Today’s Horse Facts: The Canadian Horse – “Little Iron Horse”

Have you ever heard of a Canadian Horse? Do you know what he looks like?

The Canadian Horse: “Little Iron Horse”

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men,

for he breaks down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” 

(Psalm 107: 15-16 NIRV)

In the late 1600s, King Louis XIV of France sent two different breeds of horses, the Breton and Norman, to a region we now call Quebec, Canada. Those two breeds are believed to be the ancestors of the modern Canadian Horse. Today the Canadian Horse possesses traits similar to the Arabian, Andalusian, and Barb that the Breton and Norman horses had so very long ago—rugged, strong, dashing, and quick.

The Breton and Norman multiplied with little interference for hundreds of years, resulting in a beautiful yet tough little equine, the Canadian Horse or Cheval Canadien. The limited number of those first horses in the newly-founded Canadian colony meant they were highly valued, and since they were so isolated from the rest of the known world, the breed remained pure. Thus, the horse became a versatile helper to the new colonists even through harsh weather and sparse food supplies. His jobs included farm work, driving stagecoaches, riding, and racing. Because this equine trooper excelled at any task he was asked to do, he earned the nickname “Little Iron Horse.”

Because the Canadian Horse had such strong traits, in the mid-1800s he became popular in the United States as well as in Canada where he was crossbred to improve the strength of other breeds. The Morgan, Tennessee Walking Horse, Standardbred, and American Saddlebred can all thank the Canadian Horse for their stamina and determination.

Soon the Canadian Horses earned such a reputation, many were exported to southern Africa to work on sugar plantations in the West Indies and to pull wagons and cannons in the U.S. Civil War where many were killed. With so many horses leaving Canada, the war, and the invention of farm machines and automobiles, the Canadian Horse nearly became extinct.

But that’s when Canadian Horse lovers saved the breed in 1886, starting the first studbook. Nine years later the Canadian Horse Breeders Association was formed to further preserve the horse. However, today the breed is still listed as critical by the American Livestock Conservancy with only an estimated 2,000 Canadian Horses on record. Yet, the future of the breed is looking brighter as horse lovers in Canada work endlessly to preserve this special horse.

The Canadian Horse stands 14 to 16 hands, weighs 900-1000 pounds, and is usually black or bay with a long flowing mane and tail. He has lots of well-developed muscles and has a handsome arched neck. This overachiever is energetic without being nervous and has great strength to fulfill the tasks asked of him. Is it any wonder he’s called the “Little Iron Horse?”

The word “iron” always indicates strength and power. Do you know there are verses in the Bible that tell us that God is so powerful, He can bend iron?  Our Wonderful Lord has the strength and might to do anything He wants. He’s so strong and mighty, He created the universe and the heavens in just six days. If we worship a God who is so powerful, don’t you think He’s able to help us with our troubles?

God can, and will, help us. All we need to do is ask. The next time you have a problem that seems to overwhelm you, take it to the Lord in prayer. If God can bend iron, He certainly can give you the wisdom and strength you need.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for being such a strong God, strong enough to cut through bars of iron. I know I can depend on you for my strength to solve problems in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SADDLE UP!   (What would God have you do now?)

Think about how God displays his power and strength in your life or in the world around you. Write some of the things you’ve observed.

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Take your ride: (Do you know?)  A few chestnut-colored Canadian Horses have been found occasionally with flaxen manes and tails, and the cream gene appears rarely as the result of interbreeding with just one cream-colored stallion.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood” (Job 41:27 NIRV).

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COMING SOON!

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: A 60-DAY DEVOTIONAL FOR KIDS

LEARN ABOUT 60 BREEDS OF HORSES WHILE YOU’RE LEARNING MORE ABOUT OUR WONDERFUL GOD

AND HOW YOU CAN BE A BETTER CHRISTIAN YOUNG PERSON!

Today’s Horse Facts: The Camarillo Horse – Not a Fake!

Have you ever heard of the Camarillo horse breed? Is this a pure white horse?

The Camarillo: Not a Fake!

Whitecamarillo.JPG

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

Have you ever watched the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, on TV on New Year’s Day? If so, then you’ve probably oohed and aahed at every horse marching down the street. One of the breeds featured has been the Camarillo. Do you know your horse breeds well enough to recognize a Camarillo?

Besides appearing in the Rose Parade, the Carmarillo has become famous, mostly in California, for their performances in all kinds of parades and events. They have such a reputation on the West Coast that several famous people have owned or ridden them, including former President Ronald Reagan.

