WORDS OF WISDOM Getting Started with the Proud Breed
Be happy with small improvements over each generation while you make your way up; in the end you will have created a better foundation in your product. Breed type to type. Know your pedigrees and know your dams in those pedigrees. Use stallions that come out of beautiful dam lines. Take your time and visualize the product before it’s born. If you did well, it should be close to what you visualized. When you believe in a combination, do it three times. Judge your product at three days, three weeks, three months, and three years — and like it each time. Don’t breed for market, but breed for yourself to keep. Whatever does not come out for yourself as you visualized it, sell. Be firm in your decision to geld and to let go. Concentrate on what you know and what you have worked with. As much as possible, let other people test and fail. Learn and pick what you know works — no need for everyone to try to find that new golden combination. Keep things simple.
//BART VAN BUGGENHOUT, ALJASSIMYA FARM, SANTA YNEZ, CALIFORNIA, AND DOHA, QATAR
TOMMY GARLAND ABOARD JAZZAA ALJASSIMYA (WH JUSTICE X TOSCANA PGA).
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SAVOR THE GREAT AND EXCITING DAYS OF THE
BIRTH OF A NEW FOAL, A CHAMPIONSHIP WIN, A
THRILLING RIDE. YOU WILL NEED THEM WHEN THE OCCASIONAL DIFFICULTIES OF LIVING OUT YOUR DREAMS OVERWHELM YOUR BEST EFFORTS.
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MELONIE BEHAN AND LANAKEN RCA (THEE DESPERADO X MISHAALS KISS RCA).
The advice I would give to those buying their first Arabian horse is directed more to our great Arabian breeders and professionals. As the American market heats up, they are finding themselves communicating with more potential first-time horse buyers. “It is our responsibility try to help first-time horse buyers get the right first horse. Then, the odds of them falling in love with the Arabian horse and becoming contributing members of the breed are excellent. If they get the wrong first horse, not much good will come. “About seven years ago, I got a call from a lady who asked about a particular two-year-old colt. She had seen his photo on our website and was head over heels in love. This is a great example of the kind of inquiries that a lot of us get. They see a horse on a Facebook page and begin follow a farm’s page, then that takes them to other farm pages. This is the only information
they have when they contact a breeder or trainer. “Most don’t say, ‘I have never owned a horse.’ I love Jeeps, and when I go to the dealership, I don’t tell the guy, ‘I am a blonde, and I don’t know anything about buying a Jeep.’ I have purchased four Jeeps, and I did not buy from the cocky salesman that tried to sell me the shiny black Jeep Liberty, good on the highway with all the bells and whistles. He never asked me what my need was. I live on a gravel road that has a low water crossing. The salesman who asked me how I would be using a new Jeep was the one that sold me my fourth, a four-wheel drive Jeep Wrangler. I will someday buy a fifth vehicle from him. “Back to the lady who wanted to buy the two-year-old colt. If someone is asking about a colt, we are all going to think they must know what they are doing, right? The lady and her husband flew to A H W > 60 < 0 7. 1 8
the farm to see the colt. I knew the moment I met them I would love these people. The colt showed off great, but as we began to talk I found that the wife had a horse as a kid, while the husband had never touched one. They have no horses, no mare planned to breed to this colt, and no experience with a stallion. Her dream was to have a white stallion that she could ride and that they would board close to home in Michigan. “I had no doubt that they wanted to buy this colt on that day. So, I am asking myself, do sell them this colt? Or take the chance of crushing this nice lady’s dream and tell her she has no business owning this colt, or any colt for that matter. “As the colt tried to bite the husband for the second time, I decided to give them the ‘this is not the one for you’ talk, and boy, was the husband relieved. I started to explain what we do with the fillies, and we began a great friendship. “This couple has since purchased two exceptional fillies. The wife selected both as little foals at their dam’s side. The first filly went on to be Egyptian Event Gold Champion Filly and their second was Silver Champion Straight Egyptian Mare at the Scottsdale International Show. Lanaken RCA will have her first foal soon. They loved winning, but more than that, they love their horses and are dedicated to the future of the breed. “As professionals, if we can do one thing for the future of the breed, it is to ensure that new people get the right first horse. Encourage them to start small and grow slowly and learn all they can about these amazing animals that will enrich their lives in ways they never dreamed of.
