Hi, everyone. It’s the first day of the Blogging from A to Z challenge. This year, I’m celebrating the 10th anniversary of In The Eye of The Beholder, my debut novel.
“Where is Monsieur LeMaître?” I inquired.
“He’s coming along with the horse car,” Michael replied, an odd look on his face. “This beautiful horse he picked out for himself, but I don’t know about the one he said you’d want.” He shook his head slowly. “I just don’t know.”
I occupied myself with rubbing the gelding’s velvety nose and speaking quietly to him in French while Michael brushed him down. Before long, the horse car came into view. Erik alighted from the rear and paid the driver … and then led out the saddest, thinnest chestnut mare I had ever seen.
“You see, ma’am,” Michael said. “That’s the horse he said you’d want.”
Erik led the poor horse over to a stall. Her gait was halting, for her feet were overgrown, and her ribs were so visible that she might have been an anatomy lesson. Nevertheless, I could see that her breeding was good; her face had the slightly convex profile that betrayed Arab blood, and her conformation overall was excellent.
“Better that one should go to the knacker,” Jamie muttered.
“Ah, no, Master James,” Erik responded. “You see, Claire has a way of loving broken creatures back to life. This horse is more than she appears to be. Look at her teeth.”
“I’m not touching that sack of bones,” the boy responded.
Claire names the horse Angel, and brings her back to full health and recovery during the course of the book.
Angel is an Arabian mare. The conformation of the Arabian horse is somewhat different from other horses. They have long, narrow muzzles with large nostrils, to cool heated air. They also have only five lumbar vertebrae and 17 pairs of ribs, which makes them deep-chested. Their croup is relatively horizontal, but their hip is angled and their tail high-set. They also have black skin, regardless of coat color, which helps deflect heat.
Arabian horses were bred to live in close proximity to the Bedouins who developed them, so they tend to be very people-oriented. Only the best-tempered horses were permitted to breed during the earliest days, as some Bedouins kept their prize animals in the tents with their family. Some people say that the Arabian’s temperament is more like that of a dog, as they want to be around people all the time.
If you would like to know more about this breed, please visit the Arabian Horse Association.