Heartbreaks S&G's

Registered 1/2 Arabian

Born March 6, 1998
Went to the Bridge on December 20, 2004

Being a horse person, I couldn't wait to buy my daughter a horse. Of course I had some bad experiences with a pony as a child myself, so I decided on getting a small horse for her. Sebetha was 3 when her Grandmother and I went to look at an Arabian mare.

Anchor Hill Rhama was no spring chicken, but she looked good and was calm and sweet. I decided on the way home to breed her to a stud I had seen, even though I knew nothing of the compatibility between their bloodlines or his accomplishments.

Well, it did not take long for Rhama's true nature to come out, and it was a bit much for a child of three to handle. But Rhama was a wonderful mare and I always said I would take 100 just like her. My daughter never really did get into riding, always on the small side, I think the horses intimidated her till she was older.

Eleven months after breeding my new mare, we started checking on her every 2 hours. One night at 2 a.m. she was fast asleep but then at 4 a.m. we had a beautiful bay colt. His name had been decided during the pregnancy, so we welcomed Heartbreaks S&G's into the world. Although I was excited, I had always planned to sell this foal, so I tried not to get too attached.

After running ads a few times, I noticed not many people were interested in my neck of the woods for an Arabian. I had gone back to school and wanted to take an equine training class, so decided to not sell him till after the class as we were allowed to bring our own 2 year old to break.

Spring semester of his second year he had grown a lot but still had to mature, so I took it slow with him. Even the instructor made fun of my little horse and tried limiting the things I was allowed to do saying he was not ready for it. But each time we showed them we could. I ride English, but my little colt was not interested. It was not that he did not do what I asked, just that he was obviously happier in Western tack doing Western stuff. Close to the end of the semester, although many students had gone for quite a ride, none had left the saddle. I went to mount my trusty steed to find myself on the ground on the other side. The instructor asked, "Did he buck?". But no, he had not, and as if to confirm that, he too was looking around at me as if to ask "What are you doing down there?". I guess I had just put too much "Umff" into the mounting and soared right over. After successfully completing the course, I again put Giggles, as he was affectionately known, up for sale, thinking this time he was broke. But again I had few interested parties and those were not willing to pay even garage sale prices for him so he stayed right here with me.

Years went by and I would get new horses or foals, so Giggles was not used or worked with often. But when I just wanted to relax, he was the horse to ride. I always said he was such a good horse, just like his dam, that when he died, if I needed him, he would dig his way out to help me then rebury himself when the job was done.

At one point in life, I needed money unexpectedly, so I took him and one other horse to auction. I can remember the auctioneer saying how well-behaved he was, especially since he was so young. But again his price stayed at the bottom of the barrel. Not enough to help me. I turned down the bid and gratefully took him home.

He turned six in 2004 and I had 7 horses. I decided this was too much for me as my daughter did not ride and neither did my husband. I put a couple up for sale. Giggles and his dam, Anchor Hill Rhama, as well as her colt, were put in the paper and on websites. This time I had many people call or email wanting more information. Most were not seriously interested till about the beginning of September. Then I had a couple emails that were very interested. Of course that was about the time my daughter, now 11 years old, came to me and said "I want to learn to ride". This was not the first time she had asked, but something seemed different. Although many people said Giggles was not trained well enough for a child and was too high strung, as most Arabians are, I still offered him to her or we would sell him and then look for her a horse. She jumped at the chance of taking Giggles as her own. As luck would have it, she wanted to do Western, which suited him just fine.

To be honest, I did not want her to ride. I have grown a bit fearful in my old age and wanted to protect her, especially from this horse everyone said was not kid friendly. But after a few days I ordered her a saddle and bridle set all her own. She rode for a few days in the round pen and then I took Giggles to a trainer to get some refresher on him and a bit of neck reining. Even the trainer said he was too much for my little girl. Well, a month later we brought him home.

Sebetha was so happy she could ride her horse again and not take lessons on another horse. We had joined the 4-H, and a local saddle club. She had made friends and came home eager to ride or at least groom him every day. On the weekends, when she would normally go to her Grandparents, she was now coming home to ride. I was finding new enjoyment in the animals I so loved but had felt so lost to, in recent years.

