Updated: May 8, 2019
For six or seven months in the year our friend, Anna, keeps her gorgeous Arabian horses in our fields and stables, but they winter in a field a little down the road. It is a great day, in spring, when the boys come back. Looking out of the bedroom window in the morning to see them cantering or rolling in the dirt is a joyous first sight. Stepping out of The Granary front door to this sight is wonderful. And if you ever want to meet the horses you just have to ask Anna and she will let you stroke them (if they are in the mood) and tell you all about them. They are a friendly pair, brothers: Stealer and Kwaver. Stealer is the old head, wise and reserved, and it feels a privilege to stroke him. Kwaver is more eager to be stroked, in fact, quite a bit younger, he is more eager to do everything. He often tests Stealer, the play usually being taken in a good-natured way unless he goes a little too far, in which case he gets a nip, accepted, also, with good nature.
The characteristics of our two friends are typical of Arabian horses. They are a much-admired breed, famous for their speed, endurance and refinement. Bedouins believed that Arabian horses were created from the south wind, the angel Gabriel descending from heaven on a thundercloud which then gathered itself into the worldly form of a horse. So precious were Arabians to the Bedouins that they often took them into their tents at night. Now, I don’t think even Anna would go that far with Stealer and Kwaver, but they do, in summer, look like a thundercloud when they run through the dusty field, usually when Anna comes to feed them.