But what’s so unusual about the Camarillo?

Most horses classified as “white” are not true white. They’re often born with a dark coat, which turns lighter with age and looks like it might be white, but the horses are really gray because of their dark skin.

However, the Camarillo is not a fake. He’s known for his pure white color, which includes pink skin under his dazzling white coat. This amazing horse is white from birth and remains so his entire life.

The Camarillo is not only a color breed. He has other distinctive characteristics, including a refined body shape. He has beautiful large eyes, an arching neck, and strong legs.

Where did this head-turning beauty get his start?

Around 1912, a pure white Mustang colt with brown eyes came on the scene.  As he frolicked in the pasture, no one ever thought he’d become the foundation stallion for the Camarillo White Horse. Over the next 95 years, he founded a new horse breed, carried the Camarillo name, and gained a reputation as an equine legend.

So, how did all this happen?

In 1921, Adolfo Camarillo bought a dazzling white stallion (yep, the little white colt born nine years ago) named “Sultan” at the California State Fair in Sacramento. Mr. Camarillo loved the horse so much, he called him “a stallion of a dream.” He and Sultan worked as a team in many competitions and became well-known for all their victories throughout California.

Knowing he had a special white horse, Mr. Camarillo bred Sultan to Morgan mares at the Camarillo Ranch, developing a line owned only by the Camarillo family for the next 65 years. When Mr. Camarillo died in 1958, his daughter Carmen continued breeding Camarillos. She also continued to show the horses at parades and events until her death in 1987, when, at her wish, the horses were sold at public auction, ending the exclusive ownership of the breed by the Camarillo family.

In 1989, five Camarillo lovers decided to regroup the horses for public performances. But by 1991, only eleven horses remained, and the breed was in danger of dying out. Thus, the Camarillo White Horse Association began the following year.

Today, several owners continue to breed and parade the Camarillo White Horses to maintain the lineage and keep the story of the special white horse alive. (As of 2010 there were only 20 known Camarillos: three stallions, five mares, three geldings, two two-year-old colts and seven foals.)

The Camarillo White Horse has become part of an international study to determine what genes are responsible for making a truly white horse. With several populations of white horses as part of the study, it was discovered that the Camarillo White Horse carries a unique mutation of a certain gene partially responsible for the coat color found only in that breed. It can now be determined if a white horse that someone believes may be a Camarillo White Horse is truly such, or whether he’s a fake.

Exactly what is a fake?  A fake is someone who tries to make something seem real that isn’t. A fake deceives others.

Did anyone ever think you are a fake?

If I asked your friends if they think you’re a Christian, what would they say?  Would they say, “I don’t think he’s a Christian. He’s never said he is. Sometimes he doesn’t act like it either.”

If you’re a believer in Jesus, are you faking it? Are you pretending you’re not a Christian when you’re with your friends because you’re ashamed of God? Maybe you’d like to be a brave witness for the Lord Jesus Christ, but sometimes you’re not sure what to say.

The best thing to do is pray and ask God for the right words. As you read your Bible and go to church regularly, you’ll learn how to share the gospel with your friends. As you do that, they’ll soon respect you for your beliefs and will never consider you a fake at all.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me not to be a “fake” in front of my friends. I always want to be honest and be brave enough to tell them I’m a Christian and that Jesus is the Savior. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone

who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”                                  

(Romans 1:16 NIRV)

SADDLE UP!   (What would God have you do now?)

Are there any of your friends who don’t know you’re a Christian because you’ve not been honest with them? List their names here, and ask God to give you the courage to stand up for your faith in Christ. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  The Camarillo White Horse is the official horse of the city of Camarillo, California.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (2 Corinthians 8:21).

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The Brandenburger horse has his roots way back in the 15th Century in Brandenburg, a state in northeast Germany.

The Brandenburger: Going for the Gold!

BrandenburgerFreddy.jpg

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“…the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than fine gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is the servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.”

(Psalm 19: 9b-11)

            The Brandenburger has his roots way back in the 15th Century in Brandenburg, a state in northeast Germany.  This breed developed out of the need for a good work horse in agriculture. Farmers soon discovered he had no problem thriving in Germany’s climate, whether facing hot summers or harsh winters. So for centuries, this strong horse served its owners mostly by plowing fields and pulling wagons.

