The Little Arab That Could
Dakota was 3 1/2 when we brought him home from Woodland Park, CO. He was, at the time, 15.1 hands high, and did not weigh quite 400 lbs. He was kept in a 12 foot triangle space with a small stream of water running through it. He did not even have a dry place for all of him to lie down in. There was no shelter not even a tree, and was lucky if he received 1/2 flake of hay a day. We have never seen hair on a horse so long before, but God must have made it that way to keep him from freezing to death. We measured his outer guard hairs, and they measured 4 inches! The temperature the night before we picked him up was 11 degrees, and a storm front was coming in for the weekend with temperatures expected to plummet to near 0 degrees. I truly do not think he would have made it through the weekend in his condition.
When we picked him up that morning, I was really worried about picking up an Arabian horse. I had never been around any, only thoroughbreds and QHs, and was always told Arabs are far too crazy to make a good horse. (Boy! was I ever ignorant!) One look into Cody's eyes let me know that something very very wonderful was hanging onto life by a thread and would NOT go out without a fight. How could we let him down? The day before we picked him up, my husband was seriously injured in a work related accident, and we knew things were going to be financially tough for us, but we could not leave him where he was.
We worried about him all the way down the pass to Colorado Springs, because he was so weak he could hardly stand up. Within a couple of days, he developed a severe cough and was put on antibiotics. With a lot of gentle care and much patience, Cody began to come around. We had some ups and downs, but the ups began to outweigh the downs, and he has blossomed into the most wonderful creature I have ever known!
The picture on the rescue page is the day we picked Cody up. The picture on the left was taken 5 months after we brought him home, and he and Erin placed in a halter class she entered him in at our riding club. At 7 months, she entered him in a riding class at a show. The object of this one class that we entered him in was to introduce him to people and other horses, and to get through this class behaving reasonably well. He exceeded our expectations and was a perfect gentleman. The trotting picture was taken June 21st, 2 years after bringing him home.
How could anyone every say an Arab is too crazy to own?!?!?!? Cody is a very outgoing inquisitive and very intelligent horse, but with ALL children, he is the most gentle boy we have known - always steady and careful of the kids. That goes for gentle adults too.
We recently took on another Arab. This one is an Arabian stallion - a great grandson of +Bask. The owners have several Arabian mares and stallions and breed them, but due to illness, they have had to find good homes for as many of them as they can to get their herd down to a more managable size. Because we are very good friends, and I didn't want Baskon to go to strangers who might abuse him, I agreed to take him in exchange for a large watercolor painting of an Arab stallion, and a large commercial sign which I did for them (that's one of the things I do for a living now that my husband is disabled). Even though the value on the painting and sign was $2,500, it was by far not enough for this wonderful gentleman - our kids call him the Sean Connery of the horse world! We truly feel blessed that Baskon has been able to come live with us. He is also an incredibly steady, gentle, and intelligent guy, and dotes on our 10 year old son. I trust him completely with any children.
This is all further proof that a horse, no matter what breed, will definitely thrive and flourish with the right care and love.
We hope the pictures of Cody will be useful to you, and will inspire others to help rescue these wonderful special animals, and to also inspire people to speak out and act against abuse of animals in all its forms.