Today’s Horse Facts: The Cleveland Bay – Welcomed at the Royal Palace

The Cleveland Bay horse has a special job. Most likely, you’ve seen him on TV when he’s working. But who does he work for?

The Cleveland Bay: Welcomed at the Royal Palace

A team of four bay (brown with black mane and tail) horses trotting along a cobblestone path with trees and fields in the background. They are pulling a green carriage in which several people ride.

Photo compliments of Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland_Bay

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”

(Romans 8:16-17a)

If a horse is named a “bay,” can you guess what color he is? Right! He’s a shade of brown with a black mane, black tail, and black stockings. He could be a golden chestnut or as dark as milk chocolate, but he’d still have those black trimmings. And that’s exactly what we’ve got with the Cleveland Bay!

The Cleveland Bay is the oldest breed from England, believed to date back to the 17th Century. He’s named after his consistent bay colors and the Cleveland district in Yorkshire. Although this horse is always labeled “bay,” a few light hairs are sometimes found in the mane and tail of some. Breeders prefer bays with a more reddish tint than other shades. However, if any white markings appear on a colt, except for a small star on the forehead, he’s not able to be registered in the stud book. The shades of bay are important when creating matching driving  pairs because drivers want their teams to look almost identical.

The earliest breeding of the Bay was done mostly by church members and priests in monasteries in the Middle Ages. They needed pack horses to carry trade goods between abbeys and monasteries in northeast England. Those pack horses were eventually crossbred with Andalusians and Barbs and later with Arabians and Thoroughbreds to create the lighter-in-weight Cleveland Bay of today.

Over the next few hundred years, interest in the Bay waned, mostly because of the invention of the automobile. In the early and mid-20th Century, breeders started using Bays as hunters. Unfortunately, breeders soon lost interest in them, and by 1962, only four stallions were left in England. But then Queen Elizabeth II, knowing the breed was used to drive royal carriages since the1920s, took a personal interest in the Bay and saved it by purchasing Mulgrave Supreme, a stallion that was about to be sold to a U.S. buyer. The queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg, did all they could to preserve the breed, and within 15 years there were 36 purebred stallions in the United Kingdom.  Because the prince used the breed in international driving competitions in the late 1960s and 1970s, horse lovers became more interested then wanted part-bred Cleveland Bays for riding horses, hunters, and jumpers. In 1964, a Cleveland Bay/ Thoroughbred even competed in show jumping in the Tokyo Olympics!

Since 1977, Elizabeth II has been a patron of the British Cleveland Bay Horse Society and has worked tirelessly to preserve this special horse. Yet, despite her efforts, the UK Rare Breeds Survival Trust considers the Bay’s numbers to be critical with less than 300 mares registered. At last count, it’s been reported only about 550 Cleveland Bays exist worldwide.

Cleveland Bays have a sweet, calm temperament and stand between 16 and 16.2 hands. They have a muscular body and strong legs that seem a little too short for the stout body. They’re versatile, performing well at driving, show jumping, and farm work. But best of all, Bays have been fortunate enough to be chosen by the British Royal Family for almost a century and are still used to pull carriages in royal processions today.

As you think about the Cleveland Bay being part of the queen’s royal palace, do you realize if you’ve asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior, you’re included in the royal family of the God of the Universe? The Bible says if we’ve accepted Jesus, God has adopted us into His royal eternal family, and we are heirs of His kingdom. Every Christian is considered a child of the King. The Bible also tells us we are sons of God, and one day we’ll inherit all that God has, including beautiful homes in heaven.

Of course, you’re already part of your human family here on earth whether you’re naturally born into that family or adopted. Your family members love you and have given you all the rights and privileges available as part of that family. How cool is that?

Since you’re a member of your human family, do you represent the family well? Do you act responsibly as a young Christian? Perhaps a parent has said this: “Act like you’re part of our family. Make me proud of you.”

Do you know God our Heavenly Father also wants His children to make Him proud?

As a member of God’s family, do you try to please Him and make Him proud? Maybe you never realized you are a child of the King. If you face every new day with the desire to obey not only your parents but God as well, then you’ll make all of them proud.

PRAYER: Dear God, I realize you are my heavenly Father, and I’m your child. I pray I can live every day to please you. Please help me do that. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Think of some things you can do to make God and your family proud.

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  Today Cleveland Bays make up the majority of the bay horses in the Royal Mews, the British royal stables, where they receive intense training to pull royal carriages.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).

