Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Horses and Fires

I should have known how my day was going to go when I saw Ruger on his back with his feet up in the air. I feed the horses at home before I go into work each day. The four horses and the donkey were in the north pasture, so I tossed the hay over the fence and turned to go. Apparently, I put the hay too close together, though, and Whiskey decided he wanted Ruger's hay. Ruger got surprised by the attack and jumped over the wire fence to get away. All I saw was Ruger on his back struggling to get to his feet again. Then I noticed that he was no longer in the pasture. Ruger was unconcerned about the whole affair and began to nibble up bits of hay on the ground while I went and found a halter. We put him in his stall for a while to see if anything might swell up. Nothing did, fortunately.

By the time I got on post, the troopers, who were supporting a ceremony, were on the road headed toward the parade grounds. They were behind schedule and were trotting to make up the time. I went and took care of my horses and then went out to the parade ground to watch their charge. The Public Affairs people wanted to attach a camera to the troopers during the charge and I wanted to see how all that turned out. Didn't turn out at all, though, because there was no time prior to the ceremony to strap the cameras on. The charge went perfectly and it was a shame we didn't have the "trooper cams" installed. While talking to the troopers after the charge, I noticed that Cochise had a swollen eye. Eye injuries can go bad quickly, so I stopped by the Vet Clinic on the way back to the stables to seek assistance. Unfortunately, no vets were available and I wasn't able to get a hold of the local civilian horse doctor in a timely manner.

After examining Cochise back at the stables and hearing his trooper's explanation of what happened, we decided that the injury was not to the eye but to the lower eye lid. Apparently Cochise and Journey had a dispute during the ceremony and bashed heads together. However, we also discovered that two other horses, Monte and Kidd, both had sore backs. This complicated the horse assignments for the next day's ceremony. After swapping horses around, we decided to add Bob to the lineup. Bob has only been in one ceremony since joining B Troop, so I am interested to see how he does. His assigned rider is enthusiastic about trying him out, so hopefully it will go well.

At the end of the day I was scheduled to attend a rehearsal for tomorrow's ceremony. I showed up at the appointed place and time, but everyone got up and left as there was a major brush fire on the post and everyone had to report for command post duty. I waited for a few minutes, since no one said anything to me about cancelling the rehearsal, then I left too. So it goes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Quarantine Scandal

I received a message from the Garrison Headquarters this morning inquiring about a report of B Troop horses being taken off post on Memorial Day. This was big news as our horses are restricted to post until the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) panic is over. According to the report, a "B Troop trailer full of horse" left the post for a short time and then returned. This was a scandal of big proportions because the gate guards are not supposed to let any horses on post until the epidemic is over. If you take a horse of the fort, it will not get back on.

I explained that if anyone moved any horses off post it was without my knowledge or authorization. Furthermore, we were not tasked to support any ceremonies on Memorial Day. Soon, I received a call from the security people asking about the incident which apparently was reported by one of their gate guards who was traveling to work and allegedly saw one of our trailers moving down the road. The incident didn't take place on Memorial Day but the day before. I checked our pasture feed logs and vehicle dispatches and asked the troopers if they knew of any trailer movements during the weekend. No one saw anything of the sort and our records showed that all horses were accounted for at the time of the incident. I asked the local stable staff and people who board horses next to us and they likewise saw nothing. It would be hard to miss a B Troop trailer moving out of the stables because there is only one road in or out and our trailers are distinctively marked.

I continued to receive questions about the incident as rumors spread like wild fire. I filed my report stating that there was no evidence anywhere indicating that a B Troop trailer had moved at any time during the entire Memorial Day weekend. I'm not sure what the guard saw, but it wasn't one of our trailers.