The Red Filly-Chapter 2

            “So how was it? Did you have fun?” asked Helene as she pulled their old pickup onto the two-lane country road that bordered the front of Kuhaylah Arabians.

            “Yes, I had fun,” Bethany grinned.

            “How about some details?” Helene again prodded.

            “Mom, I had fun. I wish you wouldn’t interrogate me.”

            Helene sighed, “My new boss, Mr. Singh, invited us for dinner tonight.”

            “Mom, I just want to go home. I don’t want to go anywhere,” Bethany whined.

            “Bethany please, this is important to me. I really love my new job. You’ll like him. I promise.”

            “Okay. I don’t have a choice, do I?” said Bethany.

            Helene laughed, “Not really. Especially considering that he’s the one that arranged for you to get the job at Kuhaylah Arabians.”

            “He did?!”

            “I told you on the way to the ranch. I guess you didn’t hear me?”

            Bethany smiled at her mom but didn’t respond. She turned and just stared out the window as they drove down the country road into town. Her view consisted of field after field of mostly cows, occasional horses, and wood-frame houses. Many of the homes needed repairs and a new coat of paint. There wasn’t a lot of money in Dale City. Most people lived off the land or paycheck to paycheck, except for the lucky ones that worked at James Corp, the best employer in the small town, Bethany always heard the adults saying. But she didn’t care about any of that because her head was filled with dreams of galloping Fyrestorm across green pastures.

            As they reached the city limits, Bethany peered at the brick, ranch style houses, which were popular among the rural, middle class. She dreamed of living in a house like that, instead of the old trailer she lived in with her mom. Bethany’s stomach rumbled as they drove past McDonalds, Burger King and Dairy Queen; the three fast food chains that made up “restaurant row” in Dale City. Helene slowed the rambling truck to 35 mph as she pulled into the old downtown. She eased into one of the angled parking spots in front of a shop which bore the sign, Singh’s Antiques and Curiosities.

            Amir stepped out onto the walkway in front of his shop to greet Bethany and her mom as they exited the truck, the heavy metal doors screeching as they slammed them both shut. Amir Singh was Helene’s age, but unlike her, he was fit. His black hair was cropped short, but was full and a bit wavy, complementing his olive skin.

            “Helene, so happy you and your daughter could make it for dinner,” he greeted them with a smile.

            “Hello Amir, this is Bethany,” Helene said, waving an arm toward her daughter as Bethany stepped onto the sidewalk next to her mom.

            “You call your boss by his first name?” Bethany blurted out.

            “We’re informal around here,” said Amir with a smile as he extended his right hand toward her.

            Bethany looked at his hand for a moment, then reached out and took it. She shook it firmly as her dad had taught her before he left them. It was the only thing she ever learned from him. “Thank you for getting me the job at Kuhaylah Arabians,” she said.

            “Good handshake, Bethany! I’m happy to finally make your acquaintance. You’re welcome, but you got the job yourself. You must have made a good impression on Antonia. Let’s head inside. I hope you girls like the dinner I’ve prepared,” said Amir as he turned and walked toward his shop with Bethany and her mom following behind him.

            They walked through the shop, which was full of the standard antiques found in any small, Texas town. There were old wooden dressers with chips and scratches, ancient looking garden gnomes, decorative plates on little metal stands depicting women with big, old-fashioned dresses, and ceramic figurines in the shapes of cats and roosters and the like.

            “Everything is so old in here!” said Bethany.

            “Bethany!” Helene admonished.

            “It’s ok Helene. She’s right. Everything is old,” said Amir.

            “Well why would people want to buy old things? Asked Bethany.

            “That’s an excellent question, Bethany. I think sometimes old things comfort people. They remind them of a simpler time, I assume.”

            “That makes sense,” said Bethany as they reached a door in the back that Amir opened and led them through.

            “It smells funny in here,” said Bethany.

            “That’s because you’ve never smelled Indian spices before I’d wager. I’ve made us some butter chicken and some naan,” said Amir.

            “Just chicken with butter? And what’s naan?” asked Bethany.

            “Come, I’ll show you,” said Amir. They followed him through the back of the apartment to the kitchen. Amir lifted the lid of a large, silver pot on the stove. “Come look,” he invited.