//SHAWN CREWS, ARABIANS LTD., WACO, TEXAS
Wait! When you are breeding your own foal. Wait to see what your prospective sire looks like — and behaves like — as an adult horse. Or use one that is already an adult; maybe there is a youngster that looks ‘perfect’ now — but his disadvantages may become apparent over time. Or his strengths. Knowing where the glitches are at least means you can think to try and avoid them! Wait until you see some of his babies grow beyond the foal stage. Everyone is in such a hurry to get ahead that we are only breeding for yearlings and discarding the older horses in the rush for the next Facebook sensation. Arabians are at their best as adults and this is when you should make your final opinion of them and their breeding capacity.
//EMMA MAXWELL, LONDON, ENGLAND 2018 COLT CELESTINO (ES SARAB X CELIA DEL SUR).
In my lifetime I have been so very lucky to be involved with a variety of equine pursuits. For example, rodeo riding bareback horses, roping, winning the Peruvian Paso trail at Del Mar, winning the donkey jack halter at Bishop Mule Days, jumping three and a half feet sidesaddle, four feet with a mule, five feet with an Olympic jumper, driving a team of mules, gambler’s trail in the cart and in the saddle, doing gymkhana, riding Arabs, Quarter Horses, Dutch Warmbloods, Swedish Warmbloods, Trakehners, Fox Trotters, and a number of other breeds, and teaching for over 30 years in Europe. What I have found is this: “We horse people have a special bond that the ‘others’ (non-horse people) do not understand. The bond that happens when we are around the horse is pure magic. All of us should treat others as we would like to be treated, but it is truly important with fellow horse people. Why? Because this is our extended family. Be kind, show respect to your horses, and to your extended family.
LOU ROPER WITH EL MONACO (EL CHALL WR X FIRST PPROVIDENCE).
//LOU ROPER, THE ROPER RANCH, INC., SAN MARCOS, CALIFORNIA
My advice to breeders is to do your homework thoroughly before you commit to start a breeding program. Visit as many Arabian horse breeding farms as is possible to establish the style of Arabian that one prefers, be it straight Egyptian (my preference), or Polish, or Spanish, and establish what you would wish to do with the horse, such as ride endurance, or halter showing, or just enjoying the beautiful horse. “The next point is for one to learn what constitutes good conformation. For example, for legs: big round hooves, short cannon bones, flat oval knees, etc. “The third point is to establish the amount of money you can spend on a horse, and buy the best you can afford. It is much better to pay for one good Arabian than five average horses. “If you are looking at breeding stock, if it is possible, see siblings of the horse that you like. If the horse is a mixed pedigree, there is less chance that the type is established, and the animal might be a once-off and not a great breeding prospect. Therefore, it is better to see the siblings, parents, and as many generations as possible.
//MARION RICHMOND, SIMEON STUD, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
MARION RICHMOND WITH FOAL.
DIRK AND KIM JOHNSON WITH CEDARLANE GAY-GI (ABU BAHA X GIGI), MISS NATEZA (ABU FARWA X NATEZA), AND MULAANA (JEZAAN X MULETTA).
Find mentors to work with who have experience with Arabians and understand the breed, who have not even a hint of abuse in their methods. Savor the great and exciting days of the birth of a new foal, a championship win, a thrilling ride. You will need them when the occasional difficulties of living out your dreams overwhelm your best efforts. If you decide to become a breeder, never sacrifice correct phenotype for a potential great pedigree when you are considering breeding crosses. If you decide
to go into the ‘business,’ treat potential entry-level owners as precious as the ones looking at your most expensive horse. Price your horses fairly — would you be willing to pay this for your horse if you did not have an emotional attachment? Always, always, look for and breed for disposition for a family horse to help dispel the ‘crazy Arabian’ myth, and cull those that have difficult temperaments. Life is too short not to spend it with horses that have beautiful minds as well as beautiful bodies.
//KIM JOHNSON, BELESEMO ARABIANS, CALDWELL, IDAHO
After I had acquired my first Arabian, I decided that I wanted to breed these magnificent animals. I did a lot of listening to many people — trainers, breeders and owners — before I began to purchase horses for my program. Whether you are buying to breed or just ride, conformation is critical, but disposition is just as important to me. It is much more enjoyable to be around a horse that wants to be with you and please you. These horses have so much heart and will give you their all. If you are looking for a riding prospect, visit reputable breeders. They know their program and can show you horses that will fit your needs. Choose a trainer that excels in the discipline you like and that is kind to the horses. Buying an Arabian horse is the beginning of an incredible journey; take your time, listen to your heart, and enjoy them for the wonderful breed they are.
//HOLLY DILLIN, WESTERN CROSS RANCH, WEATHERFORD, TEXAS HOLLY DILLIN WITH WC CIAO BELLA (XCEPTSHAHN X JE ALI SELENE). A H W > 63 < 0 7. 1 8