29 June, 2010

WONDER

I had stopped to gather my bearings, when I heard the horses; their call carried upon the back of the wind, coming from far away, somewhere

way,

way,

way 

out there.  I had spent a long time trying to find these legendary creatures. People had exchanged stories about them, tried to capture their ethereal beauty via paint on canvas and had even written songs and poems celebrating their unique qualities. I wanted to see this horse, so, I set out on a journey, which had taken already many days. And now, I felt closer to reaching my goal, than ever before on this trip. A shrill neigh suddenly ricocheted off of the canyon wall, bouncing along the rocks. The shadow of the mountain, cast the surrounding valley in darkness. As I made my way along the rock wall, searching and feeling for an opening, my diligence paid off when I discovered the cave entrance. Suddenly, I heard the sound of horses again, closer this time. The calls seemed to be coming from inside the cave. As I walked in, the hot air swirled around me, like a cyclone, driving sand along my face, while a very faint whisper, in Arabic, enveloped me with peace, conveying that there was nothing to fear. "Hello, anyone here?" I called. "Hello?" No one answered. "That's funny, I thought I just heard someone." As I walked further into the cave, I saw movement to my right, and as I turned my head, I saw  white horses seemingly coming out of the rocks and galloping along the wall. "Huh? What trickery is this?" The horses stopped in the middle of the wall, tossing their heads with impatience, letting me know that I was moving too slowly through the cave. YOU NEED TO KEEP MOVING!!! It seemed like they were guiding me, pushing me this way and that way, herding me towards the discovery of their oasis, to tell me their story, the real story of how it all began....

The Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries have opened at the Kentucky Horse Park. I had the opportunity to visit this very significant museum for the Arabian Horse on Friday. It is difficult to say which part of the gallery I enjoyed more, as there is so much to see, to hear, to feel...to experience. The charisma of the Arabian Horse oozes out of every corner, out of every booth, wall hanging, painting and sculpture. The galleries convey how the culture from which the horse emerged, created a horse which is extremely people-oriented and loving. I like that part most of all and think it to be a strong statement about the character of Bedouin people, to have selectively bred a horse who loves people so much. No doubt about it, the Middle East has given the world a great gift in the horse we call Arabian. As I walked through the gallery, the Arabian Horse was presented from the earliest beginnings of civilization, right through to our foundation horses and breeders, always underscoring the versatility of the Arabian Horse, which has helped to make them the stars of movies and books like the Black Stallion experience. To be enveloped by the essence of everything Arabian, swirling around you, filling your senses, how can anyone who loves Arabian Horses desire more than that? I encourage anyone who is even possibly, the tiniest bit interested in learning about the Arabian Horse, to visit. Perhaps, you will make the greatest discovery of your lifetime, in a place the least likely for an encounter with a desert creature, somewhere in the lush ocean of bluegrass called Kentucky.

EnJoy your horses,
Ralph

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