How NOT to take a horse's temperature!

The twitch on the muzzle to distract the horse while you fiddle behind them.
The twitch on the muzzle to distract the horse while you fiddle behind them.
Inserting the rectal thermometer
Inserting the rectal thermometer
Make sure you stand to the side in case you get a swift kick to the groin.
Make sure you stand to the side in case you get a swift kick to the groin.

From the Life and Crimes of Fenella Fisher

“Well, if it isn’t Fenella Fisher!  Put the kettle on and make us all some coffee.  Christ knows, I can do with a cup.” Fenella looked at James Proctor, with his feet on a desk littered with papers, and his long dark hair tied in a ponytail.  Her Stepdad’s racehorse trainer; brilliant, charming and dangerous.
“If I were you, James, I’d get my feet off the desk and do something about the dirty coffee cups scattered around,” she said smugly with a cheeky grin on her face. “Dad’s just getting something out of the boot and will be in shortly.”
“Christ,” was all James said as he hurriedly jumped up and started collecting cups and putting them in the tiny sink he had in his office.  “Well, do something to help, Female, don’t just stand there grinning at me,” he said desperately, as he tried to carry five mugs at once.
“ Do your own dirty work, but I’ll try to delay him for you,” she said over her shoulder as she left the office.

Fenella had been coming to the Racing Stables ever since her dad had decided to invest in racehorses when she had just started High School.  All her friends had finished school and gone off to study or work in an office, but Fenella was determined to work with horses.  There was something about the way a horse’s muscles moved when it galloped, when it nuzzled food out of your hand.  The way you knew exactly where you stood.  They were either your friend or they were doing all they could to try and bite you or kick you to shreds.  Since finishing High School, Fenella came into the stables every morning to ride horses with the jockeys and grooms in their early-morning training sessions.   “Actually,” said Fenella to herself, “I’m not sure if I come because of the horses or because of the view.  Definitely not because of those mongrel jockeys.  Jeez, I love that mountain.”  Fenella looked up at the imposing, impressive Table Mountain that provided a perfect backdrop to the racing stables in Milnerton, Cape Town.

By the time Fenella and her Dad returned to James’s office, he had tidied it up and was sitting hard-at-work, writing in his weekly planner.  He looked up and smiled, all charm and politeness for one of his ‘owners’.  “G’day, Brent.  Howya doing today?”  He stood up and shook Fenella’s Dad’s hand.  When James launched into his description of Goody Gumdrops’s workout that morning, Fenella decided that it was time to leave and check on Mike O’Malley’s stables.  He’d had to go away up-country for some or other family emergency, and had asked Fenella to be his ‘assistant trainer’ and keep an eye on things for him.  Mike wasn’t the tidiest of people, and his office always looked a mess.  Fenella hoped she wouldn’t have to venture in there today.  She had a horrible feeling that he hadn’t washed the dishes in the small sink or thrown away his leftover food he’d been eating before he got the phone call to leave immediately.

