It’s that time of year, when all of us barn folks need to pay special attention to our appearance.
Hudson has had a big muscle spasm in his shoulder. I haven’t been able to get it to release. Massage, heat, stretching, Sore No More. The spasm would give up, then come back the next day. Odd. Time to up the ante.
Enter exhibit A:
Bute. Nice anti-inflammatory.
I’m terrific at paste worming, paste meds, etc. Fast and easy, even on young horses. I could do Barbie when she was in the terrible two’s. It’s one of my few talents. When I realize Hudson is going to raise his head to Trump building height (to avoid the syringe), I take him out of the barn. No smacking of horse heads on the roof.
5 seconds later: he hates me. Absolute, utter, unadulterated hatred. There is nasty tasting stuff way back in his mouth. I slip the syringe into my pocket so I can coax him back into the barn, out of the downpour.
He’ll get over it. I put him back in the cross ties, and start working on the spasm. A full 30 seconds pass.
Hudson opens his mouth, and the entire gram of Bute falls out in a nice straight line, just as it was laid against his tongue. He looks at me with loathing.
Wash, rinse, repeat. But this time, I hold his chin in the air until I’m sure he’s swallowed.
Now he’s really mad. This mostly consists of evil glaring and “Talk to the hoof” attitude. He won’t even take a cookie. On the way up to his paddock, he walks as far from me as he can without getting in trouble. His head is bent away from me. He’s walking sideways up the hill. Fine. I get it. He hates me.
It’s still pouring. By the time I hang his halter up, I’m a drenched, mud-splattered mess, with white glue-like streaks on my jacket: Hudson surreptitiously wiped his mouth on it while I was bent over, picking his feet.
I have a kazillion errands. All the stops are in a straight line between barn and home. First stop: pick up prescriptions before the pharmacy closes.
I wait patiently in line. There are five or six people behind me. When it’s my turn, I give the clerk my name and start digging for my wallet. It’s in one of the pockets of my barn coat. It takes a complete self pat-down, but I finally feel its rounded edge.
The clerk slides a release sheet across the counter toward me, and starts to hand me the bag of medication. One of my hands is signing the sheet. My other hand has my wallet.
The Bag O Pills clatters when it hits counter. I look up. The clerk’s arms are in the air as if I were pointing a gun at him.
I look down.
I’m pointing the syringe of Bute at him.
It’s a pharmacy. They know syringes. I doubt he has ever seen one this big. It’s unlikely he registered there is no needle. My mud-splattered, drenched, paste-swiped self tries to smile my most confident smile, hoists the Bute in the air in a “what can you do?” move, shrugs my shoulders, and says “Horses!”
I quickly put the syringe back in my pocket.
“I have my wallet in here somewhere”, I say, with a cheer I do not feel.
I need to be saved from myself. Honestly.
I cock my head, thinking. Well, I AM improving.