Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Topper

Arabians: A little bit of everything perfect.
      
  - Amanda Ferber 



       Closeness, friendship, affection - keeping your own horse means all these things.
 
 - Bertrand Leclair
 


WF Impressive
(GGS Topper+/ x LF Diamond Rose)

As he exited the birth canal, I caught him in my outstretched arms. Diamond Rose preferred to deliver her foals while standing. Only once did she lay down, with Zing. I should have known something was wrong because of that.

A beautiful, delicate colt. So refined he hardly seemed real. He was the last of three foals that year, the other two big bruisers of Half-Arabian colt flesh. Topper was so much like a china figurine in the middle of a bull pen with those two boys.

He was my sweet boy. I left him whole, he had the pedigree to back up his beauty and his athletic ability. His sire was an old horse at the time I bred Diamond Rose to him and he was dead by the time Topper was born. GGS Topper+/ was known as a broodmare sire and there are no other breeding sons by him. Just my horse.

And now I am faced with a gut-wrenching decision. Castration of my favorite, the manly one. The farm stallion. Topper is a breeding stallion, not just an intact male horse. He is a stallion who is aware of his job. He doesn't have a job anymore, since the last thing anyone with any sense is doing is breeding horses. So Topper is a victim of bad economic policies also.

My beautiful horse is not happy. He is anxious, angry and becoming neurotic. Sounds emanate from him that seem not of this earth. He needs a job and I can't give him one. I don't see a job for him as I look down the road. The horse industry is always the last thing to recover in bad economic times and this is as bad as I have ever seen it. It is likely he will never cover another mare again in his life. He is twelve, so that is a long time to be frustrated and angry.

So I am left to agonize over a decision I don't want to make. The emotion is all my own. The horse doesn't have the consciousness to understand the change. He will settle into being a gelding. He will get what he has always wanted; a mare herd to control and protect. He's been a stallion long enough that he will still have that instinct, but it won't result in foals. I, on the other hand, cannot seem to fathom him as a gelding. It brings tears to my eyes and a sickness to my stomach. It will be the end of a line and the end of an era. I know it's best, but I don't want to do it. And I know I must.

12 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear you have come to that conclusion. I'm sure you've decided not to campaign him for a reason. Is he broke?

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  2. Topper is a Region 10 Top Ten Colt, out of an original entry of 47. He had a hock injury at 2, so that was the end of his show career. He is Bounce's sire. Bounce earned a lot of money for me as a yearling in halter. One of his other sons Scamper did as well. He is also the sire of my mare Isabella who did some buffalo chasing last year. She is the bay mare Kristina is riding in one of the sidebar photos. His sire was a multiple champion. He can't be ridden.

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  3. Oh, such a decision and I feel for you.He is such a beauty!

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  4. This brought tears to my eyes. The best of luck in whatever you decide!

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  5. I am so sorry. I only have the cats to worry about & they're driving me batty enough but at least I don't want to breed so that decision is easy.

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  6. Ah, I think I already knew he had an injury and couldn't be ridden.

    Well, I'm sorry to hear that's the direction you are going.

    It's final, which has got to be the hard part.

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  7. Reality bites and sometimes it bites really hard.

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  8. I sympathize with the decision you are having to make...especially given his progeny and their accomplishments. I understand the deciding factor but know that does not make the actual decision any easier.

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  9. I'm on the fence. I don't know what I will do.

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  10. Oh Sandra, this is tuff that you have been forced to make a decision you don’t want to make. Most good business people don’t get emotionally involved but how can you not when you are dealing with animals 24/7. They are your family and I am very sorry your hand has been forced by the current economic climate. You are right it bites and it’s not fair!

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  11. It is sad to think of Topper being so unhappy. His half brother, Cassidy, is a very lively and regal gelding. He is EXTREMELY proud and seems to feel himself to be topnotch!

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  12. And Cassidy is topnotch! He was begat by royal blood.

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I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.