Myths and Legends
The Myth that a Stallion must be Shown to High Achievements to be worthy of being a Stallion:
[You must send your stallion to an Internationally recognized trainer and show it to the highest honors in order for this stallion to make any money or prove him worthy of breeding mares.]
Many stallions have been shown to the National Level holding the prestigious titles of Legion of Supreme Merit, Legion of Supreme Honor, etc. yet haven't bred more than a handful of mares each. Two straight Egyptian stallions immediately coming to mind are the phenomenal cow horse Amiin+// (who was foaled in 1995 and has sired a lifetime of 13 foal with 9 from outside mare owners to date) and the outstanding all-around athlete, Shy Gayfeen++++// (who was foaled in 1998 and has sired a lifetime of 19 foals with 15 from outside mare owners to date). Shy Gayfeen++++// is the most highly decorated stallion in North America of any bloodline, has been successfully shown at the Egyptian Event, yet mare owners are not flocking to him. Some will say his bloodlines are over bred so that doesn't count, yet the popular The Minstril bred stallion Botswana who was also foaled in 1998 with an inconsequential AHA show record, that was successfully shown at the Egyptian Event, has 133 foals on the ground. Clearly the accomplishments and titles any given stallion accumulates has little to do with how mare owners make breeding decisions. Sometimes it is simply a matter of who owns that stallion and politics.
The Legend of the Al Khamsa:
[Legends were told of how the different strains got their names. The most famous legend is the collapse of the great dam of "Ma'rib" flooding the Arabian peninsula and killing most horses, leaving only a few, of which five ("Khamsa" in Arabic, Alkhamsa's name source) were caught by Arabs that, after re-taming the new mares, wanted to head home, each on his new mare. On the way home they got hungry and had to slay one of the mares and eat her. They argued over which mare to slay and decided to have a race and to slay the mare that comes in last. The owner of the mare that lost the race claimed that they started before he was ready and demanded to run again. They raced again and another mare lost and her owner argued, and so on until they saw a flock of gazelles and chased it killing a gazelle each and saving the mares. They needed to name the mares and they named them for their special features: Saqlawiah (The root "Saqala" in Arabic means to polish or step over stones hard enough to polish them, and some say that the Saqlawiah got her name for her polished smoothness and some say because she had hard feet that polished the stones beneath her when moving); the Kohaila for the dark pigmentation of the eyes and surrounding skin; Shwaim (or Showaim or Showaimah) got her name for the whorls (shama) on her body; Ma'anaqiyah got her name for her extreme length and arch of neck (O'onoq) (some replace the ma'anaqiyah in this legend with "Om Aurqoob", "Aurqoob" in Arabic meaning hock (in horses anatomy and ankle in man's) and the mare was named so for a twisted hock she had) and finally the "Obayah" which her name comes from the word "A'aba'ah" which means "Oriental cloak". It is said that this mare had a very high tail carriage and strong tail-dock & spine and while racing flagging her tail high the rider's cloak fell off his shoulders and hung on the flagged tail and the mare kept going with her tail flagged with cloak hanging from it and thus getting her name.] - author unknown
The Myth that a pure Egyptian horse that left Egypt can no longer be considered pure Egyptian:
[The EAO, as well as a few other private farms, claimed that if a horse had left Egypt and lived in another climate then its characteristics would change, its progeny would change even more and could no longer be considered pure Egyptian. This is a lot of nonsense of course. The real reason for this was political and for personal gain. It’s a long story, and you need to go back to the sixties, seventies and eighties when the best EAO horses were sold abroad, mostly to the USA. The remaining horses were mostly mediocre and the private breeders at that time had a limited pool to draw from.
