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!

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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 Andalusian – Fit for a King

The Andalusian horse has always been known for its incredible athletic ability as a war horse. But how is he used today?

The Andalusian: Fit for a King

Image result for andalusian horse

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

The Andalusian horse is a real beauty, standing between 15 and 16.2 hands. This breed is most often gray or bay (a shade of brown with a black mane, black tail, and often black legs below the knee) in color, but once in a while you might see a white, black, or chestnut Andalusian prancing by. He’s well built with a finely sculptured head, alert ears, lively yet kind eyes, an elegant arched neck, and a long and often wavy mane and tail. This horse descended from the horses of Spain and Portugal and derives its name from Andalusia, a region in southern Spain, where its ancestors lived for thousands of years. He’s also known as the Pure Spanish Horse or P.R.E. (Pura Raza Española).

This magnificent breed has been recognized since the 15th Century, and its conformation has changed very little over the centuries. From the very beginning, Andalusians have been used for both riding and driving. Among the first horses used for dressage, they’re still making a mark in that international competition today.

The Andalusian has always been known for its incredible athletic ability as a war horse.   The Quarter Horse and other breeds noted for their “cow sense” inherited this ability from their Andalusian ancestors. (Horses with “cow sense” are good at anticipating the next move of cattle they are trying to corner or single out of a herd, particularly to cutting horses. They seem to understand cattle and can almost read their minds.)

Also, bull owners gave the Andalusian its reputation as the greatest athlete and stock-working animal in the equine world. In Spain, cowboys have long used them in handling the bulls, which can be quite ornery. Many other horse breeds run the opposite direction from these dangerous animals; yet, Andalusians seem to delight in confronting a nasty bull. With the incredible speed, they can maneuver stealthily, dodging in and out and barely missing the hooking horns when the bull charges.

Andalusian blood has had a strong influence on almost every breed in ancient times. But most interesting is the fact that Andalusians became a favorite for kings and knights, mostly because of the horse’s regal carriage and high step. Although the Andalusian has always been very expensive, a wealthy knight would never be found plodding along on a lazy, low-headed mount. The prancing Andalusian had to have an arched neck to be chosen to carry royalty.

It’s no surprise this horse is nicknamed “The Horse of Kings.” The breed was so respected, a quote spoken over 300 years ago by William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, has also stood the tests of time: “… the noblest horse in the world, the most beautiful that can be. He is of great spirit and of great courage and docile; hath the proudest trot and the best action in his trot, the loftiest gallop, and is the lovingest and gentlest horse, and fittest of all for a king in his day of triumph.” [1] The Andalusian truly is a horse fit for a king!

How about you? Are you fit for a king?

“Fit for a king?” you might say. “I’ve never even met a king or a president. How can I be fit for a king?”

I’m talking about the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you “fit” for that King?

The Bible says when we accept Jesus as our Savior, He becomes the “King” of our lives. Subjects who love their king (or leader) try to please him with their good deeds and loyalty. If you’re a young Christian, your desire should be to please God with everything you do and say.

Are you sure that activity you want to do will please God? The best way to serve your King is to read His word, go to church, and pray. When you pray, ask God for His guidance, and He’ll help you every day.

 “Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.”

(Psalm 5:2 NIV)

PRAYER: Dear God, I want to please you and honor you as my King. Help me to always remember I serve the King of kings and Lord of lords and that I want to be a faithful follower of you. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Write three things you could do that would show Jesus that He’s the King of your life. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Take your ride: (Do you know?) The Iberian and Celtiberian soldiers of the famous Carthaginian horse troops used magnificent Andalusians to carry the Roman army in its conquests throughout the ancient world.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1: 17).

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andalusian_horse

 

Today’s Horse Facts: The American Saddlebred – Pround as a Peacock!

The American Saddlebred is called the “peacock of the horse world.”

The American Saddlebred – Proud as a Peacock!

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

 If you want a flashy, high-stepping show horse and you have the money to buy one, then you want an American Saddlebred, also known as the Saddle Horse or Kentucky Saddler.  This horse has class!