In 1922, the Warmblood Breeding Society began to help align farming needs for the horse with proper breeding. Gradually, a stronger but gentle warmblood developed by crossing Hanoverian and Prussian breeds. Right after World War II, a stallion named Komet from Mecklenburg, East Germany, miraculously escaped a horrible enforced castration rule for unapproved stallions in that country. He later sired a series of successful show jumping champions. Eventually, this breed gained a reputation as a fantastic sport horse during the mid-20th Century by crossbreeding Trakehners (TRACK en ners), Hanoveranians, English Thoroughbreds, Oldenburgs, and Holsteiners.

By 1999, 1,927 broodmares and 76 sires had been registered. Germany has long been recognized for its warmblood horse breeding. This horse is a testament to that long tradition of valuable warm-blooded German horses that shine as excellent sport horses as well as farm workers.

The typical Brandenburg is about16.1 hands. He has a medium head, a well-set neck with a long and straight back, and muscled, strong legs. His common color is bay, usually with dark markings on the ankles and legs. Sometimes you might spot a white marking on his forehead, and his coat is often shiny, like a brand-new penny.

This snappy breed is a well-balanced horse with a lively temperament.  Yet, he’s easy going with the tendency to be nervous. He does well at dressage, endurance riding, general riding, and driving. As a warmblood, he’s a combination of the speed and agility of the hotbloods and the heavier build and gentlemanly manners of the coldbloods.

So what do we have today with this gorgeous Brandenburger? Remember, he started out as a lowly farm animal, pulling plows and wagons. But his determination and drive to go for the gold made him a popular breed found in all spheres of riding and driving sports as well as in dressage and show jumping. His ultimate achievement has been his arrival on the Olympic scene, where he’s won more than his share of gold medals.

How about you? Do you have goals in your life that might lead to “gold” someday? Do you know you can go for the gold right now at your age?

The Bible tells us that God’s Word is more precious than gold, and if we spend time reading it, we’ll gain wisdom and knowledge. A wise person makes decisions that bring success in his life. Who wouldn’t want to be successful in any venture he’d try? According to the Bible, those who take special heed to God’s “judgments,” or his Word, will earn great rewards.

So, when you read your Bible, remember that the wisdom you’re learning is more valuable than all the money in the world. You’ll be on the road to success in whatever you strive to do.  And you’ll on your way to winning the gold!

PRAYER: Dear God, I want to be the best at anything you ask me to do. Please give me the desire to please you. Help me to be in your Word every day so I can gain wisdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SADDLE UP!   (What would God have you do now?)

If you don’t have a regular time to read your Bible every day, now might be the time to decide to do that, which will help you “go for the gold.” When do you think would be the best time for you to have your daily devotional time?

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  Poetin, a Brandenburger mare and blue-ribbon dressage horse, sold for a record amount at a PSI (Performance Sales International) auction in 2003 for three-and-a-half million dollars.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

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SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

Dallis dreams of meeting Snow, a wild Mustang stallion, but everyone else believes the horse is just a figment of her imagination!

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Today’s Horse Facts: The Belgian – a Determined Hard Worker

It’s believed Belgians may have originated as warhorses that carried knights with their heavy armor in the Middle Ages, although no evidence has proven that to be true.

The Belgian: A Determined Hard Worker

Belgians.jpg

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

 (1 Corinthians 10:31)

 

Would you like to take a guess which country the Belgian Draft Horse came from?

If you said Belgium, you are absolutely correct.

It’s believed Belgians may have originated as warhorses that carried knights with their heavy armor in the Middle Ages, although no evidence has proven that to be true. The Belgians are among the ancient breeds of Europe that contributed to the development of many other draft breeds. Whatever the case, their history goes back several hundreds of years.

After 1887, the breed found its way to America and became a very popular farm horse because of his size and strength. Until the 1940s, the Belgian and the Brabant, another big workhorse, were considered the same breed. But following World War II, the Brabant in Europe was bred to have a thicker, heavier body, while in the United States the Belgian breeders developed a somewhat taller horse with a lighter body. In fact, today the Belgian is the most numerous draft horse in the U.S.

The build of the Belgian shouts the word “power!” His head is square with either a straight or slightly concave profile. His short neck is muscular, and he has a wide back with a short body and deep girth. The strong legs are lean, allowing him to have a good gait. God made the Belgian perfect for lots of action and for draft work that uses every muscle in his gigantic frame.

