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Riding Iran on a horse back

Hello Michael,
Such a nice horse! You trained her very well. Must be nice to have a horse, not so common i guess. I showed the video to my dad. He would like to know which breed it is. When he was a kid in Iran during Shah"s time, he liked to visit his uncle in a village who had several horses. He said they had traditional persian breeds, a very old race. They were very pretty and elegant, but strong and hot-blooded at the same time. Must be nice animals, this combination of power and beauty. What breed is your Penelope ?

Dear Ghazal,

Penny is in fact a danish breed called Knappstrupper. My experience is that although she was very wild and stubborn initially, after I gave her a couple of lessons she quickly learned and now is pretty obidient. I guess, a persian breed would be much wilder (like you). Persian full-bloods (or studs) in fact were beside arabs and berber-horse the origin of the famous english breeds, which gave rises to the best racing horses ever (probably combining the physical power of old english races with the temper and slender body shape of the orientals).

If you come to Munich the next time, you might ride her a bit.

Take Care, Ghazal

Hi Michael,
Yeah, a horse is something really nice, in particular at a time when there is so many unnecesarry violence around us (like this idiotic maniac who killed 78 childred in a norway youth camp last week).
I was following too many IC blogs over the last days that made me very sad indeed. There were talks about cultural genocide, iranian holocaust, very agressive discussions about Mozzadegh and the Shah and the Tudeh and the British and the Russians and the Germans and the Arabs and about whom of those to blame more for the current tragedy in Iran. I felt how all my confidence about a bright future for a new, free Iran vanished more and more, since a new Iran would require a pioneer spirits, rather than people feeling comfortable in their role as a victims. Don"t take me wrong, I think every nation should be aware of its history, but I would prefer this in a less emotional and more academic style. The worst example of how one could show historical awareness is probably the annual ʿĀšūrāʾ, where the feeling of martyrdom among Shiits is revitalized again and again and has a significant influence on the social life and political structure, usually not for the best.
In contrast to these very hate-loaded political blogs I mentioned above, there were - thanks God - also a few that showed the nice and beautiful side of life, like the poems by Soosan Khanoom and the JJs adventure with the horse. In particular the horse story and the very vivid discussion that followed made me wondering. Is there something left of the nice horse-riding tradition in Iran that my dad told me about ? Maybe this could help the people of Iran to find back to their tradition of philosophy, tolerance and culture.

Take Care

Ghazal, my Dear,
Your last mail made me wonder if it is possible to travel Iran on a horses back, like a young australian recently crossed half of Eurasia, 6200 miles from Mongolia to Hungary ?

How are the iranian immigration rules for a horse , assuming I want to enter the country from the north (Armenia or Azerbaidshan). I have friends there and could get a horse in either of the two countries. Although I have a nice mare here in Germany, the long transport to Iran would be too stressful for her.
Will there be sufficient food for the horse ? Will people respect horses in Iran, assuming that I have to cross or even ride along a motor-way ? In Germany, horses have to wear a number-plate and a liability insurrance, if you ride them on a public road (not kidding). How is this in Iran ?
In Europe, dogs fouling is forbidden in public area (you can get fined up to about 1000 euro if your dog is messing up the street), whereas horse faeces (altholugh much bigger) are always tolerated and people walking-by even collect it to fertilize their rose gardens. How is this in Iran ? Will people hate my horse if it drops feces on the street ? (the recent blog petition about killing stray dogs in Teheran made me slightly pessimistic). Historically, the Parthian Empire was famous for its arts of horse riding in the whole southern and eastern hemisphere. Is there something of this heritage left ? Or is this just another issue for the fight between persians and arabs for historical and cultural hegemonie over the domestication of horses ? Did horses arrived together with the Partians from the inner-asian regions and came to Arabia later, where they started the famous breeding ? Or was it vice versa ? I will post this to IC and if the readers there have any suggestions, I"ll redirect them to my blog.

Take Care, my Dear

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