Over the rainbow

May 8, 2001
I was getting nervous. Secret (Bullet’s Secret Affair) was close to delivering her foal. Her udder was full and I could see some white pearls. Unfortunately I had to work so I asked my neighbor to keep an eye on Secret while I was away. With guilt I left to the office.

We acquired Secret the year before in TN. The little bay mare was owned by a heavy guy. She walked a hole in the ground with him, most likely due to his weight rahter than riding skills. It was March and her face was shaved, as expected she was head shy. I fell head over heels for her even though my aim was to find a taller mare. I always followed my gut feeling instead of using business sense. Next was the search for a stallion to breed her to. For a brief moment I considered Heritage stallion Echo’s Star Gray Wilson but with his 14.3 hands I passed and choose the 16 hands tall, spotted stallion Got Rox Wolfman instead.

Barely 15 minutes after arriving at work I got a call Secret was in labour. I dropped everything and rushed back home, still a 45 minute drive. That is where I met you Wolfie, the first foal born at Pleasure Gaits in Belgium. You were everything I had hoped for. Spotted, not too much white on your face or butt and male. Could you become our future breeding stallion? Secret was a great first time mom. We lived the first weeks like a dream, it was perfect.

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When you were a month old, you were lame. It was like on and off for days and the vet could not quite figure it out. Meanwhile you were roaming free in the pasture, it all seemed fine. Till one morning you were standing on a concrete floor and I noticed you walked on the tips of your front feet. I called numberous vets and we took you to Someren, the Netherlands for a 2 hours search for the cause of your problem. It appeared you broke the tip of your pelvis, causing pain and putting your weight on your front legs. Because of your young age, your tendons quickly adapted to the situation and shortened tremendously. We needed to put you on pain meds and support your front hooves to change the angle back to normal position. Luckily we could fix this even though it meant we had to keep you locked up in a small paddock for weeks. You handled it all like a pro.

2 months later we could finally release you in the pasture again. You were so happy! Whether it was caused by all the jumping, bucking and rearing or not, it ended in a scrotum hernia. From that moment it was clear you would never become Pleasure Gaits’ herd sire. At 4 months of age you once again went to Someren, got sedated, they fixed the hernia and we had you gelded at the same time. Way too soon but I didnt want to put you through more surgeries. Luckily, it all seemed better after that. I loved you dearly and you had another stud colt Sunny to play with. Together we went through a lot, you were my friend whom I told all my secrets. I remember laying next to you in the pasture at night, watching the stars. My hands touching your warm fur, you were always so relaxed. As a 2 year old you had one more surgery to remove a bone chip, probably caused by the injury as a weanling. Another 6 weeks recovery in a stable but you never complained.

We cleared the path for you to become a riding horse after all. You were my first horse that was born, raised and started here on our farm. I was so proud. I started you in a bosal, not realising I would go bitless with all horses in the future. You and I started something right there. Together we gave demo’s, promoted the breed, you were photographed for Cap magazine, a testriding horse for many newbies to the breed etc. In the end it was clear a gelding was holding space for a mare on a (small) breeding facility. With a heavy heart I decided to find you a new owner. You moved to Germany with a gab in your tail. Again you started something; HorseHairJewerly. I still treasure my bracelet with your hair.

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I saw you several times in Germany. Your owner loved you dearly which comforted me a lot. Several years later you were sold due to a divorce and I lost track of you until last year Petra contacted me. She had purchased you as your fourth and final owner.

Petra was full of questions about your past. Eager to learn about the various gaits of Walkers and how to get you back in shape. It was clear the last years had been pretty rough on you. You foundered at least once and you moved stiff. With the help of friends, vets and osteopaths Petra got you back on your feet. You became her best friend, like you were mine long time ago. I received regular updates and happy pictures. It all felt good. Up untill a month ago when you were diagnosed with PPID. Once again we looked for the best supplements and meds to help you through this. Last week you had acute founder on top of it, this was heading the wrong direction.

Despite the best of care, Petra could not manage to keep you free from pain. She had told me she would do the hardest thing a friend had to do if needed. I could only give her my blessings, keeping my fingers crossed a miracle would happen. Instead I learned you also had cancer cells in your mouth. My sweet Wolfie, you did not deserve all this. Yesterday you could not manage to get on your feet. Petra knew time had come. It all happened so fast, totally unacceptable, yet no way out. You left this world with Petra by your side supporting you through the last hours. I am grateful for that. Goodbye dear Wolfie, you go and catch my dreams up there.

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The brightest star of the universe 

Pleasure’s DreamCatcher
May 8, 2001 – November 8, 2017