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Would you like to learn more about different breeds of horses and at the same time, learn about our wonderful God?

Then this is the book for you:

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If you like to read stories about kids and horses, then my Keystone Stables books are the ones for you!

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If you’d like any of these books autographed by me, then contact me through my website email link:

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Today’s Horse Fact: The Caspian – Runs the Race to Win!

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: Runs the Race to Win!

Caspian Stallion (caspians are considered horses, not ponies).jpg

(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).

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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



You can get a signed copy from me. Just email me at marshahubler@outlook.com OR

order a copy on Amazon: 

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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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Join foster kid Skye and her show horse, Champ, on exciting adventures in the Keystone Stables Series!

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Today’s Horse Facts: The Austrian Warmblood

The Austrian Warmblood comes from Austria, a country in Europe, long known for its outstanding horses

The Austrian Warmblood: A Loyal “Soldier”

Image result for austrian warmblood for sale

(Photo compliments of pinterest.com)

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

(2 Timothy 2:3)

The Austrian Warmblood comes from Austria, a country in Europe, long known for its outstanding horses. Like other Warmbloods, this stunning steed was developed as a super riding and competition horse. He has his roots in old Austrian cavalry (war) horses combined with the delicate Arabian and Warmblood sport horses, namely the Nonius and Furioso, both from Hungary.

In the mid-19th Century, the war horse/sport horse combination was crossed with Thoroughbreds and more Arabians to further refine the breed. And what a beauty emerged! From those came a horse suitable for classy dressage and show jumping as well as for trail riding.

Like many breeds in the mid-20th Century, the rise of machines, especially the automobile, caused the numbers of Warmbloods to decline. However to save the breed, Warmblood enthusiasts in Austria founded an organization in 1964 called the Association for Warmblood Breeding to promote the horse. Even so, the breed is still “battling” for recognition. It’s estimated only about 800 Austrian Warmbloods exist today.

This handsome horse has a height from 15.2 to 16.2 hands. Although solid colors of chestnut, grey, bay, and black are most desirable, a pinto studbook has been approved. (A studbook is a list of approved stallions available for breeding.)Whatever his color, the Austrian Warmblood has the reputation of having a pleasant character and a balanced temperament. If you see a Warmblood in action today, you’d never think this splashy mount could have been a warrior in battle hundreds of years ago, but that’s a fact.

The Warmblood has a history of being a good “soldier,” starting out in the Austrian cavalry. He had the reputation of being very loyal to his rider. Loyalty to the leader defines a good soldier.

How about you? Would you consider yourself a good soldier?

“I’m not in any army,” you might say. “How can I be a soldier?”

The Bible talks about Christians being good soldiers of Jesus Christ. If you love the Lord with all your heart, you’ll strive to be a good soldier by obeying God’s Word and doing the best you can every day. If you live to please God, then you are a good soldier. As you work hard to that end, remember to get your marching orders from the Bible, and you’ll be a loyal and faithful Christian, ready for the “battle” at hand.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to be a good soldier of Christ. I want to obey you and be a loyal follower. Give me the courage to tell others about Jesus and His love for them. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Have you ever thought of yourself as a soldier? Think of two things you can do to show others you are a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Take your ride: (Do you know?) The best way to recognize an Austrian Warmblood is by a brand, the letter “A,” placed on the left hip of foals.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

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Want a crazy horse adventure?

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Foster kid Skye Nicholson has her hands full training a wild Mustang and trying to help new foster kid, Wanda Stallord, who is rude and spiteful around everyone.

Today’s Horse Facts: The American Paint Horse

Are Paint horses and Pintos the same breeds?

The American Paint Horse: A Horse of a Different Color

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

Overo Paint

The American Paint Horse is a splashy equine that turns heads in his direction. When a Paint prances by, whether the onlookers are horse lovers or not, they will stand in awe because of the horse’s stunning colors.

You might think, Oh, I know all about Pintos. They’re spotted horses. That idea is a common error because Paints and Pintos are two separate breeds.

The American Paint Horse is a western stock horse that stands between 14.2 and 16.2 hands with spots or “patches” of white and dark colors and must have either Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred parents. Also, because that horse must have a specific body shape and size to be registered, the American Paint Horse is a “horse” breed as well as a color breed. It’s not surprising that Paints are one of the most popular horses in the United States.

So, where did Paints get their start?

