Chapter Eight

Preparations for the Desert

I witnessed in my dream before I woke up in my bed in Tumalo, a boy his companions called Darien Al Rashid. He exclaimed to his companions that he is in the presence of a spirit that guided him back to them and his mare after the sandstorm.

“It is a female that’s in my vision. Do you notice the same apparition?”  The boys dismissed his claim.

“But that spirit is helping me discover the cure for my precious mare’s pain. I never knew before how to find those items that will hopefully cure Oneeja!” He said to the boys.  “But what was amazing, when I was under that cloak in the sand asleep, I experienced a dream that was so real!  I was in snow, not sand.”

As he shook his head, remembering, “I woke up to find a girl in a snowstorm looking for her lost horse. I heard a horse blare from a distance. I guided this young girl to a scared stallion she was looking for that was stuck in a deep snowbank. I thought she saw me in her delirium, but not until she was able to get him out of his mess and start to lead, to who knows where back to safety. I noticed that the magnificent stallion had also noticed me. I guided them both to a distant light as the snow began to wane. She was not clad in proper garments and was cold, wet, and shivering. She fainted and fell down in the deep snow. The stallion allowed me to crouch him down well enough to allow her, in her state, to drape herself on his back. I guided them back to the light where her family was waiting. I woke up in that sand dune under the cloak.”

The youngsters who had accompanied him on the adventure answered him with skepticism. They were all happy the mare Oncalla Al Oneeja was recovering from her ordeal. That beautiful young mare was so connected to Darien in a way that was even spiritual.

That is when I woke up from my ordeal to find my parents at my bedside. I sat up quickly and said to my parents that I just had a dream. It was so real!

“I woke up in a sand dune, and there was this young boy with his companions and his mare. I helped him get back to his tents and told him how to cure his mare that had tied up. It was the same young man who appeared to me when I was out there trying to save Dazshtan. He guided me to him in that snowbank. How did I get home?”

“Josie, you were draped over the back of Dazshtan unconscious when we found you. He must have found you out there unprepared for the cold and picked you up.”

“No mom and dad, that boy led me to my scared stallion stuck in a snowbank. He led us both out of the blizzard towards home. Dazshtan and I both saw him, really!”

“You were delirious Josie. We didn’t see anyone with you except Dazshtan”

“It was real mom. He must have helped Dazshtan scoop me up. I must have fainted. If it wasn’t for that boy, I wouldn’t have found and saved my precious colt. How is my Dazshtan, that monster is growing up. His strong libido almost cost him his life.”

“He is safe in his stall. We fixed the broken door and placed more shavings in there. We put the blanket on him that you used to cool him after your workout. We are glad you are safe Josie. But, next time, go out there prepared. You almost caught your death in the cold.”

“You know me. All I cared about is my stallion mom and dad. I know now that he and I are really soulmates! Now I know how Grandpa Mike feels about his soulmate Shahwan. There is something special about that line of Arabian horses.”

Dazshtan and I seemed to transform after our joining together in the arena and our ordeal in the snow that night. We had developed a close relationship with an ability to communicate without words telepathically. Our movements together were achieved imperceptively. I was taught to seek a desire from my horse to listen quietly. I ask quietly in a way that takes his nature into account. Is he comfortable or not with what I am asking? A touch as little as a fly is perceived on his back where he must concentrate willingly to what I am saying to him. In other words, “am I listening to what he is whispering to me? And is he listening to me likewise?” What I am communicating is a way that will guide us together with as little effort as possible. It reminds me of the “Six Golden Principles espoused by Mike’s mentors, Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado. He considered them one of the most sensitive individuals in the horse world.

  1. To foster a more equal relationship, based on trust and respect, in which horse and man learn from each other.
  2. Never to adopt ‘standard” or inflexible methods of training, but to recognize that each horse develops as an individual and reacts differently to the same stimulus.
  3. To reduce stress as well as to become a safe, trusted “haven” for the horse.
  4. Always be patient and never push too fast or too insistently and on the other hand, not to allow the horse to get bored.
  5. Never to use force or become angry.
  6. To establish a more “natural” form of communication—that is, to further new methods.

As the two of us were in the arena that night, Dazshtan was trying to tell me what I slowly learned, “to listen to him.” He was whispering to me, quite loudly.

