One of the beastly Shetland ponies has celebrated her arrival in this green & pleasant valley by going into season. The little minx, whose name I forget, has taken to patrolling up and down the fence of her paddock flourishing her bottom at the horse Victor who has responded by going bonkers; it seems to be a bit like dogs only, of course, bigger. There’s also, as with dogs, the problem of scale — the problem experienced by a whippet who has designs on a dachshund, so to say, since she’s about two feet tall. Not that Victor has had his way: I think he is actually a gelding, but unlike dogs, horses it seems are programmed to respond to a mare in heat even if they no longer have the wherewithal. Victor is in a furious temper & has had to be locked in his stable, because he jumped out of his paddock. I am a little concerned about prevailing wind direction for the duration of the emergency; the horse Sam in our back field is a two-year-old entire stallion, and could jump his fence with contemptuous ease if he only thought of it (horses usually can, but don’t), and he hasn’t got a stable to be locked in. We could go and read him a lecture about running after strange women, but I’m sure it wouldn’t help. What does help, apparently, is Vick’s Vapour Rub — you shove it up the stallion/wannabe stallion’s nostrils so he can’t scent the mare. We forgot to buy any so we’re trying Victor with Tiger Balm which is much the same. Meanwhile the peaceable pony Gremlin, the one we really like, seems to be emanating the view that it is nothing to do with him. After his spring moult, his fur has come in completely white (he was dapple grey last year) and he looks very handsome.
PS. Further conversation on the subject of Victor indicates that he was bred by gypsies, and was, as they put it, ‘cut proud’; that is, he is indeed a gelding, but because only the actual testicles were removed, he still produces testosterone and would be capable, probably of the act, though not of siring a foal — hence his response to the Shetland Jezebel, who is called Sally, if anyone wants to know.