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It's the favour of God
According to an old legend, the Angel Gabriel once commanded the winds to stop blowing. They soon gathered together to form a spectre that breathed in the divine winds of the world. The spectre took the shape of a beautiful prancing horse, and so the Arabian horse was born.
Originating from Arabia Peninsula the Arab is over 4000 years old and has influenced many breeds all over the world. From the powerful racing thoroughbred to the Connemara pony. For many years the people of Arabia and its surroundings called these horses 'wind drinkers from the desert' and this title is well earned. They have amazing endurance, willpower and speed, and a fierce spirit to keep their riders on their toes.
But sometimes there are pure Arabs that are born with a faded red mark on their shoulder. It is rare, almost unheard of, but the breeders will be quick to tell you that it is the sign of favour, a favour from God. And it can be traced to a strong, vibrant mare who proved the strength, tenacity and loyalty of the Arabian horse.
The legend goes that once there was a Bedouin prince who owned a beautiful mare whose name has unfortunately been lost to time. Today they call her simply, The Mare, or the Bloody-shouldered Mare. Unlike her fiery brethren, she was sweet-tempered and said to be faster than any other horse in the world. The Bedouin prince was fiercely fond of her and considered her a companion more so than just a mount.
While out on a hunt the prince had accidentally become separated from his entourage and found himself desperately searching for his party or nearby camp. The two, horse and rider, had pushed on through the sweltering heat for most of the day when an enemy patrol recognised the prince. As the prince quickly took off to escape, the enemy rider called to his allies and the group took pursuit, eager to either kill or ransom the hapless prince. The Mare dodged the arrows swiftly despite being heavy with foal. But luck was against her rider, and one arrow was shot true and pierced him in the back.
He slumped over her neck and sensing her master was in danger, she ran even faster, taking care to keep him balanced.
The enemy took chase to capture the wounded prince, but the mare was too fast for their horses and soon they pulled back and gave up, hoping the heat of the desert would do the job for them. Despite the enemy's retreat the mare did not slow her stride and kept the brutal pace for three days to reach home. On the third morning she finally reached a friendly camp, and the people, recognising the mount of their prince, quickly rushed over to help. But sadly, he had passed away during the long ride. They carefully removed him, revealing a large bloodstain over her right shoulder where he had bled out.
Although exceedingly rare, it is not unheard of for a horse to be born with the mark.
The line has been noted for many, many generations
The mare was exhausted, thirsty and shaking. To show their gratitude for bringing their prince home, they did everything they could to keep her and her unborn foul alive.
On the second day of her return, she gave birth to a healthy grey colt. The people were overjoyed and grateful that some happiness had come from this tragedy. But to the surprise of all, there was a distinct mark on the colt’s right shoulder, perfectly resembling the bloodstain from his mother.
This rare mark still pops up from time to time in the pure-bloodlines of Arabian horses. It is so rare that it is almost impossible to see one in your lifetime, but the breeders are quick to tell you it is proof that their horses share a line with that of the brave and beautiful Bloody-Shouldered Mare.
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