Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - The Maiden Season Part 7

Before I get on with my story, yesterday was The Great DeLurk which I found posted on Give It a Try who in turn picked it up off

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

I have to say I agree with both of these blogs on the issue of lurking. As a blogger it's hard to figure out what to think when so many people stop by and few if any comment. So I maybe a day late and probably lots more than a dollar short, but I'm totally behind promoting The Great DeLurk day. If you're here, please leave a comment and check out what these other bloggers have to say about how lurking affects them.

And while I'm off track, I also would like to take a quick moment to brag. This picture is my son's volleyball team. Obviously those are girls in the pic, so where does that leave my son, Bil Cailler? Well, he's their coach and his team, Kentwood High School ranks this week number 26 in the nation! That's right, the nation.

This picture was displayed on the site. I would give a link to the rankings but you have to be a member to view. But here's what they had to say about Bil's team this week.

"26. Kentwood (Covington, Washington)
Current record: 15-0; Last week’s ranking: 22

Random note: No, Kentwood, you didn’t do anything wrong to drop five spots in the rankings. In fact, you did a lot of good, notably your big win over Megan Ganzer and Tahoma on Wednesday, led by Savannah Feist’s 11 kills and nine from Lauren Campbell. But with Mead dropping six spots while losing out of state, and the Panthers still No. 1 in Washington, you had to drop. "

Now back to the Arabian horses

Part 1 of the Baby Boomer Series

Part 1 of the Maiden Season

Shortly after the incident breeding Heiress, it was time to ultrasound Kurra. Well, it turned out that Kurra did settle on just one cover. There was only one pregnancy and it was time to send her home to Oregon. I was really excited about that because it meant we didn't have to breed her again.

Heiress had gone out of heat right after we bred her. So we only covered her once as well. Now we were waiting for the 14 day mark to ultrasound the mare. Again I was hoping for a pregnancy so we didn't have to breed again. What were the odds we would catch both mares in the first breeding season for this young Arabian stallion on just one cover each?

Around this time was also when the Dare Malik daughter was supposed to be arriving from Oregon. I had made arrangements with a friend to haul her up but at the last minute the owner asked if I would pay her to haul the mare instead since she was planning on coming to the area to visit her father. It didn't really make much difference to me who did the hauling as long as the mare arrived safely so I agreed.

As it turned out the day the mare was to arrive was the same day I was supposed to go the the racetrack with Dave. His company had one of the corporate boxes and was having an appreciation party for the hourly employees. It was a really big deal and Dave really didn't want me to bow out. So I ended up going to Emerald Downs when I really wanted to be home to greet this special mare.

All during my time at the track, I kept wondering if the Arabian horse had arrived yet. I had visions in my head of the lovely mare running in MY fields. If everything went as planned, this mare would never leave my farm. I would breed her, have a great foal by Legs and then exercise my option and buy the mare. The dream was again running rampant.

When we finally got home that evening, I couldn't wait to get out to the barn to visit with the mare. Lindsay told me what time she'd arrived and that she'd gone ahead and turned her out for a while. But that was all she told me.

When I got to the barn I couldn't believe my eyes. My heart sank! If it hadn't been for the "bloody" marking on her neck I wouldn't have even recognized this mare. The Arabian horse was in deplorable condition. She was so thin that even her face was gaunt and drawn. And, of course, like most starved horses, she was very wormy.

In addition she had some kind of injury to her back. Along her spine right about at the coupling with her back and her hip there was a large bump. It felt hard, almost like a calcium deposit of some kind. It was clear that something bad had happened to this horse since the last time I had seen her. I just wanted to cry, not for me or my dream, but for this poor mare.

The first thing I did when I got back into the house was to call my vet. I wanted him to examine the mare asap. Since I was leasing the mare I wanted documentation of her condition. That way if I could not get her returned to normal health, I would have proof that this condition had not been caused by me.

The only way the vet could work us in for the next day was for me to take the mare to him. I was concerned about even hauling the horse, her condition looked so poor to me. But at the same time, the longer she stayed in my care before she was examined, the less protected I was. Also I needed to know the mare's exact condition so I could deal with it correctly. Having never dealt with a starving and neglected horse I didn't know if I should be starting off slowly or what to do for sure! I didn't want to make any mistakes in her care.

So despite my trepidation, I hauled the mare across the Narrows Bridge to my vet. This is not one of my favorite trips. I have always been intimidated by that bridge. I could feel it swaying in the wind as I drove across. It doesn't help that from time to time the tv news will run pictures of the time it fell into Puget Sound.

Thankfully, the mare hauled just fine. She was nervous when I'd loaded her and she was nervous when I took her out of the trailer but she was totally dry. The horse hadn't sweated at all. For that I was relieved. She had eaten every last piece of the grass hay that I had hung for her. Her appetite was good, I was relieved about that as well.

The vet examined her thoroughly and confirmed that she was indeed loaded with worms. Also, she was nearly 300 pound under weight. But the injury to her back was a real mystery. That lump was definitely a calcium deposit on a vertebrae and had to have been caused by some great impact. All we had were guesses like maybe a tree had fallen on her or she'd been struck by another horse or she'd fallen over backwards and struck something in the fall. Whatever happened, the mare had a serious injury to her back and it was NOT brand new.

