Farhan al-Olayyan up to the 1980s

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 in General

This serves mostly as a note to myself: I found an intriguing reference to Farhan al-‘Olayyan in a Syrian hujjah of a horse born in the mid 1980s. I had long thought that Farhan al-‘Olayyan, a former black slave who had acted as an agent of the Saudi royal family for the purchase of hundreds of desert horses from Syria, was active in the 1960s and the 1970s, but this reference extends his activity up until the 1980s. It is from the hand of ‘Aissa al-Sallal, a stallion owner (in Arabic “hassan”, in french “etalonnier”), and in it he mentions that his main stallion, a Kuhaylan al-Khdili bred by Omar al-Huwaydi al-Mishlib, of the ‘Afadilah tribal Shaykhs, was bought by Farhan al-‘Olayyan for expert to Saudi Arabia, but had already sired a Ma’naqi Sbayli stallion in 1984.

This is really interesting, and potentially establishes a connection with the horses registered in the Saudi Studbook and know to be coming from “the north”. Worth digging further.

How Ma’naqi mares are special

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 in General

My Syrian friend Radwan — one of the persons from whom I keep learning — told me that desert mares from the Ma’naqi strain were characterizeda, among other features by long ears, large and long mouths that ran deeper into the muzzle than horses from other strains, and horizontally placed eyes, more so than horses from other strains whose eyes were parallel to the axis of the head.

This was in connection with a discussion of the precious desert Ma’naqi Sbayli strain known as “Ma’aaniq al-Tanf” (after their location at the Tanf desert border crossing between Syria and Iraq) or “Ma’aaniq Abu Jarn” and its tracing to the Black Marzaqani (al-Marzaqani al-Adham), the famous Saqlawi stallion of the Maraziq of Shammar later owned by Alaa al-Din al-Jabri in the 1960s. These are the horses of ‘Affaat al-Dbeissi of the Fad’aan, a precious marbat which Jean-Claude Rajot and other French and German purists visited in the 1990s in the Syrian Desert (Jens Sennek has stories about that visit to them in his awesome book), but the Syrian Studbook does not show that the line actually traces to the Black Marzaqani. The old chestnut Ma’naqiyah mare which Ibrahim Khamis of Hama owned in the early 1990s was the daughter of the Black Marzaqani. I think I remember her, or maybe it was her daughter which the Hama people bought from Affata’ after the dam had died without female progeny.

Bahraini horses outside the royal family

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 in General

Ahmad Saffar from Bahrain told me the other day that wealthier Bahrainis from the ahali — the population, so not royals — kept marabet of Shawafan and Wadhnan until the 1970s, when they turned to Thoroughbreds and part bred Arabs for racing. They had obtained these strains from Southern Iraq — presumably the area around Basra and al-Zubayr.

Learning to ride bareback

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 21st, 2016 in General


belle and barakah

On breeding for straight profiles

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 19th, 2016 in General

I never believed straight profiles were a defect. Most of the desert Arabian horses I grew up with in Lebanon and Syria had straight profiles. Very early on, I found that quote in Lady Wentworth’s “Authentic Arabian Horse”, perhaps taken from Lady Anne Blunt’s unpublished manuscript; it echoed what I was seeing and learning about around me:

“A straight profile should not be a defect if the forehead is very broad, the eyes placed low and very large, and the muzzle small”

I would add deep round jowls and prominent facial bones to this description. Together, a deep jowl, a small muzzle and a broad forehead form a head with a triangular shape in both the profile and the face. I am actually striving to breed an Arabian horse with all these characteristics, to make the point that the resulting outcome is an attractive, even “classic” head.

Jamr’s head, below, approaches this description. The jowl is unbelievably large, and the muzzle is small. The eyes are placed low, but they are not large (a legacy of his maternal grandsire Dib). The facial bones are somewhat apparent but the face will be drier with age. The overall shape of the head is triangular, and exudes masculinity.


