When J first agreed that I could get a horse, I started shopping online, familiarizing myself with lineage, ability, costs and looks. It had been so long since I owned a horse (almost 20 years) and my last horse was such a horrible choice, that I was committed to not making the same mistakes twice. I knew I wanted an Arabian. They were the only horses I looked at.
Why an Arabian?
I have been in love with Arabians since the first time I visited Azhderarian Arabians in Van Nuys, California. They were neighbors to my Grandparent's gas station and we were invited over because I was horse crazed. There I met Azh Naborr, the last born, living stallion son of Naborr. He was a stunning grey and we almost leased a mare in foal to him, which would have given me an pure-bred Arabian when I was nine. Alas, we did not. I was, however, given a membership directory to the Arabians in Southern California - a 200 page, picture-filled packet of horse eye candy for me to peruse and dream about.
Then, when I was living in Southern California in my early twenties, I worked briefly for a small breeder to later move to Lancaster, CA. He owned a Bey Shah colt and had a small stable of brood mares. I worked with the foals, handling them, teaching them to lead, grooming and picking their feet. It was part-time work at best, and although I enjoyed interacting with the foals, I was not crazy about the sexual harrassment and constant barrage of pointed suggestions I grace the owner's bed as a condition of my employment.
When I moved to Colorado, I quickly found people who had horses I could ride. Many of them I rode because no one else could, and managed to work them into decent horses within a couple of months. In 1991, I decided to purchase a horse and ended up buying a National Show Horse (Arab and Saddlebred). It was a horrible decision and a bad purchase. She was sweet but shortwired in her head and we just never really clicked. I ended up selling her in 1993 before she killed someone.
So, when I decided to start shopping, a well-bred Arabian was the only horse on my list. And here are my top reasons why.
1. I love the looks and lines of an Arabian. They are sleek and well-muscled. They are well put together. I love the dish face and the wide, gentle eyes. I love the tippy ears and the broad forehead.
2. Movement. Arabians have movement without coaching or training or effort. They float and bounce and flirt with the wind when they move.
3. They are very expressive in movement and mannerisms. I love the WTF snort when Ashke is startled. I know we haven't even begun to stretch his ability to go, and so far it seems as though there is no quit in the boy. Long distance is what they are designed to do.
4. They are incredibly smart. Ashke isn't afraid to experience new things. He loves to look around. He loves to explore new paths and is okay going out by himself. Once he knows what is being asked of him, he is more than willing to do what is expected.
5. They are very connected to their people. This breed, more than any other breed of horse in the world, has been bred and raised to be trusted companions with their humans. The Bedoiun housed them in their own tents, as hand-raised members of their families. And just like cats have never forgotten they were worshipped as gods and goddesses in Eygpt, Arabians have never forgotten they were royalty.