Rural Missouri - September 2021 - 52

photo courtesy Cressant Hill Arabians
Left: Bint Alayla, one of Alayla's foals, shows the distinctive pose of a trained show horse as she comes to a stop in the arena. Right: Her mother,
Alayla, was awarded High Point Champion Straight Egyptian Arabian in the U.S. by The Pyramid Society of Lexington, Kentucky in 2017. High Point
Champion is awarded to the horse with the most cumulative points across the show year. Riding Alayla is Larissa Smith, daughter of breeders and
owners, Letta (far right) and Jerry Smith (far left) of Cressant Hill Arabians.
Letta's customers must be certain they have the passion
and responsibility it takes to own a Straight Egyptian
Arabian. Letta patiently works to pair her customers with
the right horse. To achieve this, she tests the customer's
experience and ability to interact with the horse they want
to buy. For the customer, this occasionally turns into several
weekends of visiting and working with the horse. This
ensures the customer has the right level of equine expertise
and is properly paired with their horse's temperament.
For these reasons, Letta has years when she sells as few
as eight horses or as many as 30.
In addition to customer pairing, Letta thoroughly trains
and socializes her horses before sending
them to their new homes. At birth, the foals
are imprinted by their trainer. This means
that a person is present and interactive with
the mare during the birthing process, touching
and supporting the foal as it is born. Since one
of the fi rst scents that greets the foal is a human's,
the foal will be used to human handlers
from a young age. From her experience, Letta
believes early socializing makes the foal more
confi dent when it is time to train them.
" I'm cleaning out the nostrils, rubbing their ears, and
touching the foal all over its body, " Letta says. " All the
while the mare does a soft nicker to the foal. "
Besides imprinting, training horses also means making
sure horses are able to load and unload from trailers, be
washed and wear a halter among other qualities that make
52 RURAL MISSOURI | SEPTEMBER 2021
the horse easier to handle. The end accomplishment is
that Letta is able to sell a well-tempered horse with foundational
training.
Letta not only emphasizes the Straight Egyptian Arabian
as the a beautiful horse breed, but also as a way for
parents to teach their children responsibility.
" Horses are a great way to do that, " Letta explains. " The
horse community is a great community. They have good
morals and really high standards, so it teaches the kids to
have good manners and be responsible. I think it's really
important for kids to have that learning and understanding. "
Truxton
Missouri's
demand for horses tends to be fulfi lled by
heavy workhorses. However, after years of educating
people on the Straight Egyptian Arabian's beauty and
versatility, Letta has encouraged the Arabian's popularity
as a light and fl exible work horse. Concerning
the future of the breed she has worked so hard to
preserve and improve, Letta has one great dream.
" I would really like for people to give the breed
a chance, " she says. " There's a lot of stereotypes
out there on Straight Egyptian Arabians. Don't
believe everything you hear. Go check it out handson
for yourself. "
For information, visit www.cressanthill.com or call 636597-4023.
Offi ce hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. Visits and tours are welcome by appointment.
Jainchill is a freelance writer from Columbia.
http://www.cressanthill.com

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
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Rural Missouri - September 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - September 2021 - Cover4
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