With the experiences we have been through, I can attest that the Six principles have brought us both strongly together. I know we would have not survived this ordeal so far. As I am telling you this story, Dazshtan is watching me closely. I see in his eyes that he knows exactly what I am thinking.

Now, back to my story.
Our workouts in the arena were observed by my father. He said he and mom invited my Grandpa Mike over to witness our progress as well. He said there was a special guest that wanted to see my progress with Dazshtan and Bint. I heard footsteps coming up the barn aisle toward the arena. Then Mike arrived and in walked Dr. Rhaman Marsufi with Walter Heuser and his wife Margit. The Doctor joined Walter on one of his trips to Seattle with Lufthansa. Dr. Marsufi wanted to see the latest Shahwan kids up close. He heard of my reports when I apprenticed at Al Ahman, especially Bint Shahwan, Dazshtan’s full sibling that will soon be transported to her new home in the desert with Sheykh R’Ammeeri of the Ruala tribe as a gift for a replacement of his foundation mare Ashreen Arnaza that had died five years before.

I was in the arena with Dazshtan when they all arrived. My dad wanted the visit to be spontaneous so our guests to see the Shahwan kids up close up naturally. I was surprised when my dad pulled that on me. But I was confident both of my charges would shine through it with me. After our salutations were completed, Dazshtan and I put on a show for the gang who had come to visit. I had been practicing liberty to inspire both of my young horses to join together with me without any restraint.

Our performance was greeted with delight and Mike told us that it reminded him of his stallion Shahwan and the times that he would perform liberty to the public. “He is so much like his sire.” Walter was proud that he was witnessing two generations of breeding from his stallion Said, the sire of Shahwan.

My next presentation was with Bint. She was different in her interactions with me. She desired to be under my raised arm. She would slide in under my outstretched arm wanting to be scratched on her withers. Like her brother, she would be participating with me with a very small amount of verbal control. All our guests were impressed. The horses after our exhibition were given free time to be with us. The Arabian horse is especially desirous of human interaction. Mike’s mare Shahwanyssa in Alfalfa was visited before the entourage arrived in Tumalo at the Vet clinic.

Walter commented that we should go into the lounge/office to visit. I was sensing something was up with Dr. Marsufi.

“May I please express my gratitude that my visit here with you fine people and horses has been a highlight. Josie, I know that Dazshtan, as your dad has made known to me, is very close to you, and you and he have a special relationship together. As I visited today with his sister Sissy in Alfalfa, I was reminded of her contribution to our herd in Al Ahmann, It was a great honor to be here with her and her two siblings. I have a proposal to ask of you Josie. I have a desire to purchase Dazshtan.”

I started to speak up with surprise. I knew they were up to something.

“Wait! He would contribute as well to our program in Cairo. Before you speak Josie, I know how much your relationship means to him. I am a businessman, yes! But my experience with Mike before with his mare Shahwanyssa and his special relationship with her required me to discuss my upcoming proposal with him. He knew what your answer would be Josie. Mike understands you well as he does with your father. Therefore, Josie, if you will accompany Dazshtan to Cairo on a lease as Mike did with his special mare, I would be grateful to you. You know, coming up this winter before Bint is presented to the Sheykh, she must be brought early to the desert region to accustom her to the environment. I will fly her and her brother along with you early to get you there safe. You have demonstrated to me with your presence as an apprentice at our Stud that you are responsible. We will need a qualified person to manage our Stud while we are gone to the desert regions up in Jordan to deliver Bint Shahwan to her new home. You are that person, Josie. What do you think about my proposal?”

I looked at everyone in shock because I sensed that the kind Doctor was going to propose something totally different. My father told me about the council he gave Mike before the lease of his mare to Al Ahmann. I asked for a little time with my family before I made my decision. My dad and Mike asked that we have dinner at our local Sezchuan restaurant the next day to reveal my answer. Since I was a child, this restaurant with the rapport of the family that owns and runs it has been a place for our big family gatherings where we made big decisions. Besides, it has a big enough room to entertain my family with my brothers and sister, Grandpa and Grandma, Walter and Margit, and our esteemed guest Dr. Marsufi.

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