Wadha last month

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 16th, 2016 in General



Jamr last week

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 12th, 2016 in General

This time it was hard to grab good shots of my young stallion Jamr, who kept prancing. His hindquarter is shaping into true old Crabbet style, and each time I see him he looks different. He is 43.5% old Crabbet lines, his dam was double that percentage.





Belle and Barakah

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 12th, 2016 in General

This young filly is the happy outcome of a sustained preservation effort of the Kuhaylan ‘Ajz line of *Nufoud, and of the small number of Arabian horses without Crabbet bloodlines. Her name means “divine blessing”. May she be blessed and continue this precious line of royal horses.




Her dam Jadah BelloftheBall (“Belle”) was rescued several years ago by Jeannie Lieb, who drove to Colorado to pick her up after the previous owner had fallen on hard times. Upon seeing her, my father, who was here visiting, told her she reminded him of the daughters of the great asil Lebanese stallion Machaal. He was very fond of these.

I will breed her to a stallion from Saudi lines next time.

Inaam Al Krush

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 11th, 2016 in General

Jackson Hensley sent this photo of his stunning Monologue CF son, Inaam Al Krush. I had seen him a few months ago, and liked him, but he looks even better in this photo. Reminds me of that iconic photo of Kuhailan Haifi O.A.

That Monologue CF, I should have bred all my mares to him.


Wadd at five

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 9th, 2016 in General

Wadd, who is now five years old, is maturing into a handsome, masculine stallion in the line of the Kuhaylan Hayfi sires of Craver Farms. He is more reminiscent of his grandsire Javera Thadrian than he is of his sire Triermain CF.

Large eyes, broad forehead, prickled ears, bony face, arched neck, curved throat, short back, deep girth, broad chest, sloped shoulder, silky hair, fine skin, solid tendons, short cannon bones, high tail carriage, and good movement. I would have preferred a deeper jowl, a longer hip and a straighter croup, but I can live with that, because when moving the slightly droopy quarter does not show. His daughter has both his many qualities and his few shortcomings.




New Kuhaylat al-Ajuz filly

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on July 2nd, 2016 in General

Barakah Al Arab — fuzzy picture — was born on June 23, 2016, at 4.00 am, a tall filly by Wadd Al Arab (Triermain CF x Wisteria CF by  Triermain CF) out of Jadah BelloftheBall (aka “Belle”, by Invictus Al Krush x Belladonna CHF by Audobon CF). She will probably be grey.

She is a Kuhaylat al-‘Ajuz by strain, tracing to *Nufoud of the horses of King Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia. She is the first “Sharp” (no Blunt/Crabbet blood in the pedigree) filly of that rare strain in fifteen years, the previous such filly being her own dam, born in 2002.  She is also my first “second-generation” foal, her sire Wadd having also been bred by me.

I plan to go see her on Sunday.


DA Ginger Moon in April 2016

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on April 29th, 2016 in USA

DA Ginger Moon (“Ginger”, by DB Destiny Moniet x Kumence RSI by Monietor RSI), my 1998 Saqlawiyah of Ibn Dirri is looking increasingly good and has stopped loosing weight and even started gaining some. The last shot is from February 2016, with Chris Yost, who owns Ginger’s 2014 yearling colt El Moubarak BLY.




Shadows Aana for 2017

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on April 8th, 2016 in General

This is the mare I will be breeding this spring. Shadows Aana (SS Shadowfax x Juans Aana by El Reata Juan), a 2000 Ma’naqiyah Sbayliyah with five crosses to Julyan (and hence, Julep, and Gulastra), three crosses to Antez, and two crosses to Hanad (through his daughter Schiba) has been with me since last July.

She will be bred to my Jamr, who will add another fourteen crosses to Antez, ten more to Gulastra and five to Hanad, through Sanad, Tripoli, Ibn Hanad and Ameer Ali.

Their conformations are also consistent with each other: both have deep jowls, short backs, and are built like tanks.