The Belgian horse is considered by many horse enthusiasts to be the strongest and most powerful of all the draft horse breeds in the world. However, other equine lovers believe the Shire should hold that title. As of yet, no one has been able to make an “official” declaration because both breeds have very impressive statistics. So, the debate goes on.

But there’s no debate about the awe and majesty of the Belgian breed. Talk about a big beauty! This horse stands between 16.2 and 17 hands. Then there’s Big Jake, the tallest Belgian, born in 2000, that stands at 20.2 ¾ hands.  On average, the Belgian grows to weigh slightly over 2,000 pounds. Yet, the heaviest Belgian, named Brooklyn Supreme, weighed 3,200 pounds and stood at 19.2 hands! You’d need a ladder to get on these big fellas!

Most Belgians are a light chestnut, but they can be solid roan, chestnut, bay or black with a flaxen mane and tail and light to medium feathered (long, usually white hair) feet. Regardless of the color, they are a stunning presence when pulling a fancy wagon in a parade. But they’re probably best known for their participation in draft competitions, mostly at fairs, where a team of two muscular Belgians pull with all their might to drag tremendous weights.

It’s in the record books that at one of the National Western Stock Shows in Denver, Colorado, a team of two Belgians weighing only 4,800 pounds pulled 17,000 pounds a distance of 7 feet 2 inches.  And at an Iowa State fair, the heavyweight champs in the pulling contest pulled 14,600 pounds a distance of 15 feet. The team consisted of one Belgian and one Percheron weighing just 3,600 pounds together.

Despite Belgians’ amazing strength, they’re also well known for their kindness and easy-going manner. In fact, they take the bit and bridle as easy as though eating a juicy apple. They seem to have one goal while working so hard.  As determined as they are to win, they want to please even more.

How determined are you to work hard for the Lord Jesus? Do you strive to please Him in everything you do, or do you think you might have a lazy streak that tempts you to do the least amount of work you’re asked to do?

God’s Word has much to say about the way Christians should do their jobs, whether they are at home, at school, or helping others. The Bible says that everything we do, hard work or not, we’re to do it first for the Lord then for our parents or others who’ve asked us to do something for them.

So, when you’re asked to “pull a heavy load,” that means to do a job you think you can’t do (or don’t want to do), remember the determined Belgian, and work as hard you can for God, no matter what you’re asked to do. The Lord will be very pleased.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be a determined hard worker. I want to please you in everything I do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SADDLE UP!   (What would God have you do now?)

Maybe you think your homework or the little jobs you do around the house aren’t very important. But any task you do is important if you do it for Him. Think of a few chores you’re asked to do regularly and how you might be able to do those jobs better.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  The “dynamometer” is a machine created to test the greatest pulling power of horse teams in pulling competitions at fairs and horse shows.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “We work hard with our own hands…” (1 Corinthians 4:12a, NIRV).

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Take a ride with Skye and her beautiful horse, Champ, on exciting adventures

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   Summer Camp Adventure

Today’s Horse Facts: The Barb – The Great Influencer

The Barb, or Berber horse, is a hardy breed from northern African.

The Barb: The Great Influencer

(To see photos of the Barb, click here)

“Everyone helped his neighbor, and said to his brother, ‘Be of good courage.’”

(Isaiah 41:6)

 

The Barb, or Berber horse, is a hardy breed from northern African. It’s a mystery where the Barb developed, and it seems to be in competition with the Arabian as the oldest breed alive. No one knows whether the Barb and Arabian horses share a common ancestor, or if the Arabian came before the Barb. Some believe the Barb originated in northern Africa during the 8th Century when Muslim invaders reached the region. Others believe the Barb’s roots include the Arabian horse, the Akhal-Teke, and the Caspian horse. When imported to Europe, the Barbs were sometimes mistaken for Arabians, although they have very different physical characteristics. Regardless of the Barb’s beginnings, the breed has a long history.

Standing only 14.2 to 15.2 hands, the Barb’s a “light” riding horse noted for his stamina and fiery temperament combined with a gentle nature. Small stature doesn’t stop this little guy from having a powerful front end, high withers (shoulders), short back, and a low tail. Although he isn’t known for his gaits, he takes off quickly and gallops like a sprinter. The Barb thrives on meager rations, surefootedness, and speed over short distances. He also has perfect posture for carrying weight and loves to learn from his master. Because of these characteristics, beginning in the 16th Century, they were also trained for dressage in European capitals.