            Bethany and Helene peered into the pot and saw chicken covered in a brownish sauce. “Oh, I like chicken and gravy,” said Bethany.

            “And here is the naan,” said Amir as he lifted a thin, white cloth from a plate on the counter.

            “Oh, it’s just flatbread. I love bread!” said Bethany.

            Amir placed the cloth back over the bread, and as he did that Bethany was distracted by a photograph on the wall just past the stove and near the kitchen table. It was a picture of Amir, although younger, smiling and standing next to a beautiful golden colored horse, with a blaze running down the length of its face. Bethany walked closer to the photo and said, “What’s wrong with that horse’s ears?”

            “There’s nothing wrong with Apollo’s ears. He’s a Marwari horse, their ears are supposed to curve inward.”

            “Mahr-wahr-ee? How do you spell that?” asked Bethany.

            “M-a-r-w-a-r-i,” Amir answered.

            “Marwari,” Bethany repeated, under her breath. “Apollo was beautiful. He was your horse?” asked Bethany.

            “It’s a long story. Let’s discuss it while we eat supper,” said Amir as he began to scoop the butter chicken onto three plates. He handed one of the plates to Bethany and he carried the other two to the table. “Helene, could you get the water pitcher from the fridge and fill three glasses for us?”

            Helene retrieved the Brita water pitcher and poured water into the three glasses that Amir had already placed on the table. Amir placed the plate of naan on the table after having microwaved it for a few seconds to warm it.

            The three of them sat down at the table, which had already been set with forks and napkins. Amir reached for the plate of naan and removed one of the flat breads before passing the plate onto Helene. He then ripped off a small piece of naan and used it to pick up some of the chicken and then began eating.

            Bethany asked, “You’re not going to use a fork?”

            “I’m eating in the traditional Indian way, but sometimes I use a fork too. I set the table with forks because I know that’s what you’re used to.”

            Bethany copied his technique and used a piece of bread to eat the butter chicken. “I like eating this way,” she said.

            “Well, I hope you two won’t be offended if I use a fork.” Helene smiled.

            “Suit yourself, Mom,” said Bethany.

            Amir smiled at Helene and then turned his attention to Bethany. “I’m very happy that my good friend Antonia gave you the job at the ranch. I used to work on a horse ranch in India,” said Amir.

            “You did? Is that where you met Apollo?” asked Bethany.

            “Yes, he was a prized Marwari stallion in those days. I miss him very much.”

            “What happened to him?”

            “He left this world some time ago. That picture was from another time, many years before you were born. Tell me about your job,” finished Amir.

            “Oh, I’m going get paid to work at the stable, plus get free riding lessons! But I’m most excited about the beautiful Arabian filly my mom and I saw running in the pasture today! No one has ridden her because she came from a ranch in Wyoming where she ran wild all her life.”

            “I see. Apollo was wild when I first saw him too,” said Amir.

            “Really?! So, you gained his trust?! I mean, you must have since you have the picture!” exclaimed Bethany.

            “Yes, and that’s the story I mentioned earlier. Apollo was found running wild in the hills on the outskirts of the ranch where I worked. It took four men to capture him, and no one could control him. He was practically dragged onto the ranch double lassoed by a rider on each side and two riders driving him from behind. When I first laid eyes on him, I was about your age and in awe, just like you and the filly. I watched from one of the paddocks where I had been re-filling water troughs as Apollo screamed and reared in the air, fighting the riders with all his might. They managed to drive him into a large round pen, with 10-foot-high wooden sides and shut the gate behind him. I could hear him still screaming and galloping around the pen, looking for a means of escape. The men left, laughing, and talking because they felt immense pride at capturing such a magnificent stallion. After they were gone, I went to the gate to look at the horse. He was glorious even lathered in sweat and with the two lariats still hanging from his powerful neck. His golden coat gleamed in the evening sun and his cream-colored mane and tail flowed like banners. He was the most beautiful Marwari horse I had ever seen. He was standing still by that time, but his sides heaved from exhaustion. The great horse watched me with alert eyes which contained no trust for humans. I ran and filled a bucket with water, returning as quickly as I could. The great stallion watched as I gently placed the bucket down just inside the gate. I stepped back and the horse sniffed the air with flared nostrils. His thirst was great, so he stepped toward the bucket, never taking his eyes off me. He reached the bucket, snorted a warning at me and then plunged his muzzle into the cool water, gulping madly in his thirst. He drained the bucket, so I moved forward to reach in and grab it. He wheeled around and screamed again as he bolted to the farthest end of the pen. I retrieved more water and also brought hay. Thus began the lengthy process of my befriending the greatest Marwari stallion that ever lived.”