My Aunt made her blouse for competition and I started the search for Horsey Christmas presents. She went into her first play-day and had such fun and the very next day had another one for the 4-H. Each time she learned something and never gave up.

With December fast approaching, she started getting interested in the upcoming parades. I was very concerned not having a horse I felt steady enough to ride next to her. I decided I would walk with her in case he became a basket case. As it turned out I had nothing to worry about. Sirens and lights and he walked through it like a champ. I was so proud of them both. We made plans to ride in the snow and go on trail rides together. I can remember each and every time she rode him and know that was when he was happiest, showing his little girl the world from horseback.

Later in the month, after a quick ride, because the wind was quite cold, I decided to ask him to walk on a metal grating near our front door, before putting him back in the pasture. This was frequently used to teach our horses to walk on strange things. After getting his front hooves onto the grate, he unexpectedly jumped into the house and almost on me. He slipped and slid finally falling to the hard floor of what I call my office. My daughter was petrified. I soon matched her hysteria as it seemed we would never get him up and out of the house. Yes it sounds funny, but it was shear terror. Finally I got him turned around but still not up. He had tried a few times, but fell each time, slipping on the smooth surface. With the grateful help of neighbors he was finally free. We let him lay and rest a bit, but when we made him get up he had trouble with his back legs. After hunting down a vet that was available, she came out and examined him. Although still having troubles and a few scratches, she could not find any broken bones and suggested stall rest. That was Wednesday.

The following Monday I took him to my regular vet, Travis, although he seemed to be improving and even loaded with little difficulty, I was afraid of complications as I had noticed some swelling in his sheath. We unloaded him and administered some additional medication for the pain and swelling. I was told it was nothing to worry about, just the edema from the bruising moving to the lowest part of his body. But when he went to reload, something happened and he lost all balance. After that he seemed worse and refused to load for a long time. I thought I would have to leave him at the vets but he did finally load and we went home. He was unsure about unloading as well as he was in pain but willingly did as asked.

After talking with friends, I decided to call a message specialist to come see him and hopefully speed up the recovery. Sunday Jan came out and did a wonderful job making him feel better. By Monday morning he was looking better, acting better, and some of the swelling had gone down. I put him in a small corral by himself, so he was able to move about to work the muscles some without fear one of the other horses would hurt him. We all checked on him frequently at first, but seeing him relax and eat, we too relaxed. As night approached it was again feeding time. My husband, David, went out to help our daughter halter him and bring him back in for his medication and feed but he was lying down and not wanting to get up. When I went out he got up but he had been down for some time and was cold and muddy. We quickly blanketed and cleaned him up. I could not detect any gut sounds so started to walk him. He stopped frequently to go to the bathroom but only went a small amount each time. I was not too concerned at this time because he also would munch on the grass. I cleaned his wounds and called the vet to let him know that I did get him to drink and he was eating. The vet said to keep him informed. He seemed to be doing so well we put him back in the stall with his feed and some oil to help.

But when I went back out a short time later the feed was untouched and he was down again. David and I got him up and the vet was on the way. He administered oil through a tube and said to keep an eye on him. Shortly after the vet left he was down again and it was near impossible to get him back up. With Travis making a U turn to come back, we managed to have him walking again. Before he was able to give another shot, he went down one last time. Although he tried many times, and none as much or as hard as when Sebetha came out and asked, we soon learned there was more going on then we first realized when blood was noticed in his urine. I decided with a heavy heart to end his suffering. Sebetha and I said a very tearful goodbye and went into the house to hold each other. David came in a short time later telling us Travis did not have time to end his pain before he went on his own.

Giggles was the best horse there could have been for my daughter and the best horse I could have owned and I did not know it till it was too late. Giggles, may you rest in peace now that your pain has ended. I wish there was more I could have done. All gave some but ONE gave all.    

Michelle Orlovetz

Giggles' Support Group Honoree page.

Name Index
Return to Hoofprints On My Heart home.

Copyright © 2005 Hoofbeats In Heaven. All rights reserved.
Text and photos may not be reproduced in any form.