Shadows Aana


Thalia Rehab Project: Examination of the Laminitic Hoof

By Jeannie Lieb

Posted on March 27th, 2016 in General


This is the 3rd trim since Thalia joined my barn around the first of the year.  An improved connection of her hoof capsule to the coffin bone (P3), which you can see in the “Right Front” photo,  has grown down from the coronary band enough for me to feel comfortable with REALLY backing her toe up.  I used my nippers laying flat on the barn floor to clip away dead hoof.  This is the rough cut before rasping smooth.  Saves me lots of rasping!  What you see in the picture is all dead hoof, called the Lamellar Wedge .   The lamellar wedge is what forms in between the live structures of the inner hoof  and the hoof capsule.  In other words the “white line”.  That thin yellow/whitish line between the hoof wall and the sole.  This is what happens to the white line  when the coffin bone loses its connection to the hoof capsule.  The white line in the area where separation has occurred stretches. And the more it stretches the more severe the rotation. The more severe the rotation the larger the lamellar wedge will be.

The “Left Front” picture shows how Thalia’s coffin bones have become “sinkers”. “Sinkers” are coffin bones which not only rotate out of the horizontal position toward a vertical position but also lose connection to the hoof capsule so far up toward the  coronary band that P3″sinks” toward the ground.  In these cases a convex instead of a flat or concave sole develops.

Notice how the left sole bulges, and how her frog has an upward curve in its shape toward the tip of the frog. This is how I know the coffin bone has not only rotated but equally as bad, dropped toward the ground away from P2.  This mare was in danger of sloughing off the hoof capsule.  What saved her was the tremendous amount of dead sole she had accumulated.   I’m leaving all that dead sole in place  for now.  She needs it for support of her internal structures. The red spot you see is from previous bleeding into the live, (like your skin) sole trapped under the dead sole.  The position of that red spot is directly over a section of the outer edge of the coffin bone.  I’ve used pictures of both the left and the right front.  They are equally poor mechanically.

On the upside, and another saving grace for her, she has very healthy frogs and bulbs in both front feet.  This is most unusual in a laminitic horse.  It says that her hoof mechanics,  pre how ever many laminitis episodes she’s had, were good enough to make her comfortable about using the back part of her hoof in a healthy way.  You don’t see strong fogs and bulbs like hers  on horses who  have had too much heel left after trims or shoeing year after year.

Thalia Rehab Project Update March 21, 2016

By Jeannie Lieb

Posted on March 21st, 2016 in General


The top picture is Thalia in early January right after I brought her to my place from Virginia for Edouard.  The bottom picture was taken yesterday, March 20, 2016.  I want you to notice how the fat pat from her croup to her tail head has evaporated.  She no long has a rear-end that looks like a Percheron.  She has been shedding her excessively thick and long haired coat since January.  As of now she is down to a normal winter coat.  The crest of her neck has slimmed down.  We had blood work done, glucose and insulin from the same draw, and ACTH to test for PPID (Pituitary Pars Intermedia Disfunction aka Cushings).  Thalia came back positive for both conditions though fortunately only slightly high in both. (See note below) This is the best scenario we could have hoped for given what her external symptoms were telling us. Getting her metabolic system back under control is obviously much easier and bodes better in terms of breeding her for a preservation foal.  The physical changes that have occurred  include appropriate supplementation to balance the major and trace mineral content of the hay she consumes.  She gets almost no concentrated feed (grain).  Her diet is hay.  She gets 1tsp 2x/day of Vitex angus (Chaste Tree Berry) powder 3 weeks on and 1 week off.  This herb can help assist pituitary function.  Sometimes works sometimes not.  Working in her case, thankfully.  She moves more rapidly these days, offering to both trot and canter.  She had so much inflammation all over her body when she came in she acted more like a 30yo than a coming 24yo.