“So, I can do it! I can gain Fyrestorm’s trust!”

“Yes, but it took several months. You must be patient. The filly is Arabian and like the Marwari, somewhat hot-blooded. You will have to earn her trust. In fact, the two breeds are related. Marwari horses were infused with Arabian blood early in their history. According to legend, an Arabian ship containing seven Arabian stallions wrecked off the coast of India and were taken to the Marwar region to be used as bloodstock for the Marwari breed. The Marwari and Arabian horses are the most ancient breeds in the world, and both carried warriors into battle,” said Amir.

            “Warriors? That’s so cool!” said Bethany.

            “Very cool, indeed. My ancestors were Rajput warriors, so I believe I was born with a love for the Marwari horse,” said Amir.

            “So, what is the filly’s name, and why did they bring a wild horse from Wyoming in the first place?” asked Helene.

            “Her name is Fyrestorm, with a y, and I don’t know, I’ll ask Strider next time I see him,”

            “So, it was fate that she is here and that you came into her life. I believe remarkable things are on the horizon for you and Fyrestorm,” said Amir.

Sheila Varian-Dreamer and Doer

Sheila and Farlotta

Not too long ago a fellow horse loving friend loaned me the DVD, “The Legacy of Sheila Varian”. He said, “You’ll love this because it’s all about Arabians,” or something along those lines. I didn’t watch it right away because I figured it was a boring documentary about some rich lady and her horse farm. I finally popped it in a week or two later and found myself drawn in by this woman, who was the quintessential dreamer of dreams!

Sheila Varian did not come from a rich family. She fell in love with Arabians the same way I did, through reading the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. Her parents weren’t horse people but supported her dreams and at the age of eight she started riding her first horse, a Morgan/Percheron mix and because money was tight, learned to ride bareback. She didn’t acquire her first saddle until the age of twelve.

Horses were in Sheila’s blood, heart and soul from the start and while working as a high school physical education teacher, she worked toward her dream. Farlotta was her first Arabian and most beloved of all. When Farlotta passed on to the rainbow bridge at the young age of seven due to health problems, Sheila was holding her cherished mare’s head in her arms.

Sheila later acquired the mare Ronteza, who would set Sheila on her way toward creating her legacy. In 1961 Sheila and Ronteza won the Open Reined Cow Horse Championship at The Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. She was the first amateur, the first woman and had the first Arabian to take the title.

Through acquiring mares from Poland and careful breeding over the years, Sheila Varian created the dynasty that is now known as Varian Arabians. Her is a link for the video that tells the story of this great lady and her legacy:

The Legacy of Sheila Varian

At one point in the documentary Sheila talked about following your dreams. I can’t remember the exact quote, but what she said really made an impression on me. This woman was not rich, or beautiful (in the traditional sense), but she was driven. I’m sure she encountered pain and roadblocks along the way, but she didn’t let that stop her. She lived the life she wanted and that is inspiring!

Sheila and Ronteza

Marwari-The Desert Horse of India

The Marwari is a rare and ancient breed of horse that originated in the Marwar region of western India. The breed is easily recognizable due to its inwardly curved ears. The Marwari is believed to be descended from the warhorses of the Rajput warriors of the Marwar region.

The origins of the Marwari horse are uncertain, but the breed is likely to have been influenced by Turkoman type horses brought to the area by Mughul invaders, as well as the Arabian horse. There is an Indian legend that seven Arabian horses of good breeding were shipwrecked off the shore of the Kachchh District and were taken to the Marwar region to be used as foundation bloodstock for the Marwari. Like the Arabian, the Marwari is know for its hardiness and also like the Arabian they were bred as warhorses. They were renowned for their courage in battle and loyalty to their riders. It was said that a Marwari horse would only leave a battle under three conditions; victory, death, or carrying its master to safety.