“Morning Miss Fenella,” greeted Samson, Mike’s head groom.  “All horses good today.  All horses eat well.  Boss Mike phoned already and wants you to phone him back.” 
Fenella sighed.  Mike had this theory that if a horse’s temperature rose a notch or two on the thermometer the day of the race, then it would be invincible and would win easily.  Whether it was a scientifically proven fact or not, no-one knew, but it had worked once or twice for Mike and he was convinced of its worth. 
Fenella went into Mike’s tiny office that had the ripe odour of dirty dishes and decomposing food, opened the drawer of his small wooden desk and took out the rectal thermometer.  This was one part of working with horses that she didn’t find endearing at all.  Fenella shook the thermometer to get the mercury to go down, as she walked to the stable of Mike’s star performer, His Nibs.  Golden chestnut, with a white blaze and four white socks, His Nibs was easily the most handsome-looking horse in the stables.  However, he was known to be cantankerous and lashed out at anyone who walked behind him.  As there was no way that Fenella was going to spoil a beautiful day getting kicked by a fractious horse, Fenella signaled to one of the grooms to bring the twitch to put on His Nibs’ upper lip, to distract him from what was going to happen at his rear end.  “Steady boy, steady boy,” Fenella crooned as the groom twisted the nylon cord of the twitch tightly around the chestnut’s upper lip.  She waited until the groom lifted the horse’s right leg and held it to keep him unbalanced, so that it would be safe for Fenella to approach the stallion’s back legs.
Fenella walked up to His Nibs, and stood at a distance and leaned forward to pat him on his rump, so as to make sure that he wasn’t able to kick out at her.  “Good boy, good boy,” she whispered, gently stroking the rump and carefully lifting the tail with one hand to expose the hole.  With her other hand, she gave the thermometer one last shake and inserted it into the hole under the tail.  “Oh for God’s sake!” she shouted, as the thermometer quickly disappeared all the way up His Nibs’s rectum.  Fenella heard the phone ring in Mike’s office.
“Samson!” called Fenella, “Answer the phone, I’m busy now!”  Scratching her head, Fenella let go the horse’s tail and wondered what on earth she was going to do.  Chances were, that it was Mike on the phone.
“Miss Fenella!” shouted Samson, “It’s Boss Mike!”
“Shit, shit, shit,” mumbled Fenella under her breath, “Talk about bloody timing.”
“Boss Mike wants to know what is the temperature!”
“Tell him I’ll call him back!  I’m just taking the temperature!”  Fenella lifted the tail again to see if by some chance the thermometer had decided to make an appearance.  But, no such luck.  A tail, a wrinkled round hole, but no sign of the thermometer.  “What to do, what to do…,” she repeated to herself.
Samson called out again, “Boss Mike said that he’ll wait for you on the phone while you take the temperature.”
That was not what Fenella wanted to hear.  She quickly hurried over to the office and took the phone from Samson.  “Er, hello Mike.  Um, don’t have the temperature yet.  You interrupted me while I was taking it.”  Fenella closed her eyes and waited for the tirade she knew she was going to hear.  “Yes Mike, I know that you have to call the owner and tell him whether or not to put money on his horse.  You going to wait for me while I quickly take the temperature?  Okay, hold on, I’ll be back in a tick.”  Fenella carefully put the phone back down and hurried back to the stable, where Samson was standing with a puzzled look on his face.
“I don’t understand, Miss Fenella, I thought you were taking the temperature.  Where is the thermometer?” Samson asked with a frown.
“That’s just it, Samson.  There is no thermometer.  The stupid bloody horse sucked it into his arse and it’s disappeared!”
Samson’s eyes went wide with surprise.  “Gone?” he asked incredulously, “Gone?  Yoo yoo yoo….aikhona.  Oh Miss Fenella, you are in big trouble.  The Boss wants this horse to win today.  How is he going to run with a thermometer stuck in his bum?  Yoo…yoo…yoo.”
“Samson, don’t tell me what I already know.  Tell me how we are going to get the thermometer out.”  Fenella hoped that she wouldn’t start to cry.  “Boss Mike is waiting on the phone.  What am I going to tell him?”