By now, you’ve probably figured that the word “American” tagged to a horse’s official name means the horse had its origins in the United States. Such is true of the American Saddlebred. For a long time in its history, this breed was referred to as “the horse America made.” Starting with riding horses during the American Revolution, this breed has roots with the Morgan, Narragansett Pacer, Canadian Pacer, and Thoroughbred.

Throughout the 20th Century, the breed became popular in the United States, and since the formation of the US registry in 1891, almost 250,000 American Saddlebreds have been registered. Today the Saddlebred can be found in countries all around the world, and breed registries exist in Great Britain, Australia, Europe, and southern Africa.

The Saddlebred is a “taller” slim horse, averaging 15 to 16 hands (60 to 64 inches) in height. When this spunky equine prances into the show ring, he oozes a sense of presence and style. Although the Saddlebreds are very spirited, the breed is known for its gentle temperament. They may be of any color, including pinto patterns accepted since the late 1800s.

Something quite different about the Saddlebred is that’s it’s a “gaited” breed. Does that mean they have to be kept in fences with strong gates? Not so.

A “gait” is a step. Saddlebreds show in three-gaited or five-gaited classes, depending on the different speeds or steps each horse has. Saddlebreds are mainly known for their performance in the show ring, but they can enter hunter and driving classes, as well as just being a fantastic pleasure riding horse.

If you ever own an American Saddlebred, you might want to show him in one of five divisions: Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited, Fine Harness, Park, and Pleasure. In those divisions they are judged on performance, presence, quality, and conformation. But one thing is for sure. Whatever gait the horse is performing, he’s high-stepping it. No wonder he’s now called “the Peacock of the Horse World.”

Have you ever felt proud as a peacock about anything you’ve done or anything you might own? Do you brag about new stuff your parents buy you? Maybe you think your house is better than all your friends’ houses. Maybe you look in the mirror and think you’re the best-looking kid on the block.

“Is that a bad attitude?” you might ask.

The Bible says quite a bit about being proud of the wrong things. If you’re proud, thinking you’ve done something great or because of something you own or the way you look, God wants us to know that’s the wrong pride. He wants us to develop a humble, or respectful, attitude toward others, especially toward Him. A respectful person puts others first in his life and looks to serve them.

But I’m proud to be a Christian, you might be thinking. Is that wrong?

If you’re proud to be a Christian, it’s a good thing as long as you don’t gloat. To gloat means to feel smug or better than someone else. It’s important to let others know you are a Christian, but when you act like you’re better than others, they probablywon’t be interested when you want to tell them about Jesus. It’s much better to develop a sweet, helping attitude that others will love about you. Then they might want to know why you’re so different, and you can tell them all about your wonderful Savior.

“…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

(James 4:6b)

PRAYER: Dear God, help me not to brag or be proud of the wrong things. Help me to have a humble, helpful attitude. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Can you think of any time you might have had the wrong kind of pride about something?  Ask God to forgive you and help you develop a humble attitude.

 

Take your ride: (Do you know?) 

Saddlebred horses that have won a lot of shows can cost $30,000 or more.

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

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).

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

A HORSE TO LOVE

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=A+Horse+to+Love+by+marsha+hubler&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3AA+Horse+to+Love+by+marsha+hubler

Foster kid Skye hates everyone and everything until she meets Champ, a gorgeous show horse, and she comes to live at Keystone Stables, a foster home and special needs riding academy.

Today’s Horse Facts: The Abtenauer

Do you know what an Abtenauer is? Check out my blog post today.

Abtenauer: Small But Mighty

abtenauer

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

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.

keystone-stables-book-1

Today’s Horse Facts: Lady, My Third Horse

My second horse, Lady, wasn’t a lady at all. Find out why.

Today’s Horse Facts

Lady: My Second or Third Horse?????

Lady, My Second Horse

You probably won’t understand what I’m about to say if you are young, but when you get “older,” your memory can start to fail you. Duh! Everyone knows that. Anyway, the horse that I thought was my third horse turned out to be my second horse.

