*** As of 2009, Harlem's P.R. Man is no longer standing as a breeding stallion.
Our commitment to such a wonderful horse was made early on that he would never be sold and never have to go back to the life that he came from. To allow him that dignity of being able to live life as any horse should, we made the decision to castrate him so that he could finally be part of a herd, have other equine friends, and retire to the peace and comfort of our fields.
Harlem's P.R. Man was a phenomenal stallion... and now he is a phenomenal gelding. When he is not being a trail-horse, he still likes to play "showhorse" in the arena from time to time... with only a light snaffle bit... and barefoot.
Harlem is truly a once-in-a-lifetime horse... and although he is now a gelding, he will always be referred to as a "stallion" out of the kindest respect for his contribution to our breeding program. Frozen semen is available to approved mares, so please contact us if interested.
Below is some information and history about how we came to know Harlem that will perhaps give you a better understanding as to why we chose this stallion as our foundation sire. His offspring speak for themselves... but the character of this phenomenal horse... well, he simply stands alone.
Standing a towering 16.2H, conservatively, with a huge mop of shoulder-length mane and a tail too thick to even braid, he is just simply breath-taking.
His natural elevated movement, combined with a very forward motion, makes him appear to float on air, whether at a walk or a flat out gallop.
An exquisitely chiseled head sits perfectly atop a gracefully arched neck, leading to a huge muscular shoulder and chest, and very powerful hind-quarters.
With plenty of size and bone, Harlem has no shortcomings. Even his disposition is one of a gracious well-mannered gentleman. He is extremely kind to us as well as to the mares that adore him.
All of his foals have shown wonderful, willing personalities, very high play drives, and extremely curious, happy natures. And, like their sire, all are very gifted with their legs, have beautiful conformations, and will no doubt attain the impressive size and charisma of their "papa".
We adore Harlem for so many reasons that go well past his genetics, and feel so fortunate that he is a part of our lives.
His offspring carry themselves with the same quiet grace as he does and we know that one day, when his hoof-prints have faded from our pastures, that his offspring will always be a precious reminder of one of the most remarkable horses that we have ever known.
What to do... What to do...
When we first started developing this farm, we had no stallions... and really didn't plan on ever having any. We just were not set up that way, nor did we have the experience. Our group of horses, mares, foals, and geldings were all in one pasture and everyone was getting along just fine. Trouble was, we were having one HECK of a time trying to get our mares bred through artificial insemination.
But soon after we had gotten settled in, a good friend contacted us and told us about a leggy black stallion that we "needed." Of course, you know how these stories usually go. We made up our minds that we absolutely DID NOT "need" a stallion... but... well,... maybe we'd just go and "look."
And look we did... when we first saw Harlem standing in his stall, it was hard to see him with his inky black coat blending him into the darkness.
When he stepped out of the stall, however... we could not take our eyes off of him... his presence simply took our breath away. And in spite of all the "hoopla" being created to get him into that "show-horse" look, I noticed that throughout all the firecrackers and the cracking of whips, that his eyes remained calm and focused.
We knew then that this black stallion was quite extraordinary..
Harlem's P.R. Man was shown successfully in the five-gaited divisions in the Southeast and Missouri circuits.
By the multi-titled WC sire, Harlem Globetrotter... and out of the well-bred Broodmare Hall of Fame mare, Conversationalist BHF, Harlem's P.R. Man carries an amazing 22 BHF dams in his 5-generation pedigree... almost unheard of.
It seemed that the Wheels of Fate had started to turn as we stood there that day looking at the inky black horse before us. Less than 24 hours later, our foundation stallion had arrived at Renaissance Winds Farm.
So... there we were, scratching our heads wondering what in the world we were going to DO with this stallion that we said that we didn't "need" to begin with.
The truth was that Harlem's bloodlines were just too impressive to pass up, and that alone outweighed all the other questions we had. Somehow... someway... we'd figure out what to do.
Never having really been around many stallions, we set out to try and understand the best way to handle one. And of course, there were those that encouraged us to "Show that horse who's BOSS...." That seemed a little odd, considering that doing so might be considered an outright challenge to any self-respecting stallion. Showing each other who was boss, is exactly what stallions will do with each other in the wild all the time. For some reason, I felt that those rules did not necessarily apply between horses and humans... especially where a stallion was involved.
When Harlem first stepped off the trailer, I wouldn't exactly say that he was a "people" oriented horse. In fact, I don't believe he really had very much regard at all for his new two-legged care-takers at all... and probably for reasons that perhaps I never truly want to know.
Head held high, eyes wide, and snorting for all the world like a long-haired black locomotive, I was left to wonder how in the world I was going to "get inside" his adrenaline-soaked brain.
