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That horse removal man seems like a good sort, @gottatrot. One issue with a large animal death is that it's not like a dog or cat, whom you can wrap in a towel and carry to where you're going to bury them. It makes large animal deaths extra traumatic - needing heavy machinery to lift them etc and all the ins and outs of that. Not to mention the financial expense of all of that. But I tell you what, unless a horse is comfortable being walked out into the bushland (at my place that's only Sunsmart, he enjoys it out there) and capable of actually walking 500m without distress, I'm going to put it down in the home paddocks, and then pay a neighbour for the time and effort to transport the body out into the nature reserve.

We have a neighbour who's been very helpful to us that way, who is a horseman himself and excellent with animals and really sensitive with transporting dead bodies around. He uses a tractor, lifting boom and platform, as he does when he's occasionally got cattle that died in a paddock and need moving.

It's good when you've got people like this in your local community. I agree with your horse removal man that too late is a horrible thing - there's this saying about horse euthanasia, better a week too early than a day too late. Also so lovely of your boarding people to offer you complimentary board for a while because of what happened.

That's a lovely clip you made of your horse. It's good to celebrate a life and a road you shared together. It's sad when it ends - I'm not looking forward to putting down the next horse but statistically that's likely to happen in the next 1-5 years here, with the horses 20, 24 and 27. But what you both had was real and wonderful, and Amore is not hurting anymore. It's only the ones left behind who hurt on behalf of the departed, and because we miss them - but in time the predominant feeling is gratefulness for the life that was there and for the shared journey.

My new calves are doing well and are now out exploring the big Common, after starting in the smaller paddocks. They're like kids in a playground, running up and down the dam wall, looking through the little hide-outs at the edge of the bushland and going for hikes on the access tracks. They kick up their heels when they run down the dam wall or when they see me with their food buckets. I have them 2-3 years and then it ends. But that doesn't make the time they have here less real, and the life they are living and enjoying now is a good life. At the end of it all, their lives will be relatively short, but their lives will have been worth living.

You take good care of yourself - it's never an easy time after something like this. Something else that helps me is watching the kind of movie that's sad and beautiful and makes me cry, because then I cry both about the movie and the sad thing that happened in real life, and it helps get these feelings out. As it turns out, I accidentally saw a super movie like that this afternoon (channel-surfing to SBS Movies during afternoon tea and then getting stuck there 90 minutes, but it was really worth it):


I can really recommend this one, it's a nice story and an adorable cat, and there's a little surprise at the end as well that made me cry in earnest! (Nice surprise though!)
 

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I didn't know where to write this nor could I actually figure out how to say it but your recent posts helped. Many on here bring comfort during difficult times it really is true. It's often me having to reassure others experience their first traumatic loss (human or otherwise) because I've been through so much and y'know, life really does just go on. I don't have "that" person I can turn to in real life so to speak. Now I get to read the likes of yourself and @SueC and I feel like I can breathe.. coming here makes the loneliness of dealing with all that go away. Especially better when you meet those kind souls in the real, like when your little lady was taken on her last journey. I'm glad she'll be buried. I don't really mind cremation either but something feels right about letting nature take over the rest. Hope you're feeling better.
 

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So very very sorry to learn of Amore's passing. I am crying so hard. Your tribute is beautiful. What a terrible heartache.

I would like to share a song that came on the radio the day my horse was killed. First I will tell why this horse was so significant to me. When I was a kid, we moved at times, and I was always made to sell whatever horse I had because it was "too much trouble" to move her/him.

When I graduated from college, I spent the summer job hunting and horse hunting at the same time. I was determined that the horse I bought would be for the rest of his/her life. NO ONE could EVER make me sell this horse. I bought an unbroken two year old, appropriately named Cyclone, wild as the West Texas prairie where he was born and raised. Everyone told me I couldn't possibly train him to ride (I had already trained 3 colts by myself at that time, all turning out fine). Everyone told me I had made a poor choice in picking him. Back in those days, nobody got vet checks--you just looked at horses and picked one. I boarded him at a quarter horse race horse farm, and they constantly told me I should sell him and get something worth riding.

I did train him, and quite successfully. When we moved from Texas to Maryland, we bought a little two horse trailer and hauled him with us, pulled by a 1960 Chevy station wagon. All the way from Texas to Maryland, we were in the midst of Hurricane Agnes. It was quite a journey . . . and Cyclone was a terrible loader because I had never had a trailer and didn't know the first thing about loading a horse.

I kept working with Cyclone and training him until we were showing at A rated horseshows. One time at a foxhunt, a snooty neighbor asked how we did at a Maryland State Horse Association show. I said we had gotten 2 third places. She looked at me in surprise, then looked Cyclone up and down, and said, "Well, of course you would, with THAT horse." (I was not a pretty or trained rider, having gotten only a few riding lessons in my life).