Samson lifted the stallion’s tail and stuck a finger into the anus.  “It’s gone for good, Miss Fenella.  You have a very big problem, and Boss Mike is waiting on the phone?”  Suddenly, Samson started to laugh and leaned against the wall to support himself, as tears of merriment rolled down his cheeks.  Fenella narrowed her eyes and glared at Samson, wishing that something evil would befall him for laughing at her predicament.  Just then, His Nibs lifted his tail and gave a loud, wet-sounding fart, and the thermometer shot from his bottom at break-neck speed, narrowly missing the laughing Samson, and crashed violently into the wall. 
Samson stopped in mid-laugh, “What the hell?” His eyes went big in shock as he realized that he had narrowly missed being impaled by a flying missile.
Now, it was Fenella’s turn to laugh out loud.  “That’ll teach you for laughing at me.  But what on earth am I going to tell Mike?”  With a shock, she realized that he was still waiting on the phone to get the temperature reading.  She quickly ran from the stable back to the office.  “Yes Mike, I’m back.  Temperature today is…” Fenella scratched her head to think of the normal horse temperature, “His temperature today is 38 degrees.  Yes, I’m sure.  Ah, good news is it?  I’m pleased.  Okay, chat to you tomorrow, I’ve got to go.” Fenella thankfully replaced the receiver and wondered how His Nibs would perform on the racetrack that afternoon.  Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Samson and the other groom picking up the small shards of glass from the broken thermometer.  “Christ, all we need now is for His Nibs to get mercury poisoning from eating the soiled hay!”

Fenella finished checking on Mike O’Malley’s other horses and headed back to James Proctor’s office at his stables.  Her dad had obviously left, because James was leaning in his chair with his feet on his desk, surrounded by five jockeys who often rode for his stable.  “Ah, Fenella,” James put his hands behind his head and leaned back in his chair, “Taken any temperatures lately?”  His left eyebrow lifted in a quizzical expression.
“But, how did you….?” Fenella stammered.  She never had a chance to complete her question.  All six men in the room cracked up laughing.  Fenella felt her face grow hot as her cheeks glowed bright red with embarrassment.  She couldn’t believe that word of her encounter with the rectal thermometer had already spread so quickly!  She should have known that such a tasty tidbit of gossip wouldn’t have stayed sacred and secret for long.
“Samson,” she cursed under her breath. 
Deciding to change the subject and stop the laughter at her expense, Fenella addressed the group of small men, who were all wiping the tears from their eyes.  “So,” she said brightly with a forced smile on her face, “Who is going to win at Kenilworth today?”
“Ah Fenella,” said the smallest jockey with a lewd expression on his pint-sized face, “Come and sit on our laps and we’re sure to find you some…” and he licked his lips provocatively, “….some hot tips.”  That was enough to send everybody into fits of laughter again. 
“Jockeys,” thought Fenella, “Oversexed and underfed.”  Fenella had this theory, that jockeys were all hornier than most because of the very nature of their jobs.  Spending all day, every day, riding horses in that rocking–type motion; if you crouch low enough, the tiny racing saddle probably would just rub against certain sensitive areas.  Surely, it stands to reason they might permanently have erections and that’s why they always feel ready for sex.  The constant sexual innuendos and double talk, (it was impossible to ever have a serious conversation with a jockey, particularly the ones who hung around James Proctor), showed that sex was always foremost on their minds.  The occasional quick coupling in an empty stable, had proved that it didn’t take much to get them ready for action either.  It also proved that height had nothing to do with size, she thought dreamily to herself.

Excerpt from Stop the World, I need to pee! by Cindy Vine

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Comments 41 comments

C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Damn it girl! I can't read this yet with your effin avatar. hahaha Shit! it's too funny with you holding that damn sausage and that silly grin on your face. hahaaha It just kills me thinkin of what's on your mind as this hub is about horses. hahaaha

ROFLMAO hahahahaah dam it! it looks like it almost came from a horse. shit! hahahahaahahhhhhhhahahhhhahahhahahahhhahahah I have to compose myself now for what I know has to be a ood read. brb hahaahah shit


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Ok. Got through it. Good stuff and funny too. uh, you are, were Fenella? hehe Jockeys, hmmm who'd a thunk it? only you. haha loved it, need to get taht book


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Ah CC, now if I tell you that Fenella and I are one and the same, then my ex-husband would sue me! lol


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Glad you like my avatar with my home-made sausage lol (coy smile)


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Hahaha, thus the sausage avatar, fond memories. hehe


sheenarobins profile image

sheenarobins 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I am sooooo distracted with the avatar. Cindy, you can never write anything serious anymore. I laugh out loud seeing that avatar with the naughty smile on your face. hahaha

I can see I am on the same shoe as CC.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Hey, I can be serious! Seriously!


