The Kostelniks' Horses


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Amir's Pedigree Lewisfield Sun God Aaraf Hadban Enzahi Nizzam Raffles' Pedigree The Real McCoy

The earlier photos and thumbnails on this site were put up when dial-up connections and lower monitor
resolutions made them more practical.  So, they look unusually small on today's systems. (Sorry about that.)

Amir's Pedigree
Lewisfield Sun God
Hadban Enzahi
Raffles' Pedigree
The Real McCoy

Amir Halam 

Arabian -- AHRA # 0202872 -- chestnut gelding --  born 3/24/1980

His pedigree (Polish, Crabbet, CMK, Lewisfield)

Around 1988, after not having ridden for about 10 years, I thought I was over the "horse fever" I'd had since birth.  Then some friends invited me to see their (dressage) show horses, and soon they rescued a Thoroughbred race horse (I thought he was going to be mine for a while there!) whom I gradually began to visit and work with on a regular basis.  Later, I became so attached to him that I just had to have him -- and then they sold him to a friend of theirs!  I was devastated, but my husband and mother convinced me to try to find a replacement.

In the spring of 1990, I had earned a special $500 of my own, and had found a stable near me where board was only $50 mo.  I began to look for the "right" horse, but without much hope, due to my financial situation.

Fast forward to November 17th, 1990, at 4 p.m., when I took possession of a purebred Arabian gelding worth much more, whose previous owner wanted him to have a good home more than they wanted more money.  :-)

myboys.jpg (56756 bytes)My husband Joe and son Solomon getting acquainted with my new horse, probably in early 1991.  They were not yet "horse people" .  I love the way this picture shows his nice level croup.  He's trying to convince Solomon to give him a treat (see Amir's lip?)

  The "Prince of Sweetness"

Barb riding Amir over a tiny jump at Harvest Home Fair's horse show around 1992 or so.  He didn't win anything, but at least he did the course ... first time he'd ever jumped anything but the cavaletti where we were boarding and an occasional fallen tree.  The jumps were only 18".

He's about 14.3 hands tall and is an Arabian.

Born March 24, 1980, his registered name is Amir Halam, which, I'm told, is Arabic for "Prince of Sweetness".  And yes, he is!

amir_sorrel.jpg (77355 bytes)He's registered as a "Chestnut" but some people would call him a sorrel, because his legs get lighter as they go down, and he has other lighter areas in the pattern known as "pangare" or "mealy" (like a donkey) .

He sometimes has a strange rainbow iridescence on his coat, especially during the summer of '99 ... almost like an Akhal-Teke ... or a fish!

He has an unalterable freeze-brand, with his breed (pure Arabian), year of birth, and registration number on his neck, under his mane.

He was trained English and Western pleasure.   He CAN jump, but he hates to!

His sire was Lo Khan, the Region 14 English Pleasure Champion twice in the late seventies.   His dam is Chansonette, daughter of Lewisfield Fleur, daughter of Lewisfield Sun God, who, then,  is his great-grandsire.

Thank you for selling him to me, Dorcas!

Spring 1999

White Oak Chapel Kids' Riding Day

These pictures are at the FORMER farm where we boarded Amir.  We have so many happy memories of that place and of the sweet family that lived there.
We moved him from there in August of 1999. 
The farm has since been broken up and sold <sigh>. 
There were many other children there, but we only got a few of the pictures online, sorry.
click pictures to see full size

amir1.jpg (90116 bytes)


Pastor Barb leads "Amir the Wonder Horse" (so dubbed by another church member), with Leigh Anne, age 3, on board, while her mom, Linda, "side-walks".  Notice how Amir's attention (ears) is on his little passenger.  He's always been very careful with "young 'uns".

amir2.jpg (64662 bytes)This young lady, Amber, took lessons on Amir, a year after this picture was taken.  She wore a helmet then, and the stirrups fit her. She hoped to show at Harvest Home Fair in Sept. 2000, but her mother, shown below, met with a tragic sudden death and their father no longer brings them to our church or stable.

amir3.jpg (49060 bytes)Amber's (tragically, now deceased) mom, Nina, riding in front of her younger daughter, Hannah. Led by Barb so that Nina can hold Hannah on (only Hannah's right leg & right hand are visible, but she's there.)

amir4.jpg (40569 bytes)Mom (Nina) got a chance to ride all alone!  She was a horse lover.  Though still a hot-blooded Arabian at age 19, Amir could be trusted with beginners in an arena, if the rider followed directions.  Nina did.  But if a show-off gets on, Amir is not so co-operative!

Thanks to my son for scanning these pictures for me when I didn't have a working scanner!

