After the unexpected loss of The Ultimate Bum, we had been searching
for a stallion to breed our retained Slush Creeks Jubal S daughters
to. We wanted natural gait, superior conformation, gentle and calm
disposition and we wanted OLD bloodlines. In September of 2008, we
were contacted about an 18 year old stallion that fit the criteria
and requirments that we had.
In early November of 2008, Delight's
Midnight Legend set his feet in eastern Montana. When he first
arrived we put him in a pen right by the house just to keep an
eye on him after his trip and so we could get to know him. It
didn't take long for us to find out that he really was as sweet
and quiet as a stallion could be. He didn't seem to have any
difficulties adjusting to the Montana climate or to us. He spent
the winter just quietly settling into the ranch.
In the spring we
started by slowly introduced him to a couple of mares, hand
breeding the first couple of mares. He was very respectful of the
mares, and gentle while breeding. Gabe was very vocal while in the
company of the mares, more so than any of our other stallions and
he had a big robust voice but the mares didn't seem to mind. He
actually seemed to enjoy the foals and was never rough with them.
After it became apparent that he was no threat to the mares or
foals, Gabe was turned in with nine ladies and their foals. Not all of
the mares had foals but about half of them did. Gabe immediatly
began working on bunching his mares and after a couple of days, it
seemed he and they had all settled into their new herd dynamic.
Gabe had not been in a herd situation like this so we were taking
Next we moved them to a large pasture of 450 acres.
This is where we began to notice a few "oddities". Gabe was hypervigilant.
He took his job as protector of the herd very
seriously. We took pictures of him moving his herd away from deer. He kept himself between the deer and his mares, matching the deers
movements until they left his pasture and he watched them long
after they left his domain.
He was concerned about the geese at the dam where they drank water.
In the beginning we chuckled about what a strict guard he was.
However, within just a few days he began to drop weight rather quickly.
We thought that he would settle down and relax after a couple of weeks
but Gabe did not relax and he did not pick up any weight. He continued
to lose weight until we really became concerned for his health. We
discussed it with our vet and any serious medical problems were ruled out.
When we ultrasounded the mares after barely
a month out to pasture, most of them were in foal. It was decided that
we would choose a couple of older mares to keep him company and
bring him home to his pen so we could work on getting his weight
back up to a healthy number so we were ready to go into winter.
back in the corral with just a couple of maresn Gabe immediately
began to relax and regain his weight. Of course he was getting a
daily ration of grain to help with this process. He continued to gain
weight and was back up to a healthy weight before winter took hold
here in Montana.
The next spring we decided that we would not put
him in charge of so many mares and we would keep him closer to
home in a much smaller pasture. This seemed to suit Gabe better. Although he did lose weight, it was not as dramatic as it had been
the previous spring/summer. This weight loss was a bit closer to what
you would expect a breeding stallion to lose during his busy season.
He managed his herd and his weight much better the second year and
was able to stay with his herd the entire breeding season.