Like a dummy, I never marked the dates or the horses’ names on the back of the zillions of pictures I took of all my horses. So I’ve been plowing through all my albums, trying to sort out which horse was who and when I owned each. But I know that the horse in this picture is Lady, who was my second horse.

How do I know? Well, the picture shows a friend riding Lady, a bay grade mare.

Lady with Moon Doggie in 1971

Next to them is my husband Richard riding Moon Doggie, my first horse. So, that proved to me that Lady was my second horse. And Ginger, whom I thought was my second horse, was really my third horse. Now, are you totally confused? And, by the way, does it really matter?
Now, here’s a little bit of info about Lady, who by the way wasn’t a lady in any shape or form. She was an older horse, and you can tell by looking at her ribs sticking out in the one photo (even though I fed her tons of food). By buying an older horse, I thought I was getting a gentle down-to-earth easy rider. Well, Lady was that—kind of. As long as we rode her AWAY from the barn, she was a piece of cake.

However, as soon as we turned her around to head for the barn, look out! We needed a tight rein on her, and we never could run her going home. That little gem of info we found out the hard way.

One Saturday, hubby and I went for a short ride, maybe for an hour. I rode Moon Doggie, and hubby was on Lady. On the way home, we started to lope across a farmer’s field. We were probably a quarter of a mile from our barn.

All of a sudden, Lady took off full speed ahead and hubby couldn’t stop her. All I could see was a brown blur and him yelling, “Whoa, whoa” and yanking on the reins as hard as he could.

Do you know what we found out?

Lady had a hard mouth. You don’t want a horse with a hard mouth.

What’s a hard mouth? All the nerves in her mouth had been so damaged from bits over the years, her mouth had become totally numb to any pressure or pain. When she decided to run, she was unstoppable. What she should have had on her was a hackamore. Of course, I was still learning about horses, so I didn’t know that.

Unfortunately, Lady was so old, I think I finally sold her to the meat market, sad to say. But I’m not really sure of that. All I remember is that she was very old, and she was no fun to ride back to the barn. But, I will hand this to her. She taught me an awful lot about older, hard-mouthed horses. The next time I went horse buying, I made sure the horse behaved going away and back to the barn.

Happy riding!

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com

P.S. Email me with stories and pictures of your horses.

(Christmas is coming! Buy a horse book for a friend!)

THE KEYSTONE STABLES SERIES

keystone-stables-composite

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON and ANY LOCAL BOOKSTORE

(IF THE BOOK STORES DON’T HAVE THEM, THEY CAN ORDER THEM.)

 Learn about my Keystone Stables books at http://www.marshahubler.com

BOOK ONE: A HORSE TO LOVE

keystone-stables-book-1

Read about foster kid, Skye Nicholson, and her show horse, Champ, and all their exciting adventures.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002U80FZK/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

 

Today’s Horse Facts: My Second Horse

The second horse I owned, Ginger, was a beauty, but she had a big problem.

My Second Horse: Ginger

(Early 1970s)

Ginger, Pretty Pinto Walker

Ginger, Pretty Pinto Walker

After I sold Moon Doggie, my first horse ever and still dear to my heart, I bought a greenbroke part Tennessee Walker pinto, Ginger, from a friend whose mare had foaled this pretty little thing.

Ginger was about three years old when I bought her. Now, I want you to know that I was “greenbroke” too. I didn’t know much about horses, especially how to train them. I had only had Moon Doggie, a gentle little Welsh Pony, for about a year when I decided to move on to a bigger, flashier horse.

Well, Ginger certainly was that. She was bigger, and she was flashier. However, if ever a horse could be labeled ADHD, that was Ginger. As pretty as she was, that’s how flighty she was.

Everything scared this poor horse. When I rode her, I had to be constantly on guard because her nerves were ever psyched. Her ears twitched like radar antennae and her eyes searched out every little sound from either side as we went down the trail.

Did Ginger have that nice smooth Tennessee Walker gait? She certainly did, but she was so skiddish, I rarely could kick her up into second or third gear. Even a leaf blowing across her path would spook her, and she’d decide to take a 90-degree turn without letting me know. Whoa, babe! I had to hang on for dear life!