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

roflmao hahaha sheena, it scared her, haha


sheenarobins profile image

sheenarobins 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

hehehehe. Seriously? Seriously, cindy....hahahaha.hahahah. I am going crazy laughing. I will die with that sausage. please create a hub illustrating how you made that enourmously huge gigantic sausage. ahahahahaha


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Well Sheena and CC, I've become so adept at putting the sausage skins onto the funnel of my sausage machine, that I think I could open up a school for professional women whose job is putting similar skins on men's funnels. It is that back and forward action with the thumb and pointing finger. ahem, is that too much information?


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

hahaha, I don't need those. but I would let you put one on me. hehe since yer an expert. woo-hoo


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

lol it's a little like a hand job action. It might frighten you!


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Me frightend of that? haha RB will like it too. Hey, the first condoms were made of sheep bladders and intestines I believe. over 2,000 years ago.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Oh, my sausage skins are hog skins!


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Yeah, I know. haha from the anus


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

nooooooooo, not from the anus! God! Yuck!


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

hahaah, well, from beyond it, farther up. hahaah yes!


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

CC, you are a worry!


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

am I? oh well, love me or leave me


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

luv u luv u luv u luv u


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

ok, me too. one of these days, I would, well I sure wish you were here to have fun with. you are a real godsend girl


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

How the hell can I be a godsend??????


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Well, I'll have to email later if ya don't know. bye fer now china doll


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Be good CC and take care!


R. Blue profile image

R. Blue 7 years ago from Right here

Always runnin a day late and a dollar short of CC....Excellent work cindyvine!!!

Speaking of rectal thermometers....know the difference in a rectal and an oral thermometer??? The taste....think about it.

CC...was gonna ask cindyvine out on a date...but with her standing there holding that sausage....she kinda reminds me of Lorena Bobbitt.....but with her skin applying expertise....I may just reconsider.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Lol R. Blue! Hey, so sad I missed yesterday's mud wrestling!


Ivan the Terrible profile image

Ivan the Terrible 7 years ago from Madrid

With so many horses & other animals here in Spain I got to see some vets doing large animal temps. Glad I'm not a veterinarian!


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

I've gotta pee too now. Great hub Cindyvine!


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Ivan, imagine taking an elephant's temp!

RK, when you gotta go, you have to go!


bhowell profile image

bhowell 7 years ago

Cindy, that was hysterical....great job...what is an avatar? Am I stupid? How come I don't know what an avatar is? Keep up the great writing.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Bhowell, the avatar is the picture you use to show that it's you!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Scary idea - I'll leave horses' bums well alone, I think (-:


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

It can be quite dangerous as they can kick you quite hard!


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

I am with LondonGirl..."i'll leave horses' bum well alone." I am however, umm, what are you holding? I hope you left that poor horse intact! Very good story though!


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Thanks am I dead, and it's a homemade sausage!


Frostfire Gifts 7 years ago

You avatar is crazy given the page content and article, LOL


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Cindyvine...it appears you may have to hub about your sausage making skills. Everyone seems intriguingly interested in your keen advertisement of it (avatar). I think it is a cute picture of you...and your homemade sausage :) , unless the recipe is a secret, then the picture will have to suffice.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Yeah, but would people really be interested in reading how to make home-made sausages?????


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

yup, one end kicks, the other end bites. Both my sisters are horse-mad, I admire from a suitable distance (-:


Patrice Beaulieu profile image

Patrice Beaulieu 4 years ago from Maine

Great story! I've had to take a few horse temps myself but haven't lost a thermometer yet - fingers crossed.


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine Author

Yeah that thermometer disappearing was something!

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