Sunday, March 4, 2007

Twins Saga Delayed for Life Turns with Arabian Horses and Stallions

Life always seems to have its own agenda. Whether it be about getting through each day or dealing with the Arabian horses, life just has to jump in there and throw a curve ball. I know it's coming, just don't know when. I don't worry about it, because I can't control it. I just wait for it to happen and deal with the fallout.
Yesterday, was one of those days! Life just jumped up and knocked me on my you know what......butt! I hate it when it's something with the Arabian horses. I like to think I know my horses. I know what I can expect of each horse on my place.......OK, so life wants me to know that only applies to most of the time. That's a hard lesson with Arabian horses, or any other breed of horse. It's easy to get into that comfortable place where you take your Arabian horse, or other horses, for granted.
So what in the heck am I talking about? Stallions, Arabian stallions, it starts with them. I have a number of stallions. More than I would like. I'm don't think of myself as a stallion person, I'm a mare person. I understand mares. I get along with mares. I appreciate mare quirks. But unfortunately Mother Nature has not allowed me to turn on a "fillies" only button in my Arabian horse breeding program.
I get colts too, nice colts, lots of colts (well half colts), quality enough to be stallions type colts. So as long as these horses pass a rigid inspection by a great friend of mine who I can trust to be honest with me about the quality of my horses AND (this is the really important part) the Arabian colts behave themselves, they aren't gelded. I keep them stallions. Why, you ask? Well mainly I'm getting mostly western pleasure and hunter pleasure type horses in my breeding program. Anyone in the Arabian horse industry can tell you at the National level, the western division horses are usually stallions. Only occasionally do you see a gelding win a top ten at the national level. So since I'm breeding national calibre horses leaving these horses intact as stallions gives the buyer the option of having a great horse as a stallion for the open division or they can geld it and have a fantastic gelding as their horse in the amateur division. There's no skin off my nose, either way. It's stictly a marketing decision.
Dealing with any horse takes a lot of commitment but a horse that is a stallion takes more commitment, savvy, dedication and the list goes on. I wrote some about it in my post Are Arabian Stallions Different Than Other Horses? The other thing about stallions is the liability issue. People need to remember there is more liability to owning and handling stallions than other horses. So with all that being said, I'm going to share life as it happened to me yesterday and one of the liabilites of owning stallions.
We had a break in the weather even though the forecast called for rain. I decided I was going to get some Arabian horses outside. The horses, particularly the stallions, have so much energy when they've been cooped up. The stallions needed to blow off some steam. I wanted to get as many Arabian horses, particularly stallions, but broodmares too, out as possible. I put the stallions and one colt out in individual paddocks at one end of the property (for a total of four horses) and the broodmares (three horses) at the other end of the property for a total of seven horses. The paddock in the middle had my herd sire, Scandalous Legacy, in it. This horse is used to being out with his mares on one side of him and young colts on the other side of him. The horse has been going out like this most of his life and even with other horses when he was younger, without incidence. I only quit putting him out with other horses when the horse got beat up by an old gelding.
Something was different yesterday, you know, the life thing happened. My stallion, "Legs, " wasn't a bit happy that the two-year old colt wanted to stand at the fence line and look at the "girls" (Legs' broodmares) at the other end of the property. (Two of the three mares were in heat.) But that has happened before with no problem. So the horse spent some time running the young horse off from the fence line. I could have put him in but decided the horse really needed to run off some steam. The fences are all hot wired and this horse doesn't mess with the hotwire. I can keep this horse in a paddock with nothing but hotwire fence as long as it's hot.
Yep! that was where life came in. Sometime right before I planned on putting all of the horses in and feeding, the electric fence failed! My herd stallion, Legs, was not in a paddock made of hotwire. The horse was in a fully fenced paddock reenforced with hotwire. The 2 year old horse (colt) must have gotten cocky with the fence and hotwire for protection between himself and the stallion. The young horse was taunting the older stallion when the hotwire died. Not good......
Just as I was putting on my boots to go outside I heard the crash. Horses screaming and galloping through the trees followed. I rushed onto the back deck to see the older stallion with ears flattened and teeth bared in hot pursuit of the young horse (the colt named Scandalous Tag). I called for help from my daughter, Lindsay, and then raced for a halter getting through the gate as quickly as possible.
My mind was racing trying to access the situation so I could intervene. Not only the hotwire had failed, the gate between the two horses had failed as well. The gate had popped a weld, it's chain latch had broken. The gate was a mangled mess. The hotwire across it was broken. There was no doubt where the stallion had broken through the fence line.
The herd stallion was up in the far corner screaming at the 4 year old horse (also a stallion) on the other side of that fence. The youngest horse (2 year old colt, Tag) was no where to be seen. I ran along the field searching among the trees and found nothing. Could the young horse be in with the 4 year old horse ( a stallion named Scandalous Storm)? I raced up past the house where I could see, and sure enough, there was the young horse running along the far fence line, as far away as the horse could get from the raging stallion. The young horse's turnout was torn and slipping off sideways, dangling under his belly hanging up in the horse's hind legs.
Thankfully for the young horse, he was now in the field with a stallion that was more interested in testing his mettle against the herd stallion on the other side of the fence than the young upstart trouble making colt. The two older horses were fighting over the fence. The gate between the two horses was mangled from the young horse going over it or through it. So mangled, I didn't try to get through it. I was afraid the herd stallion could slip through with me and then I'd have an even bigger mess.
I raced the long way around praying not to have an asthma attack and slipped into the paddock through the front gate. I easliy caught up the frightened young horse. The two stallions were so interested in fighting each other they paid no attention to the young horse or me as we made our escape. I ran the terrified horse back to his stall. I thought about tying him but decided the horse was too scared to deal with it. I just turned the horse loose in his stall. I checked for water. His buckets were empty so I didn't need to worry about him drinking since the horse was overheated. Then I raced back to seperate the fighting stallions (horses).

