Rural Missouri - September 2021 - 51

by J.R. Jainchill
M
|
info@ruralmissouri.coop
photos by Zach Smith | zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop
any little girls have a horse dream. Sometimes,
the dream never fades and grows stronger with
time, accompanying her into adulthood. This
was the case for Letta Smith, owner of Cressant
Hill Arabians in Truxton, a ranch where 30 years ago she
realized her childhood dream by raising Arabian horses. As
a little girl, she started with a Shetland pony and graduated
to larger horses, never losing her equine passion as
she matured into adulthood.
" I fell in love with Arabian horses in high school, " Letta
says. " I was looking up magazines to read about horses,
and I came across a picture of a grey Arabian. Its name
was Farazdac. I still have the sheet from the magazine. "
Upon discovering Farazdac was a Straight Egyptian
Arabian, Letta learned about every facet of the animal, including
its history. Letta found that in the ancient Middle
East the number of horses a person owned primarily determined
wealth. Wealth was increased if the horses were
Straight Egyptian Arabians, a line that ancient Bedouins
went to extreme lengths to keep pure. Breeding, foaling,
and training were ritualized and closely observed processes
aimed at keeping the original line as " noble " as possible.
However, over time, these lines inevitably broke off into
Polish, Russian and other lines that dwindled the breed's
population to less than 6,000 horses in modern times.
This information inspired Letta to start a ranch for preserving
and improving Straight Egyptian Arabian lines for
future generations.
After graduating from high school and later marrying
her husband, Jerry, Letta plunged into her lifelong dream
of starting a ranch. With a business plan ready, she purchased
her dream's foundation, a bay mare named Eskada
Yasmine. When Letta met Eskada Yasmine, she says, " I
knew from the moment I first saw her that I had to make
her mine. "
Letta started Cressant Hill in 1991. From Eskada
Yasmine, Letta expanded her stables and services, including
breeding, training, consignment sales, horse boarding,
pedigree research, equine business consultations and
horse evaluations. Each service is done carefully and with
the customer's goal in mind.
" The Arabian breed is very versatile, " Letta says. " From
western to English, from racing to endurance riding, from
dressage to hunter, jumper or even halter and beloved
family companion, they are a breed of horse that truly can
do all disciplines of riding. "
In addition to being hardy at most equine sports and
purposes, Arabian horses also are exceptionally docile and
intelligent. Though this breed is generally thought of as
spirited and unpredictably energetic, Letta says this is a
common misconception.
" Whenever it comes to a horse being spirited or hot, that
comes from the personality that is within. Just like people
are different, all horses are different, " she says. " We talk to
our horses, and when you talk to them, it eases and calms
them. You just have to help them understand and that
comes with training. They're very quick learners. "
Buying one of Letta's horses is a careful and long process.
With her most inexpensive horses starting at $5,000,
Previous page: Letta Smith shares a moment with her Straight Egyptian Arabian mare, Alayla. A multiple award winner in different show and
riding styles, Alaya's mother was Letta's first horse, Eskada Yasmine. Below: Chestnut mare Al Hamra Hadiyaa shows off her speed while at liberty
- a training exercise where horses perform without the use of ropes or lunge lines.

Rural Missouri - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - 4
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - 5
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - 6
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - 7
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - 8
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Rural Missouri - September 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - Cover4
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