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‘The Horse Whisperer’: Meet Kashmir’s lone equestrian

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Srinagar: When his friends were dreaming of fast cars and swanky motorbikes, young Farman Safvi had a fascination with exotic horses.

Twenty years later, Farman’s dream came true when he became the proud owner of the Marwari horse.

'The Horse Whisperer': Meet Kashmir's lone equestrian

A civil engineer by profession, Farman has a collection of exotic horses in his stable.  “This is not something which came to my mind all of sudden. My grandfather Syed Haider was a popular horse rider in our area and we had a collection of horses even when I was a child,” he said.

Farman’s tryst with horse riding began in 2013 when his father gifted him a horse after passing class XII. “I was very happy and I felt that I got a rare gift from my father,” he said.

Later he shifted to Chandigarh where people were fond of fast cars and exotic horse breeds. “While studying, I kept researching on horses. I would often participate in exhibitions,” Farman said.

Soon after, the 26-year-old Budgam resident bought two horses in the Chandigarh exhibition.

'The Horse Whisperer': Meet Kashmir's lone equestrian

“It is not that easy to have exotic horses.  The exotic breeds are very sensitive and delicate. It takes a lot of effort to maintain nutrition and hygiene. Today I have two Marwari horses and a colt at home. It requires you more than one person to take care of them,” he said.  

Farman has participated in many competitions where he received accolades for minding and training the horses. “I once participated in a horse race in Gulmarg and bagged the first position. My horses are delicate.  They can be great racers only if the rider can control them,” he said. 

For the young engineer, horses have helped him to remain active even in the lockdown.

“Every Sunday I and my father would go riding. It helps us to stay fit. People used to stare at us. Some used to click photographs with my horses,” he said.

'The Horse Whisperer': Meet Kashmir's lone equestrian

Buoyed by the response of people, Farman is planning to establish a farm for exotic breeds essentially to promote horse rearing in the valley.

“Passion is priceless and horses have a great attachment with their owner. My friends often visit my home to see the horses. Someday, I will have my farm with a huge collection of exotic horses,” he said.

( Photos and Video clicked by Mohammad Dawood)