Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mr. Sociable

Originally uploaded by Miloflamingo.
One of the hardest things about buying a horse in Egypt is the history of the horse chosen. Most of us never know the histories of our horses and the things that we don't know can, in fact, hurt us. Many young horses don't have comfortable interactions with people here. Dorika was loved by her first owners, but she lived in a garden in a beach community just west of Alexandria where passing children would tease her. When she first came to me she was untrusting and would bite given half a chance. Teaching her to be handled was a major operation. Now, after over fifteen years with me, she is one of the easiest horses in the world to work with.

About seven years ago Dorika gave birth to her first son, Nazeer. Most mares prefer to foal in the early hours of dawn when there will be no observing them. Not Dorika. She waited until a Thursday afternoon to ensure a proper audience. Not at all sure of what to do with a foal at first, she then became a good, if not doting, mother. Nazeer turned out to be a very personable young colt and got much more than his share of handling and petting when he was little, so much so that even now his idea of a perfect time is cuddling. His stable nickname is Cuddles, in fact.

In recent years as Dory has become less sound due to old injuries, Nazeer has become my main man. I don't like to have a fight on my hands when I ride and Nazeer's easy going personality is the greatest. He has all the energy a good Arab should have, but none of the flightiness. He paces himself well, conserving his energy, and sometimes making me think that he might be lazy. But his easy going personality is perfect for the less experienced riders who visit me.

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