Joined: 18-March 03
From: Vale View, Toowoomba, Australia
Member No.: 117
quote:Joe Ferriss Dec 20 2007, 01:01 AM I tend to think that the preservation of the desert Arabian horse in today's world is not strictly a scientific issue with lines drawn by DNA or other kinds of scientific measurement. It is fascinating and enlightening to see this kind of scientific work unfold but I feel the maintenance of the desert horse is more of a cultural matter. If future science does or does not agree with the human definitions or partitions of each breeding group it will not change my thinking. The whole matter of trying to document in various ways horses whose ancestry is "reasonably assumed" to originate from the Bedouin horse breeding tribes is only one step of the process of preservation. It does provide a "core" population from which to build. But the second part of this process is to carry forward the body of knowledge from the Bedouin tribes past breeding and horse use practices, as much as possible in today's world, and continually apply it to this identified "core" population in hopes of simply maintaining the kind of horse which was traditionally and historically known as the Arab horse, product of these tribal lifestyles. Even in my very limited travels, I saw the continuing impact of modern times on the lifestyle of the two tribes I visited. By their own lament, conditions are not the same as in the past. In one of our Shammar interviews, I asked the question: "Do you feel your horses are as good today as in the past?" The response in essence was that in times past the desert wolf packs used to run free and was a part of life. Their presence caused the mares and foals to be very keen and very swift to avoid the taking of the very young or weak. Today the wolf is no longer a threat, so how can the mares and foals of now be as swift? Taking just this one story into account, it can be seen that the various challenges of the Bedouin lifestyle requires them to adapt, and adaptation needs for them to have the freedom to make choices of survival. If those choices added some DNA that we do not know about now but discover in the future, so what? It was this lifestyle process that created the Arabian that we love today. At least from their travels and / or writings the Blunts, Homer Davenport, Carl Raswan, the Otts and many other benefactors helped to us to identify this "core". It is interesting when one goes back and reads the Blue Catalog how much of the commentary is "Bedouin" oriented, regardless of what is said about the Muniqi or non-Muniqi. We will continue to find various ways to use this population and if some breed with and some without Muniqi, or any other strain so be it. The breeders of the world represent a great diversity of thougtht. As long as ALL of the core is preserved and a general understanding of the traditional Bedouin horse is carried forward, I see a bright future for the Arabian.