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Help me. I am sad. (HR)

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  • Help me. I am sad. (HR)

    I guess I should have posted this in the breeding forum, but I really only check this one, so here goes:

    My forever horse passed away, god rest her soul, giving birth to her first foal last spring. This foal, now a yearling colt, is GORGEOUS, personable, a great mover, big, solid, chromey, etc. Basically everything I wanted in a hunter baby. I went through such great lengths to "make" him, picking out the stallion, convincing DH that we needed to breed one, sleeping in the barn for weeks waiting for him, and then of course mourning his dear mother. Not to mention then the costs and emotional stress of leasing a "mother" for him, board, care, and so on. But a year later, he is perfect. I should love him, right? But I just can't. Everytime I look at him I can't help but feel that he "killed" my horse. That is so dumb, huh? And everyone in my barn is always talking about how gorgeous he is, my trainer wants to do the HB this year with him, my hubby is always saying how he is "just like" his mom, and I always smile and agree with them, but I don't even like him! When I get the board bill each month I pay it with the feeling you would get paying board on a filthy stopper you just can't unload. I know I should love him as he is the only offspring of my beloved horse who is now passed, but I am having a really hard time with this.

    Has this ever happened to anyone else?

    Thanks for listening, all.

    When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager

  • #2
    I am so sorry for your loss.

    I think by finally admitting your feelings, you are working towards healing your grief over the loss of your mare.

    I would hold off on doing anything with the colt until you have given yourself adequate time to complete the grieving process. If you decide to sell the colt before then, you might really regret it later.

    Just because it has been a year doesn't mean that it has been enough time.

    Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique


    • #3
      Sorry for your loss as well. I think you should hold off on selling him, even if paying the board is an expense you could do without. I think with time, you might come to see him as a blessing instead of a burden, and you'll be glad you didn't do something rash in grief. He sounds like a great little horse someone would be lucky to have. Big hugs!


      • #4
        (((((sad you)))))

        Of course you're sad. Be sad. But like others have wisely said, don't sell the colt. You will still be sad and the colt will be gone. You have hardly begun to grieve your mare. You are suffering from the loss and the trauma of how the loss occurred. Give yourself time. Take an active interest in mourning her loss, her being, your past with her, all your hopes and dreams for your future with her, all your hopes and dreams for raising her foal WITH HER. There is a term for your grief, disenfranchised -- grief that falls outside accepted social conventions and understandings of significant losses. It is a harder path of mourning, but certainly one you can navigate over time. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself and your emotions kindly.

        When you are done grieving, you can make a decision about the colt.

        I recommend, "How To Go on Living When someone You Love Dies" By Dr. Therese Rando.


        (((()))) ol'Hound


        • #5
          i am soooo sorry for your loss. i can totally understand why you would feel that way. that is the #1 reason i will not breed my mare! i am so scared something like that would happen. i really feel for you and would not blame you one bit if you sold him
          My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE


          • #6
            What happened to you is one of my biggest fears. (((Hugs))) to you...

            I agree with those that say do not sell the colt yet. Do you spend time with him? If not, make yourself do that. You may be surprised to find that you actually like him. There may be things that he does that remind you of your mare, or he may be totally different, but in the end you will find that he has his own personality. And remind yourself that it isn't his fault your mare died. It's a risk we take every time we breed a mare. Heck, it's a risk every female takes when they get pregnant.

            Let yourself grieve and go through the whole process, but do not make major decisions while you are doing it.

            Again (((HUGS))) for your loss...
            Not all who wander are lost.


            • #7
              Well maybe you need to consider that a part of your mare will live on in your colt and bringing out the best in your colt may be in a way honoring your mare.

              The world is just not fair sometimes! I am so sorry for your loss, I am so sorry, follow your heart!


              • #8
                And if you hadn't bred her she might not be dead. And If I hadn't gone out of town for four days seven years ago, Willem would have had his pergolide for those four days and may not have foundered and died (instead of the ass I was paying to do it just skiping that part). And so it goes. Life happens. You play the hand you are dealt. You were blessed with a beautiful colt that your mare would expect you to treat the same as you did her. It's your chance to do this.


                • #9
                  I lost my Best Girl, my first foal of my own, 5 weeks post foaling. At the time her daughter was already sold.

                  The orphan was even adopted by my Trak mare. So it was not as difficult as it could have been...

                  For a long time I had *issues* with the filly. At times I really didn't like her very much. I did have a chance to purchase her back, so I did... sometimes wondering why. Just this past year, FIVE years after Mama's passing, have I become smitten with her. She has matured, become less emotional... but *I* have changed too.

                  I still bawl over my Best Girl at the oddest moments. I put down her *mother* this fall, and I miss her terribly, but it's different when it is a young horse and sudden. The old mare had an incredibly full, long life. The young mare was only 8. You cannot compare the sorrows at all.

                  Eventually, when you can remember the good times and good things about your mare, with a wistful smile instead of tears, you *might* find that you like seeing parts of her in the son.

                  Or maybe not.

                  I would definitely say it is too soon to let him go. I think it's huge to acknowledge the anger. I was very angry at my filly too--even though she was five weeks, it was post-partum twisted gut. I shelled out a lot of money for the filly to go to inspections a couple of years ago, and she never loaded on the trailer. In my LIFE I have NEVER had a horse NOT LOAD eventually. She didn't. I probably would have sold her for meat at that moment.

