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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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