I have not been updating my blog since Sunday. Why? Well, because this Monday I called in and scheduled to have Ablaze gelded today, and I have been freaking out ever since.
I HATE castrations. Ablaze is my stallion number five.
Poseidon was my first, and it went almost without incident. That was way back in 1997. Apollon was next, in 2001, and he was not an easy “cut” since his testicles didn’t fall down like they should. I think that was my first trauma with castrations. Watching my little boy fall, since we couldn’t do it standing up.
Saleem was gelded in 2009, right after he had got Amalia pregnant with Apocalipse. It went sort of well, except he had so ahm, big balls, it was a LOT we had to remove and the following weeks were kind of a nightmare, making him heal up.
And Apocalipse was gelded early in 2011. Here I went against my vets wishes to do it lying down, because I simply couldn’t handle it, after Apollon, so we did it standing up, like with Poseidon and Saleem. It didn’t go well, Apocalipse woke up half way through, kicked the vet and well… caused quite a nasty bleeding…
So no, my track record with castrations has not been too great. Needles to say, I have hardly slept since I decided that we were going to do it today.
I must admit, I wondered right to the last second, if I was making a mistake. I mean, Ablaze is such a wonderful horse, he displays such fantastic gaits, and his color is so special… he could have been a fantastic breeding stallion… Of all of my stallions, he was the one I had the hardest time with making this decision. Poseidon was not an option to keep him as a stallion, his frail mind would have never handled the extra stress of the hormones. Apollon, with his faulty testicles was not an option either, they had to go. Saleem is a wonderful horse, and he was the perfect match for Amalia, which is why I had a foal by those two before we gelded him, but Saleem is not breeding stallion material. He has too many minor flaws, even if his name does mean “flawless.” No, with any other mare than Amalia, I wouldn’t have used him for breeding. His balls had to go as well, once I had my perfect foal.
It did cause me a bit of grief to geld Apocalipse, because with him, I ended the bloodline of my beloved mare Amalia, and of Saleem as well. Apocalipse is my perfect foal, and I would have loved to preserve his bloodline forever. Still, since Saleem wasn’t licensed, Apocalipse has no pedigree, and the only one who could have used him for breeding then, was me, because I don’t care. So I guess, gelding him, was the responsible thing to do, because horses without pedigree does not fare well in this world, unless they are born to someone like me, who are never going to sell them.
Ablaze though, has a perfect pedigree, he is a perfect foal, and well… it has not been an easy choice to make. Add to that, my fear of the castration itself, I almost had myself convinced for a long time, that I was going to keep him as a stallion.
What made up my mind is the relationship Ablaze and Marble has developed. Those two has become so close, I would hate to have to separate them. Marble has truly needed a best friend, and Ablaze adores her. They are so good together, tearing them apart feels almost criminal. Much worse than having him gelded. This way they can stay together forever.
If he had not been gelded, I would have run into two rather big problems. One, she would get pregnant at some point, and even if it would have been a fantastic foal, I don’t want her pregnant yet. She is too young and with her locking stifles, I am not sure if I am ever going to breed on her. She has to outgrow that first. Two, the last time she was in heat, Ablaze did try to mount her, but he didn’t do it right, (I was watching 24-7) and when she got tired of him biting her back and not getting the job done, she would kick him. To be honest, I feared greatly that she might seriously injure him at one point, if that didn’t stop. So, here we were. Ablaze had to be gelded, to have a stress free future and to stay with his best friend.
Being a hysterical young man, we had a lot of trouble sedating him, and I knew in advance that we would have to do this lying down. As much of a fighter as he is, there was no insisting that we did it standing this time, and it didn’t work out well with Apocalipse anyway, so I had to face my childhood trauma from Apollon and let the vet lay my foal down once more.
No I have not been sleeping all week, I have not been writing, I have not been riding, I have pretty much just spent the time hugging my foal and watching TV series…
Once he fell though, I have to say, my vet was a bit of a ninja. She was totally cool, she handled both me and my hysterical foal, and she got the job done quickly, smoothly and so far it looks like the nicest castration I have had performed since Poseidon, way back in 1997.
Ablaze is a bit fussy this evening, walking around stiffly, calling for his mother, but Tardis keep walking away from him… she is such a nice mare… and she is having a really good time, being baby-free for a while, since he doesn’t want to run to catch up to her… He is eating though, and the wound has hardly bled. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will heal without complications and that he will be back in the game within a week. Could I be that lucky for once?
Knock on wood. I hardly dare say it out loud for fear of jinxing it.
I might get a little sleep tonight, but it is going to be a while before I stop worrying. Give me a few days. And then we will reach Sunday, where I am loading Apocalipse and Marble and driving them to a horsemanship arrangement my friend is hosting. As much as I am cool with driving Apocalipse, and as much as I think Marble is going to be cool too, as long as he is there, I am sure to lose some sleep over that as well… I keep setting myself up for worries, don’t I? But that’s okay. As long as Ablaze recovers without complications.