The Caspian: Runs the Race to Win!
(Photo compliments of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspian_horse)
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?
So run, that ye may obtain.”
(1 Corinthians 9:24)
If you like Arabians, you’ll probably like Caspians. Caspians have the beauty and endurance of the Arabian and the build of a miniature Thoroughbred.
The Caspian originated in northern Iran. Horse enthusiasts believe this breed is one of the most ancient equines, possibly going back over 4000 years. Archaeological remains found in northern Iran of a little horse with a light frame, refined head with large eyes, short ears, and small muzzle seem to support that theory. Even though his height ranges only between nine and 11.2 hands, he’s classified a horse rather than a pony because of his body shape, different gaits, and gentle nature.
So, how did the equine world first learn of this fantastic little horse?
For many years, Caspians were thought to have been extinct. But in 1965, Louise Firouz, a horse-loving American known as “the Lady of Horses,” discovered a small horse in the Elborz Mountains of northern Iran while searching for ponies for American children. She thought she had found a chestnut bay pony pulling a cart. However, on closer inspection, she realized the stallion had the body of a horse. She purchased him, positive he had Caspian blood. When blood and DNA samples were tested, sure enough, archeo-zoologists proved the breed had come from a miniature Mesopotamian horse. These horses had managed to survive in small numbers because they lived between a mountain chain and the Caspian Sea with no outside influence.
Louise kept her spunky two-year-old stallion at her farm near Teheran for a year and trained him to take a rider and to drive different carts. She then brought him to America on a long flight, including five different layovers and six days of quarantine in New York. Though all of that ordeal, the little horse remained calm yet curious, both strong traits of Caspians.
He finally arrived at his new home in Virginia where he spent the rest of his life participating in exhibitions and shows. Although there were no Caspian mares in the U.S., he sired quite a few part-bred foals before his death in 1993.
Fortunately, the Caspian breed did not disappear from the scenes at that time. Caspian horse lovers determined to increase the breed’s numbers and status in the equine world. From 1994 until the present, dozens of Caspian studs and mares came to America, thus increasing horse enthusiasts’ knowledge of the rare breed.
In 2008, the Caspians still numbered only about 1600. At last count, the U.S. claims to have over 500 of the special horses. The good news is they’re no longer in danger of becoming extinct. That shouldn’t happen with horse lovers like the Caspian Horse Society of the Americas Official Registry and Mrs. Firouz’s children, who work endlessly to preserve the breed.
If you want to find Caspians, you’ll have to attend horse shows where you might find this little equine in different events. One of his favorites is scurry driving, where he races his little heart out to win. In fast-paced Double Harness Scurry Driving, two ponies, or horses like the Caspians, pull a carriage around a course of cones in fast time without knocking down the cones. Competitions take place in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and northern Europe, including England.
If you’re not sure you’re looking at a Caspian, remember the difference between him and a pony. The Caspian’s coat is shiny and solid, including solid gray tones that might look white, and he has a deep girth with well-developed hindquarters. If you’re close enough to see his hooves, they’re oval-shaped and are rarely shod, even under extreme conditions. But one thing is certain about the Caspian. He runs every race with one goal in mind: to cross the finish line first.
Do you run races with the passion like the little Caspian does?
I’m not only talking about races you might run with your friends during field days or just fun in the backyard.
The Bible tells us that as Christians, we’re to serve God as though we’re running a race. That means we should strive to please Him to the best of our ability. The Bible tells us we will earn rewards, or “prizes,” like gorgeous crowns in heaven if we serve God faithfully now and do it with smiles on our faces.
Do you get up every morning with the determination to please the Lord? If you do, then you are “running your race to win!”
PRAYER: Dear God, I want to “run a strong race” for you in everything I do. Please give me the desire and courage so I don’t quit when things get hard. In Jesus’ name, amen.
SADDLE UP! (What would God have you do now?)
Can you think what God might have you do to “run the race” better? Could it be obeying at home? Spending more time reading your Bible? Just being thankful more instead of complaining?
Take your ride: (Do you know?) The Caspian is different from all other breeds in a really strange way. He has an extra molar in his upper jaw.
Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith …” (Hebrews 12:1-2a NKJV).
Would you like to read about more horse breeds?
Do you know there are well over 100 different breeds?
Learn about 60 of them in my latest book,
STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: A 60-DAY DEVOTIONAL FOR KIDS
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