Simon and Garfunkel

For those of you who read my last post about the tragedy that struck my ranch on May 18th, I'm writing this update. That last post was so dark and sad, and I didn't want you to think I was still in that place three days later. My days are still filled with tears, but sometimes, now, they are the happy kind.

After Luna passed away, my most immediate concern, obviously, was feeding Simon. Baby horses eat a lot and frequently. Our vet gave us temporary baby formula to tide us over until the official foal milk formula came in. We tried to feed him from a bottle as advised, but he wasn't having any of that nonsense. If he couldn't have his momma's boobie, he wasn't having any boobie at all. So I went to the website for The Last Chance Corral, a wonderful organization that raises orphan foals who are being saved from euthanizing (at the hands of The Jockey Club, shame on them!) They teach all their babies to drink milk out of a bucket, which has all kinds of benefits, including the fact that the baby no longer sees the human as a huge udder. I was all for not being seen as a walking udder by a horse that was getting bigger and stronger by the hour, so we worked our buns off to teach him how to be a bucket drinker. After a full day of frustrating fits and starts, and lots of sticky, sweet milk splashed everywhere, he became a bucket drinking expert! I was so proud of him, I couldn't stop crying. The stress of starving my mare's baby had passed.

The next issue was the feeding schedule. He needs to eat about every 2.5 hours. He also can't be left alone. So we were sleeping in the outdoor stall with him in sleeping bags and then in a tent. My children and I took shifts. None of us were/are getting any real sleep, just a couple hours grabbed here and there. The kitchen and house were a disaster and the dogs basically neglected (they were fed as usual and cuddled at night, but that's it! They lived outside in the yard, which they didn't mind, but is not their usual routine.)

On top of all this, we're still in the middle of a household move. My youngest is finishing up the school year in our old house (supervised by her daddy) and I have the two big kids and all the animals 6.5 hours away in our new house. The day my horse went into labor, my husband threw his back out and delivered his truck to the shop for repairs. So when I called him bawling my eyes out, telling him how we had to put Luna to sleep, he had no way to come help me. So for a day and a half, my two big kids and I were on our own. But then on day two, Husband got his car back, drugged himself up with Advil, and drove up to help out. Having him and my youngest (horse-crazy) daughter here really made a difference. Our spirits lifted and we had renewed energy!

Because I know that the universe has wonderful plans for me, I was not surprised to get a note from my horse trainer (who lives 6 hours away where I used to live) telling me that he was going to be in the area to visit family and could stop by to help out. I jumped at the chance to have him over to solve my last problem with Simon: this foal needed a horsey companion who would teach him how to be a horse. Horses hand-raised by humans alone usually end up being real jerks: biting, kicking, etc. They need to be socialized in a herd. My trainer Carlos suggested we find a really old gelding who would be patient with a silly foal while also strong enough to teach him some manners.

Enter Garfunkel. His real name is Sapphire, but he's been living with goats for 10 years and he's a little … shall we say … funky from that experience. So I named him GarFUNKel. Besides, with a foal named Simon, it was just too hard to resist. 🙂

Yesterday, Simon met Garfunkel for the first time. He was nervous, but Funky was awesome. He gave Simon a sniff, decided he would do, and went about eating his hay and otherwise ignoring the baby. Last night, Funky was tied to the outside of Simon's stall and he babysat the little colt all night. We showed up a few times to feed Simon and make sure Funky had ready access to hay and water, but otherwise, we stayed away. Simon didn't call (neigh) for us at all, so I took that as a good sign. Before when we left, he would go berserk calling out. Talk about heart-breaking!

Today we will continue to habituate them to one another and Simon to the electrified paddock fence. Right now he keeps insisting he's one of the humans and should be able to follow us out the gate, and he's constantly looking for a way around the electric wires. He can't be trusted out of his box near those wires without us supervising (for fear that he'll get tangled in it and seriously injured), so for the next couple weeks, that's what we'll be working on — that and getting him to accept Funky as his buddy/grandpa/babysitter/substitute momma.