Maharana Pratap on Chetak, Moti MagriUdaipur, by Ankur P

Chetak was a legendary Marwari horse. The grey stallion purportedly carried Maharana Pratap to safety after he slayed the last of the Moghuls in the battle of Haldighati. The courageous stallion was said to have been brave enough to take on an elephant and reared so that Pretap was able to kill the Moghul who sat atop the war elephant. Chetak was mortally wounded by the elephant’s tusks, but he carried his master to safety, traveling many miles before dying near a river.

The Marwari were almost eliminated during the British rule of India during the early 1900s. The British preferred their thoroughbreds and polo ponies and ridiculed the horses with the inward turning ears. Even after independence from Britain, the Marwari horse was still endangered because war horses were no longer needed and many of the Indian nobleman who bred them had lost their land.

The Marwari horse was on the verge of extinction until Maharaja Umaid Singhji stepped in to save them and his work was continued by his grandson, Maharaja Gaj Singh II.

Later in 1995 a British horsewoman named Francesca Kelly founded the group, Marwari Bloodlines. Then, along with her husband, Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod, they led a group in 1999 that founded the Indigenous Horse Society of India which helps promote and preserve the breed.

Ashwarya aka Rae Rae

Ashwarya who is named after a Bollywood actress is currently residing at The Kentucky Horse Park and she was donated to the park by Francesca Kelly. She’s the only Marwari horse in the U.S. presently as far as I can tell due to the fact that India does not allow the export of the breed at this time. According to my research, Francesca Kelly has since moved the rest of her Marwari brood to the UK. If anyone is aware of others in the U.S. I’d love to hear from you.

Hard at Work on the Next #TimmyTale

WritingaTimmyTale

On the surface, writing seems like it would be easy. I mean, you just sit there in front of a computer or relax in a chair while you write in a spiral notebook… How hard could that be? It’s not like laying concrete in 90 degree heat after all.  Yet so many of us writers seem to find it so hard to do.

When I was in my twenties, I couldn’t understand where writers got their ideas. But now in “middle age” (I’m 54), I have more ideas than I can possibly put into book form in one lifetime, so that shuts me down.

too-many-choices-paralyzes-progress

Too many choices paralyses progress.  Here’s a good article on the subject:

Too Many Choices: Problems With Searching for an Extraordinary Life

And for me, it’s not just writing, but being interested in so many things (like I think a lot or writers are), such as; astronomy, artificial intelligence, physics, it goes on and on…

Unlike the guy in the article, I didn’t have a childhood with choices or support, in fact, I mostly just had to survive my childhood.  But now, I do have choices, which has become a problem.  So because I can’t choose, for now, I’m going to keep writing Timmy Tales or other horse related short stories and horse related articles, because one constant in my life has always been horses.  Not that I had them growing up, but I read everything I could get my hands on about them, fiction or non-fiction and I watched every movie and tv show that had horses whether or not I liked the show itself.

So for now, I choose horses (and all my other 4-legged loves).

Joey and Chandler approve of this post:

JoeyandChandlerwriterhelpers

Book Review-Joey by Jennifer Bleakley

Joey Book Cover

Joey is the biography of a horse, but not a famous horse like Man O’ War or Seabiscuit, just a regular horse that was saved from bad circumstances and in return rescued his rescuers.  Everyone who ever meets Joey can’t help but fall in love.  Joey had been a show horse early on, but after an injury ended his show career he was passed from owner to owner and eventually ended up in a neglectful situation, which often happens to horses who are considered no longer “useful”.  At some point during this time he went completely blind, which was probably due to malnutrition.

Along comes Kim Tschirret who has a dream to unite troubled horses with troubled kids and Hope Reins is born. Joey along with another Appaloosa, named Speckles, arrive together at the fledgling therapy horse ranch to be among the first group of horses to help troubled kids.  The volunteers at the ranch, along with Kim, learn as they go and have to face special challenges brought on by a blind horse like Joey.  The book is inspiring because they learn and adapt to Joey’s needs as well as the needs of the children entrusted to their care.

