Cedar Ridge, Grullablue, grullo, grulla, blue roan, quarter horses, AQHA, reining, Hancock, Blue Valentine, Hollywood Dunit, Topsail


Sheiks Ubabe

February, 1998 - April, 2010

1988 Gray mare

And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse,
and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True. (Rev 19:11)

I can't say enough about this mare.  Without a doubt, she was the most responsive, easy-to-train horse I've ever owned. Many (ok, MOST) Quarter Horse people hate Arabians. I am NOT one of those horse bigots, as I have had this Arabian mare who could be galloped through an open area with no halter/leadrope/bridle and who would turn and change leads and change gaits on leg pressure, voice, and balance alone. I could tell you many long stories about the verbal ridicule I was subjected to when I rode this mare amongst stock horse people in parades and on trail rides, but can also tell you that not a single one of those people doing the ridiculing had a horse that would do the things Sheik would.

OK, so I'll tell one story. ;-)  Sheik deserves to be remembered with love and respect, and not in the manner that some people feel about all Arabians.  I have rarely shared this due to the language in it (I quit cussing when I quit shoeing horses), but it deserves to be told because Sheik didn't deserve to be thought of this way and publicly put down the way this idiot lambasted her (and me).

A man from a nearby town who fancies himself a horseman and trainer used to go out of his way at every parade and trail ride to come put me down for riding a f$@cking Arabian. No kidding...if he saw me, he'd ride over and spend a couple minutes cursing at me about how stupid Arabians were, and how I must be an idiot for riding one, using the F-bomb as often as he could. At first I defended my little Arabian, and later I just rode away and left him sputtering and spitting out his profanities. It was as though he couldn't stop himself...he truly HATED Arabians.

At one point, we bought new carpet for our house and in our rural area, only had two carpet layers to choose from. The first choice wouldn't call us back, so we had no choice but to call the man that hated Arabians. I made my husband do it, of course.

The man came to lay the carpet, and when he got to the room on the north side of the house, I got an idea. "I'll show him my f$@cking Arabian," I thought. So I went outside to her little pasture...which was right outside the window of that room the carpet layer was in...and walked up to her without a halter or anything. Lead her by her mane to a slab of cement and jumped on bareback with no halter, no bridle...nothing.

I rode her around in figure 8's, backed, sidepassed, and then did a pole bending pattern on her with some trees that were in the pasture another 100 feet away (remember, no tack: just leg pressure, balance, and voice). Her level of training was simply due to her high intelligence...she was nothing but a trail horse, with no formal training in an arena. Yet she did all this...just because she was danged smart.

After returning to the house, I waited a while before going to check on the carpet layer. I asked, "How is it going?"

He grunted.

"It looks way better than what used to be in here," I said.

He grunted.  No words. Just a grunt.

So, I turned to leave the room and he said, "What kind of a bit do you use on that mare?"

I answered, "I don't have to use one at all," and walked out.

That man has never spoken another word to me.

F$@ck him. :-p

Sheik was my partner and my mount for years after I bought her as a wild, unhandled 3 year old filly.  She rode and guided by voice, leg, and balance alone, and it was almost as if she read my mind and responded accordingly.  Together, "we" taught me everything I knew about riding and everything she knew. We started from scratch and learned together.

Anyone could ride her.  She adjusted as necessary to each rider's skill.  It used to frustrate me when she'd dance around and jig with me on her periodically, but drop her head and plod off whenever a child was on her without exception. She knew what her rider could handle...ok, and so I liked it when she had some fire, too.

One spring, Sheik got a respiratory infection and had to be on antibiotics. The antibiotics evidently reduce resistance to salmonella, and she developed salmonellosis. After days of hospitalization, the veterinarian told us he didn't think she would make it through the night. For some reason, she did, and she recovered. But, her lungs were irreparably damaged, and she had heaves (kind of like COPD in humans) and needed special care at times.

In her later years, I gave Sheik to a family nearby that had kids who needed a good horse to ride and to teach THEM how to ride, and who were willing to dampen her food to reduce dust and give her the medications she needed when her lungs had a flare up.  My kids weren't yet old enough to ride, and I hated to see her valuable skills going to waste. We didn't know if she would be riding when my kids were old enough, and this was the best choice.

I've missed her every day since she left a few years ago, but know she was never without love. They gave her great care, and I hope they will always be as thankful for having her as a teacher in their lives, just as I was thankful for having had her.


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Nejd Banou
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Sonnys Spot O Shadow



This page last updated 04/26/10
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