Mr. Omar Sakr is the first Egyptian breeder who, after reading the books written by Mrs. Judi Forbis, traveled to the US and bought several “straight Egyptian “ horses, descendants of those who had been sold from the EAO years earlier. These horses were the mares AK Nouasha, Alidarra, SES Marah, AK Narimann, Zandai Arabia, Imperial Kamaala, HMT Sukari, Ansata Nafisa, Ansata Shahnaz, Ansata Amira, etc, and the stallions Imperial Madori, Shaheen (El Habiel), Mokhtar (known as Tallahsman in the US) and later Imperial Madheen. The local horses paled in comparison. The EAO was no longer the major source for prospective buyers, the superlative quality of Mr. Sakr’s horses was indisputable on the showgrounds, unfortunately leading to a great deal of jealousy. The EAO, supported by a few disgruntled farms, barred his horses from competing in their show, claiming that at least 2 generations must pass on Egyptian soil before the progeny of these horses could regain their true characteristics. However, many other breeders were so impressed by his horses and his resulting breeding program that they bred their mares to his stallions and also imported more “straight Egyptian” horses. As he states in his introduction to the Reference Handbook of Straight Egyptian Horses, Egypt, Vol. I (published in 2003):
"An exodus of this magnitude was bound to take its toll on Arabian horse breeding programs in Egypt, but history always has a way of repeating itself. Just over a decade later, the Egyptian private breeders, in the time honored tradition of their ancestors, rose to reclaim their heritage and a gradual reversal in the flow of horses from Egypt took place. The breeders’ landmark decision would return close to eighty horses of the finest Egyptian Arabian bloodlines in the world to their ancestral home.
As the breeders sought to expand the renaissance they created, the number of breeding farms increased from a handful in the eighties to over two hundred farms today. In 1987 the Egyptian Arabian Horse Breeders’ Association was founded. With an organization to centralize their effort, the Egyptian Breeders had a voice for their horse. In a partnership between the breeders, their horses and their organization, the spirit of the Egyptian Arabian in Egypt flourished and the efforts of its patrons were rewarded.”
The Breeders’ Association hosts the Egyptian Nationals in which all horses are allowed to compete.] ~ Ibrahim
Politics swelling from jealousy and greed have been and will always be a part of breeding pure Egyptian Arabian horses no matter which country the breeder is from. If a breeder can find the courage and the energy to stay focused on breeding good, solid, sane and beautiful horses that are classic in type, the pure Egyptian Arabian horse has a good chance to survive as it was found in the deserts into the future.
The Legend of Strains and breeding In the Strain:
[Despite the important role that Carl Raswan played in introducing the Arabian horse in a mystical and passionate way bringing more westerners to love the horse and contributing to its increasing spread around the world, I feel that he was misleading in a lot of information that he promoted. This could be out of pure misunderstanding in the best case scenario and in the worst out of a need to feel important and all knowing and needed. Either case, allot of what he says is not acceptable by me, my grandfather (89 years old horse Master of The Darawshi Family branch of the Howettat tribe) and other horse masters and scholars around hear. The notion of strain breeding and the alleged prohibition of breeding a certain strain to another creating the untrue idea that the different strains are different types within the breed or even different sub-breeds has no base on witch to stand.
What is a "Strain"?
The word in Arabic was mis-translated into the English word "strain" when in Arabic it's "Rasan" (singular) and "Ar-san" (plural). The literal meaning of the word "Rasan" is "lead rope" or "halter". The word was used by the Arabs to specify the origin of a certain horse and to identify which tribe has his stem breeding stock. So originally When an Arab asked "what is the Rasan of this horse" he is asking "who holds the lead rope or halter of his ancestors" figuratively speaking meaning to who's breeding does this horse go back.
