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The Arabian Horse

The early writings regarding the Arabian horse are quite interesting.  The article
below deals with some excerpts from The Horses Of The Sahara by General Dumas.
It contains commentaries by The Emir Abd-El-Kader and was published in 1863.

Excerpts from The Horses of the Desert Part I

COATS

The favorite coats are:

The White: "Take the horse white as a silken flag, without spot, with the circles of his eyes
                    black."

The Black:  "He must be black as a night without moon and stars".

The Bay:  "He must be nearly black, or streaked with gold.  The dark red one said to the
                  dispute, 'Stop there."

The Chestnut:  "Desire a dark shade.  When he flees beneath the sun, it is the wind.  The
                          the Prophet was partial to chestnuts."

The Dark Dappled Gray:  called "the Grey of the wild pigeon," if resembling the stone of
                                            the river.

He will fill the dour
When it is empty,
And will preserve us from combat
On the day when the muzzles of the guns touch each other.

The Grays are generally esteemed when the head is a lighter color than the body.
The Green, or rather the yellow dun, which must be dark, with black tail and mane.
White is the color for princes, but does not stand heat.  The black brings good fortune, but
fears rocky ground.  The chestnut is the most active.  "If one tells you that he has seen a
horse fly in the air, ask of what color he was; and if he replies: 'Chestnut,'-believe him."
" In a combat against a chestnut, you must have a chestnut,"  The bay is the hardiest and
most sober.  "If one tells you that a horse has leaped to the bottom of a precipice without
hurting himself, ask of what color he was; and if he replies: 'Bay,'---believe him."

Ben Dyab, a renowned chief of the desert, who flourished in the year of the Hijra 955,
happening one day to be pursued by Saad-el-Zenaty, sheik of the Oulad Yagoub, turned
to his son and asked:  "What horses are in front of the enemy?"   "White horses", replied
his son.  "It is well; let us make for the sunny side, and they will melt away like butter."
Sometime afterwards Ben Dyab again turned to his son and said:  "What horses are in
front of the enemy?"  "Black horses", cried his son.  "It is well; let us make for stony
ground, and we shall have nothing to fear---they are the negroes of the Soudan, who cannot
walk with bare feet upon the flints."  He changed his course and, and the black horses were
speedily distanced.  A third time Ben Dyab asked:  "And now  what horses are in front of
the enemy?"  "Dark chestnuts and dark bays."  "In that case," exclaimed Ben Dyab,
"strike out, my children, strike out and give your horses the heel, for these might perchance
overtake us had we not given barley to all of ours all the summer through".

Part II - Next Month
The Coats Despised

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