In June of 1999 we moved Amir to his new home, only 2 miles from our house. 
Then, Joe needed a horse to ride with me, so he got Doc (Bill, the previous barn-owner's horse, that Joe had been riding for the past 8 years, was not for sale).

A few months later, good old Bill was offered to us at a "rescue" price, so we took him. 
We owed him a decent retirement!

March 2000

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Here is Joe hugging Amir after a brief ride while Doc (Docs Dewin Time, 2 1/2 years old then, AQHA), in the pasture at right, wonders why HE isn't out "on the trail" with the "big boys".  We had Bill out, too, not shown.

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Amir Halam in March 2000, at 20 years old, is on the left here, with then-24 year old AQHA  Billies Bay Spirit (Bill, or Bailey) in the background, at their "new home".  With both horses wearing their winter woolies, and a bit of extra fat for those cold nights, Amir looks awfully chunky for the purebred Arabian he is.  Bailey, originally and finally known as Bill, was 15.1 H, or 2" taller than Amir. He died in January of 2007 at the age of 31.  He was an "old fashioned" Quarter Horse, dead broke, with a lot of his ancestor Joe Hancock's draft breeding about him.  We've since heard that horses with his temperament are "one in five million" (according to Clinton Anderson!)

At left, Joe fills the water buckets,
a regular chore before we got smart and started using a hose. 

This, and most of the pictures directly below,
 are from my brother's family's visit in March 2000.

Amir looks scraggly in these, because he's starting to lose his well-worn winter coat:

amir_run.jpg (67557 bytes)I lead my nephew  on Amir

amir_not_lunge.jpg (74758 bytes)I'm not really longeing, and this is certainly not a lesson!

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Amir in scruffy end-of-
winter coat; sisters-in-law

H13.jpg (83806 bytes)Nephew and mom brush Amir

amir_sorrel.jpg (77355 bytes)Joe cleans Amir's feet; see how much lighter his lower legs are then the rest!

barb_matt_amir.jpg (65268 bytes)My nephew's  ride on Amir continues

joe-amir2.jpg (68987 bytes)Joe has a brisk trot on Amir

joe-amir1.jpg (45109 bytes)Another time around.

May 2000

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Amir having a hay snack. He'd just had a bath and really came out bright and shining, though he has clumps of winter coat still in places.

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This captures part of Amir's personality.

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I like it when he reminds me of his great-grandsire, Lewisfield Sun God; usually after a summer bath.  

July 2006

Amir is usually ridden, by us, in just a halter and double-ended lead rope.

On July 16, 2006, he was an attraction at our church picnic.  You can see his "servant nature" by the fact that most of the pics are focusing on the people/children enjoying him, and not on him.


The next day one of my riding students' dads tried having a ride.  He came away with new respect for his daughter's ability and courage.


A little over a week later, Solomon invited a friend of some church friends and her son to have a ride.


August 2006

In 2006, the month of August was all about getting ready for the Harvest Home Fair Horse Show.  Here, my youngest student and Amir get a very early fitting for their costumes for the Costume Class.  This was a very rough approximation of their eventual outfits, which I was making with my new sewing machine, which I've hardly used since! (Most of the finished version is shown in this smaller thumbnail, from the show, at right.)  I never did get a decent picture of the finished "bridle" that I made for Amir.

The other students' preparations consisted of regular riding lessons and occasional actual barrel and pole runs.  We keep those to a minimum so as not to wear out, injure, or sour Amir.  Thanks to the Tensings for letting us set up our barrels in their upper, level field, and also for the cones to use to practice pole bending.  And remember, we don't use spurs, whips, tie downs or curb bits... and yet still won ribbons!

September 2006 -- just day(s) before the show --

As usual, click these to see them full size.

    My longest-standing student and Amir, a day or two before the show.  Sorry, I couldn't choose just one. When you click them, you'll see why.

Next 5 pics: Amir and some of "his adoring fans", after his pre-show bath, the (last practice) day before the show.  They're 3 of my 5 riding students who were about to show him the next day.  Some of these are kind of "big" when you click them, so that the girls can each see themselves better when they visit this page.


Sept. 2006 Harvest Home Fair Horse Show

   All 5 riders at the show with Amir, just before costume class.

Next 4: my youngest student and Amir, before and during the costume class. What a shame, I don't have any close-ups of his cool satin-ribbon-and-metallic-gold-rope halter ... I put it on at the last minute, to minimize the possibility of its breaking.  You can see it a tiny bit in this student's mom's hand in picture #4 below:

        She got a blue ribbon.

Next two pics:  another student about to enter the show arena for the catalog race.  You race to a barrel with a catalog in it, cut out what they asked you to, circle the barrel, and race back to the starting gate with the cut-out.  She lost control temporarily, but hung in there and saw it through without falling off or being disqualified!  Brave girl!