The Barb is now bred primarily in Morocco, Algeria, Spain, and southern France. Due to difficult economic times in North Africa, the number of purebred Barbs is decreasing. The World Organization of the Barb Horse, founded in Algeria in 1987, was formed to preserve the breed.

This spunky equine has had more of a profound effect on racing breeds throughout the world than any other horse except the Arabian. Berber invaders from North Africa took their Barbs to Europe from the early 8th Century on. Once established on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), the Barb bred with Spanish stock for 300 years to develop the Andalusian and the Lusitano. The Andalusian, a gorgeous and highly prized steed, became a key player in horse breeding all over the world, which included racing breeds such as the Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse, and Standardbred.

You can notice the influence of the Barb in the Criollo from Argentina, the Paso Fino, and many other Western Hemisphere breeds including the Mustang and the Appaloosa. European noble families also valued the Barb, using the sturdy breed to establish large racing stables. Believe it or not, the Barb also found its way to the Bahamas as well.

Known as the Abaco Barb because it settled on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, this equine descended from horses that were shipwrecked during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the Caribbean. The wild Barbs that ran free on Great Abaco once numbered over 200 horses. But this strain of the Barb breed was found in colors that were different from those of the European/African Barb, including pinto, roan, chestnut, black, and other colors. Unfortunately over the years, the horses died out and no longer roam the Bahamas.

Despite his declining numbers, the Barb, even though small in stature, may have been one of the most important horses in the start of numerous other breeds over the years, more than any other.  What an influence this little horse has had on the equine world!

Speaking of influence, young people can have an influence on those around them. The word “influence” means to have the ability to affect others by the way we behave. Do you know you can have a good influence or a bad influence on others? Which would you like to be?

The Bible tells us that Christians are to have a positive influence on others. A positive influence means helping, encouraging, and giving. Do you willingly help your friends and family? Do you ever say a kind word to family members, or do you complain about the food on the table and the chores you’re to do? And how about giving? If you get an allowance or earn money from your chores, do you give a tithe (10%) back to God?

If you feel God wants you to have more of a positive influence on others, pray and ask Him to help you. God will give you the desire and the ability to do so. Once you practice being a good influencer, you’ll be happier than you’ve ever been before.

PRAYER: Dear God, I want to be a positive influence on others. Help me to always be willing to help others and be ready to encourage and to give. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SADDLE UP!   (What would God have you do now?)

Think of a few ways you can be a good influencer and whom you’ll influence.

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  An Abaco Barb stallion, Capella, was the model for a 2005 Breyer horse. That model became part of a publicity campaign to support the Barb’s preservation.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).

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Today’s Horse Facts: The Azteca – Full of Grace!

Do you know what an Azteca horse is? Check out this beautiful breed.

The Azteca: Full of Grace

AztecaHorse.jpg

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8-9)

If you live in Mexico, you know what an Azteca (Azz-TECH-ah) horse is. Since the country of Mexico is only a little over 200 years old, you’d think the Azteca has been around for hundreds of years, as well. But this beautiful breed only appeared on the scene in 1972 when Mexican charros (cowboys) began to breed horses with great skill and lots of “cow sense” to work on their cattle ranches. The charros crossed Andalusians with their Quarter Horses and the little-known Criollo mares with amazing results.  This new breed, officially recognized by the Mexican Department of Agriculture in 1982, now had speed, strength, a sweet disposition with the desire to learn, and equine “grace.”  The Azteca became so popular, he’s now known as The National Horse of Mexico.

You might think a horse with all these excellent traits would be a huge brute, but the Azteca only averages from 14.2 to 16 hands.  He can be any color or combination of colors accepted in the American Quarter Horse Association and the American Paint Horse Association.  His head is a medium size with a broad forehead, alert eyes, and medium ears which are always twitching.  His muscular neck arches slightly, and this little beauty often has a long flowing mane and just as spectacular a tail.  Despite his “average” height, his free shoulders and hips allow him to be incredibly athletic and smooth to ride.

Whether you like English or Western style riding or whether you need a graceful dancer or cow horse, the Azteca might be just for you. How about if you enjoy jumping, dressage, driving, cutting, penning, or reining?  Or would you just love a wonderful companion for trail riding?  Take a good look at the Azteca.  He can do it all and do it well.  All of these skills create a horse full of grace that anyone would be proud to own.

There’s someone else who is full of grace too—the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, He has more grace than anyone ever had or ever will have. He has so much grace, He willingly shares it with us!

