May 16th at 3:00 am, Tumbleweed, aka Midnight Tumbleweed, will turn one.
Mr. Tumbleweed is a product of Shirley's heart- horse, "Beamer" (Isle Be Midnight) and "Rosalee" (Solano N Jac).
He comes from a long line of athletic horses: Mr. San Peppy, Isle Breeze, Dolls Union Jac, and Solanos Peppy San--his great-grandfathers. Also pictured below is his grandfather, Doll Docsan.here. And this is what the little angel looked like.
Within a week, I was up in Canada. It was my first time meeting Shirley face to face, even though I'd followed her blog for many years. And, of course, it was my first time meeting Tumbleweed.
It was love at first sight.
He was a mama's boy, that's for sure! (Rosalee was a good mom.)
As the summer went by, I made several trips to see Tumbleweed and Shirley, and got to participate in his training. (Just a little--Shirley did everything!)
But mostly, it was his summer to be a baby with his mom and herd. (Following photos are Shirley's)
Back at home, I had work to do to get him across from Canada to the U.S.--it required a recorded wire transfer of payment so that I could prove to the border agents he'd been paid for.
Soon enough, the day had come, and I was in Canada picking up Rosalee and Tumbleweed to bring here.
It was a nail-biting trip (for me), but Rosalee and Tumbleweed were actually very calm. It helped tremendously that we were hauling them together.
They settled right in.
Rosalee was here for only a week, and then her new owner wanted to pick her up early because of the holiday. Tumbleweed was completely weaned and on solid food, but we needed a surrogate mare to socialize him.
Foxy came to our rescue. She's been a mother before, and when she was first introduced to him, that was that--
she was IN LOVE.
It was like they were a real mama and baby. Still, to this day, even though I've separated them, they are deeply bonded and tuned into one another. (In two weeks, once the sperm is supposed to be all gone, they'll be back together.)
However, back in October, tragedy had struck, and Tumbleweed came down with what we think was a virus.
I was up with him day and night, rain & wind, but as he got weaker, I grew more and more concerned and really felt like I was going to lose him. Rather than relying on the sporadic vet visits, I wanted him in the hospital on IV fluid and 24/7 care.
I was alone here during the first week of his illness. My husband and I had a trip planned for the day he got sick, so I stayed back and he had gone on by himself to visit our kids and grandkids.
His time in the hospital gave me a well-needed opportunity to catch up on my sleep.
I believe that IV fluid is what turned him around. His recovery took three weeks, so if we hadn't given him that boost on day 3 &4, I don't think he'd have had the strength to make it. (I highly recommend IV fluids for EVERYTHING--colic, virus--anything that looks bad.)
But he very much DID make it and was stronger and more beautiful and ornery than ever!
In fact, he was so ornery to Foxy (who would let him do anything to her) that we had to introduce him to the gelding herd and give her a break.
He fit right in.
He was finally gelded a week and half ago, on May 3rd, and it was extremely easy. He healed up immediately, and his studdy behavior was gone just as quick. They told me it may take a month, but it did not. He has settled right down. He has even become Cowboy's herd leader. He acts like he's one going on twenty. When I go to get him from pasture each evening, he always stands and waits to be haltered, and walks back like a gentleman.
And, our adventures have begun--trailering to the state park, ponying, standing tied, everything half-grown horses are expected to do.
To say this has been an exciting year with Tumbleweed would be an understatement. I feel so blessed to have this boy in my life. Everywhere I take him, people oooh and awww--and ask, "What are you going to do with him?"
What am I going to do with him? Well, for now, I'm going to have fun with him and get him ready for whatever we decide to do in the future. I'll be ponying him on the trails, loading him to new places, grooming him and working on his manners, working obstacles--yep, we'll be having some fun this year!
Happy Birthday, Tumbleweed!! And, thank you, Shirley, for raising this special boy!