Up at 5-something to breakfast the boys; a few minutes earlier than usual, but the morning is beautifully calm & cool. One can walk across the yard without dropping dead from heat prostration at this hour. Today George goes to the vet for x-rays (ongoing lameness/gimpy issue. Film at 11 ... )
Kooter has had double his normal poops, George's are scattered from one end of the barn to the other. He's whinnying at me as I walk into the paddock; always a sign of an "event".
Hunt, hunt, hunt ... ah-HA; coyote poop in the entrance to the ring. Next ah-HA; junk cupboard in the barn has been razed, rifled & chewed on. Coyotes were in the barn, again. Gonna leave George's stall door open a teeeeny little bit tonight ... go get 'em George!
I had hooked up the trailer last night, and backed it up to the paddock gate. This was cause for great consternation amongst the ponies; today’s Concern Level has been elevated to Orange ("Dis Is Bad: no tack going into trailer; means either we're not going anywhere, or one of us ain't comin' back!").
I have to have George at the vet's by 7:30, so we're loading by 7. Call George to the gate, of course Kooter is right on his heels. I swing the gate shut as George comes in, leaving Kooter in the ring by himself. George hasn't noticed yet. Lead George into the trailer; NOW he's noticed Kooter is no longer his shadow.
Concern Level jumps to Red ("KOOTER! Run for it, Bro!! I'll just stand here & eat this hay and let them think they've captured me. No, run faster ... farther than that, I'm not done yet!")
Meanwhile, outside the trailer Concern Level has skyrocketed to White Hot ("GEORGE!! You're in the trailer, and I'm not!!! OMG, what 'm I gonna do? Lessee; I'll whinny 1st (insert pathetically inept whinny here). OK, that didn't help, I'll REAR! That's it! Oh wait, last time I did that dad smoked me with the reins ... ooh, ooh! I know; I'll REALLY whinny (insert uncharacteristically loud whinny here) Sherri & I exchange glances after Kooters "mouse that roared" whinny. "Wow", I say "He's finally learned to talk!"
Kooter dances, prances, whinnies & frets as George is on his way out the gate. He & George exchange whinnies for the next 2 miles.
Last George sees of Kooter is a sorrel blur in the paddock ...
On the drive to the vet's, some jerk in a gravel truck decides my slowing down for a red light was unacceptable, so he roars up to within a 1/4" of the back of the trailer & leans on the airhorn. George is doing the foxtrot back there, so I STOP (yes, in the middle of the road) & walk back to have little chat with the driver. I can't print what was said, but he got the hint.
The vet's assistant is waiting at the gate as we roll in amidst a cacophony of whinnies, snorts & stomps. Seems there's a stallion in the hospital ...
George comes off the trailer with a "why am I here; and by the way, where IS here?" look. He takes one whiff of the hospital & the stark realisation hits him like a freight train ("OMG, this is where Kooter was! AAAHHH, they're gonna put a zipper in my belly!!") I walked him into the 1st available stall (coincidentally, the same one his brother spent a week in 8 months ago), and talked to him a while.
The stallion across the hall has determined George is a newcomer, and should be treated as such. He offers a few snorts of contempt, pins his ears & puffs his chest. George (who really couldn't care any less about that silly little stud) looks around & emits a rafter-shaking whinny then boots the brick wall behind him hard enough to trigger a tsunami alert in Polynesia. The stallion stands there, absolutely stunned; his ears slowly slip into the donkey position as his head drops an inch or two. After that the stallion doesn't so much as sniff.
Having done pretty well all I can to comfort George, I head home. I arrive to a serenade from Kooter, who can't for the life of him figure out why his brother went into that big box, but has now failed to emerge. Concern has reached Ludicrous Laser Level. Nothing left to do now but go apesh!t.
Sherri heads off to the hospital to watch the x-ray proceedings, while I stay with Riccochet Rabbit. We worked on some manners, some ground tying, yields & such; all of which he was uncommonly receptive to. By this time it's almost half-past 9 and the temp has already climbed to the point where work is just nasty. So we break off & head for the barn, a snack & a drink.
Kooter is quietly munching his hay when at PRECISELY 9:30, his head bolts straight up & he lets out the most impressive whinny I've ever heard him produce. I note he's looking to the north-west, and this brings something back to mind. When Kooter was in that same hospital last winter, (See "George Nightingale"). Sherri called me later on & I asked, "Did anything happen up there at 9:30 this morning?" She hesitated, then said, "Oh, that's when I left to go get a coffee. George let out one helluva whinny right about then". That hospital is roughly 11 miles away, as the crow flies.
Just after lunch, I head up to the hospital to get George. He greets me as I walk through the doorway with his "I'm UPSET!" whinny. A scratch on the butt & a molasses cookie make the world right again. I led George out to the trailer, which he fairly LEAPT into. If he had opposable thumbs, I'm quite sure he would have flipped the ramp up & latched it behind him.
As we came alongside the arena nearing the driveway, Kooter heard the truck approaching. His acrobatics would have put a Lipizzaner to shame. I backed into the driveway as Kooter sent turf flying clear across the yard. George yells as loudly as he can, but he does that whenever I'm backing up anyway (George hates to back up, at least whenever he's not driving).
Reunited at last, the brothers greet one another with snorts & whuffles, then Kooter bit his brother on the butt. Kid brothers are not specie-specific ...