Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Arabian Dressage Horse

This was my first serious dressage competition horse. She was a purebred Arabian mare, and for you Arab owners and lovers, she was an Ivanhoe Tsultan daughter out of a pure Crabbet mare. For those of you who are not familiar with Arab bloodlines, she had really good breeding for dressage.

She was lovely, and I had her for 14 years. I actually saw her for the first time two years before I bought her, and her initial trainer had her earmarked to be a western pleasure horse, and even had shown her a couple times in "maiden" western pleasure classes, with a bit of success, but he also was a good enough trainer that he followed the training scale principles, even though he had probably never heard of it.

But when I tried her, I knew she had the qualities I was looking for....she was forward, and calm, and naturally pretty balanced for an Arab. I was actually looking more for the breeding than what kind of training the horse had. She also had an awesome disposition. She was an amazing horse. She would go anywhere, preferred the company of humans over horses, was bonded to me wholeheartedly, she was great at shows, didn't mind being by herself, calm, trusting, willing, and had so much "try" in her, that I swear she would do anything.

This is the horse that I could let loose to graze and would stay around the house before we had fencing, looking through the windows every now and then to make sure we were still around; would lower her head for a small child to put the bridle on; knew when a person had a learning or physical disability and would adjust herself to accomodate that person in whatever way they needed; would puff up in the show arena and bang out a relaxed and flawless test after just almost getting run over by the 17hh fire-breathing-dragon in the warm-up ring (and best that ruddy-warmblooded-horse, just for good measure LOL); who would give true collection and self-carriage to a student, if she sensed that is what they were trying for, even if the aids were not quite there, but would absolutely not transition from walk to trot if she felt that the rider could not balance, even if they were giving the aids for that transition....I could go on and on. She was self-assured, but incredibly generous to her humans. And that is an inherent trait in Arabs. I love them for that. A well-trained Arab is the consummate amateur's mount. They are intelligent, and sensitive, and generous of nature. They can do anything pretty well, and some things they can do better than anyone. :-)
I still miss her. She was put down in 2004, just after the hurricanes (which she weathered with the grace and courage that made her who she was) due to complications from Cushings Disease, and she is buried in her front pasture.

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