The stories behind the names of the strains:
Legends were told of how the different strains got their names. The most famous legend is the collapse of the great dam of "Ma'rib" flooding the Arabian peninsula and killing most horses, leaving only a few, of which five ("Khamsa" in Arabic, Alkhamsa's name source) were caught by Arabs that, after re-taming the new mares, wanted to head home, each on his new mare. On the way home they got hungry and had to slay one of the mares and eat her. They argued over which mare to slay and decided to have a race and to slay the mare that comes in last. The owner of the mare that lost the race claimed that they started before he was ready and demanded to run again. They raced again and another mare lost and her owner argued, and so on until they saw a flock of gazelles and chased it killing a gazelle each and saving the mares. They needed to name the mares and they named them for their special features: Saqlawiah (The root "Saqala" in Arabic means to polish or step over stones hard enough to polish them, and some say that the Saqlawiah got her name for her polished smoothness and some say because she had hard feet that polished the stones beneath her when moving); the Kohaila for the dark pigmentation of the eyes and surrounding skin; Shwaim (or Showaim or Showaimah) got her name for the whorls (shama) on her body; Ma'anaqiyah got her name for her extreme length and arch of neck (O'onoq) (some replace the ma'anaqiyah in this legend with "Om Aurqoob", "Aurqoob" in Arabic meaning hock (in horses anatomy and ankle in man's) and the mare was named so for a twisted hock she had) and finally the "Obayah" which her name comes from the word "A'aba'ah" which means "Oriental cloak". It is said that this mare hade a very high tail carriage and strong tail-dock & spine and while racing flagging her tail high the rider's cloak fill of his shoulders and hung on the flagged tail and the mare kept going with her tail flagged with cloak hanging from it and thus getting her name.
From legends to reality:
Arabs, and my family and tribe among them, consider all (Authentic) Arabian horses to be "Kohailan Ajoze". Kohailan literally meaning the one with black or dark eyes or dark skin around the eyes and with time gaining a more general meaning: Asil or Arabian (Arabs use the word Horse (Hissan or Jawad) only referring to Arabian Asils. For non Arabs or part breeds they had different words (Many unfortunately don't use this discriminating terminology any more)) and "Ajoze" literally meaning "Old" and in this context it means "Ancient".
Different tribes liked slightly different features or happened to own mares with special features that bred on and with time a new name was given to this tribe's line of horses and it was enough to know that a certain horse comes from that tribe to know what to expect him to be like even without seeing him. This was true in cases where certain tribes and certain breeding groups were isolated and had their special stamp. When out side stallions were introduced bringing in their special features and moderating the strains stamp back to the main stream. Thus when a horse traces back to a certain strain, Saqlawi for example, but all the stallions in the pedigree are of a different strain, Kohailan for example, how can you expect the horse to look Saqlawi and not Kohailan??
With time new names were given to different tribes horses to denote certain features or descendents of a special mare. For example the Kohailan Jellabi goes back to a Kohailan Ajoze mare named "Jellabiah" (Not Jallabiat Faysoul which does go back to the stem mare Jellabiah) that distinguished herself in stamina after her master lost a battle and fled the battlefield on her back along with his servant, weapons and all. Jallabiah, being 8 months in foal, carried the two for three days chased by the enemy and hardly having any chance for feeding or drinking and got the two back home safe. She was in a very bad condition and was nursed for three months tell she had her foal (I still wonder how she didn't lose it) a filly. The mare became famous for her stamina and courage and became sought after and deserved to have her own line named after her so every body knows that a certain horse goes back to that glorious mare.
Another example is the mare "Om Aurqoob" named so for a twisted hock she obtained on trying to get loose from her ties in a time of a raid, her master sprung over her back while she was still tide and the rope raped around her leg and she rushed into battle pulling the tying stick from the ground. Her master's tribe prevailed and saved their flocks and souls and she was ridden hard to the end of the battle despite the rope raped tight around her hock and as a result her hock became twisted. This mare too became famous for her baring and courage and became sought after and deserved to have her own line named after her so every body knows that a certain horse goes back to that glorious mare.
Therefore, every strain traces back to the "Kohailan Ajoze" and despite the different strain names it's the same Arabian horse with the "rasan" name denoting a certain linage.