The first known record of any “two-colored” horses in America happened in 1519, when the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes brought two horses described as having pinto markings on his voyage. Somehow over time, probably by trading, the flashy horses became favorites of American Indians, in particular the Comanche tribe. (Paint horses have been found in drawings sketched or sewn on buffalo robes.) By the early 1800s, horses with Paint coloring were well-populated throughout the West.

Throughout the 1800s and into the mid-1900s the two-or-three-toned horses were called pinto, paint, skewbald and piebald. Then in the early 1960s, interest grew in preserving and promoting horses with paint coloring and stock horse builds, so in 1965 the American Paint Horse Association formed. Today, you’ll find the American Paint Horse in practically every traditional stock-horse western event as well as a variety of other riding disciplines.

Most Paints are a splashy combination of either black and white or different shades of brown and white. Over the years, so many different combinations of colors have been bred that the American Paint Horse Association divided Paints into two different categories: overo and tobiano. The best way to remember the difference is that overos look like white horse that have been “painted” with brown spots. Tobianos look like dark horses with white patches painted on their coats. Whether marching in a parade or just jogging down a wooded trail, this spotted horse with its dashing variety of colors always draws smiles from so many fans. He’s certainly a horse of a different color!

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

Tobiano Paint

If you’re a Christian who’s not ashamed to tell others about Jesus, do your friends think you’re really “different?”  Do you agree to do good deeds and help others? Do you say no when someone suggests you do something against what God would want you to do?  If you’ve made up your mind to stand for Christ and live for him, then you can be just like the American Paint Horse and be a “horse of a different color.”

“Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”

(Ps.119:11)

 

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be different for you when I’m around those who want to do wrong. Give me the courage to say yes to what’s right and no to what’s wrong. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Are there some activities you know God would not want you to do with your friends? Ask God to help you say no.

Take your ride: (Do you know?) Paint horses with black spots are called “piebalds.” Paints with any other colored spots are called “skewbalds.”

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference” (Romans 3:22 NIV).

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Ride with Skye Nicholson and her blue ribbon show horse Champ

in their exciting adventures

THE KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES

Book One

A HORSE TO LOVE

Today’s Horse Facts: The Akhal-teke – Shines like the Stars

The Akhal-Teke is one of the most beautiful breeds of horses in the world.

The Akhal-teke: Shines like the Stars

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

 If you’ve heard of the Akhal-Teke (AH-kuhl TEH-kee), then you are a true horse lover who’s interested in learning all about equines. Most folks, even horse enthusiasts, have never heard of this breed.

 The Akhal-Teke is one of the most stunning horses God ever created. If you’ve ever seen one in person or even in a photo, you might have thought someone had sprayed this amazing animal with metallic paint, no matter what the horse’s color. How did it get its spectacular appearance? Our creative God gave this horse’s coat a gorgeous metallic sheen that almost glitters.

To say the Akhal-Teke is a rare breed is an understatement. It’s believed to be one of the oldest and purest breeds, originating from Russia and Turkmenistan, where most are found today. At last count, there were only about 6,500 of these beauties world-wide with about 500 in North America.

When you look at an Akhal-Teke, you might think it’s so delicate, it can’t do anything but stand around and look pretty. But that’s not the case. This horse has proven itself not only in dressage but also in “tough” competition like fox hunting and extreme trail riding. But what catches everyone’s eye is not the horse’s performance. It’s the shiny coat.

Akhal-Tekes can have any solid color of undercoat, but the natural metallic sheen shows best in lighter colors like cremello. In fact, palomino and buckskin Akhal-Tekes are so beautiful, they’re nicknamed “Golden Horses.” In the sun, they shine almost as bright as the stars on a crystal, clear night. Whether an Akhal-Teke is performing in a circus or prancing in a parade, all heads turn toward the horse with the sparkling coat.

If you are a Christian, do you ever wonder how you could “shine for Jesus?” Maybe when you were little, you sang “I’ll be a Sunbeam for Jesus.” What do you think that means?

Shining for Jesus is something any Christian can do. You might think you’re still too young to do anything that would make you “shine,” but that’s not the case. Even at your age, you can please God by having a good attitude. That’s being wise. You can also help your parents around the house and listen to your Sunday school teacher and pastor in church. Being a good example is the best way to “shine like the stars.” Ask God to help youkissy-smiley-face to be a good example to others and give you the courage to talk to your friends about Jesus. Some day in Heaven, you’ll shine as bright as the stars!

Jesus, the Bright and Morning Star, will help you every step of the way.