To be continued.....

Part 2

I'm sorry, I can hear some of you groaning. I don't know if I'm too windy or big stuff just happens to me. I do know the search engines don't like me when I make these posts any longer than this. So that's it, I"m blaming the search engines for my series type posts.
Also, I'm thinking maybe you all might be getting tired of hearing the twins saga even though is still a lot more to their story. If that's the case,let me know in the comments and I'll quit writing about them. It's your call.

Part two


  1. All this happened YESTERDAY?!? They're all OK, right? Stallions are definitely quick to notice little things like the electricity going out...

  2. To be continued?!!! You ended at the perfect spot to keep us coming back for more:) Hmmmm.... Choosing between suspense filled true stories or Cute twin Arabians... Both? :)

  3. Even though you don't really know me, I'm afraid that I have to deliver an ultimatum. If you quit blogging about the twins, and just leave me hanging... so help me, I will track you down and FORCE the story out of you. I'm addicted to your blog. You CAN'T abandon the story, because since I don't know you or the horses, it's the only way I can keep "up to date".

    Your Loyal Fan Becky

  4. OK, Becky, you have me laughing now, I get the point. I will keep posting on the twins. I was worried that I was boring people with my long and endless posts about them. But if you're not bored, I'll keep going.

    I've been trying to get my blog rankings up, hoping that I might get a publisher interested in the twins' story. But my stats have been dropping off lately, so I thought I might be boring my readers. since I don't get a lot of comments, I don't really know what my readers are thinking.

  5. I am so new at this ... really don't know if this will go through. But in the event it works, I must let you know that like becky, I am a big fan of yours also. Please keep all the excellent stories coming. I am enthralled with the 'Twins saga'. Nothing you write could ever be considered boring, by the way. Love how you end with cliffhangers. How are those stallions anyway?


  6. Hi MiKael

    Dont stop posting whatever you do, your blog is one of the first I check every day to see what we have in store next, certainly not boring and if the comments are what brings you up in the rankings then I hope more people will just put a "Hello I was here" comment after they have read the story to boost your rankings if they dont want to say anything else.

    Wow your life sounds soooo like mine. I have a stallion horror story too but won't share it now. I missed commenting yesterday but am catching up today on all my comments.

    Will read on.


  7. Yes... your blog rankings may be dropping (for some really weird reason), but it's not for lack of appeal. I don't know... maybe throw in a couple of "Paris Hilton" references every now and again?

    Ex: Blah blah really cool Arabian horse blah (Paris Hilton) blah. Blah blah Arabian horse blah (Britney Spears) blah blah.

    PS: You have my utter respect that you managed to get your stallion's respect so firmly.

  8. I agree, please don't stop posting stories about the twins, I had even emailed your blog to a friend so she could read about them! Let us know if the comments are what are keeping your ratings down and we'll comment a lot more!