Bint Al Bahr Arabians

Preservation Breeders of Straight Babson Egyptians

 

 "Sabbah"  - The Wonder Horse!

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The true character of this "Once in a Lifetime" Arabian stallion is best illustrated through these “Sabbah Stories”

Ibn Sabbah Bedu+/ (Serabaar x Shar Sabbah) earned a reputation for being quite sensible and reliable. He was known at Royal Salute, Jackie Alkin’s training facility in Cave Creek, Arizona as "Black Beauty."  He was a very quiet stallion, very much the perfect gentleman at all times!  The following "Sabbah Stories" will give you an idea who Sabbah was.

Ibn Sabbah Bedu & Jackie Alkin - c  Elaine Yerty photo

Sabbah, The Protector

After a very successful showing the February Scottsdale Show 1995, Sabbah qualified for the Region 7 Championships at the Arizona Dressage Association Spring show showing in Open competition.

All the excitement was not in the ring however. We had as bit of excitement in the barn area as well.  An owner came running into the barn alley as we were tacking up  Sabbah for his afternoon class.  She exclaimed that her horse was in trouble in her trailer in the parking area and she desperately needed help.  Jackie,  Bruce and I grabbed some spare lead ropes and dashed out leaving  Sabbah in the hands of a “Horseshow Mom”. The horse was found down in the trailer one hind leg trapped inside the trailer and oneScottsdale Native Costume - Tourist Division hind leg underneath the trailer.  Her head and forelegs were under the divider.  With Jackie at the head, Bruce got the trapped hind leg out of the trailer using his lead rope.  The horse pushed back and out freeing itself from the trailer.  It then stood shaken but with only minor scrapes and no doubt some sore and bruised muscles.

We walked back to the barn to find the “Horseshow Mom” Donna had had some excitement of her own.  A big strong Warmblood had thrown its rider just outside the barn and raced inside.  It was joined by another huge horse that broke away from its handler.  They were fast closing ground on “Mom” who was holding Sabbah.  As her life flashed before her eyes, expecting to be run over first by Sabbah then those huge horses rapidly approaching, Sabbah quietly turns sideways in the barn aisle blocking it.  He stood between her and the runaways. The big horses slowed, stopped and allowed recapture.  We walked in as the shaken “Mom” kept exclaiming what a wonderful horse Sabbah was.  She even went so far as to say she wished she could breed her gelding to him!

Sabbah, Mr. Reliable 

Region VII 1995 Results… Top 5 at First and Second Levels and Reserve Champion at First Level. 

Another Sabbah Story?  And what you ask has Ibn Sabbah Bedu, the "Wonder Horse," done now?   First, you should know no one, equine or human was hurt.

We waved good-bye at the Regionals showgrounds to Jackie Alkin and Crew about 10 p.m. as she pulled out with her four-horse slant trailer to take Kiva, Sabbah and Stormy home from the show.   The now famous “Horseshow Mom” Donna was following in her van with a load of young riders.  

They got part way home on a dark four lane highway when a racket and bouncing trailer got their attention.  Jackie pulled over onto the shoulder.  “Horseshow Mom” Donna pulled in behind and they checked the trailer.  They found that Kiva, a nervious hauler, had managed to pick up the stall divider and put it on top of  Sabbah.  Sabbah stood quietly,  supported the weight of the divider and waited for help.  "Stormy" had to be unloaded to get to Sabbah.  One of the girls held a dancing "Stormy" on the far side of the trailer in the narrow space between an Irrigation ditch and the trailer.  Traffic continued a few feet away on the highway.  

Jackie and Donna went in to free Sabbah, hammering the  hinges of the divider until it was loose enough to lift it off him.  Sabbah was moved a few feet away, his job was now to keep Kiva calm while the tilted panel was muscled, pounded, hammered and lifted off of its hinges.  Not an easy job the two main musclers, Donna and Jackie informed us later.  Once removed they took the divider out of the trailer.  They then moved Sabbah back one stall giving Kiva a double space and reloaded Stormy.  

They stood by the trailer a moment or two to recover before getting back into vehicles and continuing home.  They told us that if the panel had been on any other horse in the trailer they would not have been so lucky.   Sabbah had kept his cool and waited for rescue.  Donna  “the Horseshow Mom” exclaimed again to us “I just LOVE that horse!” 

