For at least five years I have watched and revered the great champion and stallion Flexible. I dreamed and dreamed about a baby from this supreme stallion- what it could mean to my farm and to my daughter. Many sleepless nights were spent trying to decide the perfect bride for this wonderful stallion. We wanted to breed our horse Feather, an Irish sport horse to Irish horse Flexible but she was a maiden mare meaning she had never had a baby, and we were unsure what the results would be.
We even discussed the breeding of Feather and Flexible with Bennie Traurig, an Olympian, and his words to us were for let me know when the baby was born, that’s how excited he was about the potential mating of Flexible and Feather.
But in the end we chose to go with Silhouette, Betty Sue’s mother, an experienced broodmare with outstanding German jumping lines, a great mind and easy disposition. Our thoughts for breeding these two would be to offset the sometimes stubborn/opinionated Flexible with the gentle spirit of Silhouette. And they couldn’t have been much better of a match in terms of size and development.
So last year at this time the breeding took place and almost one year to the day from the time that Silhouette was bred she gave birth to a beautiful buckskin baby colt on July 3.
But that’s where this fairytale story started to go wrong. We all expected and then waited for this baby to get up and then start nursing but this baby never did. There are many reasons this happens none of them good.
For the next 48 hours everything possible was done for this baby to successfully get up and nurse. Stephanie, God bless her soul, hand fed by bottle baby Bull (get it- short for Flexible?) for 48 long hours never missing a feeding, never missing a moment where the baby might eat even if he refused.
My daughter spent a lot of her career and the time in neonatology with human babies and called this initial period as Bull eagerly ate to be the honeymoon period. Then as sometimes human babies do, he “tanked”.
In the beginning baby Bull was bright and responsive and couldn’t wait for his next feeding. He ate hungerly and often but as time went on he became lethargic and quit eating. This was not a “dummy” foal.
In the meantime, we tried everything that we could to get Bull standing with legs that had been contracted too long in the womb with a great trained Colorado State University Vet. Even when he could stand he gave up trying to stand. It was not meant to be.
Yesterday morning after 48 hours of life I agreed with the vet that it was time to let baby Bull go. His life was not destined to be for whatever reason. Reasons we will never know. I’ve said it before but dreams die first. My family, Stephanie and close friends are devastated by this loss.
I cannot thank Stephanie enough for all she did to take care of my baby during his two days of life. I doubt she slept at all. I also know she would do it all over again if she thought it would make a difference.
Flexible GES July 3-July 5, 2017
In love you were conceived.
And know in love you leave.