11 February, 2010

Dancing on the Edge of Darkness

Last week, on the 2nd of February, we observed the half-way point between the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice and the forth-coming spring equinox. The sun is strengthening in the sky and the days are becoming longer...spring is really coming!
"Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life...Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring."- William Alexander
In the past, before there was such a day as "Groundhog Day", the 2nd of February was observed as Candlemas Day, a day which signified the triumph of light over darkness. It was the day of the year when all candles were brought to church and blessed, before they were lighted and used. Prior to the invention of electricity, candles held a vital role in society, as the only source of light in darkness. The Romans believed that candles, had the power to scare evil spirits away in the dark days of winter. For many other people, candles brightened an otherwise dark world, making it possible to enjoy a longer day than natural sunlight offered. Candles helped people to overcome feelings of loneliness, allowing their circles to be made a little wider, welcoming guests into their lighted homes for fellowship, after long work-days. Socially, the candle strengthened a community, fostering friendships and camaraderie, among its people.

Arabian Horses have been like a candle for me, a constant source of light and inspiration, even in dark times. Their beauty, both physically and spiritually is perpetually encouraging and I am grateful that a being like this magnificent horse exists. Like the "socially enabling candle", the Arabian Horse has allowed me to form friendships that I don't believe I would be enjoying, without the horse. One friendship in particular, is with a most amazing person, Tzviah Idan and our first SHERO for 2010.
"...I need a SHERO,
I'm holding out for a SHERO
'Til the morning light
She's gotta be sure
And its gotta be soon
And she's gotta be larger than life..."-adapted from the song, I Need a Hero, by Dean Pitchford and Jim Steinman
Tzviah, originally from Detroit, Michigan, USA is one half of the partnership which forms Idan Atiq Arabian Stud, located in Moshav HaYogev, an agricultural village in the Jezreel Valley, near Megiddo, where remains of King Solomon’s famed horse stables remain to this day. She has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for so long, helping enthusiasts to not only better understand the Egyptian Arabian Horse but to realistically appreciate the horse for all that he is and all that he is not. In 1984 she moved to Israel, with the straight Babson Egyptian stallion Ser El Roc, the Ansata el Salim daughter JM Talumi and her *Fakher El Din daughter, Fakher’s Teekatu. Her enthusiasm for preservation breeding, a concept that did not exist in Israel prior to her arrival, helped future importations like AN Montego, to spread his influence farther and wider than anyone else thought possible in this time. It was AN Montego who ushered in the renaissance of Egyptian Arabian Horse breeding in Israel, making it possible for champions like Imperial Imdal and Maar Bilahh to one day call Israel and Ariela Arabians "home". It was Tzviah's admiration for Imperial Egyptian Stud's Farag daughter *Pharrah, Simeon Stud's 27 Ibn Galal 5 and Ansata Arabian Stud's *Ibn Galal 1-7, who incidentally became the model for her ideal horse, which led Tzviah to Babolna Stud in Hungary and eventually, the purchase and importation of a nucleus of breeding horses to Idan Atiq. Tzviah's knowledge and experience level is broad, having known many of the horses whom we consider legendary now and understanding how their influence can continue to shape Israeli Egyptian Arabian breeding for many more years to come.

Thank you Tzviah, for being like a candle, in what can be a very dark world at times!

EnJoy your horses,
Ralph

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