Next two pictures, my longest-term, most serious and accomplished student, with her barrel racing and pole bending ribbons.  The man in the show ring with her, at left, is the official show photographer.  Amir looks tired in that last photo, but he was done then, don't worry.


Next, 3 pics from after the show: Joe & the girl above's family (great helpers!) pack us up at twilight as 1. other fairgoers wander through with their balloons; 2. She's still sitting on Amir as he wanders around, eating grass and relaxing; 3. her older sister and friends hang around as Joe gets all blurry.


June 2010

These pics were for some "special studies", so they do not show Amir at his best at all.  But they are educational.  Some are close-ups to show the sabino roaning throughout his coat.  (The roany patch on his hip may be due to injuries on door frames.)  He had recently developed  ~4x5" fat (?) pads along his back, behind his shoulders, behind his elbows, and maybe also on his withers and above his eyes, which looked unusually "sleepy" then.  His vet told me "he's just built that way" and has "sort of weird conformation" (suddenly?). But then I learned that those are signs of insulin resistance!  Why not, I'm the one who detected and insisted on treating his Cushing's Syndrome.  He's a prime candidate for IR, that's for sure -- being an aging Arabian on lots of cheap sweet feed, right then, to keep his ribs from showing!

By the way, he had an injury above his right eye a few years ago, which left it slightly more closed than his left (our vet did a wonderful job of cleaning it up and sewing the chunk of muscle back into place!)  Also, the sun is in his right eye in these.  So, it's not usually closed THIS far, unless he's sleeping or something.

Please, everyone, be kind in your thoughts about his appearance... he's over 30 years old in these pictures!  He later lost the "fat pads" and was in much better condition as of late 2010.

                  overview                  really "big" (high res)              arrows to "pads"           overview, different lighting

left & center, rump & barrel roaning overview                                        right, one of two sabino "spots"

recent: left, "roaned" patch (from scraping on door frame?) which later disappeared;
recent roaned patch on forearm, unknown cause, remains as of May 2011.

July 3, 2010; wow, the "fat pads" were gone already.  If I could rewind, I'd find out when he was last ridden before they appeared... I hope he wasn't just over-cinched!  At any rate, I had suspected insulin-resistance and cut back his sweet feed, adding alfalfa cubes to make up for his not eating as much hay as Sugar and Doc (though he is offered as much.)

  This is mostly just showing the dried sweat on Amir during a hot spell.

ADDED NOVEMBER 17, 2010 --  I've had Amir for 20 years today.  He looks better than he has in years.  He's lost the fat pads, is in good condition and weight, and even his winter coat looks great.  He's on 1 ml of pergolide every day (for Cushing's syndrome, which I think he's had, to some degree, since I got him), and on a better diet (no more cheap "sweet feed", just real mixed grain, alfalfa cubes, a vitamins-hooves-coat-&-joints supplement, and all the hay he can eat.)

December 2010

These first two are from an "attempted" ride during a snowstorm in early December 2010. 
Amir danced and jigged more than he had since I'd known him. 
Somewhere there's also a video clip I took that day... these are just stills from that.

     Try these links for the video:    Movie A     Movie_B

Then, on Christmas Eve Day, 2010, we three went out for a ride in the snow on all three horses. That was a great ride, except for some sliding problems that Joe & Doc each had. Solomon was riding Sugar, and taking these pictures for us.

Early May 2011

His hanging-on-too-long winter coat was stinky and matted, and he seemed to have rain rot; and less energy than usual, though that may have been due to the sudden heat and humidity; was maybe losing a bit of weight since we went back to one feeding a day (due to grass growth in the pasture.)

May 12, 2011

Just before the bath -- it was warm enough to use the hose on just the top of his back, where he seems to have the worst skin/coat issues, with a special shampoo I got him for this very reason last year. .  He also had his feet trimmed a week later.  (The shampoo made a HUGE difference in the skin on his back.)

These next 3 pictures, also from mid-May 2100, were taken to show the mixture of white and black-looking hairs in his tail.

May 26, 2011

He was already looking splendid in his mostly new shiny summer coat.  I'll get some pics as soon as it stops raining long enough!  And when an old friend came over and rode him a bit last week, he started getting that old fire back... that is, if you canter him a bit, he starts wanting to race!  But he was still a good boy, and obeyed his rider.



Amir's Pedigree ] Lewisfield Sun God ] Aaraf ] Hadban Enzahi ] Nizzam ] Raffles' Pedigree ] The Real McCoy ]
[ Amir ] Bill ] Doc ] Sugar ] Kids-1999 ] March 2000 ] May 2000 ] May 2004 ] New Videos, etc. ]

This web site, graphics and text, copyright 2013 by Barbara A. Kostelnik,