NOTE:  While Thalia’s glucose and insulin numbers are within normal limits, it is the ratio of the two that determines Insulin Resistance.  See the  IR Calculator posted on ECIRHorse.org

Clarion CF at Kirby Drennan’s

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 13th, 2016 in General

Clarion CF (Regency x Chinoiserie by Dharanad), 1991 liver chestnut stallion, is the sire of my Mayassah, and is standing at Kirby Drennan’s, in Virginia, IL.


More of Twickenham CF

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 13th, 2016 in General

From my visit to Illinois, last weekend. With Marty Bugg. The first photo is my best shot of a horse in motion in a long time.





Twickenham at Craver Farms last weekend

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 12th, 2016 in General

This 2003 Kuhaylan Hayfi stallion (Regency x Kiddleywink by Regency) is, according to Jeanne Craver, the most look-alike of his Regency’s sons, and his second youngest.


Beautiful Reema CF

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 12th, 2016 in General

Debbie Mackie’s Reema CF (Trilogy x Fragrance by Regency) was the prettiest mare I saw in my trip to Illinois over last weekend. She is so refined and yet so well built and balanced.




The gorgeous Pulcher

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 10th, 2016 in General

I was blown away by Pulcher (a.k.a Anecdote CF, by Triermain CF out of Aniq El Bedu by Iliad), while visiting Jackson Hensley and Alice Martin last weekend.What beauty, what type, what personality, what nobility, what “Arabness”, what “desert appeal” (I am coining the phrase) this horse has! Whew!

Certainly Triermain’s best son.


pulcher again

Mayassah nearing 3

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 10th, 2016 in General

This is my 2013 Kuhaylat al-Krush filly, Mayassah Al Arab (Clarion CF x Cinnabar Myst by ASF David). Three years old this summer. I am very proud of this filly I bred for several reasons. She embodies my preservation efforts.


Mayassah 03.2016

The antiquity of her bloodlines is an obvious reason: for instance, Abu Zeyd (Mesaoud x Rose Diamond), b. 1904, is just five generations away. For comparison, he is thirteen generations away in a stallion like Marwan Al Shaqab. The extreme rarity of her lines, too: the stallions Gharis (Abu Zeyd x Guemura by Segario), Fartak (*El Bulad x *Farha), Abu Selim (*Azra x Domow), Tabab (*Deyr x Domow), Royal Amber (Ribal x Babe Azab), and Oriental (Letan x Adouba), were all popular stallions in early Arabian breeding in America, with thousands of descendants in general list Arabians, and she is very much the last Al Khamsa horse that traces to them — and pretty closely too.

The effort I went through to make that breeding happen is a third reason. I leased, then acquired her dam and her dam’s sister from Trish Stockhecke in Canada. They were 19 and 20 years old, and had never been bred before. The older mare was bred to Aurene CF in 2011 (Triermain CF x Aureole CF) but slipped the foal. That was a big loss because she was the better mare of the two. Then Jeanne Craver agreed to take both mares on, and Kirby Drennan agreed to breed the younger mare to Clarion CF (Regency x Chinoiserie). In the late stages of her pregnancy, Kim Davis took the mare to her farm, and foaled and raised Mayassah until weaning age. Mayassah is now at Craver Farms.

Finally, I like how different she is from other Al Khamsa horses. The length of her hip. The strength of the coupling. The inclination of the shoulder. The depth of the girth. The high croup. The balance. You feel you are standing next to an unfolding racing machine. She moves very nicely too, effortlessly, lightly, like a feline, as if there were air cushions under her, and I did not expect that. She has a lot of growing left, and is not three yet. On the downside, the ears are small, and the head, despite the deep jaws and the broad forehead, is plain.

Nutrition: Dental Visit #3 Case Study Elegance CF 2001gm

By Jeannie Lieb

Posted on March 7th, 2016 in General

Elegance had her  third dental visit and second power tool dental procedure on March 1, 2016.  She was ready for another adjustment as I saw her starting to avoid the long stem hay and searching for the fine stuff that falls out during their selecting what hay to eat.  Also, washing her mouth out every 3 or 4 days showed more packing between her left upper dental arcade and her cheek.  My equine dentist sent me a mouth washing tool, bless his heart. What is used is called a “drencher” for sheep and cattle if  you care to look up what those look like.

