07 August, 2014

Prominence

"The head is more important in Arab horses than in other breeds....the really perfect head being only seen in the horses of purest blood..." - Lady Wentworth, from her book, The Authentic Arabian Horse
The mare pictured is Maar Mara, a straight Egyptian Arabian, of Babson and Hallany Mistanny ancestry. She was bred by the late Jay Gormley and is currently owned by Marilyn Lang of Fantasia Arabians. She is a beauty.
BUT
This blog is not really about Maar Mara. It's more about a quality that Maar Mara possesses that I wanted to point out. The most excellent blog of Edouard al-Dahdah, Daughters of the Wind, is visited sometimes by a guest blogger, a Bedouin named Pure Man, who once wrote about the prominence of the facial crest bone and the esteem that the Bedouin felt for this breed hallmark. See the white arrows that are pointing to each side of her face?
"Among the Arabians the KUHAYLAN (masculine type) has the shortest and widest (broadest) head with the most details (fine tracery of veins, wrinkles, 'bumps', bulges, 'tear-bones', etc.) 'engraved' upon its intelligent features." - Carl Raswan, from his article, The Head of the Arabian, published by Western Horseman magazine
Those are her facial crest bones or as Raswan explains, "tear-bones." If you can magnify the picture, can you see how prominent this bone is? Can you appreciate the width or the degree of the flare (protrusion) of this bone? The prominence of this bone is unique to Arabian horses. If you were to lay your thumb on this area, as a way to measure the width of this bone, the distance would approximate close to half your thumb. In Bedouin breeding, the prominence of the facial crest bone is an important selection criteria. The Bedouin believed that the prominence of the facial crest bone was a clear indicator of authentic origin and horses with a more prominent bone were the horses selected for breeding, among other cherished characteristics.  I am intrigued by what Pure Man explained about the prominence of the facial bone. What do you think?

EnJoy,
Ralph

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