August 11, 2015
When I think of many of the problems and challenges facing our beloved Arabian breed and industry one thing comes most often to my mind, and that is education! I am going to focus specifically on breeding and conformation in this entry. As I look at new people coming into our breed I see one consistent problem with how they are often introduced to the Arabian. While the Arabian Community is a wonderful lifestyle and atmosphere, this cannot be the only reason that people become involved. If they are going to stay in our breed they must be educated as to what a good horse is and why. Too often I hear people making breeding decisions based on seeing an ad for a horse, or because a horse was a show winner. Shows should be a good metric to compare horses and be able to visually see horses, but they cannot be the end all. Just because a stallion placed well in a show does not mean he will be a great sire! Far too often when I hear people talk about pedigrees I hear only a very few names of very famous horses. These are not the only horses in a pedigree and genetically the others are just as, if not more important. We must not fail to stress education and study of as many horses in our pedigrees as possible. The internet has made it possible to find pictures of many horses, even ones born decades ago. These horses make a huge impact on the horses we are creating today and failure to understand this will doom us to making the mistakes that earlier breeders had already worked out. As breeders we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, other breeders before us have found what works and what doesn’t by trial and error. Very few programs exist today but if we are willing to look to the past and study the great breeders of yesterday we can become the great breeders of tomorrow. I believe it is incredibly important to have a “program”, by that I mean that we must encourage people to breed horses that they like first and foremost! Something my Dad has always taught is that you better breed horses you like because at the end of the day you have to feed them. If you are breeding for the market or chasing the fad you will always be behind and ending up with horses you hope that someone else likes. The market changes and is ever changing. The goal of every breeder should be first, and fore-most to breed better and better horses each generation. I am young but I can recognize a Varian, or Kale, or LaCroix Arabian. My hope is that when people see one of our horses they say “that is a Taylor Arabian” and that should be the ultimate goal of each breeder.
July 27, 2015
Well I have finally been convinced to write a blog….Where to begin?
I think a good place to start is the beginning (bonus points to those who can name that movie). My Father’s uncle Stan Bonnett first had Arabian horses in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Visiting Utah in the summers, my Father grew to have an immense passion for the Arabian horse, purchasing his first Arabian stallion at the age of 16. Through all of life’s changes, at least one Arabian was always part of his family. As I was growing up our Saturday ritual was to go to the barn where his stallion was boarded and ride, groom, bathe, clean and anything else I could do with the horses. When I was about 10 years old my Parents attended the US Nationals in Albuquerque where we were visiting family, and the first 3 mares were purchased, one of which was a *Nariadni daughter. That beautiful little Russian mare would start my journey into Arabian horses. A few years later we were able to acquire and stand *Nariadni himself and our Arabian Horse journey was off and running.