There is a strong Christian theme to this book, which I thought might be off-putting for me because I am not particularly religious; although I do believe in a higher power.  But, it’s actually heartwarming following the main players and how each of them addresses their individual faiths and hope in God and the miracle that is Hope Reins.

Warning; tears will be shed in the reading of this book.  Sometimes the tears will be because of sadness, but mostly because the book is heartwarming.  Reading this book strengthened my belief in the something more that all of us can have faith in and the ability of some people to truly access the goodness with themselves.  I highly recommend this book for horse lovers and anyone who wants further evidence that there is true kindness to be found amongst the humans.

This book was a gift from my beloved Franch horses:

Joey Inside Book Cover

Pretty sure my dear friend, Julz, helped them pick it out! 😉

Bargain Table Horse Books and Arabians

IMG_4353

It seems that every horse coffee table book I’ve ever picked up from a book store bargain table always includes Arabian horses.  I started thinking about this because I was disappointed that the book pictured above doesn’t contain one of my favorite breeds, Marwari.  But then I thought, well, I guess it would be pretty impossible to include every breed of horse in every coffee table book.  But then I thought further and realized they always include Arabians.  (At least the ones I’ve seen.)

This book even has one section completely devoted to them:

IMG_4354

While the rest of the breeds are grouped into categories:

IMG_4355

A quote from the book: “With his tiny curved ears, large liquid eyes, extravagantly dished face and luxurious mane and tail, the Arabian is the horse of dreams.”

Another quote: “This beautiful ancient breed is thought to go as far back as 3000BC and has strongly influenced many of today’s more modern breeds of horse.”

I’ve been aware for some time that the Arabian horse influenced many other breeds, most notably the thoroughbred through the three foundation stallions;

The Byerley Turk:

270px-Byerly_Turk
The Byerley Turk by John Wootton

The Darley Arabian:

Darley_Arabian
The Darley Arabian stallion painting by John Wootton

And the Godolphin Arabian (my personal favorite):

Godolphin_Arabian
The Godolphin Arabian, by George Stubbs

(I’ll write more about these three Arabians in another post.)  I was surprised to learn that Arabians also directly influenced the American Quarter Horse.  Growing up in Texas, it always seemed that Quarter Horse owners and Arabian owners are of different mindsets.  It still seems that way actually. So other than a little Arabian blood coming through to the American Quarter Horse via early Thoroughbred foundation stallions, I had no idea that there were full blooded Arabians among the early Quarter Horses until I read an article in the December 2018 issue of Equus that mentioned two Crabbet-bred Arabians who were direct sire-line descendants of Mesaoud, one of the foundation sires of the Crabbet Arabian Stud in England.

Mesaoud
Mesaoud at Crabbet Park

The stallions were Astraled and Ribal:

Astraled

ribal2

I never tire of learning about Arabian horses and their influence on other breeds and their appearance throughout human history.  I have much more to learn about the Arabian horse, but as in everything I love, I am a life-long learner.  I welcome comments and additional information as I know this blogpost just barely scratches the surface. I’m learning as I write!

Timmy and the Girl-A Timmy Tale

Just for fun I’m going to write a series of short stories centered around my little rescue horse, Timmy. Here’s the first one! Timmy is just so cute I felt compelled to write stories about him! Hope you guys like it!

CuteTimmyatcar
Timmy

Gina shimmied under a low spot beneath the white, pipe fence separating the front pasture of Kuhaylah Arabians from the road, and the pony trotted right up to her as always.  She pulled the carrot from her pocket and, not wasting any time, he took the entire treat in his mouth before the rest of the herd noticed.  The pony was the smallest of the bunch and not a purebred, like the rest of them. He was a cutie though, a beautiful coppery, golden color, with a dishwater blonde mane and tail and a jagged, white, blaze running the full length of his face to the tip of his nose.  And on this lovely Spring day, his slick coat glistened in the sun.  The pony didn’t leave after he finished the carrot, but stayed with Gina.  She was drawn to him because she was an outsider in her circles too.  And, like him, she had dishwater blonde hair, although it was cuter on him in her opinion. Gina felt less than cute with her skinny body, and long, stringy, often tangled, hair.

