Sunday 12 November 2017

Crushing the Fairy Tale

I wrote in a previous post that I was agonising over the decision of whether or not to geld Silas.  Today, I did it.

Well, not me personally, although there have been days when I threatened to remove his balls on the spot, as every owner of a teenage colt does on occasion.  After I researched the various surgical options (makes for delightful mealtime reading) and grilled the vet about everything from what anaesthesia he'd be using (Friesians don't do well with anaesthesia) to how he'd ensure no dust got in, the procedure was textbook.  The vet sutured the blood vessels instead of just clamping them, and used a closed incision.  We've had the first frost, so no more bugs.  Too cold for hosing but he will be walked 3x/day to keep down swelling.  He got up afterwards, walked off the grogginess, and started knickering for hay.  He will now go from having two things on his mind—food and fillies or, as my father puts it, pizza and pussy—to having just the one.

I was not present.  I knew that my worried mom anxiety would transfer to Silas and that my deep reluctance to geld him would manifest and I'd never go through with it.  I'd be there for any other medical procedure; it's not squeamishness.  Just not this particular one that represents the (literal) crushing of all my Friesian dreams.

Friesians are known as fairy tale horses because of their over-the-top appearance, presence, and movement.  But it's only the stallions that have it; no-one would ever mistake a Friesian mare or gelding for a stallion, or vice versa.  That's not true of all breeds, and it's one of the reasons (the other being their sweet temperaments) that Friesians are often kept entire even if they are never bred.  But, as I covered in my previous post, I lack the money to board Silas properly as a stallion, and at 14'2", he was never going to be an impressive exhibition horse, let alone a breeding candidate.  It disheartened me not to be able to bring him to the keuring again this year.  Since I got him, I have fantasised about that moment.  Due to his height, my dream of having a magnificent Friesian stallion was already over even if he were never gelded.

All of the agony of the decision-making process is over and now I have to live with this irrevocable choice.  It will be less expensive and easier to board him, and he can re-join his gelding friends in the big pasture.  He will be happier.  At least, that is what I keep telling myself.  I don't know if geldings are really happier.  They certainly have a calmer life without the hormones and it stands to reason that they are happier in groups since they are herd animals but it also may just be something we tell ourselves to feel better.

Horse people say, well, this horse may not be the Friesian stallion you dreamed of but that doesn't mean he isn't out there for you to connect with someday.  That's true for many horse owners: Plans for one horse can be transferred to another, but it was only via an incredibly serendipitous series of lucky breaks that I got Silas at all.  I don't have the money for another Friesian.  If I did, I would get another Tjimme baby.  Silas has a full brother, one year younger, who is 16' already and a magnificent baroque stallion, everything Silas should be.  I am now pursuing driving with Silas since he is too small for me to ride but I haven't given up hope he will grow taller.

Before the surgery I was depressed and nervous about it.  That was a great combo.  Now, I am just depressed.  I had a miserable day waiting, worrying, and forcing myself not to cancel the whole thing.   There was ice cream involved.  I am going to need a lot of cheering up this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment