According to the saying of our forebears we should judge the horse more by his character than by his appearance.
Abd El Kadar
...Regarding Saff, well, he is the sweetest, most darling horse on the planet, and whenever I am taking him anywhere rests his muzzle on my right hand, just breathing on my fingers and gently rubbing his lips on them while we walk. His latest trick is to take a big mouthful of water as I come into his stall and wait until I am not paying attention to let the whole lot dribble either down my front or over my shoulder. I have told him that I am onto him and try to watch him like a hawk, but he is a patient horse and will hold that water for fifteen to twenty minutes until I am distracted (and the water is all warm and slimey) before nailing me. He is my darling, darling friend and I love him to pieces.
Anne-Louis Toner about Ibn Safinaz
Horses stepped daintily on to the bridge with fine muzzles, arching neck and tails carried high.
Sir John Bagott Glubb, 1920
Ibn Safinaz (Seef/Safinaz) at Imperial Egyptian Stud (photo Scott Trees) and his son Safeen (/Abitibi Madeena)
These few words capture the spirit of the war horse of the desert. The steeds of the defeated Shammar passing the bridge over the Euphrates in flight from Ibn Saud is a short, but timeless description fitting on any Arabian horse until today. We have reached the sixth pillar on which the breeder of the Arabian horse relies: the horse itself. The mare and the stallion are the material the breeder works with. A breed is distinguished by certain traits or standards and this chapter will look on those. After we have discussed the background of the Arabian horse in the chapters before, we will focus now, if you like, on the foreground, that is the horse as it stands before our eyes. The facts of genetics in mind, we have to remember that the phenotype (what we see) is only part of the story. The genotype, what we cannot see, on the other hand, determines or dictates the outcome of our breeding enterprise. The historic Arabian breed has been, in the opinion of the author, a rather heterogenic breed, as can be seen from the following facts: A multitude of different Bedouin tribes bred horses of many different strains and the old photographs of the horses speak a language that cannot be misunderstood. But if we look beyond, we find a common foundation that made the Arabian horse. As Paraskevas put it: “In those long-gone days, even before the first grainy black and white pictures appeared, the Arabian horse was viewed totally differently. The Arabian was regarded as an instrument of war and he was man´s companion and best friend in the wide-open desert. … In the distant times that witnessed the formation of the Arabian´s unique characteristics, form followed function.” He cites Wilfried Blunt to underline his thesis: “The single object for which the kehilan is bred by the Bedouins is service in their wars… The sole practical test is in the raid (ghazu)… What is of at least equal importance with speed, inasmuch as all fighting is done with the lance, is perfect shoulder action, facility in turning, a light mouth, intelligence and courage.”
Abu Medin (Matson Collection) and Ghazal El Bediya (Montasar/Marqueesa) in Dressage competition under Sylvia Linzert
The first and most important characteristic of a horse is his character, and this applies also to a breed in a whole. Paraskevas regards “inner strength, usefulness and typical Arabian disposition as paramount” in judging a horse, and only after these “the much sought-after physical characteristics of ascetic beauty and dryness that typify the Arabian in his phenotype should be in the center”. As the most illustrious authority he speaks of Emir Abd El Kader El Gazaeri:
“As reported in Daumas`”The horses of the Sahara”, Emir Abd El Kader told us that in the deserts of Arabia, the best of all horses - the real pure-bred Arabians - would form a bond with their master and develop a heartfelt oneness with their rider to the degree of sharing his loves and hates. These most valued horses formed an inter-dependent relationship with their owners; they would look forward to, and take part in men´s battle with the same intensity of purpose as the most dedicated warrior. Emir Abd El Kader spoke fondly of the inner values that were bred into this horse under the force of the march of history” (Paraskevas).
Also Judith Forbis states that “all the real (intangible) qualities we admire in the Arabian horse today are a result of a long heritage established through companionship and mutual respect.” Schäfer attests for the use in crossing the Arabian into other breeds, that he “gives us especially his intelligence, his quick reactions, his ability to learn, and the decidedly friendly attitude towards humans which we see even in stallions.” Wrangel writes: “Intelligence stands out as a dominating feature of the Arab horse. It is no exaggeration to say that, bred and raised in its natural environment, it leaves the other equine breeds very far behind when it comes to “Horse sense.” The reason for this can be tracked back to the conditions of life in the desert, his original habitat. The desert is a friendly place in the winter months and in early spring: everything is emerald green, millions of flowers bloom, scenting the air with a blend of dizzying perfumes. This lasts only a few months; by April the sun burns fiercely, rain pools dry up and the desert turns brown, arid and unfriendly. The only shade to be found is in the black goat hair tents and there all life centres. The horses stay in the shady side of the tents and often actually inside. The Bedouin children play with the young colts, the mares are humoured by everyone - for a pure bred (asil) mare is still considered by the Bedouin as a sacred possession. A condition of mutual trust and understanding thus exists between horse and man.”
Marqueesa (Ansata Amir Zaman/Maareesa) and Montasar (Madkour/Maymoonah)
As has already been shown in the above chapter on the Bedouin society, the horse in Arabia has been a family horse and a war horse at one time. In the opinion of the author this ambivalent “use” coins the character of the Arabian horse, to our days.
The War Horse
On one hand, its use in wars and raids relied on an interdependent relationship (Abd El Kader) between faris and faras, the warrior-rider and his mount, the Arabian mare. Intelligence and “war-sense” were vital aspects of battle survival, both for man and horse. “War-sense” can be understood in accordance to the so called cow-sense that enables the working horses on cattle farms and today in the discipline called “Working Cow Horse” of Western riding to engage in the difficult handling of cattle, that not too many horses are able to perform. The Arabian war horse was gifted with a similar capability in the battle-field: the warrior could rely on its “war-sense” in the tournaments of man-to-man fights with lance and swords. This was praised by the badu poets in countless qusdan, expressed by the Old Testament (in the book of Job) and the qu´ran (Sura 100), and witnessed also by many Westerners (see below). But what does “war-sense” mean? How can we understand this term in a time where the horse, and the rider as well, is no more engaged in war and battle?
The author would like to give some examples, first the account of Dr. Gisela Wegener, published in the book Asil Arabians VI: “Ghabra is a strong, well built Kuhaylan Jellaby of the Wazira strain which was bred by particularly warlike Bedouin. Ghabra, too, is a battle-ready horse who never runs away from anything. Even as a young mare she disciplined her stallion. Before she was broken in, the hierarchy had to be made clear from the start, and after that you could rely on her. If a rabbit crosses her path she will strike out at it with her front legs, but there´s never any question of her shying or jumping aside. If there is game nearby she takes the chase straight away or even cuts off the path of a dozen deer which are left standing puzzled. In the summer pasture she always keeps a close eye on her herd. If strangers come to the fence, no member of the herd may go over to them until she has given them the OK. Once when a foal playing with a plastic bag suddenly panicked and bolted away as the bag inflated in the wind, she organized the other mares to follow it; the foal was surrounded by the mares and stopped by Ghabra, causing it to drop the bag from its mouth, and the panic was over. My Ghabra is now a grandmother and still my favorite saddle-horse.”
Professor Paufler relates the following story on his mares Madinah and her daughter Messaouda M: One day both mares and their foals were turned out on pasture, when a dog went after one of the foals, chasing it. Both mares, in a second, attacked the dog with ears back and wide open mouths, teeth showing white. Madinah grabbed the intruder with her front teeth and hurled it through the air, over the fence. The dog lay there not moving any more, dead. The mares gathered their foals to their sides and were grazing calmly within a minute, as if nothing had happened. Dr. Zalis tells us about Dahabi in his report subtitled “About the harmony between horse and mare” (from the book Asil Arabians V ). Dahabi was his asil mare from the Sbaa Bedouins in Syria: “I have long held a professional interest in the communication between different species. The code of communication between rider and horse in the discipline of formal academic horsemanship was a special model for me. At the time when Dahabi was entrusted to me, I was searching for a horse of the highest intelligence. I successfully managed to develop this war-horse of the desert into a well schooled mount. I could ride her in a passage towards a landing plane, the wings would shake in the violent wind, and lead her in the deafening noise of the propeller, so she would eat titbids from the hand of the pilot, still seated in his cockpit.”
Madinah (Ibn Galal/ Mona II)
Belonging to the “fleeing-species”, the horse runs away in case of danger. This is one of the main instincts it possesses, or in other words, the way its behavior is programmed in its genes. The instinct to flee a danger is mainly a inter-species behavioral pattern. “War-sense” is somewhat the opposite, and includes fearlessness, agility, a strong will to perform, intelligence, obedience to its master, but also a sort of independence from him. It enables the animal to act to some degree on its own, reacting on situation and trying to reach at self determined aims. These are also to the most parts inherited abilities, called instinct. In opposition to the fleeing instinct, the “war-behavior” is connected with intra-species social behavior of dominance and fight between stallions, but also mares, and is then directed to a different species, thus becoming inter-species social behavior. Like the fleeing instinct this behavior is a quality close to wild, undomesticated animals. At the same time, these attributes are performed in the closest possible interdependent relationship with man: “I often mounted them at the invitation of their owners, and without saddle, rein, or stirrup, set them off at full gallop, wheeled them round, brought them up in mid career at a dead halt, and that without the least difficulty or the smallest want of correspondence between the horse´s movements and my own will; the rider on their back really feels himself the man-half of a centaur, not a distinct being.” Palgrave´s experience as rider on badu horses is taken from his famous paragraph on the Nejd-horses, that will be cited in full length later.
Musil reports on a special badu way to ride the mares in combat: “When defiling before their prince or commander, ´arza, on a festive occasion or in time of danger, the Bedouins hold their mares up short so that they leap forward, rise on their hind legs, back slightly, and then leap forward again. This performance is called hedeba or tehaddob. In a mock battle, le´eb al-khejl, or during a man-to-man fight, trad, the mares will spring in the same manner.” Many owners of Arabian horses will notice the resemblance of this hedeba to the way many of their horses will show their excitement when turned out loose on a paddock or pasture. They rise on their hind legs, jump high and even sometimes throw their hind legs back when all four feet are in the air. The author´s mare Marah Bint Maareesa really loves to show her temperament this way, although she normally behaves like a docile and sweet mother. Many stallions do also like to rear for fun. Judith Forbis tells us of this habit of Ansata Ibn Halima and his son Ansata Halim Shah. Michael Ponnath´s Halim Al Kadir (by Ansata Ibn Halima) was equally fond of this play. In classic dressage, in the so called schools over ground, this movements are called Levade and Courbette. The popular use of Arabians for Circus presentations is not only a result of their intelligence and trainability but also of this inherited ability to rear. Those movements are derived from the war practices of former days, but originate in the natural behavior of horses in intra-species conflicts.
Two photos from the Matson Collection and stallion Boksör (2.Hedban/43.Neame) in Turkey (right).
The Family Horse
The family horse, on the other hand, is regarded the opposite of the war horse. By domestication the intra-species social behavior of subordination has been developed into an inter-species social behavior of subordination. The family horse is a domesticated horse in the pure meaning of the word: a horse of the house, not the stable! The horse of the Arab house, the black tent, is not the only horse in the history of domesticated animals sharing the house of its master. But the only breed that was living in that close contact with its family over centuries. In quite a lot cultures of past times the animals, be it cattle, horses or other species, were living in a part of the huts of the poor farmers, giving in wintertime warmth, like in the old Germanic or Keltic societies. As a breed the Islandic horse seems an appropriate example.
Maseer El Bediya (Montasar/Marqueesa)
In Arabia, the horse was part of daily badu family life. All authors agree that it had the closest possible contact with all members of the family: man, wife, children, and slaves. It shared the tent of the Bedouin and went inside on its own, or was brought in by the caring family. Women and children played the major role in daily conduct. They coined the horse´s mentality. No wonder the Arabian horse is a horse responding favorably to love and patience that women often can give more easily than some male “cowboys”, who use force and oppression. The author´s wife, Gabriele, is the most inspiring model of teaching “obedience” by love . It will be mutual love at its best. Like Maareesa and Gabriele: The author had to share her with her mare Maareesa, who dearly loved her and behaved jealous of other horses and even humans. Even spoiled horses will respond favorably on true love, although sometimes only after a long and nevertheless rewarding way.
O´Connor wrote in the book “The Arabian Art of Taming Wild Horses” on the Arabian family horse back in 1857: “…whilst to the Arabs, whose horse is the pride of his life, and who governs him by the law of kindness, we find him (the horse, annotation by the author) to be quite a different animal. The manner in which he is treated from a foal gives him an affection and attachment for his master not known in any other country. The Arab and his children, the mare and her foal, inhabit the tent together; and although the colt and the mare´s neck are often pillows for the children to roll upon, no accident ever occurs, the mare being as careful of the children as of the colt. Such is the mutual attachment between the horse and his master, that he will leave his companions at his master´s call, ever glad to obey his voice. And when the Arab falls from his horse, and is unable to rise again, he will stand by him and neigh for assistance; and if he lays down to sleep, as fatigue sometime compels him to do in the midst of the desert, his faithful steed will watch over him, and neigh to arouse him if man or beast approaches. The Arabs frequently teach their horses secret signs or signals, which they make use of on urgent occasions to call forth their utmost exertions.” The tent, the home of the Bedouin family, seems to have played a central role in the development of the relationship between man and horse. Lady Blunt on one of their travels in Arabia, woke up one morning, finding a foal lying next to her bed, sleeping.
Maareesa (Montasar/Maamounah) and The Arab Tent, painting by Edwin Henry Landseer, 1866.
Zalis reports: “Seventeen years spent living with Dahabi were an ever increasing source of joy. For her I turned a room in my farmhouse into a stable. She held a clear, and yet gentle, dominion over three of my English Bullterriers that she knew one after another. She often went walking with me, in front of, not behind me, in town as well as in the countryside. All through her life she dunged inside her “stable room”, never in her paddock or even when being ridden. … That she exclusively chose her stable might lead to the conclusion that she regarded dunging an intimate affair.” Arabian horses seem to love human beings.
One extraordinary account is on the stallion Ibn Safinaz (Seef/Safinaz), born at El Zahraa in 1981. The author was captivated by his gentle spirit and the way he responded, when meeting the 25 years old sire. He had been a successful show, performance, and breeding stallion at Imperial Egyptian Stud for many years. His last caretaker, Anne-Louise Toner, gives us an idea of his uniqueness: "...Regarding Saff, well, he is the sweetest, most darling horse on the planet, and whenever I am taking him anywhere rests his muzzle on my right hand, just breathing on my fingers and gently rubbing his lips on them while we walk. His latest trick is to take a big mouthful of water as I come into his stall and wait until I am not paying attention to let the whole lot dribble either down my front or over my shoulder. I have told him that I am onto him and try to watch him like a hawk, but he is a patient horse and will hold that water for fifteen to twenty minutes until I am distracted (and the water is all warm and slimey) before nailing me. He is my darling, darling friend and I love him to pieces."
Wrangel reports another astonishing incidence that is nearly unbelievable. During a visit to the farm of Sherif Nasser, uncle of King Hussein of Jordan, he was shown an old bay mare. Sherif Nasser explained: “This mare has a particular love for my son whom she has seen grown up. In all my years with horses I have never seen the like. When my son was too small to get on, she would kneel beside him on her own accord and allow him to climb on her. She also let the boy suckle her alongside her foal - baby and foal both drinking her milk.” After that many praises on the character of the Arabian horse, we should not forget that this breed is maybe the one on which is attached more prejudice than on any other. It is especially the character that is blamed. Opinion prevails that the Arabian is “crazy”. Skipper notes: “The negative response of Arabian to rough, impatient handling and /or coercive training, coupled with their long memories, means that even if they are subsequently treated with more tact and consideration, it may take a great deal of patience and understanding to undo the harm and treat resulting behavioral issues. … Most breeds have their detractors, but I cannot think of any that have attracted as much venom as the Arabian.” Unsafe, unreliable, over-reacting, and fearsome, are only some attributes the Arabian breed has to live with. To sum this prejudice up in a short phrase: a nasty temper, an opinion also shared by many veterinarians.
Looking on the breed in our days we have to face some observations regarding character and behavior. There are some horses that are over-nervous and not safe for riding. They may panic without real reason, becoming dangerous because they cannot be controlled. Secondly, especially sensible animals may develop behavioral stereotypes like wandering in circles in their boxes, weavers (tripling from one front leg to the other) and wind-suckers (swallowing air into the stomach). All those behavioral problems are shown especially when the animals are excited, for instance before feeding time, or then they notice something strange and fearsome in their surroundings that they do not know. Such stereotypes are acquired in times of stress (foal weaning, new stable, etc.) Sometimes a different way of housing can help to loose this stereotypes, like keeping the horses in groups and not in small boxes. It is also interesting to note that those horses are often very intelligent and have a wonderful character. Third, foal rejection appears to be a wide-spread problem. Due to the pain of the swollen udder and the attempts of the newborn foal to suckle, the mare does not accept the foal to drink from her. She may kick after it or bite it away. This is most often found with mares giving birth to their first foal. If a sedative is given to the mare and she is held for the first times of nursing, this problem can be dealt with easily. All these observations seem to be indicative of a bad trend that came into the breed in recent times. The breeders should take notice and include the character and behavior of the horses into their breeding considerations.
Sameera El Bediya (Safeen/Mabrouka Bint Maareesa)
One question arises: Are those behavioral problems only a trend that have come into the breed after it has left its original home, the Bedouin society of Arabia? Or was it already a quality of the Arabian breed of the past. Musil reports: “Frequently some spirited mare shies, sasat, causing the others also to shy, sawwasat al-khejl, and all to run out from the camp, but the Bedouin sits undisturbed, leaving the women to hurry after the animals, calm them, and bring them back home” (Rendering prominent by the author). And Upton writes: “The desert-born horse or mare, bold as a lion among his own people and in the desert, is scared and wildly excited when brought into contact with unfamiliar sights and sound.” This clearly indicates that Arabians have been hot blooded and over-reacting already with the Bedouins.
The high temperament and over-reaction to external stimuli of the Bedouin horse has to be investigated further. It is a quality that does not fit to the family horse, but is a prerequisite of the war horse. Temperament had to be preserved in order to give the necessary war horse qualities. Quick reactions in the man-to-man fights on horse were essential for battle-survival. The fleeing instinct is closely connected with the temperament. High temperament makes a horse react fast in a thread and, therefore, its instinct to leave the danger and flee is dominant. The statement given above of the war horse as the opposite of the fleeing animal, thus receives its supplementary balance. The high temperament and over-reaction to external stimuli of the Bedouin horse is a vital part of the war horse, but needs control, control through the confidence the horse has in its rider or master and the resulting obedience. Otherwise it can never be a war horse. The “natural” and necessary balance to the war horse is the family horse. The fleeing instinct is still today quite present in the Arabian breed, but can be overcome by training and conditioning (a term from behavioral science). Training means to accustom the horse to threatening situations, for example the noise of gun fire. But there is a much better “mechanism” to prevent the horse from following its fleeing instinct: a relationship of trust to its master, an inter-species social behavior of subordination. And in badu society this was built up from the first day of the horse´s life in the family home of the black tents of Arabia.
But not only confidence in a human being will overcome the fleeing instinct, also the mare has such an influence on her foal or other members of the herd, like a proven broodmare of experience standing like a rock in the waves. If a mare is anxious this often will reproduce itself in her offspring. Inter-species relations and friendships can develop even to members of other species that are somehow included in the horse´s extended family , for example with a dog or a cat. One very striking example, not of an Arabian horse, was told by Mrs. Pullmann to the author: One of her Andalusian stallions shared his pasture with two male cattle and they established a friendship. Then a fire broke out in the barn, the two bulls, which could go in and out freely to their pasture, did not forget their companion that was in a closed box next to them. They broke the wooden wall that separated them from their friend and freed the locked in horse, although burning pieces already fell on their backs. By doing this they convinced their owners that they are of more use than to become a good piece of meat on the dinner table some day, and now they are allowed to live until they will die on a natural cause.
Reem El Bediya (Mashour Halim/Rua El Bediya) and Nasheeta El Bediya (Safeen/Nahzle)
The historic ambivalence of the Arabian breed as a war horse and a family horse is still a major characteristic of the Arabian´s character of today and remains the challenge in handling those animals. Even if some characteristics of behavior cannot strictly be attached to one of both types, both can with right be called the antipodes of the Arabian´s character. The first, the horse of war, is more an attribute of the masculine stallion, the second, the horse of the tent, of the caring mare. A high degree of domestication is competing with a high temperament that is still close to wild species. “The Gentle and the Fiery”, title of a book on the Arabian horse, puts it in a nutshell.
Every Arabian horse is composed of those opposite characteristics and can be located into a scale of character between those two said extremes. Most Arabians are a composition of both, to a more or less degree tending to one of both sides. Ideally they have inherited the best characteristics of both types: man-loving and willing to please, fearless and intelligent, relying on its master through a confidence acquired in a mutual relationship. For some horses it takes a longer way to reach there, but often the more challenging animals will reward the efforts overwhelmingly.
Some animals are much more war horse than family horse, others the other way round. Some may even seem to be only a horse of war. Famous Arabian horses come to mind, that could only be handled by one person. Morafic (Nazeer/Mabrouka), who was chosen to become the successor of his all important sire at El Zahraa, was trained to proof his performance ability on the race track. But because of his difficult temperament he could not be controlled and was soon sent back home. Only after his export to America, in the capable hands of his trainer Tom McNair, a deep friendship developed, that brought the true character of Morafic into the light. He became not only a world leading sire, but also a show horse and a versatile performance horse, too. Also many of Morafic´s get, Ruminaja Ali standing out in fame and also in strong character, were cut from the same stone. The one-man-horse, or one-woman-horse, needs a master-friend to perform to his fullest potential. The war horses, of both sexes: a nightmare to those who do not understand to handle them, but the horse of their life for those who are able to find the key to their personality. Dominant horses, that do not like to be touched by foreigners without a short and polite hello or introduction before one approaches. Horses that can become angry and bad if treated wrong. The horror for the veterinarian who does not understand this character and who cannot rely on the assistance of a person of confidence from the horses life. Ambitious horses that love to work and have a task to do, born race- or endurance-horses. Independent animals who do not like to be forced. But horses to wait for their loving master to come into their life and then will do everything for him. In mares tending to be war horses by character, we can often observe a masculinity in appearance and behavior. Many are also difficult to breed, showing no or only slight signs of heat. They do not accept easily to be covered by a stallion and may also give colt foals after colt foals. Stallions of the war-horse type, on the other hand, do not tolerate competition by other stallions and will fight such a rival without regard. Two stallions of this character should not be kept close to one another, otherwise they become angry and aggressive.
Morafic (Nazeer/Mabrouka), left, photo Erika Schiele and his world famous father Nazeer (Mansour/Bint Samiha), photo Ekkehard Frielinghaus, head stallions at El Zahraa, Egypt.
The other side of the coin shows the sensitive and gentle horse, the family horse. It turns to man from the first day of its life, loves to be petted and searches the company of humans. It tolerates quite a lot of mistakes done by its caretakers, as long as those are made good with food and attention. It is more docile and more easy to subdue, but may be less rewarding in performance, being more indifferent towards it. Some also may develop a sort of stubbornness and need a lot of motivation to obey if they are not in the mood for it. Some of them make good their lack of ambition by their dressage potential. But the training must not bore them. Stallions may only show their masculine behavior if they are not oppressed by other males of the more war horse like type. But the owners of such a family horse should never forget that its hot temperament is just hidden below the surface and can come to the fore unexpected! This may be the only sign of the war horse inside such a family-type, to over-react in certain circumstances. Family-type Arabians are also not the sort of show-horses to excel through their “look-at-me” attitude in today´s “show-circus”.
One rather annoying behavior encountered in many Arabians, both in males and females, is the throwing of the head in a sort of circle when showing their temperament or excitement, as if to get rid off too much energy that is in them. This can be quite dangerous if the hard bony head hits you on your head. This is also a war horse and intra-species behavior of aggression, preserved even in those family horse types of the Arabian breed. It is said of Arabian horses that they never forget. For a veterinarian owner this may be quite a challenge, because it is not always possible to avoid pain in treating a horse. The family horse will come to the fore if the Arabian suffers pain: It can be quite touching to see how an Arabian shows its painful leg by holding it up when the doctor enters its box. Arabians show much more pain than most other breeds, caused on one side by the temperament, and on the other by their attachment to their caretaker. You may get the impression that the Arabian horse is a “softy”, as it is suffering and expressing its pain quite obviously. And that may be a wrong impression as well, because the proverbial hardness and tolerance of the Bedouin horse will show up in the outcome of the disease and not in the expression of pain. The Arabian horse will also seek comfort and consolation with man, if it suffers sickness and pain. The author has encountered life-threatening situations of sick Arabians there you cannot help but believe that the animal does somehow have a sort of knowledge of its immanent death. Also it seems to him that the rest of the stable did also “understand” the meaning of death. In such cases, the whole atmosphere in the stall changes totally . Horses “talking” to you on normal days, will be silenced during and after such horrible times of death. Similar, but on the other hand totally different impressions can be found on those days of joy in a stud farm, when foals are born. The new life is welcomed by the horses, and everyone is curious about the new member of the family. You will notice in an instant if a foal is born “unexpected” during the night, when you enter the stable in the morning. Also there are horses that will tell you when a birth can be expected from a neighboring mare. Montasar (Madkour X Maymoonah), for many years the main stallion of the stud-farm of the author´s father in law, did this when his favorite mare, Massilah, was due to foal. You may guess how: Of course by talking! In his own ways! By showing his anticipated joy to have her back again into his harem in a couple of days. Today beauty and especially the form of the head is the most important aspect for many breeders. The term “head hunter” was coined in America to indicate this. So we will look upon the head next, as it may also reveal many aspects of the horse´s character.