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

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 Warmblood

The American Warmblood: Not a Cold Spot in his Heart

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Here’s another American original with his roots as late as the 1980s!  The American Warmblood is usually between 15 and 17 hands high, weighs 1,350 pounds, which is 325 pounds heavier than the average horse breed, and may come in any color, though the solid colors are the most common. All kinds of horses can be registered as American Warmbloods as long as they are of a sport horse or warmblood type. No pure hotbloods or coldbloods can be included in this exclusive club. So what’s a “warmblood type?” And how about a hotblood and a coldblood?

If you go shopping for an American Warmblood, you’d look for a horse that has the registry standards of draft horses (coldbloods), Arabians, and Thoroughbreds (both hotbloods). In other words, the Warmblood is a combination of the three.

Let’s take a time-out and make sure we understand the difference between coldbloods and hotbloods.

Coldbloods are your power horses, those big guys who pull really heavy loads like tree trunks for loggers, plow fields, or plod with a stagecoach behind them in a parade. “The Big Four of the Draft World,” Belgians, Percherons, Shires, and Clydesdales, have the reputation of not only strength but also a laid-back, gentle disposition.

Hotbloods like the Arabians and Thoroughbreds are the complete opposite. They jump at the chance to run fast, have a high-spirited temperament, and, although they’re loyal, can be spooked easily. Hotbloods set their sights on the finish line and chafe at the bit to get there.

Now, back to our Warmblood. He has no major health issues and is usually alert, calm yet energetic, obedient, and eager to please. In other words, he’s just a nice guy. He’s also a multi-tasker. You might buy this breed to ride in dressage, general riding, jumping, or mounted athletics activities; yet, the breed is a very popular draft horse, seen in harness in parades and show competitions.

Wow, a horse so trustworthy, you can sit in a wagon and let him pull you around the countryside or down a noisy street in a parade? There’s a reason he’s called a Warmblood. He’s tender, and he aims to please the folks who love him. In other words, he doesn’t have a cold spot anywhere in his heart.

How about you? Would your friends and family consider you “warm-blooded?” Are you kind and gentle to those around you, or are you a complainer? Do you try your best to please others like the American Warmblood, or do you lose your temper when you don’t get your own way?

This horse has a “warm” servant’s heart and wants to do the best job he can. Maybe you never thought about the condition of your heart before. If it’s “warm,” you’ll try hard to please your family and friends … with a good attitude. However, if there’s a cold spot in your heart, big or small, perhaps it’s time to ask God to help you get rid of anything in your heart that would cause you to disappoint Him and others. The best way to start is to read and study God’s Word. Then God can change you from the inside out.

“May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.”

(Psalm 119:80 NIV)

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to have a “warm” heart toward others. Help me to love my family and friends and put their interests ahead of mine. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

List some things you could do for your family and friends to show them and God you have a “warm” heart. _______________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Take your ride: (Do you know?) Hot blooded horses have lighter bodies and a passion to run more than other breeds, which makes them ideal race horses. But they’re often high strung or fiery tempered. Thoroughbreds and Arabians are the only recognized hot blooded breeds. Cold bloods are large, gentle horses and are descendants of the ancient European breeds used for farming, hauling and other types of heavy work. Draft horses, Friesians, and Haflingers are members of the cold blooded family.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalms 139:23-24).

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How about a good horse book to help you pass the time?

 

Today’s Horse Facts:

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

The American Saddlebred – Proud as a Peacock!

 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? Write it here and 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

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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 Fact: The American Quarter Horse

The American Quarter Horse can reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour for short distances like a quarter of a mile.

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

The American Quarter Horse – Fast as Lightning

(The 5th devotional from my latest project seeking a publisher)

This little equine isn’t a quarter of a horse. He’s all horse, and he’s an All-American!

Way, way back in the late 1700s, the colonists in Virginia met a new kind of a horse, as fast as lightning. The stocky, muscular horse was a cross between Mustangs, which Native Americans rode, and the English horses brought to the New World in earlier years. The small sturdy horse in any color or combination of colors, quick, smart, and eager to work, captivated the hearts of the colonists. But working hard didn’t attract the horse’s fancy as much as racing.

How did he get his name? In early colonial days, race tracks didn’t exist, so the colonists made their own “track,” clearing out a straight, flat stretch of land about a quarter of a mile long. The new horse on the block amazed everyone by achieving speeds of up to 55 miles per hour over that short stint. Beyond that distance, the Thoroughbred always won. But because of the little horse’s dominance of the quarter mile track, he became known as the Quarter Horse.

With its eager yet gentle nature, the Quarter Horse has become one of the most popular riding horses in America. Early Americans discovered the breed worked well on the farm and seemed to have a natural instinct for working around cattle. So, in the 1800s when the settlers began migrating to the West, the Quarter Horse became the choice of the early cowboys for ranching and cattle roundups. Before long, rodeos emerged as a popular pastime, and cowboys soon realized the little Quarter Horse excelled at events like calf roping and barrel racing. The horse became so predominant, a group of horsemen and ranchers formed the American Quarter Horse Association in 1940 and made the special equine its own breed.

Today, the Quarter Horse has won the hearts of horse lovers all over the world. With about five million registered in America alone, it’s no wonder the American Quarter Horse is the number one breed in the United States. Who wouldn’t want to own a stocky, little horse with a gentle nature but fast as lightning?

Speaking of lightning, there are at least a dozen verses in the Bible about lightning. One of the most encouraging verses is found in the book of Matthew that tells us Jesus is going to come back to earth some day for everyone who believes in Him as Savior. He’ll come as fast as lightning and call all Christians to meet him in the air and go with him to Heaven. The Bible tells us to always be ready to meet Jesus and to keep looking for His return.

What about you? Do you know Jesus is coming back again for everyone who believes in Him? Are you anxious to see Jesus face to face?

There’s one way to be ready. If you’re a Christian, keep looking up and watch for Jesus to come as fast as lightning!

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”.

 (Matthew 24:27)

PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive me when I sin and give in to temptation. I want to be ready to meet you when you come for us Christians. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Is there any sin or wrong doing that seems to trouble you and you find hard to give up? More than one? Maybe it’s time to ask God to forgive you and help you fight the temptation. ________________________________

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  Although Quarter Horses can come in any color or combination of colors, the most prominent color is sorrel (reddish brown) or chestnut.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Today’s Horse Facts:

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

The Akhal-teke: Shines like the Stars

Akhal-Teke

 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.

A Cremello Akhal-Teke
A Cremello Akhal-Teke

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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SNOW, PHANTOM STALLION OF THE POCONOS

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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

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.

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