Monday, June 25, 2007

An Update on the Arabian Twin Foals - Trouble and Surprise Current Status

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

These twin Arabians had a number of health issues when they were born. Most of them are a thing of the past. There are a couple of things we're still working on and then there' the question of their growth.

Due to their angular limb deformities both Trouble and Surprise are still being trimmed about every three weeks to straighten out their legs. I'm happy to report that both twins are finally straight when we are done with the trim. It may still be a while before we can cease making the corrections but it's finally looking like they will both be straight legged in the not to distant future. I really wish I had taken close up pictures of their legs at birth, so people could see how dramatically they were affected.

One of the issues complicating the corrective shoeing was the fact that both Trouble and Surprise were really out of whack from a chiropractic point of view. While we knew they were very crooked from being so compressed inside their mom, we didn't dare do anything to remedy the situation until we were sure their bones were totally hardened. We just had to wait until they were finally old enough that it was safe to have the chiropractor work on them.

That day finally came right after their first birthday. Both twins were reluctant at first but it didn't take them long to figure out that the adjust while uncomfortable made them feel better.Surprise was much worse off than Trouble in the "crooked" department. According to the chiropractor Trouble was deviated enough to make a horse crippled for life so you can imagine what poor Surprise was like.

It turned out that poor Trouble had a throbbing headache. The colt really didn't want his pole or between his ears touched at all. It took quite a bit of coaxing to get him to co-operate with the adjustment. Once it was over he shook his head for what seemed like the longest time. After that he just turned himself over to the chiro trusting he was going to feel better.

Surprise started off just putting her head right into his hands. While some adjustments were difficult and her body resisted, mentally she was with him the whole way. She too shook her head after he adjusted her pole and her jaw as well. A few times the filly stomped her feet shaking the tingles away. She was definitely a grateful patient.

Both twins had ever single vertebrae out of place. From their heads to the tails, the bones went everywhere but straight. Even the joints in their legs, hips and shoulders weren't aligned properly. Surprise was bent in a C shape and Trouble had the S thing going. The chiropractor likened it to a horse that has been in a devastating care accident. The good news was that all things crooked were made straight!

The relief for the twins seemed to be instantaneous. Their movement has improved incredibly. Each finally has the freedom in their shoulders you would expect from their conformation and the length of stride is finally what it should be.

To date they have each had a couple of appointments with the chiropractor. Both twins responded to the treatment and held their adjustments really well considering how bad they were out of alignment. Trouble only needed one follow-up and is now on an as needed basis. (As you might guess, Trouble's legs are much closer to being straight as well) Surprise needs regular follow-ups for a while. She was so twisted in her pelvis, it is still influencing her leg position but we are most pleased with her progress. It may take a while and some growth for her muscles to accommodate the new skeletal position.

Somewhere here about a month or so ago, Trouble woke up. I don't know how else to describe it other than he just plain woke up. From the day of his birth I was always worried about him, he was just too quiet and submissive for one of my colts. He began showing the first signs of normalcy at about 8 months when he finally began antagonizing his sister. Even that was subdued compared to what a normal colt here might do.

The strange thing about it is, he really does act like he just woke up. Things he used to do so well, he now acts like he's doing or seeing for the very first time. It's almost like he's come out of a coma and doesn't remember anything that happened during that time.

Anyway, to sum this up, he woke up with such a vengeance he is now a gelding! While as a midget stud muffin he was absolutely darling! I got really tired of him standing on his hind legs and shaking his head at me. Stomping the ground like he was digging to China because he wasn't getting his way was another cute trick. And oh yes, let's not forget about the biting. The colt turned into a darn land shark. I could have spent time on extensive training session but for me, there just was no reason to be putting up with that behavior and the odds are he will grow better as a gelding.

Today, he is an absolutely gorgeous black bay gelding who hopefully will mature to full size. I just really don't need anymore testosterone around here and believe it or not, Trouble has still not lost his edge. He may not give me, Lindsay or Dave a hard time anymore but he's still got what it takes. Even at that he whoops the snot out of the older bigger yearling colt!

For those who don't know much about twins, this is the year we should find out how they will mature as adults. I'm told that usually twins that stay small stop growing in their yearling year.

I expect that Surprise will not mature to her genetic size due to the crushing of that hock. However, she is a sound as a dollar (the dollar is sound now, isn't it?) but the affected hock is larger than the other. Only time will tell.

As for Trouble, I have no idea what to expect about his growth. We didn't do the additional x-rays on him because of the added expense. He was going to be confined in the stall with his sister anyway so doing the x-rays was more for the vets than me. Even with them we wouldn't be anymore sure than we are with Surprise about his growth. For me there didn't seem to really be much point. Only time will tell for him also. But looking at him yesterday racing around the round pen with Suede, I'm thinking he's going to be one pretty fancy country horse.

That would bring us up to date with the status on these two horses. The twins will again be featured at our annual open house and would love to see any and all visitors. I'm pretty sure that Surprise can tolerate her brother long enough to do a little expo.They are still the biggest hams I know when it comes to people!

We're having our annual open house earlier this year due to Daffodil having a fund raising ride for St Jude's Children's Hospital on my normal weekend. I figured since I've been bugging them to do a fund raiser for years, I better show up to help. The date for our open house is July 15 from 1-4.

More on the Twins


  1. Amazing stuff MiKael. I am going to go back and read the whole saga

  2. Maybe in future posts you will address your plans for the twins. I'd be interested in hearing abou that.

  3. I always amazed at your photos.

    your horses are gorgeous!

    Im glad the twins are doing great...maybe my Old Guy needs a chiro appt. hmmm

  4. I agree - amazing stuff. Fascinating too. I hope the horseys are doing well! I love horses!! They are so beautiful and majestic - no matter what kind they are or what size they are. And I love the photos!!

  5. Just stopping in to thank you for the visit. Twin horses! What an interesting story!

  6. Thank you so much for coming over to visit my blog...I'm glad you left a comment so that I could come visit you:-) I've thoroughly enjoyed reading some of your posts...your horses are just beautiful! After what the twins have been through, it truly is amazing that they are now doing so well!! Wonderful story! xox

  7. Do you have any idea if the filly will be sterile? My friend had twins this year and they are doing great, no health problems. She plans on gelding the colt but is wondering about the filly.


  8. Aww I'm so glad to hear that the chiropractor was able to give the twins that much needed relief! They are so adorable!