I feel that my first post should be an introduction of who I am and some of my thoughts and feelings about what I am trying to achieve with my program and welcome anyone reading this to do the same in the comments. My name is Sarah Clower (Maiden name, my legal name is Sarah Combs but am happily divorced) and I from and located in the Eastern Panhandle of WV in between two small towns of Moorefield and Romney. Growing up I was always a horse crazy kid. My father and mother both were avid riders and trained there own horses and rode all over the mountains surrounding our family farm. We once owned over 500 acres of land before tragedy struck our family and I lost my grandparents and my father. Family shows there true colors during hard times and after a long battle we got our "half" of the property at 140 acres. Before all this I spent my childhood riding my TWH gelding that my parents trained with parents every Sunday. We rode miles and miles each week for hours and sometimes all day long before I even knew what endurance riding was. Eventually I got bored of my laid back Walking horse and wanted to run and race and jump and do more things. I chose the first horse we looked at (of course as a kid you tend to be incredibly impulsive and want the first thing you lay your eyes on). He was a bay TB/QH cross who had never been ridden anywhere but a field. As a young kid who was used to a follow the leader type horse I struggled finding confidence on this gelding and never got much further than the yard with him. It was a failure and not a good step-up horse for me. I began searching again and found an ad in the valley trader for a "Pure White Egyptian Arabian Mare" $3500. I was excited and she sounded like a dream come true. Many kids wanted a black stallion but I love the idea of having a white mare. My mom was not thrilled because the price was outrageous. My dad however said we could take a look. She was trained as a 3 day-eventer and was responsive, fast, fun and easy to handle. I used my entire savings to buy my first Arabian mare and never regretted one minute of it. Sheika was a double granddaughter of the great Shaikh Al Badi and her other parts of her pedigree include the greats of *Witez II, Ferzon, Gazon, *Raffles and Skowronek. This mare was the epitome of heart horses. She taught me how to ride and I mean really ride. Many horses teach a kid to sit but Sheika taught me how to control a wild ride and sit properly to be able to hang on. She taught me how to fly and I can't be grateful enough for the time we had. She was always a fierce competitor and never knew what it meant to be last. She not only taught me to ride but started me on my breeding venture. I wanted to replicate my mare and have something to carry on after her so I started looking for stallions. I found a farm named Saba Bloodstock where I found my first love of a Black Arabian Stallion in the Fabo son Arabi Fadh Onyx. His beauty was beyond compare and my dream of making a salt n pepper baby began. During this time was when I lost my father and a bit of my way but I never lost the love for the Arabian horse and learned as much as I could at Saba Bloodstock. From caring for there upwards to 80 horses to learning different bloodlines from American Foundation breeding to Babson to the rare *Mirage line. Sadly Saba Bloodstock fell into a bad way and many wonderful amazing horses were lost just like many small breeders with big dreams (a subject for another blog). Fast forward to me at 17 with a handful of horses mostly Egyptian breeding but I craved my own "Black Stallion" so badly. I researched stallions and came across one black Arabian stallion of AK/Sahanad breeding and a Blue Star/Sahanad/Davenport stallion that was Chestnut. Pros and cons were the black stallion was black and in Missouri the other stallion although very pretty was chestnut (I already had a chestnut El Majiid son) and all the way in California. In retrospect if I had been as knowledgeable and focused on Sahanad bloodlines as I am now I would have ended up with the chestnut stallion as he was the last son of Kamil Ibn Sahanad who is almost extinct in Sahanad breeding. His name is Ghazal Ibn Kamil and despite many efforts unattainable to anyone for breeding or purchase. But I can't be sad because had I not wanted black I wouldn't have gotten OPA Yowel who started my program on its path to where it is now.
Needless to say it was not an easy task. For one he was in Missouri and I was in West Virginia, two my mother said you can't buy a horse sight unseen, and three Carol (his breeder) was a little skeptical about doing a payment plan when she found out how young I was. Solution was to work my job for almost 3 weeks straight take 3 days off and drive out to Missouri to meet Yowel and Carol. Mission accomplished and with my mother's help and support not only did Yowel make the trip from Missouri but a mare HPF Caraga Ole and HPF Erly Treasure came with him, two Sahanad Preservation mares. At this point I had three programs: Straight Egyptian lines through Ansata, Gleannloch, Kline, and Bentwood programs. I was so lucky to have daughters of Al Metrabbi, Ibn Morafic, Shaikh Al Badi, and Sar Ibn Moniet. I also had an *Ansata Ibn Halima grandson through his son El Majiid and a Shaikh Al Badi son that was out of a *Soufian daughter and bred by Gleannloch themselves. I loved my Egyptian program. I also had American Foundation mares that were a mixture of various lines and a few that were linebred to the tail-female of Fame VF, Kharasaba. Last I had my Sahanad program. It was a lot for me to take on when I was barely out of high school but a dream coming true. Fast forward to a bad relationship and three pregnancies later and a difficult choice. I was pregnant for the third time and needing a divorce and to get out of a bad situation. My horses were suffering and so was I so I downsized greatly. I dispersed all my Egyptian horses and my American Foundation ones as well. I can't tell you why I kept the Sahanad's because in truth I loved them all and still to this day the *Morafic and Shaikh Al Badi lines are always my favorite but I just couldn't part with my black stallion that had won over my heart. Him and his mares were so easy going and trainable. I just couldn't let them go. I knew they would be the best for my children to grow up around. Eventually I reobtained two of my American Foundation/Sahanad fillies. One due to neglect and the other because the owner didn't want her going to a bad home. I still have one and my other had to laid to rest. Life throws us many curve balls and I went from almost 30 head of horses to less than 10. I feel then it wasn't my time and I did what was right letting go and concentrating on a smaller group of horses. Fast forward another 10 years and I am back up to 20 horses all that have Sahanad in their pedigrees but also other great combined source breeding. I never thought I would be up to this number again but many were taken due to their owners death's or health issues. I didn't want to see them lost like I have seen so many lost over the years. I am still quite young but after 17 years of doing this you start to feel older than you are. Breeding is not for the faint of heart and even recently tragedy has struck. I have lost some foals recently that have hit me hard and also broken my leg in a riding accident. I hit a depression that I am slowly climbing out of. But I continue on and my horses are my sanctuary. I found another heart horse and although she isn't Sheika she has her own unique way of teaching me new things. I am excited for my journey with her and with all my other horses. If my introduction is a lesson in anything it is a lesson of determination and that dreams can come true. I hope others will comment and share there start in Arabian or even just horse ownership and what they mean to them. I have had one constant throughout my life and struggles and that has been my horses. I don't know where I would be without them other than maybe have more money in my pocket but I would rather have my horses than a pocket full of money. They give me so much more back than money ever can. I also want to make sure it is understood this blog is not just about AK horses or Sahanad horses or even about just Arabians. It is for passionate people that love all horses of varying types and bloodlines and disciplines and everyone should feel free to be able to express their opinions and own individual love of the horse. Happy Trails!
My name is Sarah Clower and I am the owner of Sahanad Preservation Farm. I have spent my life with horses and been breeding for 17 years now. I recently earned my Bachelors degree in Equine Studies with a focus in Business Management. My focus for this blog is to educate as well as learn from my readers.