Rodney’s Progress: Zirgs-prens

Rodney’s poop has changed.

When he first arrived and for years, Rodney had enormous poops. Both the amount deposited and the size of the bolus. For those who might not have spent quite as much time contemplating the subject, horse manure is released as piles of semi-distinct rounded oblongs. Google horse manure if you need a visual. Rodney’s oblongs were huge. As was the total amount. At stall-cleaning time there was always at least one joke made about all of this coming out of one horse. We called them elephant poops.

His manure is now of normal amount and normal shape.

What changed, you ask? Here we enter the realm of speculation.

The theory traces the physiologic changes to progress with his injury [Daddy Dearest]. As his back loosens up, he has more mobility from the withers rearward. I recently saw him hunching up to produce a poop. I don’t recall him putting that much effort into the project previously. It could be sampling error. However, if the external muscles are more engaged, why not the internal muscles? Previously, his digestive material was being pushed through partly by the pressure of accumulation. Now, his intestinal muscles are able to squeeze the tube more effectively, thereby moving the production along more quickly and doing a better job of bolus formation. This would also explain his ulcer/digestive issues if material was not passing through at proper speed.

He has had similar changes in urination behavior, of which it is harder to be certain. Pissing doesn’t leave behind the same concrete comparables.

Anatomically accurate? I have no idea. Getting us any closer to riding? No idea there either. All I can say with certainty is no more elephant poops.

(Title from Tanner’s Twelve Swingers by Lawrence Block [Kindle of HarperCollins 2007 (reprint)]
“There is only one difficulty with this Lettish language. I do not know the word for manure, and it is not the sort of word I can ask Minna to teach me.”
Prens,” I said.
“And horse?”
Zirgs.”)

Categories: Horse Behavior, Horses, Physiology

4 replies »

  1. The things that come back on you…Zirgs-prens indeed. I wrote that book in a furnished room in Amiens Street, Dublin, with the aid of a book called Teach Yourself Latvian from Eason’s in O’Connell Street. It supplied Zirgs for horse, but I had to make up Prens, the book being limited in the extent of its vocabulary. And now, 47 years later, I’m able to tell you that the correct phrase in Latvian would be zirgu mēsli, and are we not both richer for our newfound knowledge?

    • Fangirl squeeee!!! I’m, like, a huge fan. I’ve, like, read all of your books. Like. Wow.

      … ahem …

      Dear Mr. Block:
      I have long been an admirer of your work. Thank you for your informative contribution to this post.

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