All this backstory to show how important this beautiful talented horse was to me. He was my whole world. I had taken him from a scrawny wild colt to a beautiful elegant showhorse and foxhunter. And he was so incredibly talented, beautiful mover and scopey jumper. If he didn't make a mistake (and he often did make mistakes--he was a high strung half thoroughbred), he always won something in a class because he was a stand-out.

I let my brother take him for a ride with his girlfriend, riding double bareback--I have always loved to share my horses with other people--and they fell off. Cyclone ran home. My mom came outside to see why Cyclone was galloping home, and she saw him come to the gate, spin around, and gallop back to where my brother and his girlfriend were trudging up the hill. He had to cross a road, and as he crossed, he was hit by a car, which shattered his hindquarters. There was no way to save him. It was raining hard by the time the renderers took him away.

My husband helped me into our car, and we drove home in the rain. . . and this song came on the radio, the first time I had ever heard it. It was me and Cyclone to a T. I always liked to ride in the early mornings--that was our special time. I still do ride at dawn every day.

Touch Me In The Morning - Diana Ross - YouTube
 

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I am trying to catch up, and I’m not there yet, but I wanted to say I am sorry and thinking of you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #426 ·
Some pretty interesting happenings today.
We had done some research trying to figure out how to find out some of Aria's history. None of that paid off until today, when I managed to contact both the woman who owned her for a couple of weeks and listed her on Craigslist, and from that was able to talk to Aria's breeder (who owned her until this year). Lots of good information.

The woman who had listed her on Craigslist was happy to hear Aria was doing well. She said she had worried about her since she had not been able to handle her at all, and she hadn't thought the crazy woman who had bought her seemed like she would be a great owner. She told me that the "6 years old" information had not come from her, and she believed Aria was around 11.

The breeder was able to give me more information, but some of it I had to piece together later because she was vague on some things over the phone. A woman had been in the process of purchasing Aria for $3,500, but had not completed all of the payments and stopped paying, so they decided to sell her to the Craigslist woman instead for $500. Then my acquaintance bought her for $500. So a lot of money was spent on this silly little pony, but I got her for free, LOL.

Aria was called "Dani," and from what I could figure out from the phone call and their farm website, she was foaled April 9th, 2011. So she's actually ten years old. She is a purebred Arabian even though she is tiny.
Her sire is named Cameo Eskonts Pepper, and he is 14.2 hands.


Her dam's name was tricky to figure out over the phone, but from what I found on the website it seems to be Lady Bekka CDS, who the breeders don't own anymore. She is 14.2 hands also. She is bay.

This is Aria's full sister, and I think she looks a lot like Aria, except she is gray. She ended up 14 hands. Their head shape is almost identical.


They never registered Aria or trained her. She does have her pedigree online, however. She is Polish, like Amore was.


The breeder was adamant that Aria was never bred. This makes sense to me, I doubt they would have wanted to breed her after she only grew to be 12 hands. However, the breeder said there are five stallions on the property, all Arabians except for the pinto that is almost 100% Arabian. They all are decent looking horses.

The vet is coming on Friday, so I am more hopeful now he will say she is very fat. The breeder said Aria had never had a large belly. She asked if I'd wormed her, and what I was feeding, and didn't think she should be fat on that diet. She said Aria was kept in a field of mares, well separated from any stallions.

There are many reasons why I feel relieved. If Aria has a foal, it will be an Arabian, and might even grow to be full-sized since she seems to be an outlier with her height. Even better would be if she simply needs to go on a diet, and I can start working her and doing some serious training. Now that Amore has passed away, I could keep a foal if I wanted to.

Now I'm wondering...I knew her teeth were not good since both the barn owner and I have seen her coughing up wads of hay. But since I thought she was six, I didn't think they were likely to be that bad at such a young age. Now that I know she is ten, I am wondering if her teeth might be very bad, and perhaps she is getting her hay down without much chewing, and so it is sitting in her belly for a long time trying to get digested.

I've had worries such as how wet it is here in the winter, and I know you can't blanket a mare with a nursing foal, and I wondered how to avoid the rain rot. I've thought if there were foaling issues, I would not want to lose another horse so soon. I'd be very happy to find out the breeder is correct and Aria has a hay belly going on.

It makes a lot more sense to me since Aria was so fearful of handling that she was actually an unhandled ten year old. That's a long time to get set in your ways.
 

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Mia never used her legs for a dressage-trained motion. Other than that? We had a LOT of days like the second video. And she HATED the idea of me dismounting at times like that, so I sometimes spent 20-30 minutes living with it! Normally 2-3 minutes that FELT like 2-3 hours! At least that horse didn't start spinning in circles on a paved road.