                  It takes time. Time and more time.

                  And if in time you still don't like him, it's ok to move on. It sounds like there will be no problem finding him the right person. If he's not YOUR horse, that really is OK.

                  But he just might be... when the pain leaves room for a tiny bit of love to creep back in.
                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                  Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                  • #10
                    It sounds like you are putting a great deal of pressure on yourself to not only like this colt for what he is, but to *adore* him the way you did your mare. Don't.

                    Don't compare them-- you'll always find him "not her" and miss enjoying him.

                    Don't expect him to fill in or make up for the loss you feel for her. The horses and your feelings toward them are distinct.

                    Sooner or later, you may arrive at the place others are encouraging-- recognizing that he carries some of what you like about your mare forward. But the more people rush that, the more you'll insist (at least in your mind) that your mare had value in her own right.

                    Fortunately, he's a yearling. You can ignore him while you grieve the loss of your mare and he won't be the worse for a little benign neglect. As to the enormous amount of work you put into producing him, think of it that way: It's what you did to get him-- a colt you enjoy. It's not about an awful price paid.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • #11
                      He is an innocent...and certainly not to blame.

                      Once you recognize that then you can move toward healing.
                      "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


                      • #12
                        i don't have anything to add other than ::hug::
                        There's coffee in that nebula.


                        • #13
                          Keep him for now. If you should sell him, you are losing the what is left of your wonderful mare, and you may never get it back. Give yourself time to work through all of this.
                          In time it will come, the understanding and acceptance. You will find real joy in looking at him, and see him as the gift that he really is...
                          Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.


                          • #14

                            Originally posted by WB Mom View Post
                            Keep him for now. If you should sell him, you are losing the what is left of your wonderful mare, and you may never get it back. Give yourself time to work through all of this.
                            In time it will come, the understanding and acceptance. You will find real joy in looking at him, and see him as the gift that he really is...
                            This -- this is "spot-on" ! Jingles for your grieving heart ~ your mare would want you to love and cherish her colt ~ your soul knows this ~ it's just your heart is still wounded ~ it will heal with time and you will recognize how special this colt is ~ coming from from your mare's spirit to your spirit.
                            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                            • #15
                              My "heart" mare died giving birth (I was not responsible for choosing to have her bred). The foal was fine, and turned into a lovely horse, but at the time, I wanted nothing to do with him. I remember bottle feeding him through tears and hearing over and over in my head, "You killed her. I hate you."

                              Now, 22 years later, I realize that he was innocent and I was actually hating what had happened, and not him. To this day I wish I had kept him in my life, even if I'd taken a year away from him or something.

                              Your colt didn't kill your mare. She lives on through him and in your heart.

                              Let yourself grieve. It make take quite a while before you're able to see him as his own special self. It's also possible you won't ever "click" with him (and wouldn't have even if circumstances were different--sometime we just aren't a good match). But give yourself the time to work through your mare's death and make sure you're really evaluating him for *him*.

                              Hugs to you. It's a lousy situation.


                              • #16
                                Little reality check here.

                                If I'm reading it right, YOU are the one who bred the mare.

                                I'm sure it's occured to you that you went out of your way to precipitate the events that caused the death of your mare.

                                If you ask me, your feelings are a little confused. It's your own guilt you are feeling.

                                A nightmare scenario could result from any breeding, or from any other horse related scenario you might care to picture--injury and colic is right around the corner no matter how we try to guard against them. If you aren't up to accepting that responsibility, horses are not for you.

                                If you are, suck it up, and go on, doing the best you can not to repeat your 'sins.'

                                If you aren't, sell him and reevaluate wether you are cut out for being involved in an activity that entails such large responsibilities.


                                • #17

                                  Why are you always such a jackass? Are you part mule?


                                  • #18
                                    It takes time. Time and more time.

                                    And if in time you still don't like him, it's ok to move on. It sounds like there will be no problem finding him the right person. If he's not YOUR horse, that really is OK.

                                    This. You are putting too much pressure on yourself and him to fill her shoes, which of course cannot be done.
                                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                                    • #19
                                      I don't do tip toe very well either...

                                      There are a lot of things we do that have unintended consequences...it IS sad, but you do have to get on with things.

                                      I'm glad you have a nice baby, but...I'd say snap out of it soon, or move on.
                                      Inner Bay Equestrian


                                      • #20
                                        Slightly different perspective -- I had a horse once that was truly crazy. She had been abused, and would lash out at people. She nearly killed me once -- if my brother hadn't been there to administer first aid, I would be dead.

                                        She had a filly before I bought her, and I'd purchased the two as a package deal when she was a weanling. The filly was perfectly nice -- I never had any issues with her. Just when the time came to train her, I couldn't do it. I could never get past the bad feelings, even though there was no reason to think that would be true. I couldn't put her momma behind her -- visiting sins of the parents on the child and all that. I just couldn't get over it - I associated the filly with the bad thing that happened to me, even though it was unfair to her.

                                        I eventually sold her for a loss. I hear she turned out well for her new owners. But I have never, ever been so happy to not have to deal with a horse again, and I don't regret it for a second. Sometimes it is a relief just to turn over a new leaf and start afresh with a horse you enjoy.

                                        Don't feel guilty if you sell the colt and use the money to buy something you really like. He sounds like he is really nice and will end up in a good home. That doesn't have to be you.