A Reflection by Sarah Clower
Just the other day, I was out in the pasture with my 5-year-old autistic son and my Sahanad grandson, OPA Yowel (pronounced JOEL). My son was determined to try and halter Yowel, but he had little luck since he couldn’t figure out how to do it. Yowel stood there quietly all the while until I finally walked over, placed the halter on Yowel and handed the lead rope over to my son. My son led Yowel around and around the pasture, and I honestly came to tears!
My son is non-verbal and has so many social/behavioral problems, sensory issues, and the list goes on and on, but he lights up around the horses.
Yowel is a stallion, not only a stallion that has been utilized, but he is an ARABIAN stallion. Yet while my son was leading him, Yowel never missed a beat. He moved when my son moved, stopped when he stopped, and lowered his head to receive hugs and kisses.
How many can say that they have a stallion that will do that? An Arabian stallion at that? For so long there have been many stereotypes about Arabians–that they are hot-headed, crazy, hard to train, too hyper and so on. This may be true about some but not the Sahanad bloodlines. It was in this moment with my son, I realized what makes these horses so special to their owners. It isn’t their amazing history, starting with the fact that they descend from a prized war mare, so athletic that she carried her rider over 100 miles in 11 hours with a bullet wound in her fetlock. It isn’t their natural beauty or grace either. It has always been the special moments they made with each of their humans that make them worthy of preservation.
Trucilla Enz was searching for horses to use in her breeding program when she stumbled upon Sahanad who was her “diamond in the rough.” This started what became the Sahanad Preservation Group. Robin and Nathan Howard later met Vaneta Sphar, a Sahanad granddaughter, who inspired them to establish what was the beginning of a breeding program that continues to this day.
Sahanad horses have the greatest disposition you could ever ask for and more! They are the type of horses I can trust all three of my young children on their backs without worrying about them bolting or bucking. Sahanad horses that were once trained, or have never been trained at all, can often be ridden without worry. They are the horses that allow you to go out into the pasture and be surrounded by them without fear that something awful might happen. They will come up and follow you through anything.
It is the loving Bedouin “live-in-your-tent” disposition that wins over the hearts of everyone!
Of course, disposition isn’t all the Sahanads have to offer. Just a few examples follow: Lance Bowman took his stallion to earn top honors in dressage and sport horse events. Stephanie Treadwell and her son have taken their gelding to state championships in western pleasure. June Melhuish has taken her mare to compete in endurance. Pamela Schwartz uses her mare as a lesson horse. Devan Pennington takes her mare to participate in mounted archery and does mounted patrol, too. Hope Lewis has her gelding trained in ranch work and loves being a great trail horse. Pam Corman has a mare in training to pull a cart. Francesca Brunais competes (and wins) with her mare in barrels and poles. For Patty Conklin, they are her life’s passion and her family. For John Snyder and family, they are part of realizing a lifelong dream, and John has become one of the most dedicated preservationists I have ever met. For me, they are not only my family but also my hope that one day my son might talk from his ability to light up with these horses seeing how calm and loving they are around him.
The bottom line is this, if you are looking for a horse that is versatile, athletic, beautiful, and trainable with absolutely the best disposition you can ask for, I highly recommend you learn more about the Sahanad horses.