On Arabians in America
Thank you for “Arabian Horses Come to America” (Conformation Insights, EQUUS 442), by Deb Bennett, PhD. I especially appreciated her historical note on the actual origins of the Thoroughbred foundation sires---many are probably unaware of this information. This article helps us appreciate that the history of any breed is a difficult and complex issue. Jane Duran Goleta, California
I cringed as I read about the current trend of breeding Arabian horses primarily for looks rather than based on the traditional Bedouin criteria of temperament, character, soundness, athleticism and conformation.
I was reminded of the words of a rancher, when I told him I was considering buying either a colt from his ranch herd or another of a popular “color” breed. He told me, “I don’t care if you buy my horse, but stay away from that other kind. Horses like the one I have are bred to work; that other kind is bred because they’re pretty.”
Perusing the breed magazine for the “other” horse vindicated his advice. One article in particular was about “saving” a stallion with very bad feet---an unsound animal who probably shouldn’t be used for breeding---“because he threw good color and made such beautiful babies.”
I bought the rancher’s horse, and he is sound, strong, brave and level-headed. I’ll never purchase any breed whose main criteria for selection is color or “looks.” If I were buying an Arabian, I would seek out an Arab “biaban” horse and avoid the “khiaban” type common in the West. Jeffrey Coley Walnut Cove, North Carolina
I was disappointed the article didn’t include more about the incredible Arabian horse Witez II. And Miles to Go, by Linell Smith, tells the story of General Patton’s involvement with getting Witez II through enemy lines and back here to the United States. I owned a Witez II mare, and she was fabulous. I wrote a book about her called Star’s Miracles and More. Rosemary Gustafson Ferndale, Washington
I just wanted to say I love the conformation and breed articles written by Deb Bennett, PhD. I look forward to reading them every month. Dr. Bennett’s style of writing makes potentially confusing information easy to understand without “dumbing” it down. I have gained so much knowledge from reading her series. Julia Zatezalo New Cumberland, West Virginia