This is the fourth edition of The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine, the beautiful coffee table book that replaced The Arabian Magazine print edition last summer. Making such a change is always something of a risk – to change something so well established and well known. But I never had any doubt in what I was doing. Why? Because my passion is the breeders, and their programmes, and this was my chance to share their story with the world.
Sitting here on a sweltering day in England, the rain-drenched desert of Bahrain seems a lifetime away. Yet it was here that I experienced not only beautiful Arabian horses full of true type, it is there that I discovered a group of people who had the Arabian horse at their heart – the WAHO Conference delegates. To be surrounded by people who passionately love and believe in the Arabian horse, yet not to be at a horse show, was a revelation. I think that even the most fervent show goer will confess to feeling jaded at times; so I would say that events such as these, where the focus is on learning and a gathering of breeders, go along. The Pyramid Society is hosting a Breeders’ Conference in Assisi, Italy, in October and you should make sure that you attend if you can. Regardless of how much we think we know, there is always so much more to learn – from stories about horses past, to different viewpoints about different bloodlines, and even lively discussions about the things that matter to you – we never stop learning.
I always wanted The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine to be educational, and I like to think that we are achieving this. Certainly, The Breeders Interview, in every edition throws up some interesting facts, views, and thoughts – often ones that are surprising considering who has said them. I know that I have learned so much from the answers in this feature and often, I wish that there had been such information around when I had first followed my family into the world of the Arabian horse.
Life is not, however, all about looking back – at the past, at horses since left us, at breeders who may have stopped breeding a long time ago. Instead, we should take what we need to and look to the future. For one thing that these past four editions have shown me is that there are very exciting times ahead for a lot of people. From small breeders in the United States, daring to breed their biggest foal crop to date, to those coming back for just one last foal – which turns into two or three – there is much look forward to.
This edition marks the end of Volume I of The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine, and the first issue of Volume II will be out at the end of September. For now, it is time for us to enjoy a beautiful summer with our horses or, conversely, if you are in the southern hemisphere, make plans for when winter has ended and you can get out on your horse again and plan your breeding season. For the circle of life goes on – and just as the foals are being weaned in this part of the world, so mares are being bred in another. Along the way, we have to say goodbye to dear, trusted, and much loved friends but, as every breeder knows, there is always a new generation waiting the wings. And that generation may just be the horse who realises your vision from 20, 30, or 40 years ago… For the other thing that running a Breeders’ Magazine for the past 12 months has shown me: you are never too old to stop dreaming.