Looking back, I think Mia needed a better rider (not my fault since she was my first horse and no one else wanted her). She ALSO needed open terrain. But what I learned on her gave me a foundation to start work on Bandit. I think some problems are when someone tries to take a square horse and put it into a round sport. Some are rooted in trust and communication problems. Some in training. And some are just how a given horse WILL express itself! Mia? All of the above!

But many riders never encounter a horse like that so they assume a quiet horse is due to their skill rather than a lot of horses being quiet or submissive by nature. Bandit is a pretty cooperative fellow by nature but he'll always sometimes ask, "Are you barking mad?" Or, "Nope. Nope. I'll get us out of here and THEN we can talk!"
 

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That's such interesting background information on Aria, @gottatrot. I was inhaling the pedigree and noticed lots of Polish Arabians five generations back, including Comet and Witraz, who were also in my Arabian mare's pedigree. Witraz was in Dresden during the Allied bombing and his tail caught fire - his groom hung onto him and another stallion and they were lucky to escape relatively unharmed. More here:


This was Witraz:


I personally am a huge fan of the Polish Arabian stud's breed standards - they were working horses; and I don't like what either America or Australia did with their lines and how they bred them to have flat backs like dining tables and overdished faces - although the endurance fraternity still retains individuals of the lovely working horse quality like Witraz or Comet - the Polish stud raced their breeding stock.

This was Comet, and that's a likely source of my mare's fleabitten grey colour when mature.



I honestly can't understand how a purebred Arabian with parents of average Arabian height could have ended up so small - are they absolutely sure there wasn't a pony stallion roaming around? Something doesn't add up here. I don't know if you know the story about the English Crabbet Arabian stud - a lot of their horses photographed in the 1940s looked like Anglo-Arabians and it turns out that's what some of them were, and they'd used TB stallions on the sly as substitutes for the official Arabian sire who wasn't, so they could get extra height into the breed, which they wanted, being English and used to taller horses. This was before DNA testing.

I also want to know why Aria's abdomen is so asymmetrical. That's not typical of hay belly or worms, it's more typical of pregnancy. It will be interesting to hear what the vet says. Romeo had shocking teeth and cudded all the time in his last five years, but it never gave him a hay belly. In part that may be because his intake was limited by the state of his teeth. Can you feel her ribs? Do you think she's suddenly overweight? They can get huge bellies if they eat too much, but the asymmetry throws me.

My parents had a tiny horse, a just over 13hh maturing mare that was a Standardbred. Her full brother was small for a STB at 14.3hh but her tiny size took the cake. She was weaned at 5 months though, before being sent to the yearling sale later, and maybe she didn't have a good placental connection in the uterus, and lacked decent food after weaning. She was seriously stunted, but well built nevertheless. She turned out to be too small to race competitively and I honestly don't know why my father ever tried. I re-educated her to saddle when he gave up and tried to find her a home as a child's pony - she was a sweet little mare and super under saddle - but sadly, she died of sand colic before she could be re-homed. She was definitely the smallest horse I ever rode as an adult, but she was also a solid, strong horse, so it wasn't a hassle to work with her (although it did throw me that she was so small; there was so little behind and in front of the saddle!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #431 ·
@SueC, that's very interesting our Arabian mares have common relatives. Something that is fun with Arabians and TBs is that you can look up photos of horses in their pedigrees.

It does seem strange that Aria could be so small and be a purebred. I do know there were some very small Arabians that popped up from time to time. Such as Raffles, who was bred quite a bit and only 13.3 hands. I am wondering if somehow the cross with her parents produced some small horses genetically, if her sister is "14" hands, which might be slightly exaggerated. How much can poor nutrition effect growth, I wonder? In the photo of Aria's sister she also looks like she has a wild, long mane and appears thin. Unhandled horses left to fend for themselves on pasture while growing...could it stunt a horse that much?

Ugh, it does make sense that she might not just be fat if her belly is so asymmetrical. Which it is.

Tonight my game is: If she is bred, which of the five stallions do I want it to be? We'll say four actually, because I would hope they would not have bred her accidentally or on purpose to her sire.
These all are currently on the property that Aria came from. How do those fences look in the background for keeping stallions in?

First, a straight Egyptian Al Khamsa named Cameo Moniet Dancer I


Next, a black named Cameo Addis Jubilee with Polish and Egyptian lines and successful endurance horses in the background.


Another black, straight Egyptian, Cameo Asaddibai Raven


And the pinto, JPA Apache Skylite. He is 68% Arab (part QH/Paint), so a foal would be 84% Arab.


