What is a Curly?

by Kristin Berkery

Curly horse

Curly horses in the 2007 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. Photo by Zeetz Jones

Most horses’ coats become wild and woolly in the winter, but not Curly horses. Starting in the fall, most Curlies grow a winter coat of luxurious curls or waves covering their bodies. The coat sheds in the warmer months leaving smooth or wavy hair behind, and in some cases, they may even shed their entire manes and tails in the summer.

More *Witez II and A New Film About Polish Arabians

This video blog post is a follow-up to the article, A Real-Life War Horse: *Witez II’s Journey Through History.

In the clip, I provide more information about the author of the book And Miles To Go and reveal the truth about *Witez II’s “liberation” after the war. I also highlight the video Path To Glory: The Rise and Rise of the Polish Arabian Horse, which is probably the most comprehensive film ever made of Arabian horse history.

Bonus points if you can name the model horse behind me. 🙂

A Real-Life War Horse: *Witez II’s Journey Into History

by Kristin Berkery

And Miles To Go
by Linell Nash Smith

The two world wars have been fodder for many filmmakers, but there’s a compelling story from that era that’s fallen between the cracks. And Miles To Go by Linell Nash Smith documents the life of the Arabian stallion *Witez II from his foaling in Poland the year before the Nazi invasion to his life as a celebrity sire in the U.S.

First published in 1967 by Little, Brown and Company, And Miles To Go was reprinted in 1986 by the Arabian Horse Trust during a time when the Arabian business was still flush with cash. After the crash of the Arabian market, the book was never reprinted. The Arabian Horse Trust closed its doors in 2000.

The Polish family portrayed in Witez’s early life is fictional, but the author stayed true to the events that were happening in Poland. Other key characters who interacted with Witez (pronounced vee-TEZH) during his journeys were real people.


The Stallion Who Helped the Communists Become Capitalists

What does an Arabian stallion have to do with Communists, capitalism, and an Egyptian public works project?

by Kristin Berkery

Who was this lucky stallion who benefited from the Cold War? The man in the white hat appears to be Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Photo from Judith Forbis' The Classic Arabian Horse, c. 1963.

In 1954, Egypt’s President Nasser was pushing for the development of a new dam on the Nile River that would control flooding and droughts, thereby improving the lives of millions of Egyptians. The Old Aswan Dam, finished in 1902, was built and raised twice by the British in an effort to control flooding of the Nile, but it became apparent that raising it a third time still would not be adequate.


The Mystical Marwari, the Other Desert Horse

A Westerner tries to help save a rare East Indian breed facing extinction due to political and cultural conflicts in its homeland.

Photo by Manusharma

by Kristin Berkery

Marwari horses with their unique ears. Photo by Donna DeMari

Photos and videos of the rare and exotic Marwari horse are like a time machine, transporting the viewer to an era of ancient Eastern traditions and costumes. Bred since the 13th century by Rajput warriors, the Marwari was first used to conquer northwest India, a desert area now known as Rajasthan.

To survive the arid climate and fierce combat, Marwari horses were bred to be tough, fiery, and courageous, but they can also be described as temperamental and a challenge to handle. They have many similarities to the original desertbred Arabians with their spirited temperaments, physical endurance, arched necks, dry facial features, fine legs, and proud bearing. Not surprisingly, they share common ancestors with Arabians, which were also bred for fierce battle and survival in a desert setting.