I remember thinking at the time about my conversation with the breeders when I had called to arrange the lease. They told me they had just put shoes on this mare because they were planning on riding her. I just couldn't imagine how they could have thought they would ride a horse in such deplorable condition let along how they could have missed this injury. Riding this poor mare in this condition was something I couldn't even imagine. My call to lease this mare had saved her from more difficult times.

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

Part 8


  1. Mikael, I wonder sometimes with all the experiences you have acquired how you kept moving forward. Unbelievable. Again, you have me coming back for more!

  2. :O That poor horse!! Glad you took her when you did. I can't imagine what could have happened to her if you didn't! :(

  3. It's never ok to abuse an animal, but you wonder about people who would purposely neglect a valuable asset like this Dare mare. Probably ignorance.
    Makes me crazy!

  4. Hey there MiKael,

    As I've told you before I follow your blog religiously. I love hearing how Rising Rainbow Arabians came to be and the stories of Legs and all of the other members of the gang - heartbreaking as it sometimes can be. It's become part of my morning routine and I never miss a post.

    Thanks for sharing so much with us.


    p.s. Aidol says "Hey"... :)

  5. Congrats to you son! He's doing a great job with his team.

    I have a mare here with 'hunter's bump'. When she's all fat and sassy you can't see it. Now that she's been stressing since her bud is gone, she's lost weight, and you can really see it.

    Was your mare's injury this or something else? I've never heard of calicium deposits.

  6. Good grief! What did they have to say for themselves?!

  7. I think I have a lot of lurkers as well. I try not to dwell on who is reading my stuff out there, I just put it up and hope for the best.

    Your stories are always inspiring.

  8. that is awesome about your son's volleyball team! woot!!!!!

    oh dear-you did the right thing when you realized how poorly the Dare Malik daughter's condition was.

    People who abuse or do not treat animals properly make me so angry-gah!

    I am impatiently waiting to here about his little mare's welfare...

  9. You made me feel bad with the "lurking" stuff. :) Usually everyone says everything I'd have to say.....I just enjoy reading your stories and learning from your experiences. I too have Arabians, and wouldn't want to go with any other breed. It's become something of a routine to read your blog everyday. Keep up the good writing!!

  10. Woohoo on Bil's Volleyball team and their success, great job!!

    As you know I went through the exact same saga with my filly and getting her back starved at the beginning of this year so I can feel your pain and the sick feeling you must have felt at the sight of her. Wiggle had supposedly been ridden right up until I got her back and I was appalled that anyone would have ridden her in that condition. It is still debateable whether she was ever actually ridden because I turned her out to pasture and that is where she still is. When I bring her back probably at the end of this month or sometime in November we will tackle that then and see what she knows.

    Looking forward to the next instalment and I am so glad that you took this mare in to give her a better life.


  11. I also wanted to add that those people were very lucky you werent there to receive the mare, from what I know of you thus far you would have torn a strip or two off of them and they sure did deserve it. I am interested to hear if you had contact with them and what they had to say.


  12. kathy c, All I can say is I guess I never expected it to be easy. And I wanted it so bad, I just coudln't let go when stuff happened.

    equinespirit, I can't imagine what would have happened to her either. Frankly, I'd rather not think about it.

    molly, maybe the next post will explain part of it. As odd as this might sound, I'm pretty sure they love their horses.

    Mary, glad to see you!! I didn't know I was part of your morning routine. Thanks for speaking up!! And please give Aidol hugs from us all!

    lady of chaos, I will pass your congrats on to Bil. He works very hard and loves that team. I swear he puts as much passion into that as I do my horses!

    As for the calcium deposit, my understanding is that anytime a bone is injured it produces calcium. Very simply stated that's what OCD is. So if she was hit hard enough to crack the bone, calcium would result in the surrounding area.

    arthist99, I've posted their version in the next post. You'll still have questions, as do I.

    donna, glad you don't let the lurkers bother you. Wish I was a casual about it.

    I am glad to know that my stories inspire. Thanks for letting me know that. It helps keep me writing.

    barngoddess, it is exciting that Bil's team is doing so well. They work very hard at it.

    Actually, I'm not sure why it even occurred to me to have the vet document the mare's condition. That was one of my brighter moments! lol

    I'm going to focus on this mare for a while, after all, she was to be my special mare!

    hiddenheights, thank you for stopping in! It is nice to meet you. I hope you will comment again. It's nice for me to have a name to go with the numbers that I see! It helps to keep me going here!!

    lori, yes, I am excited about Bil's success. I just had no one to share it with so decided I would share it with my blog family!

    I remember about you and Wiggle. And I thought of this mare at the time of your posts about her. It surely is a heartbreaking thing.

    I already had my next post written but added a portion to address how I dealt with them and why. I didn't do what you expected but it will all come together in time. I had a plan......

    Thanks to everyone for commenting. It's really nice to have the feedback. It helps keep me motivated. And a special thanks to the newcomers here hiddenheights and Mary! thanks for saying "HI"

    So the rest of you will know, I sold Mary her very first horse, an Arabian of course! Some day this winter I hope to post that story.

  13. I am guilty of lurking here, and on other horsey blogs. I'm really not a fan of posting things like "Yeah, I agree with commenter so-and-so", which usually leads me to keep my mouth shut if what I'm thinking has already been said.

    Rest assured that you have an avid following. I'm just not sure where you find the time to write so much!