Thursday, June 28, 2007

The High Cost of Saving Twin Arabian Foals Part 2

The beginning of the twins saga begins hereReflections on Foaling Season 2006

Yes, my twins survived but not without heartbreak. I've been telling a couple of my friends for a while now that I really needed to do a post about the price I've paid for saving the Arabian twin foals, Scandalous Trouble and Scandalous Surprise. To me that price is as big a part of the story as the details about the twins and the myriad of things I did to care for them.

I don't want it to seem like I would do anything different, because I wouldn't. To my way of thinking giving it everything I had to save these two foals was the only way to go. But that decision came at a great price, both emotionally and
financially and I am still paying that price.

The emotional drain caused by each crisis took its toll. Sometimes the crises with the twins were daily, even hourly. By the time the twins were out of the woods and out of confinement, I was deeply depressed.

I've battled depression over my lifetime but have not seen any form of it since I began with horses. I've known how to deal with the "normal" causes of my depression but this time was different. It had a totally different cause. I was so spent, I hadn't a clue how to replenish. I was exhausted both physically and emotionally and there was nowhere to turn for help. The twins still needed ongoing care and I had the rest of my heard to deal with. I had to force myself each day to get out of bed and face the tasks ahead of me. I went to the doctor. Nothing helped. It was a long, wet, black winter .

All the time I was dealing with the depression I was also fighting with what little energy I had trying to keep my dream alive. It had never occurred to me how caring for the twins would affect that dream.

Those of you that follow this blog know that it's always been my dream to breed Arabian horses. And not just any Arabian horses, I wanted them to be the very best!. That's been a pretty big challenge for a couple of blue collar workers from a small town in Graham.. Top quality horses are like anything else top quality, hard to come by and expensive.

But I haven't let that stop me, I've chased my dream with a vengeance. I knew going into it that it would take time. Horses have to grow up and be trained and shown to be able to get them sold. All of those take time and with life's little bumps here and there the time can stretch out longer than expected. They also take money or energy. I knew from the beginning to make this successful I would have to do most of the work myself. I couldn't afford trainers and show fees both, so I was going to have to do my own training to get my horses into the ring.

The birth of the twins took all of my time, my energy and my money. I also borrowed money so I was now in the hole. Time I couldn't borrow. Everything else stood still. My other four foals from last year didn't get their halter, leading, clipping and bathing lessons. My five year old gelding that was ready to show Western Pleasure Junior Horse didn't get ridden, let alone shown. The horses behind him that were finally mature enough to be started didn't get started. I didn't get my herd sire in the ring, yet another year. The list goes on. The effect of not getting those things done was I didn't get horses sold.

Starting out as a new breeder there are no shortcuts to success. You have to do it by the book. Breed them. Raise them. Train them, Show them. Then you get to sell them. Doesn't matter how great the horses are, no one sees them because they don't come out to the your farm if you haven't proven yourself already. The horses have to get in the ring and when they get there, they have to be doing their job and they have to win. Once the first foal crops have done that, things get easier but that first push can make or break you.

So the time, energy and money the twins took, all was taken away from my dream. This is the first year since I started breeding horses that I do not have a foal crop coming next year. I missed my target getting a horse in the ring. The plan was to get him to Nationals as a junior horse. Now he is six and must go into the full bridle. That means another year before Nationals is even a possibility. I have two more coming up behind him that didn't make the ring as junior horses this year. Now they will need to be in the bridle before they can show.

Fortunately, I have sold a horse but half of what he's worth. That money won't pay my expenses for this operation for six months. If I don't figure out how to get more horses sold, my dream may be coming to an end. The weight of all of this has, of course, added to the depression.

I realize that the twins by themselves aren't responsible for the collapse of my business. It was built on a shoe string. The problem with that is the bumps in the road can kill you. And this one maybe has. I knew going into it I was taking a big risk.

While I love the twins as much if not more than I love any of my horses, they are the straw that may have broken the camel's back on this dream of mine. With all of the things over the years I thought could interfere with my dream, I can tell you having Arabian twin foals was never one of them. The fact that they have had a devastating impact on my life doesn't mean I would change one thing but I just think people should know. Twins may be joyous and wonderful and fun but they can be heart breaking too. It's important, I think, to know that.

A Twins Story


  1. Have a blessed weekend! That is an adorable picture of the foals.

  2. It would be a loss to the horse community if you had to stop doing what you do. I hope things get straightened out for you.

  3. Ooh... I hope things turn around for you, soon! And I really hope you can sell several horses in the next couple months - that would be the biggest help!

    Remember, one thing at a time. Try not to think of all the different things you have to do, NOW, and just focus on one babystep at a time. That especially helps me when I have a lot to do and feel overwhelmed!

  4. To lose you as a horse breeder would be such a loss. Integrity is what you have. I bet you'll get a few horses sold soon and then you'll be able to focus again.

  5. ((HUGS!!)) and I hope things turn around for you soon! I can't even imagine what you've gone through for those babies. I applaud you for doing so and am so happy that there are still breeders out there willing to care for what you bred no matter the cost. They are such incredibly lucky babies to have you. If I was closer or vice versa I'd give you a helping hand in anything you need (showing, grooming, mucking stalls, etc) to keep your business going! The Arabian horse NEEDS people like yourself! *stands applauding*

  6. Oh my, I had no idea of all you are going through.

    I agree with those who have told you to take things one thing at a time. I also hope you sell several horses, soon.

    Sending thoughts and prayers your way.