By Adam Eisenbarth
The elegant Arabian horses at Hassan Arabians are special animals but one particular horse has been standing out since she was born.
With her shining black coat, Rinali has opened some eyes in Alberta horse showing circles.
Earlier this August, the Region 17 Arabian Horse Show was held in Red Deer and Rinali was one of the horses on display.
The fourth generation yearling earned a top 5 award in the yearling filly class as the only Alberta horse to finish in the top 5.
“They did this (competition) by European judging which is three judges and they score them on points,” explained Marg Martin of Hassan Arabians.
Judges examine the Arabian type, head, shoulders, legs, feet and other body parts as well as balance and their movements. The horses must walk around the judges in the arena twice.
Rinali’s home, Hassan Arabians, is a farm just outside of Gull Lake. The farm is renowned for the quality of horses they produce.
“It is (rare) for a farm to keep that one line going,” said Martin.
“(Rinali’s) sire is in Scottsdale, Ariz. and he was also taken over to Europe. He showed in Great Britain, Belgium and Dubai.”
Rinali was conceived through artificial insemination and right from the day she was born, Martin was excited about the potential of this horse.
“We kind of thought we’d get another colt but here we got this little black filly and we were all excited about getting a filly and the added bonus was the black colour.”
Trainer Todd Ehret has been working with Hassan Arabians for several years.
“He’s been with the family line for 19 years along with other horses that we’ve raised and shown.”
Training Arabians is a delicate procedure and while these horses can develop a reputation as being difficult, Martin says it’s just about treating them properly.
“They won’t accept being punished for something they shouldn’t be punished for. You can have them react against that, so some people would say they’re high-strung or are hard to handle. They don’t know the correct way of how to handle these horses.”
It’s the high intelligence of the horse breed that gives them that distinct personality.
“The Arabian is a people-loving horse. They’re very intelligent and can be very easy to train.”
While Martin leaves the training to Ehret, breeding such high quality horses has challenges of its own.
Procedures with the United States have become more complex and Martin has to receive approval from the federal governments and veterinarians in order for the artificial insemination to take place.
“There’s added costs that have been (imposed) with working with all these different vets and federal agencies.”
Nonetheless, when the finished product turns out like Rinali, the process is well worth it.