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).

***********************************************************************

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!

http://amzn.to/2GVxhqZ

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).

***************************************************************************

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

http://amzn.to/2GZcxyy

   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).

***************************************

TAKE A RIDE ON EXCITING ADVENTURES WITH FOSTER KID SKYE AND HER HORSE CHAMP!

GO TO:    http://amzn.to/2nPbZ5q

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).

*******************************************************************

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

http://amzn.to/2nPbZ5q

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

 

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).

**********************************************************************************************************************

Want a crazy horse adventure?

Read book seven in the Keystone Stables Series

Whispering Hope (Keystone Stables Book 7)

http://amzn.to/2C2NMxL

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 Australian Brumby

What the Mustang is to the United States, the Brumby is to Australia.

The Australian Brumby: Free as the Wind

A small group of dark-colored horses standing near a dirt road

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

 (Romans 8:2)

What the Mustang is to the United States, the Brumby is to Australia.

The Brumby is a free-roaming feral horse in The Land Down Under. The word “feral” refers to animals that live in the wild after having been domesticated by humans. The best-known Brumbies are found in the southeast Australian Alps, although herds of them are found in many areas of the country. Most of them roam freely in the Northern Territory in one of the largest herds in Queensland.

Although we would say a group of horses is a “herd,” a group of Brumbies is known as a “mob” or “band.” Brumbies are the descendants of escaped or lost horses, probably dating back to the late1700s. They crossbred with steeds of European settlers, horses from South Africa, Timor Ponies from Indonesia, British ponies and draught (draft) horses, and a large number of Thoroughbreds and Arabians. With all that cross-breeding, today the Brumby just looks like your “average horse,” usually solid colored and stocky.

The first report of an escaped horse in Australia was in 1804. But by the 1840s, it was common knowledge the horses were escaping from settled regions. Perhaps fences were not properly installed, if fences existed at all! Actually, it’s believed that most Australian horses became feral because they were released into the wild and left to fend for themselves. That might have happened when some ranchers abandoned their settlements due to extremely dry conditions and harsh lands, making farming too difficult.

It’s estimated that at least 400,000 horses roam Australia. Wow! That’s a lot of wild horses! Feral horses are considered a moderate pest because they sometimes wander on ranches where they damage vegetation and cause erosion. During drought conditions, they eat the already threatened and limited vegetation and chew the bark off trees. Therefore, trying to manage the large herds has become a complicated issue between ranchers and the government. Unfortunately, being free to run doesn’t offer the best situation for the Brumbies.

Today thousands of Brumbies live in designated national parks in Australia. Sadly over the years, because there were so many wild horses, the government shot thousands until the public outcry convinced agents to use other means to control the herds.  Adoption centers have been established. Occasionally the Brumbies are rounded up and domesticated for use as camp drafters, stock horses on farms, trail horses, show horses, Pony Club mounts, and pleasure horses. High-risk youth (children who have gotten into some kind of trouble with the law) benefit by attending training camps where they work with Brumbies, training them to become safe trail horses.

An exciting time for Brumbies is a catch-and-handle event in stockman’s challenge competitions held throughout the year. Riders on horseback must catch a running Brumby within a time limit of a few minutes. Points are awarded for the cowboys’ care and skill in catching the Brumby and their ability to teach them to lead. The most famous event is probably the “Man from Snowy River Challenge” in Corryong, Victoria, because of the popularity of two movies, The Man from Snowy River and The Man from Snowy River II.

Australians are proud of “their” horse breed’s heritage of running wild. Horse enthusiasts work hard to keep the Brumbie bands free. If you had the opportunity to ask a Brumby what he’d like, I’m sure he’d say the same thing: “I love running free as the wind.”

When you think of Brumbies running free across the mountains and plains of Australia, do you wish you could be one of those horses and run wild and free? Well, there is a way that every boy and girl can be “free,” much more than even the Brumbies.

The Bible tells us that every person since the beginning of time has had the ability, and often the desire, to sin. Those sins make us feel ashamed. But when we accept Christ as our Savior, the bad feelings and guilt of doing those wrong things are wiped away, and we can feel free as the wind in our souls. Even after we become Christians, we can mess up, but that’s the time to ask Christ to forgive us. We then can feel free to start living for Him again and trying to please him every day. All it takes is our sincere prayer, admitting the things we’ve done wrong.

Do you want to be free as those Brumbies? Be determined to do right in every situation and pray for forgiveness. God is willing to forgive and set you free again.

PRAYER: Dear God, sometimes I don’t feel free at all when sin nags me and keeps me tied down. Please help me to forsake the sin, so I can feel free as the wind. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Think of any sin that holds you back from feeling free. Then pray for God to help you rid it from your life. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(SIDEBAR 1:)

Take your ride: (Do you know?) The Brumby was adopted as an emblem in 1996 by a rugby union team called the ACT Brumbies from Canberra, Australia.

(SIDEBAR 2:)

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIRV).

*********************************************************************

Dallis Parker believes Snow, the Phantom Stallion really does exist. But does she ever get to see him?

http://amzn.to/2GVxhqZ