02 December, 2009

Sacred Innocence

If I said that Princeton Faaris was a most precious horse; would you understand what I meant? I think some people would understand that Princeton Faaris was a horse of great value or a horse of great quality and refinement and maybe, a horse who was an outstanding sire, having reproduced his level of quality or better, in his offspring. Yes, Princeton Faaris was the embodiment of all these definitions but he was much, much more. His charisma, his magnetism, for those of us in love with Egyptian Arabian Horses, drew us to him. We searched for him, crossing mountains and rivers, because we wanted to be close to him, touch him, admire him. He was perfect and for many, he was their dream horse, come to life. We wanted to bask in his presence, warming our hearts and our souls with his inner beauty. Princeton Faaris was treasured by all of us, not only because he was beautiful, he was, but he also had this spiritual quality about him, whether his admirer knew it or not. He inspired us. He encouraged us. Long after seeing him, we wanted to have more like him, a piece of him, to bring back home and fill our lives with his presence, like a bright light to light a very dark room. For this reason, as hard-to-define as "it" was, he was most precious. His owner, Mari Silveus, said,
"He was THE most incredible horse I have ever known. One of the most incredible souls of any species. He was my horse-soul-mate. My once-in-a-lifetime horse. To tell you the truth, we were in love with each other.”
Princeton Faaris was born in 1977, a son of Faaris (Fa-Serr x *Maaroufa) and out of the black, Babson mare, Black Satin (Black Sambo x Diroufa), whose sire and dam were both son and daughter of the Babson mare, Biroufa (Khebir x Fay Roufa). Princeton Faaris was unique, as he was a grandson of *Maaroufa, forty-five years after she was imported to America and in fact, was line bred to her, carrying approximately 34.38% of her blood. He was bred by Gail Carmona of Princeton Arabians, Freehold, New Jersey and was later sold to Mari Silveus of Sunnyru Farm, then in Indiana, now in Georgia. He sired over 80 foals in his lifetime and was a leading sire of black-colored Arabians, including Blacklord Arabi, who in turn, has been a very successful sire of black-colored Arabian Horses.

One can see a picture of Princeton Faaris and sense the great sensitivity that the horse possessed and possibly, a very human-like intelligence. This sensitivity remains intensely electric, the energy oozing out of every pixel. I was immediately struck with his look, as I have never seen this look in a horse before. In a human, yes, but never in a horse. There is a boldness present but there was also a vulnerability in him, almost child-like and enough to cause a lump to form in my throat. This innocence, almost wild, is sacred and is a startling reminder to me, that there is so much happening in the natural world that I miss, as I live my too-busy life on my Blackberry. Mari tells me that he was always doing something, that he never stood still. Whether it was walking the fence line, watching over his mares or watching Mari through his stall window, Princeton Faaris kept himself busy. There was nothing that happened at Sunnyru Farm, without Princeton Faaris knowing about it first. Princeton Faaris was self-confident and he was bold, Mari says that he was full of himself, that he fully understood that he was a great horse, a king among kings. At Sunnyru Farm, the stallions were stabled next to each other, all seven of them, including Princeton Faaris. The barn was quiet, which is a testament to the effect that Princeton Faaris’ kingly presence had over all who encountered him, man or horse. When Princeton Faaris died, the barn was thrown into mayhem, as the quiet barn became a “noisy den of horses”.

How do you measure quality? I discussed this once with a friend, hoping to finally embrace this elusive and hard-to-define word. We finally decided that “quality” could be defined as "that extra-special something" in a horse, which you don’t necessarily see in many others. Yes, it is rare but when you see "it", you will never forget "it". And this "it" was Princeton Faaris. His coat color was a deep, intense bluish-black, almost as if he had an icy blue cast all over his body. His hair was very fine, almost like silk to the touch. People unfamiliar with Arabian Horses do remark about this quality, the first time they lay hands on a horse, however, in the case of Princeton Faaris, his coat was extra-soft, with the hair quality having this fineness that is extremely rare and not found in every Arabian. His bone was also fine, dense and flat and yet, as hard as hammered steel. You could see the bone structure in the horse and immediately recognize the quality of the bone. He had beautiful tail carriage, which accented his way of walking, which was similar to the walk of a panther. I guess with his jet black coat, thinking about black panthers, was only natural. His neck was longer, slender, nicely arched, with a very roomy throat-latch, large enough that a man’s fist would fit comfortably. On the lower side of his neck, he had a depression, like a divot in the skin, approximately the size of a thumbprint. In our community, we call this “the thumbprint of Allah” and only the most special horses are blessed by God with His thumbprint, as if God, when he created these horses, let His hand linger upon His work, admiring the horse He had just created.

Mari Silveus enjoyed a unique loving relationship with Princeton Faaris, on a level which most of us would like to experience with our own horses and possibly, we do not. He really loved Mari. When Mari was hurt once and needed to go to the hospital for medical attention, Princeton Faaris became very upset over her absence. He refused to eat and paced in his stall, throwing his weight around the space to indicate how unhappy he was. He was not sick but it was obvious to his care-takers that the horse was extremely upset. When Mari returned home, Princeton Faaris was in his pasture and as she walked towards the gate, he saw her, collected himself and galloping full speed towards her, he ran to the gate, to welcome her home. He could not get to the gate fast enough to see the person whom he most loved in the world. He started eating again and stopped pacing. He stopped throwing himself against everything, His girl was home and all was good again.

Princeton Faaris lived a good life, a long and happy life with Mari. One of the most touching moments, which underscores the love that both Princeton Faaris and Mari felt for each other, occurred when Princeton Faaris was buried. Mari asked the bulldozer operator to lower her into the grave he had dug, for one last good-bye. In this moment of overwhelming grief, Mari cut one side of her long, blond hair and wove it into his mane. One last kiss, one last hug, one last gesture to remind each other that even in death, nothing could separate this horse and this woman...they will be together forever.

"I love thee, I love but thee
With a love that shall not die
Till the sun grows cold,
And the stars grow old..."-Bayard Taylor
What must it feel like to have been loved like this?

EnJoy your horses,


Coralie said...

What a wonderful article, very nice!! Princeton Faaris will stay a King!
Thank you so much Ralph !!

Sinoan Arabians, France

Anonymous said...

superb tribute to a superb horse. I think we are lucky to get such a bond with 1 horse in our lifetime. They were each others world and all power to Mari for saying goodbye in her way.
L x

Tzviah said...

You've done it again. Made me cry. Hurray.