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” ( Daniel 12:3).

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be wise and have the courage to talk to my friends about you. I want them to know Jesus as their Savior. And I would love to shine like the stars when I meet you face to face. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

It’s a good idea to have an attitude check every day.

Have you ever told any of your friends about Jesus? Think of some friends you’d like to tell about Jesus.

Things to Think About:

Take your ride: (Do you know?)

Because the Akhal-Teke has been crossbred so much with the Thoroughbred to create a fast, long-distance racehorse, all Akhal-Tekes have a Thoroughbred ancestry.

Dismount and cool down your horse(Do you know?)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

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Dallis Parker doesn’t let kids bullying her at school stop her from finding the wild white Mustang stallion that most people say doesn’t even exist.

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Horse Facts: Straight from the Horse’s Mouth, My Next Book

Take a look at my newest book idea, STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH, a 60-Day Devotional for tweens.

Horse lovers, I’d like to share some exciting news. I’m working on a new horse book (as if 13 aren’t enough.) This one’s a little different from all the rest because it’s a devotional for tween kids. We’re looking at 60 different horse breeds and relating them to characteristics a Christian kid should have in his life to glorify God.  So let’s get started. Each week for a while we’ll feature a different breed of horse after this introductory blog:

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

horses-mouth

A 60-day Devotional for Tweens

Let’s Go Riding!

Horses and kids. Kids and horses.

What is it with kids and horses?

Many kids think horses are the most beautiful creatures God ever made, even better than puppies!

As a kid, I loved horses that way. I’ve always said I was born with a silver spur in my mouth and have horse blood in my veins. I can’t remember a time I didn’t love horses.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a horse or to be around them (like mucking stalls at a riding academy in exchange for riding lessons), then you know the thrill of climbing on a horse and jogging him around the training ring or trotting down a serene path in the woods. If you’ve done so, I’m sure you’ve treated your mount with kindness, never kicking him in the ribs too hard or slapping him in the face with your reins. In return, he’s given you a wonderful ride you can talk about for hours with anyone who’ll listen without yawning a lot.

When I was growing up, I lived in a small town and couldn’t have a horse, but I dreamed about owning one someday. I read any horse book I could get my hands on, books like Marguerite Henry’s Album of Horses, The Black Stallion and My Friend Flicka. I collected horse calendars, plastic horse models, and all kinds of “horse stuff.” I colored horse pictures and watched TV Westerns along with any movie with horses in it. One Christmas, my parents gave me a “real” leather jacket with fringes all over it. I was in pretend horse heaven!

I finally had the chance to actually ride a horse … well, a pony.  When I turned about ten, my mother took me on Sunday afternoons to a riding stable where I rode Sugar, a Shetland Pony,  in a corral for a half hour at a time. Can you imagine the thrill I had every time I climbed in the saddle? I loved horses so much, I’d rub my hands real hard on Sugar when I had to get off. That way I took home with me that wonderful sweet odor of “horse.” It lasted a few hours (or until my mother made me wash my hands to eat supper.)

As I became an adult, I prayed I’d be able to have a horse of my own. I’m so happy to say that God answered my prayer. Once when I had my own home and a job to afford a horse or two, I had horses for a long time. I have years of wonderful “horse time” memories I’ll cherish forever.MyFifthHorse

Do you know there’s someone else very important in your life who loves horses as much or more than we do?

God loves horses. Do you know there are about 150 verses in the Bible that include the word “horse”? Do you think if God mentioned equines so many times in his Holy Word that he’s also very fond of one of the most beautiful creatures he ever made? But there’s something, or someone, God is much fonder of than horses.

You.

God wants you to know He loves you more than anything in this world. He also wants you to know about Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to this earth over 2000 years ago and gave His life so you could live in Heaven some day.

The best way to learn about God and Jesus is to read the Bible. We call that special quiet time with your Bible “having devotions.” If you are a Christian, then you probably already have devotions every day, and that will help you become a strong Christian with a determination to do right.

So saddle up and get ready to hit the trail. Next time, we’ll look at our first horse, the American Albino, and see what’s so special about that breed.

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

Have you read my Keystone Stables books yet? How about starting with A HORSE TO LOVE, book one in my best-selling Keystone Stables Series:

Foster kid Skye Nicholson hates everyone and everything until she meets a beautiful show horse, Champ, at a foster home and special needs riding academy

keystone-stables-book-1Available at any bookstore on online at Amazon, Zondervan, or Barnes and Noble