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How to Promote an Arabian? Be a Mentor!
by Jan Austin

Copyright © 1998 The Arabian Network Newsletter
men·tor | 'men-"tor, -t&r | Etymology: Latin, from Greek MentOr, 1 capitalized : a friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of Odysseus' son Telemachus, 2 a : a trusted counselor or guide b : TUTOR, COACH (Source: Webster's Dictionary)
ANN logo Being from a home with HDD (Horse Deficit Disorder), as a child I could not get enough information about horses. Oh sure, Disney provided an ample supply of warm, fuzzy, Spin & Marty on the Ranch; and Pat Boone liked to truck his prize steed around in an open U-Haul type trailer, pulled of course by a convertible. And who can forget that when a horse got sick in the movies, he was always down, with a cheery plaid blanket from home over him to keep warm.

It wasn't until years later that my horse cravings began to be satisfied with the help of friends who just happened to own Arabians. They kept them at home on a couple of acres and I learned about the joy and fun of caring for Arabians. And although many years have passed since that first encounter, the passion for Arabians has never left, and in 1989 I purchased my first Arabian.

Now in 1998, our family is in a position to do a little mentoring on our own. My daughter's friend, Amanda is also from an HDD family. (Sad but true that this and it's more serious condition AHDD - Arabian Horse Deficit Disorder, still exists even today) Nevertheless, we have been treating this condition in Amanda with weekly doses of our five Arabians. Through our intervention, Amanda appears to have a healthy future ahead. She has learned to ride fairly well, and saves up her money for lessons. She has learned to slog through mud, clean hooves, carry water, groom and wash; basically mastering some of the tools needed for future Arabian Ownership. It appears that she does have the accompanying Arabian Fever, but a regular prescription of exposure to Arabians should alleviate any withdrawal symptoms she may experience until that wonderful point in the future, when she can call an Arabian her own.

Amanda's obvious joy at helping with the horses made me think of how simple promoting Arabians can sometimes be. Expose a person to the personality and versatility of the Arabian, and the rest just about takes care of itself. It happened to me over 20 years ago, and it will still be happening to fresh faces for years to come. With so much negativity generated about the Arabian from uninformed and narrow sources, who better to promote the Arabian than each and every owner.

Many owners already know this secret, and have been mentoring for years. At our own public stable, we even get unexpected looks from other breed owners, who exclaim, "I didn't know Arabians were so calm and fun". That kind of curiosity usually opens up conversations about all the things Arabians can do and have done for centuries. And it doesn't hurt that the whole time we are talking, my Arab is nuzzling the person asking the questions.

So next time you are trying to think of ways to promote the Arabian, remember us former AHDD victims, who have successfully recovered due to the help of caring Arabian horse owners. If you don't help these poor souls, who will? Let's stamp out AHDD in our lifetime!

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