With time, special horses were born within a certain "rasan" and were special enough to denote their offspring with there special names and thus creating the "sub-strains". For example the from the strain of "Obayah" special mares were honored with their special sub-strain named after them, such is the case of the Obayah Om Jrees, Obayyah Sherakiah and so on! (Hence there is no foundation to what Raswan suggests that all the Abbeyan strains originally comes from the obbeyan Sherrak but the other way around)
Many, Including old horse masters, despite their demand to know the strain of horses, consider the different breed groups to be the "modern strains" since after all "rasan" is supposed to denote a horses breeding source. For example: the Straight Egyptian or the Egyptian could have been considered a strain if the strain name giving was not "frozen" after WAHO was created, and it's sub strains would have been: "Inshas", "RAS" or "EAO" and so on. The "RAS" sub-strain would have been divided into further sub-strains: "Babson" "EAO" "Marbach SE" "Nagel SE" "Ansata SE" and so on. Other Strains would have been: Polish, Spanish, Crabbet, Doyyle, CMK and so on!
The Arabs, Till the dawn of Islam lined their horses back to the sires and not the dams and classical poetry of that era is full with such examples ("Min Banat Thou Ala'iqal.." after "Thou Ala'iqal" , "Al Aa'wajiyat" after "AlAa'waj Al Sagheer" and so on) and no body knows why exactly that have changed. One famous poet said, praising his mare:
"Saleelat Sabeqaini Tanajalaha, Itha Nosiba yaddomahuma AlKoraa'o" Translation: "She is the progeny of two race winners that if they are traced back the both go back to "AlKoraa'" (A Famous Stallion).
Just my personal opinion!
Nasser Darawshi ]
The myth of non-Nazeer breeding:
[Pure Egyptian horse breeders need to ensure they breed groups of horses excluding Nazeer in order to keep the genetic pool healthy and vigorous.]
This is every bit as silly as it seems because the name Nazeer is just a name. Nazeer is related to all Non-Nazeer bred horses sometimes closely related. For a detailed explanation and more information, please see the article (click on link to visit page) "Non-Nazeer Breeding".
The world of arabian horses is rich in myth and legends. In this article we share many legends and myths.
The Legend of the Bloody Shouldered Mare:
[Long ago on the sands of a great desert lived a Bedouin chieftain by the name of Ahmed and his tribe. In the tents of Ahmed was his most prized possession, a beautiful grey mare who was renowned throughout the desert as the fleetest and most beautiful horse in the world. Many people coveted the mare, and kings and chieftains had tried to acquire her, but Ahmed could not be persuaded to part with his beloved mare.
Ahmed decided to breed his mare, and searched the desert for a suitable mate for her. After a time, the mare was bred to the premier stallion in the Sultan's stable. Months went by and the time for the mare to foal grew near.
Riding across the desert one day, several miles from his tents, Ahmed was seen by a group of robber Bedouins. Fearing that he would lose his beloved mare as well as his life, Ahmed turned and raced toward his tents, knowing in his heart that the mare, heavy in foal, could never out-distance the bandits. The mare seemed to realize that she was running for her master's life,and slowly, very slowly,she began to gain ground on her pursuers. Shots rang out and bullets peppered the sand around them as the distance gradually widened.
They were almost out of rifle range when at last a shot rang out. A bullet pierced Ahmed's heart, and he fell forward over the neck of his beloved mare. The mare never slackened her stride, and carried her master back to his tents on their final ride together.
Ahmed's people gathered around the mare and removed his lifeless body from her back. Down one of her shoulders, his blood had dried a nasty brown in the desert heat. There the mark remained, for no one could remove it.
That night in the tent of her dead master, the mare foaled. The foal was acclaimed by all as a perfect specimen of the Arabian breed, and on his shoulder was the same rusty red mark that his dam bore.
And so it came to pass that every great horse descended from that mare carried the mark of the bloody shoulder, and it was a thing greatly prized in the desert.] . Photo of a bloody shouldered mare below:
SC Desert Star Arabians
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