How I became Shagya-Addicted

My first Shagya-Arabian horse, the mare Koheilan I-19 sired by Koheilan I (DK), stepped into my life by mere chance. Something that probably happens quit often these days. Because as a breeder put it so correctly recently “What nobody knows no one will be looking for”.


But when you first have discovered these horses for you – or should I rather say “they have chosen to be a part of your life”, you will never want to miss them again! These intelligent and versatile horses with arabian flair, that are so strong of character and so close to “their humans”.


Koheilan was back then stationed at the stable of P.  Koux in Denmark, where I went riding during my holidays. One day he said “You will take Koheilan today”. I had no knowledge whatsoever what those numbers in her name mend (still learning and trying to memorize who is who…), I did not know what a Shagya-Arabian is, nor did the Names Nyegaard, Bábolna, Radautz or Mezöhegyes (more of this later…) mean anything to me. But I instantly fell in love with the little white mare whit her big dark eyes and the “Who are you!?” attitude. 


Our first encounter was not easy. She right away made it clear, either a partnership on equal terms or nothing at all! I had to take myself back, had to negotiate and slowly feel myself into her… But the reward was worth the effort! At the end of the lesson we had found together, and as my father suddenly asked “Do you want to have her?” I only could nod quiet consent while shedding a few happy tears. 


So a few weeks later she moved to Germany. I will never forget our first long group ride out in the country! “We have to take it slowly today. The little mare is coming with us!”. But at the first gallop the little mare showed them all what she was capable of! After 5 hours only one horse was still fully up to action and totally not interested in going back home – typically Shagya Arabian. Equally typical for the breed was her strong character and her closeness to the humans she chose to be part of her family – this typical mixture that requires the willingness to take your time, empathy and the ability to look at yourself for the mistake on the human side (Especially when you are an aduIt. It is a totaly different story when a Shagya-Arabian meets childern - instantly turning angel). But in return you will get a partner that exceeds himself in tough situations, keeps you in the saddle when it gets tricky and looks out for you should you really take a fall. When Shagya-Owners talk amongst themselves other horsepeople probably think - “They are nuts!”  - Maybe we are…


But then again, maybe we were just lucky to find this special kind of horses ;-)