Do you know what the word “grace” means? One of the definitions describes grace as having mercy or forgiveness, and that’s exactly what Jesus did on the cross for us. He knew we could never be good enough to be allowed in heaven, so He died, rose from the dead, and is willing to save anyone by His grace. But there’s another important meaning of the word grace.

Grace also means thoughtfulness toward others. If someone has grace in his life, he shows kindness and generosity toward his family and friends, even when he doesn’t feel like it. As a Christian, when you show grace to others, your actions will show God how much you love Him and want to model your life after His. Then others might consider you as someone full of grace.

PRAYER: Dear God, I’m thankful Jesus shed His blood so I can go to heaven someday. As hard as I try, I know I can never be good enough to be ready for heaven. Now I know what grace really means, and I want to give to others with your help. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SADDLE UP!   (What would God have you do now?)

Think of the names of a few people who have shown grace to you and analyze in your heart how they did it. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  When Mexican breeders brought the Azteca to the United States, they crossbred him with American Paints to make a stunning, splashy horse called the American Azteca.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3: 18).

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Today’s Horse Facts: The Azerbaijan

Have you ever heard of an Azerbaijan (AZ-ər-by-JAHN)? Not many people have. In fact, if you’d ask the average person, he might say he thinks an Azerbaijan is a type of insect or some disease!

The Azerbaijan: A Burden Lifter

Qarabaq ati.jpg

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

(Galatians 6:2)

Have you ever heard of an Azerbaijan (AZ-ər-by-JAHN)? Not many people have. In fact, if you’d ask the average person, he might say he thinks an Azerbaijan is a type of insect or some disease!

The Azerbaijan horse, (once called a Kazakh), is as unknown as the country of Azerbaijan itself. This small republic lies just northwest of Iran in Asia. Although Azerbaijan is small, its people have great respect and pride for a powerful little horse that owes his roots to that part of the world. The little-known breed is a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse. These tough horses are known for living long lives and having great endurance. They do very well growing up in herds on mountainsides, and they’re strong with lots of spunk.

If you’d like to look at a handsome horse, the Azerbaijan will fit the bill. He usually comes in the solid colors of chestnut, bay, or gray.  He has a short head with a broad forehead and narrow nose, a really thick neck, and a strong body, and he runs fast with a pacing (rather fast steady) gait. He runs so fast the Azerbaijan folks often hold races. This little equine powder keg has been clocked at almost a mile in about three minutes!

Azerbaijans are also known for strength and stamina, working as pack horses to lighten heavy loads for the people who love them so much. The breed has unique characteristics that have made him a reliable burden bearer. Although he’s only about 11 to 12 hands, he can carry heavy loads on mountain trails and over the countryside with no problem. While carrying all that weight, he can go about 25 to 30 miles in one day!

Wow! The Azerbaijan certainly has the reputation of being a burden lifter. How about you? Do you help others and lift their burdens?

You might think, how can I lift burdens and heavy things? I’m just a kid.

Do you know the Bible teaches us to be burden lifters to our family and friends? Lifting burdens doesn’t always mean picking up heavy things as you would do to help someone move into a new house or maybe just to clean out a garage. When you’re a burden lifter, you’re an encourager. You’re someone who says kind words and does kind deeds to make others feel better.  To do this, you should be alert to your family’s and friends’ needs.

If someone is disappointed about something, do you ever offer kind words? Do you listen if your friend wants to tell you his troubles? These are ways even children can be burden lifters like the perky Azerbaijan.

Perhaps you don’t think about how others are feeling because you think about yourself too much. Or maybe you have too many of your own problems. Well, the Bible tells us that we’re to give our worries to the Lord Jesus, and He’ll help us. When we pray, ask for His strength, and give our burdens to Him, He’s ready to take them. God then gives us strength so we’re ready and able to lift burdens for those we love.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to not focus on myself all the time. Help me to be sensitive to the burdens of others, so I can offer to help. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SADDLE UP!   (What would God have you do now?)

Think of some family or friends who have burdens and how you can offer to help.

Take your ride: (Do you know?) The Azerbaijan has a peculiar lengthwise fold on his tongue, making it look like a forked (divided) tongue.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).



BOOK FIVE: BLUE RIBBON CHAMP

Foster kid Skye has her hands full, trying to help Down syndrome Joey learn to ride. Joey adores Skye, but she can’t stand him.

How’s a Christian gal to treat someone she doesn’t like?

         Blue Ribbon Champ

http://amzn.to/2BennQy