While 2020 was not an easy year, there was always time to celebrate the joy that Arabian horses bring into our lives. Take a look back at a few of our favorite member submitted stories, to bring you some holiday cheer.
A Horse Named Harvey
Submitted by Marsha Moore
I was in my 30's and always wanted a horse. My husband, Ron, found a 4 year old Pure Polish Arabian named BiHarbit, and purchased him as a Christmas gift for me. We lived in Alaska, and I had been exercising "Harvey" for weeks, unknown to me, that he would become mine. H
e was a handful and had very little training, but was the most beautiful, dappled gray horse and I fell in love with him. On Christmas morning, I went to the stables to enjoy giving the horses a Christmas carrot, and was totally shocked when a recording sounding similar to "Mr. Ed", began telling me, "Hello, my name is Harvey, and I want to be your horse." !!! My husband and friends came from around the corner and wished me Merry Christmas. Happy tears! From that
day on, I could not have been a happier girl. BiHarbit "Harvey" was my dream come true. When my husband retired, we moved from Alaska to Texas and Harvey made the trip by Alaska Airlines and then truck. He had always been a show horse, and then we transitioned to trail riding as we both aged.
I had him for 23 years and had to put him down at Christmastime, at the age of 26. He is buried on our lititle piece of land in Sunrise Beach, Texas. I still miss him terribly and was always on the lookout for another "Harvey". I found another 4 year Arabian for sale,
and I was drawn to him by the way he moved and the fact that he was partially gray. I showed the video of "Emilio" to my husband, and Ron bought him for a Mother's Day gift for me. When we received his papers, I noticed that Emilio, my new horse, and Harvey, from years before, shared the same bloodlines! No wonder I fell in love with "Mr EM". Happy tears again.
Star Leads the Way
Submitted by Nyssa Sheridan
As a teenager, most of my riding experience was on program horses at a local summer camp. I started realizing the horses I loved riding the most were Arabians or part-Arabian horses. I loved their stamina, beauty, soundness, and willingness to please. They adapted to all of their riders and were always up for an adventure. Perhaps this love of Arabian was genetic. My grandparents had bred Arabians for many years, but the horses were pretty much dispersed by the time I was in the picture, although there are a number of photos of young me sitting on various horses from their program as a very young child.
This led me on the hunt for my first horse, which my dad and grandmother purchased for me. She was a lovely purebred Arabian mare named Star Runner. Star was smart and taught me many lessons about how to ride a sensitive, yet sensible Arabian mare. We logged many trail miles together and even competed in a trail trial once. My next Arabian mare, Dancing Gdynia, came to me in college through a mutual acquaintance. While I was boarding Dancing Gdynia near my college, the barn owner suggested I try riding her dressage. One thing led to another and I slowly began to embark in a switch from trail riding and western saddles to trying out that dressage thing.
2011 brought a new adventure with the arrival of Dancing Gdynia’s foal, No Greater Honor “Chili”. I wanted the chance to show a young horse in-hand and through Chili, I met many of my new Arabian horse friends. My very first show was the Iowa Gold Star Futurity! Talk about jumping in the deep end. Chili also proved to be an excellent dressage prospect and this former trail rider found herself wearing polos and khakis and learning how to show sport horse in hand and dressage. What I love most about my Arabians is that they have been game for any adventure. Trail riding, western dressage, dressage, learning to drive, trick training, and more. My Arabians have always been up to learning new skills and together, we have been achieving new dreams. In 2019, as an amateur owned, trained, and shown horse, Chili went to Arabian Sport Horse Nationals and earned four national top ten titles. A wonderful achievement that I doubt I would have ever thought about on those plentiful trail miles with my first Arabian, Star.
Trial by Tyler
Submitted by Kay Mott
Photo by Vintage Farms Photography
Little did I know 4 years ago that I would begin a journey with a horse that would so exceed my expectations on all we could and will continue to accomplish together as a team. It was a rocky start, beginning with an 8 hour trip home and not being able to back him off my peanut size trailer once we got
home. I distinctly remember my husband saying to
me "are you sure you can handle him"? And no, in those initial moments I felt overwhelmed at the task of learning to understand Tyler. Thus, our journey began for me to learn what made him who he was. We embarked on a path to begin to understand how the horse thinks, from herd animal to prey animal.
We ventured on trail rides, horse shows, dressage lessons and shows, worked hunter over fences, Hunter Paces and clinics with awesome clinicians to help educate me more so than him. My takeaway, perhaps with this breed more than any other is that they are thinkers, they figure things out very quickly and will become the most responsive partner if we ask correctly and don't react incorrectly. Finding great clinicians to help me understand this key element at my age was so instrumental in developing our bond as well as the infinite patience of my horse friends who have become an amazing and integral part of our journey.
Tyler's exuberance for life and the newfound sense of trust and adventure we have vs fear are so incredibly rewarding. We have become a team and are so bonded I cannot imagine my life without him. It may not always be an easy journey, but it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever accomplished in my life to see the relationship I am developing with this beautiful creature. We will with God's grace will have many more years of adventure to come!