For those of you who know horses, you're probably wondering why I didn't put Simon with a mare who lost a foal. Just to set your mind at ease, I did try this avenue, but the two I found were very far away, and I wasn't comfortable with giving Simon to someone I didn't know for 6 months. Luna sacrificed her life for him, and to me, that means I need to personally ensure he has the best upbringing possible. That's with me or at least close enough to me that I can visit regularly.

So, that's the scoop! I know it's not about books or my writing, but it's what's consuming my life for the moment. I hope in a week or so when things smooth out that I'll be able to finish War of the Fae books 9 and 10. Those are my priorities just after this baby is settled.

Many thanks and great big hugs to those of you who reached out to me with messages of support and love and kindness, and for those of you who sent out happy thoughts into the universe or prayed for us. It helped!! Just when I thought the darkness was going to swallow us whole, the light came in and solutions started presenting themselves. The floodgates opened, and I'm sure it was because of YOU and the power of all your positivity!


8 comments on “Simon and Garfunkel

  1. What a wonderful horse mamma you are! I was so sad to hear about Luna, but I am overjoyed with the progress you are making with Simon and that you have found a companion for him. I hope you are able to get some good sleep soon, and that your family continues to thrive! Sending positive energy your way!

    • Thank you so much, Amy!! We’re thrilled with how well Simon and Funky are doing together and how big Simon is already getting. He’s figuring things out with the help of us and his horse buddy. I just pray we can keep going in this positive direction! xoxo Elle

  2. Oh Wow what a week to miss, I have had my own sweet Man in hospital and now home recuperating . What a Wonderful family you are. As a Mother who has Loved and Lost my heart broke for you. Yet you rallied round and showed amazing Strength, picking up to do Luna Proud! I pray you will continue to strengthen each other as you settle and grow in your new surroundings together, Including Simon and Funky. (Fantastic names) it sounds like this Odd Couple are perfect for each other. Sending Much Love and Prayers ❤️

    • So sorry your guy is having trouble. 🙁 Thank you so much for stopping by with your encouraging, loving note!! Things are going so much better now than they were a few days ago. Fingers crossed, it continues. xoxo Elle

  3. Elle, Your writing is superb. everything is relative. compared to many of the Amazon indie books I have read your work is light years better. so many of the aforementioned author’s are desperately in need of basic editing. You evidently care enough and are meticulous enough to avoid being painted by my castigating brush regarding bad editing
    it seemed apparent that the novel I read, about Jayne following the obstacle course and becoming the shaolin master of tree hugging, was written with the young adult or teenager in mind. Sadly, even at sixty four I must have a juvenile mind because I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    given your predilection for horses,large and small, I thought it an interesting coincidence to find your book in an anthology of works by six different author’s. in any case, one of the other books was about a warrior who,in the process of learning magic from an elf, found himself reaching into and exploring the mind of a horse. since you have an affinity for horses it would be fascinating to have you address a similar adventure with one of your characters like Jayne. Just a thought. in any case I shall read many more of your books. God bless you and may you and your family continue to find joy in the beautiful life you have made for each other.
    warmest regards, John

    • Thank you so much, John, for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts and kind words with me. I’m so flattered! I’m always amazed at the people that Jayne touches with her adventures and spirited ways. It makes me so happy to know that it encompasses such a broad spectrum of people. Because Jayne is modeled after my younger self, it actually does me better than any therapy would!! haha! Somewhere in the world, there are people who accept me as I am! xoxo Elle

  4. I do hope all is well with the baby!! I understand the desire to keep him home. My horses were my life. In the next year or two when we move, I hope to adopt a foal and train him from start to finish. Training is my favorite part. Ive got a business to get up and running first. Good luck with Simon! He is beautiful!

    Ps … I check my email and Google Books every day for the next installment in War of the Fae!!! I love them more than any books I’ve read to date (and that’s A LOT) and can’t wait to see what happens next! I understand that it’s been a rough year. But the suspense is killing me! Keep up the wonderful work!!! I hope to write like you one day.

    • All is great with Simon, thank you for asking after him! He changes a little every day, and I never know for sure what will be waiting for me when I go out to the paddock. As far as WOTF goes, just sign up for my newsletter…then you’ll get a link in your email the day it’s live. 🙂 xoxo Elle

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