Sunday, April 09, 2006

An almost impossible game

I belong to a few Yahoo groups dedicated to Arabian Horse Breeding.

One group has a long-running game which is so difficult as to be almost impossible. Every month though, someone correctly guesses the answer. And every month my chin hits my chest when the horse is identified.

The moderator posts in the files a picture such as this:

It ususally has an almost helpful description, such as this one's, "Chestnut with socks."

Yeah, so we can rule out all the bays and blacks, and we know that the horse is a member of the subgroup of registered Arabians known as CMK Arabians, and lived after the invention of the camera. The style in which the picture is shot, with the head raised at that angle, the narrow width of the leather in the headstall, and the care taken to include the entire body and feet, posed on level ground, makes me believe that the picture was taken sometime between the late 1930s and mid-1970s. I can't tell from the picture, but I'm guessing it's a male horse, although the length of face and longer ears could make it a very athletic mare.

So that's as far as I ever get. Any Guesses?


Maili said...

There is a person standing on a bencher behind the horse, far right. Judging by the person's clothes and hair, and the quality of the photo [which helps me a lot], it looks to be a late '60s or early '70s photo. I'd go as far as to guess it's between 1972 and 1975.

Suisan said...

Well, that narrows the field down to about 100 or so horses. But I appreciate the input!

(And yes, I had noticed that it was of fairly good quality, and so was already ruling out the 40s and 50s.)

But chestnut, possibly male CMK arabian? Got a lot of those.

CindyS said...

Awww, loogit the pwetty horsey. Cotchy-coo!


Like I would have even the slightest clue ;) I'm impressed you have decided on a sex for ur, him, her. Are there fewer mares in the 70's? Being lazy if there were fewer then I would go that root ;) Looks like a female to me - could be the 'you better not pull on that lead again' look on the face ;)

CindyS (helpful as always - you're welcome)

Suisan said...


Horse's neck musculature looks male. The way his belly is tucked up neatly towards the back looks male. The he's groomed until he gleams and seems to be wearing a bit loke male.

The length of his nose from the bottom of the noseband to the top of the nostril, to me, looks feminine. The longer ears look feminine (although the Davenports I'm familiar with tend to have really teeny ears on the boys).

More likely that the owners set up a stallion in that stance, all groomed and decked out, than a mare. So, of course, this morning I'm thinking it looks more like a male with a somewhat more feminine face.

Here we go round the mulberry bush.

And, I still have no earthly idea who he is. (Although early on I ruled out at least two famous chestnut stallions, Abu Zeyd and Aurab, by virtue of number and length of socks. Can't say that brings me any closer to an identificaiton.)

CW said...

Pretty! Otherwise, no clue. :P I found this:

Pat Kirby said...

Uh, since I can't remember the names of humans, horses I've never met are out of the question.

Pretty pony.

Suisan said...

CW: Well, you found the fotki for the co-moderator of the list in question. Considering that the CMK album for all CMKs which cannot be classified in any other subgroup is about 50 pages long, it's still a needle in the haystack search for me!

Pat: Me to!!

It's more of example of how much detail an obsessed group of fans can get into.

Ex: If you say "JD Robb" I know what, in general, you're talking about. In the horse discussion groups, if someone says "Abu Farwa", everyone on the horsie list can immedidately picture what that hosrse means--time period, offspring, owner, etc. But when you pull this picture out of context, the whole thing becomes bizarre. (And I never have a hope of identifying the horse in quesiton, as it is.)

Maili said...

There's a horse named Abu Farwa?

*holding back a barrel of jokes*

As I'm from from an arse-long line of farmers, horses are just horses to me. Well, and that they have a tendency to stomp on me. And I have a hoove-shaped mark on my bum to prove it.

CindyS said...

When do you find out who this gentle-uh-thing is?


Suisan said...

As soon as someone guesses correctly--usually by the end of the month the moderator will start listing "hints", i.e., all its progeny.

I've dabbled here and there along various pedigree lines where I think this guy might live--haven't had any luck at all.

Suisan said...

OK, it's a mare.

She was born in 1965, and her name was El Nigmah. She was also a champion halter competitor, which explans why she was so muscled up.

I found an article about her stud farm whihc references her. (I take no credit here; someone else identified her by name.) Personal opinion, and mine alone, is that it's unfortunate that by current day the breeding program moved away from the El Nigmah body type towards the type my friend calls "the Startled Goose Look."

Anyway, game over.