Stallion Spotlight-Affirmativ

Affirmativ (Andreanov x Cedaridge Folaura) 1984-2009

Affirmativ is the sire of AV Olympic Spirit, resident black stallion at The Franch and he is grandsire to my two loves, Flame and Fyrestorm. He was owned by Jim and Renee Boeshans of Springfield, Oregon and Renee calls him their “miracle horse”.

Renee had taken her friend to Twin Fir Farms in Sisters, Oregon to look for a colt, when a sweet, little, black, one-month old colt decided to start following Renee around. She says, that while they were choosing a different colt for her friend, Affirmativ chose her.

He is their miracle horse because at the age of 18 months he broke his leg and they were devastated. Affirmativ was sent to Oregon State Veterinary Hospital for surgery and had a pin put in the leg, but was rejecting the pin and was sent home for the Boeshans to treat it. Miracle of miracles happened and it healed. They had not been expecting to be able to show or ride him, but the plucky young stallion made a full recovery. Affirmativ would go on to become a winner in country English pleasure and halter. He was Scottsdale’s Most Classic Arabian and Champion Native Costume horse in 1994. And later at the age of nineteen, he was shown in hunt seat, western and native costume by their granddaughter, Cortney Boeshans.

Affirmativ has over 100 foals in the U.S., Canada and Germany. The ones that have been shown have done very well, winning national, regional and Class A championships. One of which being, AV Olympic Spirit aka Spirit, who was 2004 Top 10 US National Champion Arabian Working Cow Jr Horse.

AV Olympic Spirit (Affirmativ x Raylee Asasi)

Affirmativ has the true, classic Arabian look with chiseled head, large eyes and long “hooky” neck that breeders strive for and it is passed on through his bloodlines as can be seen in his grandson, NH Fyrecracker aka Flame:

NH Fyrecracker (AV Olympic Spirit x Fyrelite Bynite)

The Arabian horse world is both large and small at the same time. Renee and I became friends on Facebook through the connection between our beloved horses and we both have a mutual love of the breed. I couldn’t be happier that Affirmativ chose Renee and became her “miracle horse”.

Affirmativ

NH Fyrecracker-Franch Bred Arabian

NH Fyrecracker aka Flame

It was love at first sight for me and this sweet boy! He was introduced to me as Fyrecracker, but I couldn’t resist calling him Flame because of his fiery, red color which brought to mind Walter Farley’s Island Stallion of the same name. The name also seemed fitting because his sire is the black stallion, known as Spirit around The Franch.

AV Olympic Spirit

Spirit’s sire is the beautiful, Affirmativ:

Affirmativ

Flame is a Polish Arabian and he has the great, Bask in his pedigree three times on both his dam and sire’s side.  He also has several Varian Arabians in his bloodline. He has Bay El Bey on his sire, Spirit’s side who was well known in Arabian horse circles as “The Kingmaker”.  Bay El Bey’s descendants are stamped with his distinctive look, intelligence and excellent disposition, which is definitely true with Flame because he possesses the long arched neck, kindness and intelligence that has been passed down to him through the generations. To learn more about Bay El Bey, check out The History of Bay El Bey.

On his dam, Fyrelite Bynite’s side, Flame has in his bloodlines the following Varian Arabians, Khemosabi (Khemo as he was known, was actually raised by Ruth and Bert Husband, but his breeding career was launched by Sheila Varian.) and the mare, Bayanka.

Flame is the stuff of a little girl’s dreams!

“I love you!”-Flame

Al Khamsa (The Five)

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Al Khamsa by Karen Kasper

All modern Arabian horses are said to descend from five original mares.  There are many versions of the story of Al Khamsa, but the one that seems to be the most popular is the one in which it is said that after a long journey, Mohammed released his band of horses to drink water at an oasis, but then blew his battle horn and only five of the mares stopped and returned to their master in spite of their great thirst.  The legend goes that these five mares were chosen to be the foundation mares for the Arabian breed because of their loyalty to their master.

The five strains named after these mares are, Keheilan, Seglawi, Abeyan, Hamdani, and Hadban, or various spellings there of.

