I was brought up as a city slicker and, thus, me and horses have never been one! Back in the day when we guys were out on Patrol we came across, what seemed like, a few old Nags grazing idly in someone’s fields. There was nothing much happening that day so, being young and bulletproof as most 20 something guys are, I decided to try riding one of these said nags bareback. Boy was I in for the shock of my life as it took off at a gallop for a good 500m – never again.
Early last week Trish and Sean Swales invited me out to their farm in Darwendale where they were hosting the inaugural show of their Arabian Horses. What a delightful day. 25 years ago there were 22 Arabian Stud farms around Zimbabwe – 20 years later there were only 3. A few years ago the Swales were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire a few of their very own Arabian horses. With meticulous planning and attention to detail they have now grown this into the 4th Zimbabwean Arab Stud Farm and currently have about 16 pure quality horses with exceptional international blood lines.
The Arabian Horse is, apparently, slightly smaller than other horses but has some outstanding features and is best known for its elegance and endurance. International judges tour the world to attend shows like this one. We were fortunate to have 2 world experts visit from Sydney taking ample time to tell the audience about the notable highlights each horse after they had been paraded or ridden around the specially constructed arena.
The Swales have 4 children varying in age from 11 to 18 and they all took turns to show off their favourite. As each horse was brought to a stand up position, the trainer pointed a training whip at the horses nose to indicate to them that they needed to reach their neck forward, from the hindquarter. This is a classic position for judging the conformation of the Arabian horse, which is unique to any other breed.
The Arabian horse is one of the most versatile breeds and has many favourable characteristics – they are loyal, courageous, intelligent, amongst many other features.
The Swales have taken the Stud to the next level with the mastery of Artificial insemination. If you are interested in being involved with Arab Horses then please contact Trish 0772 231 134/0712 651 839; Sean 0712 639 410; …. Giddy Up Mike G.