Here is what her mouth looks like after he finished.


Please note how “short” her right side lower molars are.  This is from years of over grinding on the right side. What he told both myself and my veterinarian, who was present for the special sedation she needs for this type of dentistry, is he isn’t trying to make both sides of her mouth look the same.  He is balancing each side to itself.  The two sides will never look “equal”.  He said if this problem had been caught when she was young it could have been corrected.  But now we go for the most movement on the left side we can get.

When he began the remodeling Elegance could not slide her lower jaw forward when her head was dropped below the horizontal level or slide her lower jaw  back when her head was raised above the horizontal.  She now has some movement both forward and backward.  Think about the implications of not being able to relax her lower jaw and slide it as necessary when being ridden, especially with a bit.

Here is a picture of what it looks like when he is working on her.


King Ali ibn Husayn of the Hijaz on an Arabian steed

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 4th, 2016 in Arabia

Oh how much I would give to know the strain and the breeding of this handsome desert stallion. I have a fascination for the mounts of Arab kings, sheykhs and other leaders, and I pay particular attention to the photos featuring them — this one by Gerald de Gaury of King Ali of Hijaz, the last Grand Sherif of Mecca, was featured on Rehanuddin Baber’s facebook page.

That’s because I feel that there are specific reasons these horses have been selected to be ridden on official occasions, when photos were taken. I believe that these horses of kings embody a certain ideal Arabian horse at the time, and can be looked at the equivalent of today’s show champions. This ideal may even influence the tastes of the spectators.

Notice the broad chest, the deep jaws, the short ears, the strong muscular neck, and the big bone. This is what I hope my Jamr (Vice Regent CF x Jadiba) will look like in a few years.

king ali of hejaz

Tunisian Arabians

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on March 3rd, 2016 in General

We need a concerted, sustained c ollective effort to save what remains of the Asil Tunisian Arabians before the French invasion for racetrack pseudo-Arabian makes is too late. This is the gorgeous 1963 Kuhaylat al-Ajuz mare Naziha (Chetoui x Chouka by Ibn and Idara by Ibn Fayda and Selma by Azem and Isaoub by Negrach).

Naziha, an Asil mare of Tunisian bloodlines

Mokhtar winning the Latakia race in 1993

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on February 11th, 2016 in General, Syria

I scanned this archive photo of a famous event among Syrian horse breeders, the Latakia race of 1993, which I attended with my father. Arabians from all over the country and neighboring ones flocked to this national event, the first of its kind on such a scale.

This is a photo of the finish line of the eighth and last race, over a distance of 2000 meters. Mokhtar, Basil Jadaan’s black desert-bred Kuhaylah al-Krush, (now in France and turning 30 next year) won the race, with minimal training. Khalid, Mustafa al-Jabri’s Saqlawi Jadran (Mahrous x Khalidah) came a close second.

The biggest surprise was the third place (not showing in the first picture, but to the right in the second one) of Hakaya, the black desert-bred Shuwaymah Sabbah of the Sheykh of the Bedouin tribe of Tai. She was 15 years old, heavily in foal, ridden bareback, without formal training, by a bulky Tai Bedouin (the others were ridden by professional jockeys), and without a bit… only a Bedouin halter.

Let me write this again to let it sink in: a 15 years old mare, heavily in foal, ridden bareback, without formal training, by a bulky Bedouin, and without a bit coming third in a 2000 meter race.

mokhtar latakia race 1993


In the second photo, you can barely see Basil holding Mokhtar’s bridle in the middle (his head almost entirely hidden by the cameraman’s device); the late Mostafa holding Khalid’s bridle to the left, and that Tai Bedouin to the right, riding Hakaya … with the white Bedouin bridle (rashmah). I took the two photos from my seat. I still remember this day vividly.