Long ago on the sands of a great desert lived a Bedouin chieftain by the name of Ahmed and his tribe. In the tents of Ahmed was his most prized possession, a beautiful grey mare who was renowned throughout the desert as the fleetest and most beautiful horse in the world. Many people coveted the mare, and kings and chieftains had tried to acquire her, but Ahmed could not be persuaded to part with his beloved mare.
Ahmed decided to breed his mare, and searched the desert for a suitable mate for her. After a time, the mare was bred to the premier stallion in the Sultan's stable. Months went by and the time for the mare to foal grew near.
Riding across the desert one day, several miles from his tents, Ahmed was seen by a group of robber Bedouins. Fearing that he would lose his beloved mare as well as his life, Ahmed turned and raced toward his tents, knowing in his heart that the mare, heavy in foal, could never out-distance the bandits. The mare seemed to realize that she was running for her master's life, and slowly, very slowly, she began to gain ground on her pursuers. Shots rang out and bullets peppered the sand around them as the distance gradually widened.
They were almost out of rifle range when one last shot rang out. A bullet pierced Ahmed's heart, and he fell forward over the neck of his beloved mare. The mare never slackened her stride, and carried her master back to his tents on their final ride together.
Ahmed's people gathered around the mare and removed his lifeless body from her back. Down one of her shoulders, his blood had dried a nasty brown in the desert heat. There the mark remained, for no one could remove it.
That night in the tent of her dead master, the mare foaled. The foal was acclaimed by all as a perfect specimen of the Arabian breed, and on his shoulder was the same rusty red mark that his dam bore.
And so it came to pass that every great horse descended from that mare carried the mark of the bloody shoulder, and it was a thing greatly prized in the desert.
Like the bloody shoulder, the Prophet's Thumbprint also seems to be a mark of Arabian origin. It's not surprising that my Oldenburg/TB cross (registered RPSI) would sport an Arabian marking as the Thoroughbred breed relied heavily on several Arabian foundation sires.
The Five Mares of Mohammed
The hot desert wind blew against the tent, driving the dust inside. Fatima walked softly in, carrying an earthenware jug full of cold water, and handed it to the Prophet. "Please, stop tormenting yourself, Mohammed," she said, "drink some water!"
"I will drink when the test is over, and the horses can drink, too. I cannot drink knowing they are thirsty," said the Prophet to his daughter.
"I do not understand this test, nor do I like it," said Fatima angrily. "Depriving the horses from drinking for three full days is cruel. I cannot believe you would do it, a man who loves animals better than himself!"
"I must. Allah commanded me -- would you have me disobey God? The spread of Islam depends greatly on the loyalty and strength of our horses. The best of these horses, said Allah, will be honored till the end of time... But it is the evening of the third day now, so let us go to the horses and conduct the test."
He took a horn that hung at the tent’s entrance, and walked toward an enclosure where about a hundred horses were confined, a little distance from the water hole of the oasis. The horses looked reproachfully at their beloved master as he quickly opened the gate. Tormented by thirst, the horses galloped to the water hole, but before they could reach it, Mohammed raised the horn to his lips and sounded the call for war.
The horses ignored it. They were so thirsty that perhaps they couldn’t even hear it, and went on galloping toward the water. But not all of them. Five mares stopped. Without hesitation, they turned around and returned to Mohammed, ready to do whatever was required of them.
The Prophet stroked their silky manes, tears in his eyes. He led them to the water and envisioned the glorious future as they drank. He knew that these mares would foal the finest of Arab horses, the only horses of pure blood, the horses that would help bring Islam to every corner of the Earth.