18 April, 2008

Black Tulips

"He saw it at last, that unique flower, which he was to see once and no more. He saw it at the distance of six paces, and was delighted with its perfection and gracefulness..."-from The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

This blog has been dedicated primarily to the Egyptian Arabian Horse (with one or two excursions outside of the community, to celebrate the wonderful and bigger world of horses) and I have enjoyed writing about the horses that have powerfully changed my life. As much as I love the Egyptian Arabian Horse, I love all horses and treasure the unique qualities of each and every horse breed. I enjoy watching Pat Parelli's weekly television show on RFD-TV. Recently, Pat worked with a Friesian horse named Pedro and shared a comment with his audience that the Friesian Horse was the first horse that made him want to own horses of other breeds. WOW. I know how this "Quarter Horse guy" feels. The Friesians have become a popular choice with adult amateurs, as they possess powerful gaits which are rewarded in dressage competition, enhanced by fairy tale looks and charm. With every Friesian Horse that I see, the desire to own a Friesian Horse has grown and grown, to the place where I find myself now, ready to make this horse a part of my life. The comment that Pat Parelli made about the Friesian, for me, is personally relevant, because I want to own and ride a Friesian too!! When I look at a Friesian, I am captivated by the substantial body of a larger, well-muscled horse, who stands around 16 hands, with an upright, well-crested neck, yet, with a graceful arch, a wide and sturdy chest, a long sloping shoulder and elastic, clean joints that enable this horse to really move with ground-eating strides.The head of a Friesian is refined, with full, black eyes that convey the kindness of temperament that these horses are well known for. Have you been to the Black Sterling Friesians website? The link is listed in the sidebar, under Breeders & Horses, located to the right. I have been visiting this website for a long while now and missed the opportunity for the horse named Jack Daniels. However in late March, a horse named Hermes appeared and I have not been able to think of anything else, since his arrival on the website. I find myself opening the website frequently, holding my breath and hoping that no one has purchased him, before I can. He embodies everything that I would want in a Friesian horse. It's a bit weird to say this, without even meeting him but I know that I know that I know....

It is easy to spot the influences of the Andalusian and Arabian Horse breeds. Prior to the 17th century, the Friesian Horse was considered a draft horse breed, descending from Equus Robustus. During the Spanish Occupation of Holland, the Andalusian and the influence of the Arabian Horse helped to create the lighter, sport horse type Friesian Horse we know today. The smaller sized head, the animated movement in the trot with the high knee action and the graceful arch of the neck are all characteristics that both the Andalusian and Arabian Horse are also recognized for having. However, it is the people-loving temperament and the relationship that exists between man and horse, which I have personally witnessed, that really captivates me and reminds me why I love the Arabian Horse so much. I feel I am at a cross-roads right now, with one leg on the side of the Arabian continent and the other other leg on the dressage continent, recognizing that what I love about one breed of horse, exists in another breed and that my love affair with one breed, is a small part of a larger love affair with all horses, which has always remained constant, no matter how my life continues to change. I have always dreamed of earning my USDF bronze, silver and gold medals and I always thought that I would emulate my own personal hero, Gail Hoff-Carmona, and win these medals on the back of an Arabian Horse but along comes this dark horse and steals my heart...this is definitely a story to be continued.

EnJoy your horses,
Ralph

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