Marsha's Little Red Barn
Marsha’s Little Red Barn

My hubby and a friend had finished building our little two-stall barn to house my equines, so I started looking for a second horse. I kept Ginger for a year or two, but she never improved as far as her spookiness was concerned. I take the blame entirely for that because, as I said, I knew little about training horses, so I sold her to someone who planned to work with her and turn her into a fine, flashy mount.

Nevertheless, I still have fond memories of sweet, scared Ginger, a picture to feast your eyes on but not a horse to rest your butt on.

Happy riding!

Marsha

(Learn about my Keystone Stables books at http://www.marshahubler.com)

 

Please check out my latest book:

SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

SNOW 

Dallis Parker has dreamed about owning a wild Mustang stallion almost her whole life,

but most folks say he doesn’t even exist. But then in a strange encounter, she

meets Snow face to face, and both their lives are changed.

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Phantom-Stallion-Marsha-Hubler-ebook/dp/B013GUF078/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443706981&sr=1-1&keywords=Snow%2C+Phantom+Stallion+of+the+Poconos

Today’s Horse Facts: The Lipizzaner

The Lipizzaner is known for its “ballet” dressage movements.

Today’s Horse Facts: The Lipizzaner

Gorgeous Lipizzaner in Dressage

I doubt whether any of us have ever touched a Lipizzan horse, let alone ride one. This breed is most known as an expensive, world renowned show horse that is trained in Austria to perform “ballets.”

When I was a child, my mother bought me probably my most favorite horse book of all times, Marguerite Henry’s Album of Horses, first published in 1951. On page 66 through to page 69, Ms. Henry describes the Lipizzan horse. An absolutely gorgeous painting on page 67 by Wesley Dennis shows a Lipizzan performing the capriole, one of the “ballet movements” these beautiful animals are trained to do. As I read about the Lipizzans again and again, I would picture myself sitting in the saddle, dreaming of riding one of these fantastic white steeds. As a child then and as an adult now, I’m still dreaming and always will, for the riders of the Spanish Riding School Lipizzans are a chosen lot and are an exclusive group of which us average folk will never be included.

So let’s have our T/F quiz and see exactly how much you know about the world famous Lipizzaners. Here we go:

1. The Lipizzaner has its roots in Carthage from 2000 years back.

2. The “Lipizzaner” breed actually got its name in the late 1500s when Maximilian II, emperor of Austria, crossed Arabians and Spanish mares with Andalusian blood.

3. The word “Lipizzan” comes from the town of Lipizza near the Adriatic Sea, where the first Lipizzans were foaled.

4. All Lipizzans must be “white.”

5. Grey Lipizzan foals are always born dark and turn lighter when they’re older.

6. Lipizzans are usually between 14.2 hands and 16.1 hands.

7. You have to go to Austria to buy a Lipizzan.

8. The world famous Spanish Riding School horses that perform all over the world are really trained in Austria.

9. Only six-year-old Lipizzan stallions are trained at the Spanish Riding School.

10. One of the beautiful ballet movements is called the “piaffe,” when the Lipizzan prances in place.

Let me know if you got at least eight of these questions correct. If so, then you are a Lipizzan expert! Here are the answers:

1. T

2. T

3. T

4. F  This is false for two reasons. Lipizzans come in different colors of brown and black, and the “white” ones aren’t really considered “white.” They are grey.

5. T

6. T

7. F  There are Lipizzan breeders all over the world; however, there are only about 3000 registered Lipizzans.

8. T

9. F  Lipizzan stallions can start their training at the Spanish Riding School when they are four years old.

10. T

Lipizzaner Performing the Levade

So how much do you know about the dazzling white Lipizzaners? If you want to learn more, look up these other websites to check on additional facts about the beautiful breed:

http://www.lipizzaner.com/home.asp

http://www.uslipizzan.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipizzan

Next time, we’ll take a ride to visit some Clydesdales.

Happy riding!

Marsha

http://www.marshahubler.com