. My dad told me that “it wasn’t good enough” (probably the worst advice he ever gave, you never tell your kids their dreams “aren’t good enough”), so I temporarily jumped on board. I eventually realized I had no interest in putting animals to sleep, risking my life with animals who belong to people who have no interest in asking their pets to behave, the crazy hours that particularly large-animal vets have to keep with being on call 24/7, and so on. So I became a communications major and silently envied all the girls with less talent than me who flitted off to equine science programs despite my “logic” that you had to have a large fortune to make a small fortune in horses, so there was really no future for me in the industry. Instead I’m trying to force myself to finalize the revisions on the masters’ thesis that I don’t care about at all anymore.

    Back to editing…

  4. February 22, 2011 10:07 am

    It occurred to me as I was laying in bed last night that I should also mention that by pursuing the “responsible” educational path, I am working for a non-profit and making half of my husband’s recently increased salary and do teach riding lessons (the one professional thing I did NOT want to do), but almost all of them are volunteer hours at a therapeutic riding center. That plan worked out well 🙂


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