Dreams are funny things. They can begin as just a small nugget of an idea, even just a glimpse of a thought, and before you know it, this small nugget has grown to become the biggest thing in your life. That tiny idea you had on a lazy Sunday afternoon ends up growing and going beyond your wildest dreams, and it continues to amaze you on a daily basis.
For me, nowhere is this more evident than in this edition. There are no less than three breeders in this issue who are celebrating an anniversary – 20, 40 and 50 years. Naturally, such figures are milestones for anyone, but when put in the context of breeding Arabian horses, they are hugely significant moments. These numbers represent hundreds of dreams, from that buying of a first horse to breeding your own first foal, to showing and competing, to breeding again – and repeat ad infinitum. With each moment, each step, these breeders have evaluated what they were doing, the path that they were on, and adjusted their dreams accordingly. Sometimes, they have started over; other times, they have made small changes to an already comprehensive breeding philosophy. But two things have remained constant: they have overcome any adversity that has come their way, the kind of heartache that goes hand in hand with being a breeder. And they have stayed true to their dreams. They have never let go of their own vision, their own beliefs, and, as these celebrations show, these dreams have served them well.
I have loved sharing the programmes of so many breeders these past months. And there certainly have been some highlights. Now, in these pages, we pay tribute to Flaxman Arabians, who celebrated their 40th anniversary this summer. This farm is the vision of Helen Hennekens, who has followed her dreams with passion, conviction and courage. Zayin Arabian Stud in the UK focuses on racing and endurance, and Paul shares his low moments and frustrations as well as the incredible highs of his own programme, which is 20 years old this year. And then, there is Cariswood Arabians in the United States. Keri and Carolee celebrated their 50th anniversary in a low-key way at the start of August. I applaud them all.
To underline how wonderful the world of breeding is, especially through the sharing of knowledge, we publish a conversation between Dr Hans Nagel and Judith Forbis, two of the most highly-regarded straight Egyptian breeders in the world. Through mutual respect, friendship blossomed and they helped each other realise their dreams.
As for my own dreams, you are holding some of them in your hands now. I always loved Arabian horses and I always loved writing; to blend the two together has long been a dream realised for me. But to do this particular magazine, and to celebrate the breeders; that is a dream that will never fade. I am inspired daily by the stories that I hear, the people that I meet, and the horses who capture my heart.
Dreams truly are the fabric that keep so many of us going, through the dark winter days, and the long summer nights. They keep inspiring us, motivating us, encouraging us to keep going and to try harder. In a world where nothing is certain, dreams are the one constant that can keep us going. And, as we realise one dream, we close our eyes and aspire afresh to our next goal. What would your dream be? What is your heart’s desire with your horses? Drop me a line and let me know. Meanwhile, enjoy the power of your dreams.
Our cover horse for this edition is Royal Asad (El Tino x Lumiar Ethna by RFI Maktub), owned by Royal Arabians and photographed by April Visel.