A to Z horses – Visiting Venus

The ancient Romans worshipped Venus as goddess of love and beauty. Today, near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a pretty black mare carries the legend forward.

Owned by marketing specialist and equine therapist Jocelyn Stott, Venus is a 2000 purebred Arabian Horse, registered as CBC Shamraff.

“I named this pretty little mare Venus because I think black horses, and especially Arabians, are among the most beautiful,” Stott remarked. “In folklore, black mares were considered bad omens. The Bedouins often killed them at birth.

“This is where the term ‘nightmare’ may have come from. Wouldn’t it be more fitting, if a black mare was named for love? I sure think so,” she added.

Foaled in Eastern Montana, Venus ran freely with a small band of ranch horses near the Montana/North Dakota border.

“She was bred for cutting and reining, but she loves the trail the most,” Stott said. “Venus is a quick-witted athlete. She can spin around very fast in the pasture, while at play with her herdmates.”

Stott and Venus have formed a close bond, even playing together in the pasture.

“Venus likes goats and children, but mostly she loves fresh green grass,” Stott explained. “Sometimes when I go out to the pasture on warm mornings with my coffee, she’ll sit down at my feet while eating grass.”

(Yes, that's Venus in the photo to the left, sprawled out in the grass by her pasture pals.)

Occasionally, Stott enlists Venus to help with equine-assisted therapy at the Equine Therapeutic Learning Center, which she co-founded near Spokane, Washington. The nonprofit organization works with individuals who have physical, emotional or cognitive disabilities.

Related Items:

Last year’s A to Z post: Valuing the Valley

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Venus photos provided by Jocelyn Stott
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  1. I'd like to see some documentation proving that Bedouins often killed colts born black. The fact is a lot of grey horses are born black, and many many Arabian horses are grey. They'd have to be killing a lot of their precious horses....

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

  2. I'm not really a horsey guy, but yeah - that's a pretty horse! :)

  3. MimiTabby - you are correct! Gray horses are born black and the Bedoins would have killed a lot of foals if this were true. This is why I mentioned that it was folklore. I have read on first account by Carl Raswan, the Bedoin preferred to ride mares (known as War Mares) into battle due to their loyalty and protective nature.

    I have read black mares or night mares, were considered bad luck by multiple cultures in several places but don't have "official" documentation as fact.

    The story about the Bedoin is specifically noted on page 16 of "Tao of Equus," a great book about equine therapy by Linda Kohanov.

    At any rate, it is interesting...and part of the reason I love black Arabians! - Jocelyn Stott



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