In her book, The Classic Arabian Horse, Judith Forbis tells an albeit less magical story about the origin of the five mares in which several tribes from Yemen come to visit the prophet Mohammed and present him with “five magnificent mares, belonging to five different races of which Arabia was then said to boast.” In her version, Mohammed steps out of his tent, caresses them and says, “Blessed be ye, O Daughters of the Wind.”

Also in Forbis’s book she states that Carl Raswan, who was a well known historian of early Egyptian Arabians and lived among Arab tribes for over a decade, did not acknowledge all five strains.  “Raswan divided the Arabian breed into three main strains,…Saklawi was representative of feminine elegance, grace, and refinement, while Kuhaylan, signified masculinity, strength, boldness and power.  The Muniqi strain was of a racier build, usually more developed in the forehand and lighter behind.”

The Al Khamsa may be stuff of legend, but according to alkhamsa.org, “Any horse in North America that Al Khamsa, Inc. believes, after study, to descend entirely from Arabian horses bred by the nomadic Bedouin horse breeding-tribes of the Arabian Peninsula is an Al Khamsa Arabian.”

Franch Horse Spotlight-Just Touch

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The passage that follows my little intro was written by Lisa Vaughan Carter about her beloved horse, Just Touch. Touch is the oldest horse at The Franch at the ripe old age of 30, but doesn’t look a day over 9! He is a sweet boy and I love bringing him in to the barn for the evening on Sundays! I remember telling Lisa when I first met her that I liked the “cut of his jib”! He’s a special horse with a special owner, who has provided him with a wonderful forever home at The Franch!

The story of Just Touch: I’ve always loved horses. I never owned one as a child but, always wanted to. When I was 29 my boyfriend told me I needed to “get a hobby”. I thought about what I loved to do the most, I remembered how much I loved riding horses as a kid. I started taking horseback riding lessons, which gave me the bug. I got rid of the boyfriend and bought my first horse. I found a beautiful 14yo solid black, with a white star, Tennessee Walking Horse named Just Touch.  I had no idea what I was doing; I learned some very hard lessons about horseback riding and caring for a horse. He was a very good teacher and I landed on my butt quite a few times those first few years. Touch has always been a stoic solitary guy. He has had many friends who adored him but, he never seemed to care much who was around. We had so many adventures together. We traveled to Oklahoma, Arkansas and all over Texas to ride the trails together. Unfortunately, when Touch was 26 he was diagnosed with EPM. We treated him for 6 months and I made the difficult decision, for his safety and mine, to quit riding him permanently. He now loves retirement, at 30 years old. I have loved having him in my life for the past 16 years. He gives me a sweet subtle whinny when he sees me coming, not too loud so no one thinks he is too excited to see his mama. I cherish each day I have with this sweet horse.

 

Lisa and Touch:

TouchandLisa

 

Franch Horse Spotlight-Mr. High Dollar-Memorial

Mr. High Dollar

Today’s post was written by Stephanie Young and Lizze Ferbert about sweet Mr. High Dollar who recently passed away.  Dollar, as I knew him was one of the first horses I met at The Franch along with his owner Lizze Ferbert.  Lizze immediately welcomed me with open arms into The Franch family and she paired well with Dollar, who was very welcoming to newcomers as well.  One of my earliest memories at The Franch is of her grooming Dollar in front of his stall and I would pet him as I talked to her.  Dollar also shared a paddock with one of my crew, Flame and his brother, Blaze.  Dollar knew me well, because I would always talk to him in the paddock when I was visiting Flame.  My last memory of Dollar was again of Lizze grooming him at his stall and I pet him as I talked to her.  I’m so happy I had that opportunity, our time with them is so fleeting.

