30 June, 2006

A Really Sweet Treat...Maar Bilahh

I saw Maar Bilahh, in the late 1980's, maybe in 1986 or 1987, while casually walking the mare pastures at Imperial. Up until that point, looking over the horses for sale, it wasn't boring but no one was making that impression, that I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU IMPRESSION until we walked up to this particular paddock and this face, with these eyes, just watching us as we walked up.

"Sugar, Oh, Honey Honey
You are my candy girl,
and you got me wanting you.
Honey, Oh, Sugar, Sugar.
You are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you."-The Archies from the song, Sugar, Sugar

She is an El Halimaar daughter out of Bint Nabilahh: MAAR BILAHH. For me, Maar Bilahh also represents a great teaching lesson of consistency, as her pedigree consists of the bloodlines and strains that consistently produce the type of horses that I cherish and admire the most in Egyptian breeding: Dahman through Halima, Jellabi through Maaroufa and Hadban through Yosreia. In Maar Bilahh's case, she is tail female Hadbah, tracing through Bint Nabilahh to Farasha to Yosreia. This mare, Farasha, incidentally is the same mare that produced *Farazdac and *Faleh by Alaa El Din and Galal by Nazeer.

I remember Maar Bilahh to be a very typey, very pretty, very sweet mare. She was very people-oriented. Not even "oriented" but "focused". She loves people. I like to look at horses like I would look at a person, like I would look at you, dear reader, face-to-face contact. You learn a lot about personality, intelligence from the shape of the eyes, the expression, the way the head is held, the gaze or where and whom the eyes are focused. At the gate, with three or four other horses vying for attention from the humans, Maar Bilahh was the one that you worked hard to lavish attention on. She captured my attention and held it. I mean, she was obviously a very beautiful horse who invited a closer look, a come and get to know me better look or I would not have been drawn to her, as I was. As pretty as the other horses were, and Imperial's horses are consistent for their beauty, they were not Maar Bilahh. Not even close. Not too long ago, Chen Kedar shared a few pictures of an aged Maar Bilahh. It was wonderful to see her and to see how she matured. She is a lovely mare...still. And her beauty is very deep, not just surface. Why? Well, almost twenty years later and I still remember her, I still remember our encounter and the conversation we shared, as if it were yesterday. She was unforgettable and still remains the highlight of my visit that day. I will always be grateful to Barbara Griffith for giving me the opportunity to see some really great horses, legends of the breed really. I hope she knows what a great thing she did for my life.

Enjoy your horses,

1 comment:

Mariazinha said...

Very nice blog!
I love horses but i never ride one.
Here in Portugual we have wondefull horses too.There is a small town in the south of Portugal called Alter do Chão they have farm "Coudelaria de Alter" where they raise Lusitano horses. If you visit Portugal you have to go there.