Dr. Dan's Perfect Stallion

Dr. Dan Klinsky was Sabbah’s vet at Jackie’s.  After Sabbah had been cast in his stall, he was sore in the stifle.  "Dr Dan" was called out to examine the sore joint.  During the exam done in the alleyway of Jackie’s barn, Jackie’s students would ride up on their horses to ask Jackie questions.  Their horses were nose to nose with Sabbah.  All this time "Dr Dan" was bent down or crouching under Sabbah working the stifle.  All of a sudden he looks past the stifle, stands and faces Jackie with “You didn’t tell me I was working on a STALLION!”  

Jackie answered “And he didn’t tell you either, did he?”   

A few weeks later I get a call from Elizabeth Dawsari across town.  "Dr. Dan" had been out to preg check her mare, Almoraima Neblina.  He enthusiastically told her about "this wonderful smart athletic stallion with perfect manners" that he had been treating for a stifle soreness.  He urged her to consider breeding her mare to this wonder horse.  Elizabeth listened quietly and politely.  After he confirmed that her mare was in foal, Elizabeth happily told him that the foal he just confirmed was indeed by that same stallion!   

    

The resulting 1998 Straight Babson Egyptian filly was Fa Maarlina bred by Elizabeth Dawsari, now owned by Elaine Yerty and Elizabeth Dawsari.

 

This 2007 photo of Fa Maarlina, 9 years old, was taken by Frank Bochansky at Elaine Yerty's Spring Meadow Farm in Texas.

The Braiding Clinic

Jackie Alkin, Sabbah's trainer, was hosting a Mane Braiding Clinic for The Valley of the Sun Arabian Horse Club at her facility, Royal Salute.  After Jackie demonstrated various braiding techniques, those attending were urged to practice the braids on group of horses standing just outside the barn.  We were near the back of the group so by the time we got out there there were several people working on each horse.  To our surprise, in the middle of the horse group was Sabbah, standing quietly while multiple students braided and rebraided his mane and tail.  It was clear he was enjoying all the attention and no one noticed he was a stallion!  And again he never told them!

The Magic Trailer

Whether at a show or at Royal Salute, his trainer Jackie Alkin’s facility, Sabbah was always the "perfect gelding," never showing a hint that he was a stallion.  When he entered the “Magic Trailer" and came home to breed mares, he stepped off the trailer with an arch to his neck and a bounce in his step as if to remind the other stallions that he was home to breed mares.  When the breedings were done and he was again loaded back into the Magic Trailer and returned to Royal Salute.  He stepped out at Jackie's again as the perfect gelding ready to go back to work.  

This was all Sabbah’s own idea, not a transformation developed through training.  

The Great Communicator

 Bruce took dressage lessons on Sabbah at Jackie’s in 1996. Prior to the start of lessons, Bruce and Sabbah would warm up in the jumping area of the Royal Salute training facility. One day, Sabbah displayed an uncharacteristic action. He bucked every time Bruce and he passed a jump. Bruce took it that Sabbah was telling him that Sabbah wanted to try jumping. 

Jackie agreed to start him in jumping after the February 1997 Scottsdale show. Sabbah proved to be a willing student as the heights of the jumps went up as his lessons increased. Sabbah loved to leap! Jackie and Sabbah attended an Arabian Show in Tucson in May and Sabbah won all the jumping classes! That qualified him to compete soon after at the Region 7 Championships in Ogden Utah. After a long trailer ride, Sabbah won the Regional Regular Working Hunter Class in addition to his two Regional Dressage Championships.   

On the days between the pre-show and the start of the Regional Championships, Jackie took Sabbah out to exercise on a large open jumping course in the center of a mile long racetrack at the fairgrounds where the show was being held. Sabbah never refused any of the large irregular jumps he was asked to take and we couldn’t tell who was having more fun, Jackie or Sabbah.  

1998 Working Hunter Championship Award Ceremony

In 1998 Sabbah earned the Scottsdale Working Hunter championship.  Jackie also rode an Al-Marah mare to the Reserve Championship. 

To collect the awards, Jackie rode the mare and ponied Sabbah into the ring.  Jackie stopped in the center, put Sabbah's reins over his neck, telling him to "Whoa."  She then backed the mare a few steps.  Sabbah was decorated with his ribbons and roses.  The mare received her honors and Sabbah was ponied out of the ring proudly decked out in his Championship winnings!

          photo by Carol Parson
The crowd was impressed by the quiet good manners of the "obedient loose horse" in the ring and would have been even more impressed had they realized he was a STALLION!  

 

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