Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Griffin is a gelding!

Sorry, not much time for posting lately. I don't have any pictures from the big event either...although I know my mom showed up later and took some pictures of me holding the horse nuts.

The whole things was more uneventful that I could have ever hoped for, especially since I have found VERY little time to do anything with any of my horses other than pet them randomly when I am doing their chores on the weekends. It really has been over 3 weeks since I've done anything with Griffin. Yet, I was able to slip a regular web halter on him with no fuss (usually he wears a rope one when I work with him), and brush him down and pick out all his feet. I also spent time pinching his neck where the needle stick would go. He was unresponsive to it.

When the vet arrived with her bucket, she walked into the pen, and Griffin stood with alert ears and was prepared to back away, but she just stood near his shoulder for a bit to let him get used to her. Then she pet him, then went right to sticking the needle in his vessel. After she first stuck it in, he did back up a couple of steps, but she just advanced, pet him, then gave him the first shot that just makes him droopy.

We stood back and let that take effect, which happened very quickly. His lips sagged and he stood with one foot cocked funny. Then she gave him the "sleepytime" shot. A minute later, he was backing up, backed into the barn wall, where he stopped, then just flopped over, rather unremarkably...he didn't lay down nicely, but he didn't really fight it either. He went down well.

Then I was amazed at how fast the actual gelding went. I held his leg for the vet while she did the cut-cut, and it was over in 5 minutes!

We chatted while we waited for Griffin to come out from under the affects of the anesthetic. She dissected the testes and explained all the parts. And she also said that they were smaller than a typical two year olds testicles. She said that he would probably not have been a good breeding stallion because he wouldn't have had the drive to do it. Which I took to mean that if he'd been in the wild, he would have been a permanent member of a bachelor herd. Well, he can be in my "bachelor" herd with 3 mares and another gelding.

Griffin came out easily too. He rolled up, tried to half-heartedly get up a couple times, but decided to wait when it was too much. Then he finally got himself up, and stood for a while.

The vet also confirmed that Griffin is indeed 2.5 years old, and Kachina is 3.5 years old. When I said that I wish she would grow, the vet went off about mustangs, and said that you'll never find a good sized mustang unless they have had a quarter horse stallion put out with the herd (not true - Griffin (from Kachina's herd) is good sized...I think Kachina is a little stunted). I agreed that most herds have had some level of domestic influence, and the vet continued to tell me that "true" mustangs all have long backs, no hip, short legs, big heads and big feet. If they are anything other than that, then they have had a quarter horse stallion put in with them. I pointed out Chico, and she said he has quarter horse in him...which I think is possible, but Chico looks more Andalusian-type to me...but the vet was on a roll. She was using Kachina as her example for this long backed big-headed mustang type...but Kachina has tiny feet (proportioned for her tiny stature), a cute head (with the slight bump above the nose typical of sulphur horses), yes, she has a longish back, but it's actually in proportion with her body. And her hip is not awful...it's just not a quarter horse butt.

She also said that only man makes horses with big butts (which is probably true), but she tried to say that wild horses don't locomote using their back ends to power with. She said only domestic horses do that, which I think is completely false. She said my long back mustang (like all mustangs) use their front ends to pull themselves along and so they won't be able to collect, and I think that's bologna! Wild horses HAVE to collect in the wild on a daily basis as they travel and interact with eachother! Argh...I wish people wouldn't always give their opinions when they weren't asked for. This is the same vet that told me that if you get a mustang as an adult, you'd never truly be able to tame it down. Anything older than a weanling or yearling is too old, she says.

But, she's older, and she does know what she's doing with vetting horses...I can't fault her for not sharing my enthusiasm for mustangs. I just hope she's not spreading that blather around to people who don't know the difference.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad she's a good vet and that the procedure with your boy went OK. I hate it when people get off on what certain breeds and types of horses are supposed to be like, particularly when they know less than they think - there's a lot of diversity in horses and their genetics and each horse is an individual. Also, the idea that somehow people have miraculously gotten horses to use their hindquarters when the poor things obviously had no idea how is just idiotic - I've seen a lot of horses whose use of their bodies was made worse by human interference. But I'm still glad she was a good vet!

Paint Girl said...

I don't agree with what your vet had to say about Mustangs. A lot of people are so against them. There are so many Mustangs out there that are very versatile, and age does not matter. Any horse, no matter the breed, can be un-trainable or not move in the correct way, it isn't just Mustangs.
Don't let her get you down about your Mustangs. I think you doing great job!

Kara said...

The vet did say that if you want a horse that can pack you around on trails, up hills and down, all day long, then, you won't find any better than a mustang....

Andrea said...

I'm glad the procedure went well!

It's funny how many people thnik they are experts on mustangs, and how the ones who think they are usually aren't...

Pick another somewhat uncommon breed, like say an Icelandic. I bet their owners don't get a talking to from their vets about how much the vet knows about the breed and how inferior they are. It's irritating.

Just last weekend I had Tonka at the vet's, but it wasn't my usual vet. She asked why he was freezebranded, I said "He's a mustang." Of course I was thinking, didn't you read his chart? But I'm sure she hadn't. Anyway, she went on to say he didn't look like a mustang, because mustangs are small, ugly and put together all wrong, with big heads and short necks. Which in a way was a kind of compliment to Tonka, but still irritated me. None of my mustangs are ugly! I'm sure there are some out there but I've met a good many beautiful mustangs. And what does it matter how they look?

I'm never quite sure how to respond. I don't think there's any point in arguing, and I don't like to argue, so I usually just keep my mouth shut. I think maybe next time I'll say, "You're welcome to come meet the rest of my mustangs. They're all pretty well put together." Even if they disagree, maybe it would make them realize they're insulting my horses...

Glad to hear things are going well though! I'm not surprised you're so busy, but it will be so worth it when you're done! How many years of vet school do you have? You had a lot of the preliminary work done, didn't you? I feel like I've asked you that before... I forgot the answer, I guess.

Sorry for the long comment. :)

Kara said...

Andrea - I've got 4 years total.

And I agree - I think that every one of my mustangs look pretty well put together. Honestly, why would a horse be ugly JUST because it grew up in the wild? Sure, they aren't selected to look pretty, just survive, but pretty does not equal can't survive in the wild...and I would think that some of the same things that allow horses to use their bodies effectively in captivity would also be propogated in the wild - they still have to move efficiently and I'd say they actually have to move more athletically than domestics! Ever seen Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies? Amazing footage of super athletic horses "surviving" in the wild.

When the vet was doing her tirade, I just listened, closed mouthed, looked at the animals as she pointed to them to illustrate points (which didn't really make sense), and agreed with her when she said something that I did agree with, but I did NOT say anything regarding points I disagreed with. However, I feel that as a professional, she should not have been so forthright about her opinions...as they are opinions, not facts, although she was trying to pass them off as facts.