I'd be more OK with any of the top three, just would not want a horse with too much white...
If there was any chance for a foal to grow to 14 hands, that would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #432 ·
Now Amore had some truly great Polish bloodlines. Witraz also sired Bask.
We said after she passed that she might have been one of the last Bask granddaughters. Here is her sire's pedigree:

If it's too fuzzy, here is the link. Nations Arabian
Her dam was by Marhaba, who was a champion in Holland.

There is a statue of Bask in the museum of the horse at the Kentucky Horse Park. When we saw it we said, "Oh, that explains a lot."

 

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Have you seen this video before?


He certainly moved beautifully - probably just let out from being cooped up in a building, or maybe doing what stallions do when they don't get to have company. It's much nicer if they run in a breeding herd, as they do in Marthe Kiley-Worthington's care.

My mare had Bask's full sister Arfa in her pedigree.

It is nice being able to look these horses up, although I can't help but notice that the horses of bygone days are so much better built than average horses now, and particularly the human ego extensions bred for the show ring - like this one:

I shudder to look at horses like this - they look like equine Frankensteins, glued together out of bits and then distorted. The Polish Arabian Stud horses in the 1940s, I'd happily have ridden any of the many I've seen. These new-fangled monstrosities, no thank you.

The Arabian stallions in your previous post seem OK. I don't like the look of the Pinto, not because of the colour, but because of his build. I do think that it's possible to get foals that end up bigger than their dams. You see that with pony/TB crossbreds. Connemara/TB crosses (TB sires) regularly grow to 14.2hh but of course, the TBs are taller than Arabian stallions. Luck of the draw. If she's pregnant. And if she is, it's unlikely the foal will mature smaller than the mare - unless a mini crawled under the fence...
 

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My Isabeau is only 13 hands with her sire and dam both 14.2. She had great pre- and post-natal care, but her dam was bred by accident at 18 months and she delivered Isabeau at 2 1/2 years old. And she wouldn't let Isabeau nurse. They tied up a hind leg each time for Isabeau to nurse. I always attributed Isabeau's small stature to growing inside a growing mommy, and being limited with mare's milk only when the breeders could come tie up her dam's hind leg. Isabeau turned out kind of funny looking and crooked, but her sire and dam were lovely. Can't find the photos of Isabeau's dam, but she was a beautiful buckskin.

Rescate de Ocho, Isabeau's oopsie sire
1115987


Isabeau, sort of funny looking and crooked (but beautiful in my eyes).

1115986
 

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Discussion Starter · #435 ·
@SueC, thanks for the Bask video, that was fun to watch. I agree about the modern looking Arabs. Some of the most beautiful Arabs I've seen are those being bred for endurance, such as Belesemo or Rushcreek. This horse is at Altitude Arabians where they follow the Polish standard of racing horses first, and then transitioning them to endurance careers.


@knightrider, I think Isabeau is a beautiful horse.
 

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Time to buy a sign:
She's pretty but...wow! OTOH, I knew a woman - coworker - built like her. She was a slender woman with VERY wide hips. I don't know enough about horses to know if some of them are just built that way sometimes. How do her ribs feel? If she was really fat, wouldn't it be thick on her ribs too?
 

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That's a lovely Arab there, @gottatrot. 😍 So good that the endurance people are keeping that DNA going. 💕 I've also never seen a horse @phantomhorse13 rode that wasn't gorgeous and athletic both, nor any of the ones she takes photos of at her events.

@knightrider, your Isabeau is also that kind of horse. Smaller package or not. Now luckily, you're a smaller package than I am yourself, and so you get to ride this lovely and athletic mare. ❤ And actually, she looks solid and strong enough to handle a reasonably sized rider. What's your limit for other riders riding her?

Sunsmart is a solid, strong horse and 15.2hh and when he was younger I'd have limited him to carrying 80-90kg (because I'm very conservative about giving a horse back strain - and of course it also depends on how well-balanced a rider is) - these days I don't put riders on him over 75kg because he's 24 and has Cushings. I just feel that he doesn't need to carry anyone heavier than me in his sunset years. Actually most of the riders I put on him are lighter than me, and he's quite happy carrying them around - "piece of cake" he thinks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #440 ·
...How do her ribs feel? If she was really fat, wouldn't it be thick on her ribs too?​
That is why if I were betting, I'd bet pregnant. I've never seen a fat horse that did not have fat deposits in places other than the belly. If I had to score her everywhere except the belly, she'd get a 4.5 at most. Her ribs are felt easily.
Her spine is not level with the back (peaked), no fat pad in front of the udder, no crest, no crease in hindquarters or spongy deposit over tail.

Fat horses also fill in the little spots above the eyes and hers are depressed. She might actually need more calories.
1116042


You can see her topline and hips in this pic.
1116043

Dying to find out Friday!
 
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