Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - The Next Chapter Continues

Part 1 of the Baby Boomer Series

The new colt was a pistol. Even before the horse had figured out how to use his mile long legs he was expressing plenty of attitude. The colt really resented being dried off with a towel and particularly hated having his ears fussed with. Dunking his umbilical stump in iodine was a real trip. Dave and I ended up wearing far more of the telltale orange stain than the young horse.

Getting the newborn up to his feet turned out to be a daunting task. The independent colt really didn't think he needed any assistance but his legs were so long he just couldn't seem to get them underneath himself. Several times he lost his balance and ended up catapulting into the walls. I was convinced the new colt was going to end up deformed by his collisions with the sides of the stalls. Looking at the colt struggling to control those legs of his, it seemed only fitting for his barn name to be "Legs."

I think the vet finally arrived before the colt had actually made it to his feet. He just grabbed him by the tail (which to this day still makes me cringe) and yanked it up in the air throwing the colt's weight onto all four legs. Then the vet just hung on until the colt located his center of gravity. From that point on we were ok but I was still didn't like the vet using the colt's tail for a handle.

Later that day, I brought the family all out to the stall and lined them up. The instructions were as follows. This cute little baby needs to grow up with manners we can all live with. That means teaching him the rules of living here starts today. Just because he's cute doesn't mean it's ok for him to bite, strike, kick or rear. Anyone letting him get away with such activities will be shot! I guess that's tellin' 'em!

Life with the new addition to our horse herd went pretty well. The horse was very friendly and couldn't get enough attention. Scandalous was a good mom as far as loving and nurturing goes, but she didn't do nearly enough disciplining the little monster. I was always wishing the mare would grow tired of his aggressive behavior and give him a swift bite on the butt. I doubt that it ever happened.

Once the pair were going out for turnouts, Scandalous was more than happy to let the new filly, Krugorrs Heiress, babysit the brat. That meant the Scandalous could graze in peace while the colt tormented the filly.

The business plan for the year was to breed Scandalous back to GS Khochise. I knew from studies a friend of mine had been involved with it is much better for mares to be continuously in foal than to give them time off. The older a mare gets the wiser it is to not leave them open if you want them to keep producing.

Since we had the trouble getting the mare in foal with this pregnancy, I was not taking any chances. Scandalous and the colt were moved to the farm where GS Khochise stood at the first sign of heat after the foaling heat cycle had been completed.

This was the first time I had taken a foal off of the place. It turned out to be much harder than I had thought. Even though I went over there each day because I was helping with the breeding that year, I really missed having the colt at home. He was an easy baby to get attached to.

Spring around here is always welcome even though the weather usually sucks because of the new foals. After a long dreary winter, the fresh new face in the barn always lifts every one's spirits. Lindsay and Dave were missing the colt as well.

Khochise was breeding a lot of mares again that year. It seemed like every day there were numerous shipments of semen to go out as a number of in house mares to be bred. That meant lots of palpating and ultrasounding and not as much teasing to decide when a mare was getting close to ovulation.

I don't know how many times Scandalous was ultrasounded before she was actually artificially inseminated but it was several. Then we did the waiting game to see if the mare was caught.

When the 14 days finally rolled around and it was time to ultra sound to see if we had a pregnancy it was the senior vet from Chambers Prairie Veterinary Hospital who did the honors. Ernie Grubb was not happy to report not only was the mare not in foal but the reason was a large hematoma in uterus. He was angry the injury hadn't been detected by one of his colleagues. The mare should never have been bred. There was little chance the horse could retain a pregnancy.

Ernie's recommendation was that we give the mare until August to see if her uterus would heal.. While breeding in August would be late, at least we wouldn't loose the entire year. He also confirmed my suspicions that the hematoma was probably a result of injury caused by the foal trying to get up while its hind legs were still contained within the uterus.

August just wasn't meant to be. While the hematoma had healed considerably there were still some small abnormal signs of it on the uterine wall. The best course of action was to wait until next spring to try and breed this mare. This was the second in a series of events that would change my life forever.

To be continued.............

Down a Rocky Road


  1. I swear Mikael, it's always something. You were just not meant to have it easy to start. I hope the road smooths out some for you.

    Just read your comment on Blog Village, I try to do my little part to bring you more readers. *hug*

  2. Great post! Hope you got to breed her the next spring!! A friend of mine tried to breed her Arab mare last spring and each time she was bred it didn't take. Turns out a marble that was placed quite a while before (a couple years I believe) was still there blocking the semen. Well she had her vet check the mare out and see if he could find anything wrong and her vet found it within moments of starting the ultrasound. He was incredibly angry as was the mare's owner being she was sent to one of the HUGE breeding facilities in our area to be bred, ultrasounded, etc and nobody saw it during any of the exams. It cost this gal a mini fortune and she ended up with no baby after it all.

  3. You need to write a book! I have been catching up on your posts and have been just glued to them! What stories you have to tell and I am serious when I say you should write a book about all of your expriences. That poor filly that hadn't been out of a stall is heartbreaking as is the one that died from the worms and neglect. Oh how I would love to get my hands onto some of these people that mistreat their animals! It seems like every week I hear of an abuse or neglect story around here especially about dogs. The humane society just rescued over 100 dogs at a place here in Maine. Puppy mills at their worst. When I hear of horse abuse it actually makes me feel ill.

    Thanks for stopping by. I probably grossed out some people by posting Buddy's pic with his hoof cut out but I want to record everything about this. It didn't hurt him at all, he stood right there and the vet cut away the damaged part. Probably non horse people think I am cruel to do this but it is the only way to let the feet grow out and heal. The vet did say to give him bute the day before, of and the day after but he hasn't had any since and is feeling great. With the new shoes on he can go all over the pasture without fear of hitting a small rock or root. This has sure been an experience on top of the strangles outbreak we had at the boarding stable last winter. That was something else I'll tell you!

    Again I enjoy your blog very much. You are very knowledgeable and I am always wanting to learn new things about my equine buddies. Take care.

  4. Uh-oh. No baby next Spring.

    I figured Legs got his name by shortening Legacy. Now I know better:)

  5. Wow MiKael, compulsive reading!!! My heart goes out to your friend Naomi for her loss, divorce can be so cruel. I know exactly how I would have felt if I had been in her position.

    Looking forward to the next installment, you always manage to keep me in suspense no matter how far behind I get or if I keep up to date LOL.

    I promise I will answer all questions soon, I know I know I keep saying that and never get round to it!!

    Hope all is well, sorry it is wet there, I also can't believe that winter is on its way again, the horses are getting thicker coats and have been for abut 4 weeks even while we were in the 90s so I suspect it is going to be a long cold one :-(



  6. Cheri, this is just a bump in the road, there is more to come.

    Equinespirit, I've never heard of a marble. That is wierd. I don't know if the vets get so focused on what they're looking for they miss what's in plain sight or what, but it sure is frustrating.

    Midlife mom, I would like to write a book someday, actually a couple of them but sure would like some publisher or editor to come along and give me a deal. Guess that's just a pipe dream.

    Molly, you are half right about the barn name. I have a thing about barn names needing to be related to the registered names and Legs seemed a pretty obvious fit for Legacy, but it was inspired by his mile long legs.

    To all, sometime at a later date probably this winter, I will tell the whole story about Naomi's colt. She is currently digging to find pictures for me. She made a valiant effort to save that colt and it is a worthy story to share.