Monday, January 14, 2008

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - Rhythm's Story - The Problem Part 2

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Rhythm's Story starts here

It was a long winter with an Arabian horse with more energy that he knew what to do with no longer able to do his job. Turning Rhythm out to play was not enough to keep him occupied. The horse really thrived on work but it was out of the question.

I had already given up on any idea of showing the horse that spring. By the time the six months was up, it was going to be foaling season. I had a total of six mares due to foal, five on my farm and one up north at my friends. There was no way I was going to get Rhythm fitted up and ready to show even if he did heal.

I worried about what was going to happen with this new twist of fate. The obvious fact was Rhythm was worth far more as a stallion than as a gelding. The not so obvious things were what to do with the horse if the testicle didn't heal.

Would it be better to geld the horse or just remove the problem testicle. How would a stallion with one testicle affect Legs's reputation as a breeding horse. Would people just assume the horse was a cryptorchid and blame it on Legs or would they ask and find out the truth?

I had plenty of time to thing about these things and believe me I did. I mulled these things over and over in my mind while still hoping that everything would be fine. I had to resist the urge to look between the horse's legs all the time to see if anything good was happening. I just tried to let it go and wait for the outcome, not putting myself through the ups and downs of guessing.

The more I thought about it, the more I was sure that gelding the horse would be the best decision for my breeding farm. It probably would be the best decision for the horse. As a gelding he would probably be able to be turned out with other horses. That would be a lot better situation that living a solitary life as a stallion.

By spring it was obvious that the testicle was not going to recover from whatever had befallen it. Reluctantly, I made the appointment to geld this magnificent Arabian stallion. To say I was still torn about this decision would be a gross understatement. I went with my head instead of my heart.

It took a while to get the appointment. The vet wanted to put the horse under a general anesthetic because he had no clue what he was going to find in there. He wanted to be prepared for any and everything.

I was anxious to get the deed done. By now most of my mares had foaled and I was looking forward to getting the horse back into training. Even though I wouldn't have him ready to show soon enough to make a campaign to US Nationals, I would be able to get him to a couple of the later shows and get him seen. I was ready to get on with it.

I don't know what it is about life that it must have all those twist and turns, but I should know by now, that it does and just expect things to happen. In this case, the thing that happened was the birth of my Arabian twin foals. Reflections on Foaling Season 2006 - The Twins There was no way Rhythm would see a class under saddle this year. I was lucky I managed to even get the horse gelded with all of the commotion around the twins.

The appointment was scheduled for three days after the twins were born. At that time, I had no indication that the filly was sick, so I didn't have a problem leaving them for the short time it would take to drop Rhythm off at the vets and then the trip to pick him up after the surgery. I had a neighbor who could stay with the twins and be sure they nursed when they were supposed to and that they got enough milk.

So Rhythm had his appointment with fate and went under the vets knife. It turned out to be a simple gelding. Even though the vet had worried that there might be some part of that reproductive structure caught up on the other side of the inguinal ring, everything was right where it belonged.

There were no answers to how this might have happened. The vet dissected the atrophied testicle to be sure it was what it was supposed to be and to look for signs that might answer this mystery. None were found. All parts were accounted for and there was nothing out of the ordinary. We will never have an answer.

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

Rhythm's Story - What's Next?

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  1. well, it's a blow for sure, but not the end of the world. At least the horse is still sound and healthy and whatever happened....happened.

  2. Interesting. I enjoyed the post, as usual, and the horse photo. You are one of those good writers I like to read.

    I hope you can come over and read about Charley.

  3. I find this so sad, he just takes my breath away every time you post a picture of him. What a decision that must have been!

  4. Awwww...that sucks! Too bad ya had to geld him and even worse that ya don't have an answer as to what happened. I guess his being a stallion wasn't meant to be but dang...he sure would have made BEAUTIFUL babies! He's gorgeous!!

  5. I was afraid this would be the outcome, what a blow, but it could have been worse and he is still a healthy horse that can lead a productive life in the show ring and be a great ambassador for his daddy.

    Have a great day, freezing here.

  6. Hi, there! Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm sorry about Rhythm. He is a beautiful horse. I have always loved the Arabian breed, they are such majestic creatures!

  7. I swear you do that cliff hanger thing on purpose LOL sorry it's been so long to catch up... crazy thing in life.. i see your as awesome as always with a story:)

  8. I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog, otherwise I would not know you are here. Thank you.

    I had the joy of riding an Arabian once...they are truly magnificent.

    I'm adding you to my favorites so I can keep up with you and your horses.

  9. That's weird about the atrophied testicle. You'd think they'd at least be able to give you some idea of what went wrong.

    It's a shame you had to geld him, but Paul always told me "Good stallions make great geldings." I'm sure he was a great stallion, so he's probably an exceptional gelding! And what a neck on!

  10. I'm having so much fun lurking around here and reading up on your horses!

  11. That's too bad about having to geld him. I'm sure he's still a fabulous horse, though. He's gorgeous!

  12. holly, once it's done, it's done that's for sure. But this was still a hard pill to swallow. Some breeders go their whole lives and never produce a horse like this. And with the prejudgice in this breed against geldings in open western, this was a blow.

    abraham, I did read about Charley. Very interesting! I liked the rabbit maker too!

    kathy c, it was hard at the time. A little distance has helped.

    equinespirit, yes, it really bugs me that we have no answers. I have nothing to watch out for so it doesn't happen again. Not that it will, just now I have that fear!

    I would like to have seen his babies too! Partly because I'm wondering if they would have had his attitude. lol

    lori, yes I think he will bring some notice to Legs. That part is good.

    justsimplysarah, as you can tell I think they are pretty special too.

    wolfbaby, welcome back. I do do it on purpose! to keep you on your toes. LOL

    darlene, weclome. I'm glad that you like Arabians.

    dressagemom, I agree it is wierd. But there were no obvious indicators. And you are right, he is one heck of a fancy gelding.

    penland, thanks for commenting. hope to hear from you more often.

    dj, it was a hard thing to do. But he's still going to be a great show horse.