Abtenauer: Small But Mighty
If you’re a horse lover and live in the country of Austria, then you probably know what an Abtenauer horse is. An Abtenauer is a small stocky horse many folks think is just a pony. That’s because the breed’s average height is only 14 to 15 hands. (A “hand” measures about four inches.) This cute lineage breed comes from a special place in Austria, an isolated valley called the Abtenauer, tucked away in the beautiful Alps Mountains not far from Salzburg.
Abtenauers, known as “draft horses,” are extremely strong for their size, but they have a sweet temperament and enjoy working with humans. Therefore, their labor mostly involves pulling wagons like buckboards loaded with people or harvested crops. Some Abtenauers also work in the forest, pulling huge tree trunks for loggers.
An interesting fact is the foals are born with curly hair and are black, blue roan, brown, or chestnut. But when the foals shed their first coat, the curls disappear, and they have straight hair from then on.
Because this little breed is confined to such a small part of the world, their number has become low, maybe as few as a hundred or so. Yet, in the Abtenauer Valley, they are quite popular and are celebrated for their stamina.
How can such a small horse have such strength to pull a wagon full of people or heavy bags of grain? If you ask me, that takes a lot of determination!
God has given the Abtenauer an elegant build with a well-shaped head and strong legs full of muscle, which allow this little horse to power up and trot with an easy flow. He truly is mighty, not only for his conformation but for his “I can do this” attitude!
Do you ever feel badly because you’re body is small or you feel “small” with the way you struggle with your studies? Maybe you’re the tiniest one in your family or in your circle of friends. Does that mean you can’t do the same things other kids do or get good grades? Do you ever say, “I can’t do that. I’m too little?” Do you ever think it?
God tells us in His Bible the size of a person doesn’t matter to Him. In fact, God has made you the way you are. Of course, if you’re short, you’re not going to be able to win at basketball or a high jump event, but God has other plans for you. Whether you’re short or thin, God loves you, and you can be mighty in whatever tasks He asks you to do.
Are you too short to help your mother dust the furniture or dry the dishes? Are you too short to get an A in that math test? Are you too short to tell someone “I love you?” I think the answer should be “I can do this!”
In Luke chapter 19, the Bible tells us of a man named Zacchaeus, who wanted to meet Jesus. Zacchaeus was so short, he couldn’t see over the crowd. But he didn’t whimper like a lost puppy and go home. Instead, he said, “I can do this!” He climbed the nearest tree, met Jesus, and became a mighty witness for God. Zacchaeus didn’t use his puny height as an excuse not to serve God.
How about you? Whether you’re small in stature or maybe you feel small inside, you can be mighty for God. Take a step of faith and see if God gives you strength you never knew you had to do the job He’s asked you to do. There’s no better time than right now to make up your mind to be a mighty warrior for God. Ask Him to help you to always have an “I can do it” attitude, and you’ll be amazed at all you’ll achieve for the Lord Jesus Christ.
You might be small, but you can still be mighty!
“For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
PRAYER: Dear God, Sometimes I feel so small and weak. I pray you will help me have an “I can do this” attitude for anything you ask me to do. I am willing. Please make me mighty with your power. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
SADDLE UP! (What would God have you do now?)
To learn more about our wonderful God, try to read your Bible every day. You could ask for a children’s Bible to help you understand it better.
Start reading in the book of John in the New Testament. Write a verse from the book of John that you really like.
Take your ride: (Do you know?) When the Abtenauers aren’t working, they’re grazing, sometimes with cows, in lush pastures embedded in the beautiful Abtenauer Valley.
Dismount and cool down your horse: (Do you know?) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Have you read any of my Keystone Stables books? How about starting with book one:
A HORSE TO LOVE
Foster kid Skye Nicholson hates everyone until she meets a blue ribbon show horse, Champ.