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Nawaab: Stallion of Ahmedabad

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 23, 2012 12:45

 

 

 

 


Nawaab: Stallion of Ahmedabad

By Gina McKnight
Photography By Uzair Kasbati, Manthan Mehta, Nrupal Mehta


The commotion in the backyard at 5 o’clock am can be heard along the streets of Ahmedabad.  Nawaab, handsome five-year old black stallion of Anish Gajjar, is awake and ready for breakfast!  An anxious whinny resounds as the local farmer tosses pulas of green alfalfa over the wall into Nawaab’s stable; the syce arrives to place the forage into the appropriate feeder, along with Nawaab’s daily portion of Bajra (grain).
Nawaab is comfortable amongst the sounds and hustle of city life.  His stable is ideal; a large space for meandering throughout the day, a fragrant frangipani tree and a pink-flowering bougainvillea vine for daily shade.  At 15.2 hands, Nawaab towers the neighborhood children who are sometimes startled by his appearance as he gazes with probing stallion eyes over his stable wall.
Sired by Suraj and dam Lakshmi of the famous Manaklao Stables located forty kilometers from Jodhpur, Nawaab mirrors his ancestral lineage with his cognitive skills and signature physique.  He is the horse of legend.  A gazing star on his forehead symbolizes good fortune, giving him a distinctive appearance, making him desirable amongst Marwari breeders.
Wielding a confident and graceful countenance, he is brave and loyal, embracing all the characteristics of the classic Marwari; the mount of kings and warriors, the result of centuries of natural selection, environment and geographic.  “His disposition could be described as content, curious and an explorer. He's got one of the best temperaments; a little assertive, as a stallion should be, and always very friendly,” says Gajjar. 
Dedication and compassion makes a true horseman, which is evident in Gajjar’s articulate training and intuitive approach. Training is in process and the bond between horse and rider has been well established. According to Gajjar, “Nawaab has been bred by a very reputed breeder, Dr. Narayansingh Manaklao, but was never trained for riding. After bringing him home, I’ve done three sessions with him and he doesn't rear anymore or show any impatient signs. I really have my hopes set on this one. Looks like he'll turn out great!”
Gajjar plans to school Nawaab in dressage, an equine ballet in which the horse’s eloquent moves are orchestrated through an unseen channel of communication between horse and rider. Rooted in military training traditions, dressage will allow Nawaab to demonstrate his nimble and adaptable qualities. Nawaab’s genetically engineered structure for intricate maneuvers, such as dressage, ensures his success as a champion.
Gajjar affectionately strokes Nawaab’s neck and tickles his ears. His great admiration for Nawaab is evident.  Nawaab responds with equal affection and trust.  Gaining Nawaab’s respect with strong but moderate authority establishes Gajjar’s natural leadership role. It is a magical image of connected friendship between horse and rider that has been envied throughout time.
Nawaab and Gajjar can be seen on their trek from the stable, through the city streets of Ahmedabad, to the adjacent green fields for their brisk morning ride.   It is a pleasant ride, the result of expert care and training.  “The gaits are soft and he's quite sure-footed. I've brought him into a well collected ride. The trot and canter are both quite soft and comfortable,” says Gajjar.  When asked about Nawaab’s beauty, agility and expert performance, Gajjar states, “I don't have any magic in me; it’s just passion and hard work. Every day is a learning experience!”
Within the annals of Indian Mythology, the fascinating Marwari hold a prominent position. There is no denying that the Marwari image emits a powerful influence on equestrians around the world. The indigenous Marwari is one of India’s most precious resources; progressive, resilient and unique.  Currently, due to low census, Marwari are confined to India (with very few in the U.S.A., France and Spain, which were transported there before the ban); however, as their numbers increase, the export ban may be lifted.
As an equestrian and avid horse lover, I hope to find a Marwari in my stable one day.  Their versatility and etiquette would be a welcome addition to my valley. I am positive one of Nawaab’s offspring would be right at home in my peaceful Appalachia countryside.
 
Anish Gajjar is co-founder of the Equestrian Club of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, India
  
Gina McKnight is an author and freelance writer from USA

http://ginamc.blogspot.com/

http://gmcknight.com

Winter Wear

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 19, 2012 14:24

 

The Ditch Horse - Memoirs of a Horse Owner by Sam

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 11, 2012 07:51

Memoirs of a Horse Owner

 

Horsemanship ....... it is an art, a science, a tradition and a lifelong journey!

 

The articles written for www.Horseownertoday.com  are a collection of my personal memoirs as a horse owner.  They are about my experiences and about my understanding of horsemanship.  They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of www.Horseownertodaycom.com  and in some cases, they do not reflect the opinion of the majority of horse owners today.  They are about my journey toward understanding a horse.                                    

   The term "ditch horse" came up the other day.  I've never heard of a "ditch horse".  I have heard of a "ditch pig".  And that isn't a real good thing to call someone unless you are looking for a fight.  But the term "ditch horse" ... now that was new to me.  So I asked what it meant.

I was told that a ditch horse is a horse that is rode in the ditch or perhaps along the side of the field near the ditch or down a trail.  Apparently a ditch horse isn't worth a lot of money.  It generally comes from unregistered stock and therefore it is unregisterable and consequently, it is of limited value.  A ditch horse doesn't have a lot of training neither.  It is not capable of performing advanced maneuvers and it's competency in performing even the basic skills would be questionable.

    This analogy was made in comparison to a show horse.  Now I am familiar with the term "show horse".  I didn't need a lot of prompting to visualize a well turned out horse demonstrating its skill in the show ring.  But the implied prejudice between the job performed by a ditch horse and the job performed by a show horse left me feeling a little dismayed. 

   I understand that a registered horse would likely sell for more money than an unregistered horse.  But then there are times when an unregistered horse is worth a good dollar depending upon how well it can do a job.

  The thought of riding down a trail on a horse that doesn't have a lot of training left me feeling down right scared.  I would have thought that a ditch horse ought to be fairly well trained.   You might need it to respond in a safe and willing manner if you were to find yourself face to face with a big old grizzly bear while you were on the trail.

    And then a really upsetting thought crossed my mind .... my horses might be ditch horses.  I don't show any more.  I ride through fields and along trails.  I don't necessarily buy expensive horses and not all of my horses have papers to prove their worth.  They are good riding horses but nonetheless, based on the definition, they might be considered ditch horses. 

 

    I couldn't help but wonder, what do you call a horse that is rode along a trail and across a stream and in the mountains and has never seen a show ring yet it is professionally trained, pretty good at arena work, registered and out of imported and syndicated lines and was purchased for a good dollar?  I have one like that.  I have been calling him my pleasure horse.

   Or what do you call a horse that is rode along a trail and in riding lessons and clinics and pony club.  She has chased cows, been roped off of, and can run a barrel pattern but she has never competed in show.   She is not registered and I didn't pay a whole lot for her.  I have one like that as well.  I refer to her as the family horse.

    The term ditch horse just doesn't sit right with me.  It seems too negative, too prejudicial.  Horses offer us so many different ways in which we can enjoy them.  I doubt that any one way of being with a horse is better than another.   I have a lot of respect for a champion show horse but I also have a lot of respect for a horse that can take a rider safely down the trail.  Both horses are doing their job and doing it well. 

    For the record, I am sticking to words like "trail" and "pleasure" and "family" to describe my horses.  That's the respectful thing to do. 

 

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