10 November, 2011

Still Authentic: Black Dahman

"Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life..."~Robert Brault
"Oh my gosh Gail, what a cute colt and he is so black!" I said in complete surprise, as enchanted, I watched a smooth black colt trot effortlessly around his dam, his tail curled over his back, head held high and his giant nostrils fully dilated. Gail smiled broadly in acknowledgement, an unspoken affirmation of the happiness and pride she felt for her colt. He was the living picture of the image many picture in their minds, when they think of an Arabian horse. I had never seen a colt quite like this before. He was so fancy, yet really friendly and seemed to have a desire to get closer to people, to sniff them, lick them and kind of figure out what people might be all about. Already, at such a young age, the colt showed an amazing amount of refinement. Comparing him against the other colts on the farm, he was different, making the other colts look coarse. Yes, he was really special and the excitement in Gail's voice, conveyed fully what this colt would mean for Princeton Arabians' future.

Pri Gamil Halim was a 1983 black stallion, bred by Gail Hoff-Carmona of Princeton Arabians. He was sired by Ansata Halima Son and was out of Princeton Gamila, a Faaris daughter and one of Gail's most important broodmares. He had all of the elements in his genetic make-up as the Ansata Nile family, with the added influence of the *Nasr son, Sirecho. When you study the pedigree, you may find it interesting that at the very top, through Sheikh el Arab, the sire of Halima, is  Bint Sabah, a Kazmeen daughter out of Sabah, who is a great grand-daughter of El Dahma, an Ali Pasha Sherif mare from 1880, who is recognized as the foundress of the Dahman Shahwan strain. At the bottom of the pedigree, via Habba, is the same tail female line.  However, somewhere in the middle of all this good stuff, appears Ansata Damietta, who traces to Bukra,  another Bint Sabah daughter. That's alot of Bint Sabah and combined with  the other lines that lead to El Dahma; Pri Gamil Halim had approximately 32 lines to El Dahma in his pedigree, not to mention, because of the reduced number of Blunt desert horses, a significantly higher percentage of authentic Egyptian breeding, as compared to other Egyptian horses. When I started studying Hallany Mistanny and specifically *Zarife and *Roda, I became aware that there were real Egyptian horses, particularly those horses which descend from the stud of Prince Mohamed Aly Tewfik, who are free of the desert horses that Lady Ann Blunt exported from the desert. In Pri Gamil Halim, his Blunt component is 6.2%, while his Egypt 1 percentage is 86%. In a breeding community where it is challenging to find breeding horses bred differently from the majority, i.e. Nazeer, the Blunt-free pedigrees, while harder to find and smaller in number, can be an opportunity for the breeder to do something well, a little differently.

I remember standing against the fence of the paddock, admiring this very cute, charismatic black colt. He would come over to where I stood for a few minutes, curiosity getting the best of him and I would get to "sweet-talk" him, as I lay my hands all over his silky-soft coat, before he ran back to his mother's side. Gosh, it was so obvious to me at the time, that this little colt could be the kind of friend I so desired to find in a horse!
"Alec forgot his problems in the beauty of the stallion as he swept along, graceful in his swift stride, his black mane and tail flying." -Walter Farley, from The Black Stallion
Those were magic moments and back then, I don't think I fully understood the significance of what was, essentially a gift. I was fascinated by the colt and I looked forward to arriving at Los Alamos a bit earlier than my scheduled lesson, in the hope of playing and developing a friendship with "Halim". Pri Gamil Halim was an attractive colt, very close-coupled; his silhouette framed with flowing, circular lines. He wasn't a big horse but he had a lot of balance, his proportions were harmonious and well-suited to his body. Everything looked like it belonged on him, exactly how he was created, exactly how you would imagine a Dahman Shahwan horse to look.  I thought he was perfect. My mind would wander, thinking about all the possibilities and how much better life would be, sharing it with a colt like this.  Unfortunately for me, my life was about to change significantly, taking me away from the horses that I loved. By then, I had fallen in love, became married and embarked on establishing a career and family. While I still loved horses very much, a dream like horse ownership was just not possible...for a long time. Although I missed much of his transition into maturity, I did get to see Pri Gamil Halim a couple of times, as a performance horse, under saddle, in the open houses at Los Alamos and I have to tell you, I felt a little like a parent, my heart bursting with pride, as I watched "my not so little anymore" black colt perform as part of a Pas De Deux, set to music.

"Oh my gosh, Halim, what an elegant horse you have become!" I silently whispered, in complete surprise.

I was so proud of him, as I watched him focused intently on all that his rider asked of him, his long black tail swishing from side-to-side, keeping time with the music. He was so sweet and willing, demonstrating to all watching, the compliant nature of these horses and why this breed, above all others, are particularly well-suited for people who desire more from their horses, enjoying the kind of relationship people like Pat Parelli already enjoy with their superstar horses, showcasing the positive results of natural horse training . And that's why, no matter what may be happening in my life at any given moment, the happiness I experience from just thinking about horses and all that is possible, helps me to make it from one second to the next. THAT, is a real gift.
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” -Paulo Coelho, from his book, The Alchemist

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your wonderful insight. My husband and I just left the barn and we are very fortunate to get to spend time with our horses. I watched tonight as he worked with our 10 month old chestnut filly and it's wonderful to see the relationship they are developing. And his pride when her tail plumed as he worked with her. And people think horses are just for riding- that's icing on the cake!