The original post by Steph and Lizze:

The Franch lost a very special 4-legged family member last week that had been with us for 14 years (longest horse boarded here). Mr. High Dollar touched every one of us out here in a very special way. You see…Dollar was blind and had a different way of communicating with us. He literally knew words and would listen to the sound of your voice for commands. To watch Dollar and Lizze Ferbert together was something incredible and very magical to witness between horse and human. Mr. High Dollar you will live in our hearts forever and will always be a part of us here at the Franch. RIP

Here is a very special tribute Liz Ferbert shared below…

Mr. High Dollar was a Walkaloosa gelding that entered my life in December of 1999, as a green 4-year-old. I started working him with a local trainer and life was good.
Boarding one summer in pasture with a big lake, Dollar and his herd of 4 or 5 other horses started to splash and cool off in the lake water which was downstream from cattle grazing pasture. That summer he starts tripping over ground poles in training. As his eyesight became worse, I had an equine ophthalmologist diagnose uveitis in both eyes, blindness occurred.
So since his blindness occurred fall of 2002 in his seventh year, Dollar lived an almost typical horse life. He turned out in “Electrobraid” fencing so he heard the fence boundary (after touching the hot fence once).

With the encouragement of my trainer, I kept riding Dollar. He trusted me, responding to voice and hand and seat aids. He not only hacked in the arena, but also loved walking out on local trails, through woods and streams, stepping over poles and logs. I did not know how he knew when we were riding back toward the barn but he always picked up the pace when heading toward the barn, anxious to get back to rest and grazing.

Dollar lived at the Nelson-Hixson Franch for 14 years. Everyone at the Franch was kind and helpful, always treated Mr. High Dollar with love and caring. And he did get to live a horse-happy life:
outside pasture-grazing in the fresh air and sunshine.

BULLET POINTS regarding a very special horse, Mr. High Dollar:
• Favorite word: WHOA
• When cleaning his hooves, after I picked up one for cleaning, he picked up the next hoof himself so it was ready for picking.
• Never pull his mane to shorten it because he hated that, shaking and tossing his head.
• He chose to dump the water buckets in his stall, spilling water everywhere, for fun. I had to install steel bucket holders to stop that.
• I was Blessed to be Dollar’s owner, to know him and love him. We had fun and that’s what it’s all about.

“When we’re gone, long gone, the only thing that matters is the love that we shared and the way that we cared” Emmylou Harris

Dollar and Liz

Lizze and her beloved, Mr. High Dollar

Franch Horse Spotlight-Timmy

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Timmy is one of my two rescue horses who now calls The Franch home.  He is a sweet loveable pocket pony who loves everyone.  He has never been ridden and I estimate his age to be around nine.  He was rescued from a severe neglect situation along with 63 other horses in Lewisville, Texas in 2009 by Anastasia Keyser of Hope for Horses Equine Rescue Inc.

Here is a before photo of a small group of the rescues back in October 2009:

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Timmy was less than a year old at the time, so he may have been too young to remember much of what happened, considering how much he trusts people.  Most of the rescues were Pony of the Americas, Haflingers and a few other breeds.  He has the coloring of a Halflinger, so I just like to say he’s half-Halflinger and half Pony of the Americas, but he’s just really my sweet, cute, funny little boy!

Hope for horses still has horses in need of adoption or sponsorship, check out their website at hopeforhorses.com.

Timmy in the pasture:

Timmyinthepasture

Timmy and his best friend, Frisco (my other rescue horse):

FriscoandTimmy

Timmy and me:

Timmyandme

 

Stallion Spotlight-Bay-Abi

Bay-Abi

Bay-Abi is the Arabian stallion who is the founder of the Varian Arabian dynasty.  Flame and Honey have him twice in their bloodline through both their dam, Fyrelite and sire, Spirit.

Sheila Varian was 19 years old, when Bay-Abi crossed her path in 1959.  She had little money, but big dreams.  With her mother, Wenonah’s help, Sheila bought Bay-Abi as a 2-year-old at auction at the first Arabian horse sale to be held at San Francisco’s Cow Palace. Sheila was to have a life long love affair with the beautiful bay stallion.

Sheila Varian and Bay-Abi:

SheilaVarianandBay-Abi

Bay-Abi crossed well with a variety of blood lines, but Sheila Varian noticed that several respected breeders were having good success crossing American-bred Arabians to Polish imports so she purchased three mares sight unseen directly from Poland in 1961 with the assistance of Englishwoman, Patricia Lindsay. This was all done through old-fashioned correspondence, so it was a risky proposition, to be sure.  It was worth the risk though, because Bay-Abi made breeding history with the three mares, Bachantka, Ostroga, and Naganka.

For more information on Bay-Abi, visit the Varian Arabians website.