BY SUSAN MAYO
Susar Farm Arabians
Reprinted from the July 1987 issue of Arabian Visions
You asked for farm stories, so here goes. My name is Susan Mayo. I was raised in Southern California, where my first exposure to Arabian horses came through my trainer, Linda Tellington. Linda and Wentworth Tellington owned Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm. They stood the Babson stallion Lothar, the Sirecho stallion, Dharecho; campaigned the endurance champion, Bint Gulida, and ran an equitation school. As a teenager I was an instructor for Linda on the farm. Since my earliest days there has been no other kind of Arabian for me that compares to the Old Egyptians.
After I finished college in Texas, I began looking for my own Arabian. As a new school teacher, straight Egyptians were beyond my reach. I knew exactly what I wanted - predominately Egyptian/Desert/Babson with as many lines as possible to Ibn Rabdan.
In 1973, I met a colt and fell in love with him when he was 32 hours old. Buzznai is by the Babson/*Turfa Blue List stallion Serrim and out of a Gulastra/Desert mare. I began purchasing Buzzy with a combination of credit for training, a loan from the Teachers' Credit Union, and a diet of beans for myself. Susar Farm was born.
Buzzy won his first Blue at two months in Oklahoma City and his second at seven months at the State Fair of Texas. I have never liked halter showing, but since I planned to do everything with Buzz, I was anxious to get started.
Although I have shown horses all my life, showing is not my reason for having horses. They are my friends, my family. By the early 1970's, it was painfully clear that the Arabian shows were becoming a travesty of horsemanship and a horror to horses. I decided to make my small protest by presenting a classic, original Arabian, trained with Dressage and love.
While I was waiting for Buzz to grow up, I branched out into other activities. I took on riding students, but only people truly interested in achieving the best conditions for horses, and began a program of owner-trained Arabians. Susar Farm has taught around 100 people to quietly, gently train their own horses, and strangely enough, to incidentally win!
We have taught amateur adults as well as children to train their own Arabians from first mounting to the Class A blue. Susar riders have consistently won in Hunter, Hack, Western Pleasure, Stock, Trail, and Dressage.
I managed to assemble a small group of Old Egyptian/Desert mares and bred them to Buzz. We do not sell foals to the general public, but instead put them with sincere people and help guide the training and showing of the foals as well as their proper care and nutrition. All of Buzz's offspring are wining performance horses for their Amateur/Owner/Trainers.
We only go to about two Class A shows a year because we dislike much of the atmosphere, but Buzz achieved multiple Blues in Western Pleasure Open Stallion, Western Pleasure Junior Exhibitor, Stock Seat Equitation, Dressage through third level, Stock Horse, Trail Horse, Hunter Hack, Hunter Pleasure, Sidesaddle, Native Costume, English Pleasure and English and Western Pleasure Pro-Am.
We have qualified for Nationals every year, but have chosen not to go. I have heard Buzz referred to as "that little black stallion that shouldn't win, but does!" Whatever the current fad in Arabian breeding, Buzz cannot go unnoticed because of the delight with which he shows, his humor, agility, lovely way of going, and extreme versatility.
In 1977 we began conducting open horse shows at Susar Farm to provide a place for people to learn to show in an atmosphere of support and fun. In our tenth year our shows remain, like everything at Susar, based on education, reward, and love of the horse. Hundreds of riders have shown with us, and many have gone on to high achievements in every type of show from Class A Arabian to Eventing and Dressage.
After fourteen years we have our own 35 acre farm, six mares (finally one Blue List filly), horse shows monthly, students weekly, training daily, and delight constantly. I still show Buzz as well as his sons and daughters in all classes. They all jump, are trained Dressage, go English, Western and Trail, and do it all with consistent cheer.
Fourteen years ago, the goal of Susar Farm was to lovingly present the Old Egyptian Arabians in their rightful role as beautiful, versatile, people-oriented Friends. Buzznai, his children, and our many amateur/owner/trainers have made our goal a reality. It is the extreme integrity, intelligence, and lovingness of the Desert Bred horses that makes dreams come true. These horses are not "investments"; they are not "foal factories" -- they are our friends and families, entrusted to us for the preservation (not "improvement") of a priceless heritage.