Gina spoke softly to the pony, rubbing his neck and scratching his cheek, the way he liked. “I love you little boy, I wish I could stay here with you,” she said as she started to cry.  She hugged his neck as the events of the previous day came crashing back into her brain.

“We have to add Gina Targoff to the list,” Chet whispered.

“Of course! She should be at the top!” responded Cassie, in a louder whisper. Chet, Cassie, and their minions all giggled.

Gina was keeping her head down, pretending to read whatever textbook she had opened in front of her.  She refused to cry; she would not show them weakness.  Even though Gina knew they were whispering loud enough for her to hear on purpose.  Samuel James Middle School was almost a daily exercise in humiliation.  She fought back the tears though…

“Yeah Gina is definitely the ugliest girl in the school,” said Chet.

They all laughed again.

The golden pony put his head on Gina’s shoulder as if he was trying to comfort her.  She hugged him tighter and just let the tears flow until there were no more, but she continued to hug him, just taking in his horsey scent and allowing it and the quiet to calm her mind.

“Timmy has really taken to you,” said a voice behind Gina. One with the slightest hint of an accent, an accent from another country though, not rural Texan as Gina had grown accustomed to.

Gina straightened and jumped back a step from the pony in one quick move.

“I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be here,” said Gina looking up at the woman astride a black, Arabian stallion, solid black save a small white star on his forehead.

“Come closer girl,” said the woman.

Gina walked toward her and saw that she was probably around her mother’s age. She was beautiful, with an exotic look about her.  She had her long brown hair pulled back with a black velvet scrunchy.  But then Gina’s eyes were drawn back to the horse.  So much like the black stallion she had read about, except the one in the books was solid black. But this stallion before her had the same wild look of the one in the books; thick black mane, forelock blowing in the breeze about his face, and a thick, flowing tail.  He pranced about a bit and snorted a couple of times.  The woman said something to him that Gina couldn’t quite hear, and he settled down.

“What is your name?” asked the woman.

“Gina…Gina Targoff,” Gina answered. “Please don’t have me arrested. I’ll never come on your property again.”

The woman laughed. But in a lilting way, not in a, you’re darn right you’re going to jail, kinda way.

“I was actually thinking of offering you a job. I’ve watched you with Timmy. You two have formed quite a bond.”

“Timmy, a cute name, for a cute little boy!” said Gina.

The woman laughed again.  “My name is Antonia Silva and I am the owner of this ranch.  So, what about the job?” Antonia asked.

“I don’t know anything about horses or ranches,” Gina answered.

“Do you know how to drag a water hose or carry buckets?”

“Umm, yes…” answered Gina.

“Okay, good.  We’ll start with that,” Antonia smiled.

Gina smiled back and then jumped when something firm and soft rubbed the small of her back. She spun around and little Timmy nuzzled her chest.   Gina reached out and stroked his face.

“He loves you and trusts you.  You’re a natural with horses,” said Antonia.

“He’s so sweet. May I ask how he came to be here among…” began Gina.

“…among all these purebred Arabians?” said Antonia finishing her sentence.

“Well…yes.  Is it rude to ask?” said Gina.

Antonia laughed again. A sound like music to Gina. “No, it’s not rude, Gina.  He was my horse, when I was a young girl in Brazil. The story of how he and I came to be here in this small north Texas town is a long one,” Antonia said with a smile on her face.  “Spend a little more time with Timmy and then head up to the big house and I’ll show you around,” said Antonia as she wheeled her black stallion around and galloped up the hill toward the house.

Gina watched the beautiful woman in control of such a magnificent animal and couldn’t help wishing that could be her one day.  She turned back to Timmy and gave him a hug. “Did you hear that boy? Now I can see more of you and no more sneaking around!” One of the chestnut Arabian mares had come closer, curious about this skinny, young girl in the big pasture.  Timmy laid back his ears and turning on a dime chased her off as if to say, “This is my girl!”

Gina laughed, for the first time since she could remember. It had been a long, emotional journey from Dallas to Dale City. Even though they were only an hour apart, they were years apart in cultures, and the students of Samuel James Middle School did not respond well to a newcomer.  For the very first time in a long time, Gina felt like she was where she belonged.

Al Khamsa (The Five)

AlKhamsabiggerversion

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

IMG_3658

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