Meanwhile, Dar has languished in the background, pushed aside by Scout. After a month at the farm, he's 50 pounds from goal weight, parasite-free, and vital with unreleased energy. There wasn't the time to introduce him to a paddock buddy once Scout was injured, so he stayed in paddock 3 by himself, next to the other horses, but separate. Finally, last weekend, we decided to try turning him out with Keely. She's the only one bitchy and tough enough to teach him herd manners. The others are too old, too small, or too new to pair with him.
Disaster, I guess. A month of accumulating energy made Dar over-excited and idiotic. I'd only known him to be a low-ranking lackey in his previous herds, but that belly full of parasites might have kept him depressed. Suddenly, va-voom. A steppy, arched-necked fool trotted into the paddock, displaying dominance and spirit. All the horses keyed up instantly, not least of whom, Scout. Dar trotted right up to her window bars. Scout spun and pinned her ears. She bared her teeth. Dar didn't back down, he just kept close. Enough of that, E decided, and we moved Dar into paddock 2, alone with Keely, who seems to be in an eternal heat. It makes her even more crabby. Kick his ass, I thought. Let him have it.
Everyone was watching, waiting on some kind of a drama. Dar and Keely ran in circles. Then they went to separate hay piles. Ran some more. Ate a bit more hay. I began to relax, just a breath or two. Then, catastrophe. Dar mounted Keely. E ran to them, shouting his name. He came down as quickly as he went up, and his useless schlong never appeared, but... This. Is. Not. Good. My heart sank. Baseline zero, the testosterone test had reported. Before I got him, someone mentioned he might be "proud cut." I went right for the test. It was going to be the deal breaker for me, proof of a studdy gelding. But, Testosterone, 0 +/- 5%. I was elated when that result came over the fax.
Fuck. What now?