Initially, a walk into his paddock would cause a surprising reaction... he would flee to the other side of his field, his tail held high and his head craning back over that ten-story neck.
After several days of simply trying to get in the near vicinity of Harlem, I decided that maybe it would be more interesting to see if HE would get close to ME.
The next day, I took a plastic lawn chair into his paddock, sat it on the ground ... and sat down in it. You would have thought that I walked in there with a box of lit dynamite.
Harlem took one look at me and took off in the other direction. He ran... and ran... and ran, until he was soaked in sweat.
All I could think of as I sat there was, "Interesting..."
I decided that I would not look at Harlem while I sat in that chair in his paddock. Harlem had NO IDEA what to do with that information.
He was not prepared to deal with a person being around him and asking then asking absolutely nothing of him. So he did the only thing he knew to do... he ran around some more, snorted a bit and then stared at me from a distance.
After about 30 minutes, I picked up my plastic chair and left his paddock without giving him a single backward glance. When I peeked over my shoulder as I walked up the drive, I saw him standing at the other end of his paddock with a big, fat question mark over his head.
At least he had stopped running...
My visits into Harlem's paddock with my chair went on for several days.
Each time, Harlem's "Circle of Terror" kept gradually growing smaller and smaller, until he was close enough that I could almost reach out and touch him... which I had to make myself sit on my hands in order not to.
I wanted to let him know so badly that I meant no harm and that I could be trusted.
But it seemed that those two things were not something that he had learned to associate with humans, so I prepared myself for the road ahead to be a long and slow one...
Soon, the whites of Harlem's eyes and the pink lining of his nose became increasingly harder to see.
The terrifying fear of not knowing what I was doing in his paddock was replaced with an ever-increasing sense of "Ok... exactly what ARE you doing in here?"
Each day after I left his paddock and walked up the driveway, I would look over my shoulder and find him standing in the spot where me and my chair were... sniffing.
Then he would look around to see if anyone was watching and walk over to the gate and look up the driveway.
"Progress" is so often overlooked because it often occurs in the smallest of increments...
One day, while my chair and I were parked in our "spot," and Harlem was quietly grazing not more than a few feet away, he raised his head, looked squarely at me and walked right over to where I sat... which he had never done up until that point.I wanted to jump for joy, but instead I put my hand out for him to sniff.
Harlem dropped his head and softly sighed.
I softly rubbed his forehead, going over his ears, his eyes, and back down to his nose. He stood as if frozen, his eyes half closed. It wasn't until then that I realized just how HUGE this stallion was as he stood towering over me. He could have squashed me with one hoof.
As he stood there, with one hind-legged cocked, I noticed that his head was dropping closer... and closer to the ground, until his nose was just barely touching the grass. His eyes were closed and his lower lip was so droopy I could see the pink lining of his lower lip. I found myself holding my breath, not sure what would happen next. And I certainly was NOT prepared, because in the next instant, that huge stallion's LEGS buckled, and he crashed right to the ground! Harlem had fallen dead asleep... for a second.
Harlem jumped back up with a jolt, and gave a huge snort. I did the same thing, almost falling over the back of my chair.
We BOTH looked at each other... "WHAT WAS THAT??!!??"
Then the stallion's eyes softened once more, and he walked back over to me and dropped his head.
I don't know much about milestones, but that must have been a huge one for that horse on that day.
It sure felt like one for me.
One of the great things about Parelli Natural Horsemanship is that it places a significant importance on understanding what is going on in a horse's MIND, before attempting to do anything with their BODY.
There is just no point in "making" a horse "DO" something, if the heart and mind of the horse are not engaged.
Oh, you'll get "results"... but it won't be effortless... and it certainly won't be 100%.
Upon further study into the psychology of "Why" horses do what they "Do," we came to the conclusion that the reason that Harlem was falling into these deep slumbers was that he had never been given the opportunity to completely relax... ever... in the company of humans.
I'm sure he had his reasons.
But, when he finally came off the "Fear-Train" that was being stoked by his adrenaline and expecting the worst from us, relaxed, "sleepy" endorphins washed over him like a giant flood.
The stallion simply and peacefully fell asleep... if only for a minute at a time.
Welcome to The Beautiful Mind of the Horse...
...A Word Of Caution...
Please do not assume that all stallions are the same and will respond in the manner in which our stallion has. Any horse, but especially stallions, are still unpredictable and often dangerous members of the equine family, with lightening-quick reactions. It just is simply part of their inherent genetic make-up. We absolutely DO NOT advocate for anyone to try these techniques without first understanding the true nature and psychology of stallion behavior, and strongly caution those who do.