Today’s Horse Facts: The Curly – The Oddball of the Horse World

Do you know that a Curly Horse has a coat of hair tight as a poodle?

The Curly Horse: The Odd Ball of the Horse World

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curly_Horse)

“But you are a chosen generation … a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

(1 Peter 2:9)

Curlies come in all sizes and colors, but what’s really strange about these horses is they all carry a gene for a uniquely curly coat of hair. Just as strange is how the breed originated.

In the early 20th Century, rancher John Damele and his sons near Eureka, Nevada, spotted a herd of Mustangs with a few strange-looking horses. While Mustangs were a common sight, the curly-coated horses were unusual. Years later, the Dameles managed to catch one. They trained it and rode it, then sold it, thus starting their Curly association. In 1932, a harsh winter hit, and when spring brought warmer weather, the only horses found were the Curlies. The Dameles noted how hardy those few horses were, so they decided to include more of them in their herd.

After another harsh winter in 1952, the Dameles became serious about breeding the Curlies. They found the Mustangs again and rounded up a two-year-old chestnut stallion. Because the Dameles didn’t care to keep the Curly breed pure and just wanted to improve their own horses, they crossbred their herd with one Morgan and one Arabian stallion. Those two studs and the Curly created beautiful foals with Curly blood. Thus, we have hundreds of cross-bred Curlies today. They can be found in gaited, sport, draft, pony, and even in a few miniature horses.

How the Curlies ever came to America in the first place remains a big question. Some historians surmise the horses were brought by Spanish Conquistadors, Russians, or Vikings.  Early American Sioux natives regarded Curlies as sacred mounts for their chiefs and medicine men. Native American artwork also shows warriors riding this odd breed in the Battle of Little Bighorn.

If you want a horse for just a “cute pet,” the Curly might be for you. You might say he looks like an overgrown poodle! At birth he has tight curls everywhere, even in his ears. As he matures, his coat settles down a little. His winter coat is still really tight, but in the summer his coat is wavy.  However, some purebred Curlies have no curls at all and are called “smooth coats.” And there’s great news for you who are allergic to animal hair. You could actually own a Curly because the breed is hypo-allergenic. Curlies’ hair doesn’t trigger allergies!

As odd as the Curlies are, it seems they all have positive traits, perfect for children. Curlies have friendly manners and are easy to train despite their rugged determination. Most of them work hard, including participating in gymkhana (horse and rider events with speed/pattern racing and timed games).

Curlies come in nearly all colors and coat patterns, and the height varies according to type. Their colors are mostly chestnut but can be bay, black, or gray with appaloosa or pinto markings. Because of their crossbreeding with gaited horses, some Curlies have a running walk. Those saddle types range from 14.1 to 15.1 hands. Most other Curlies stand between 14 and 16 hands, but they can range from miniature horses to draft horses.

You’re probably wondering how you groom a Curly. Remember, his curls can be as tight as a poodle’s. Caring for the coat requires simple brushing. However, the mane is often not combed because the hair tends to lose its curl. Because the manes tangle easily, they’re often trimmed real short.

By now, you probably agree the Curly Horse is an odd but beautiful horse.  Another word for odd is the word “peculiar.”

Many people consider Christians odd or peculiar. Are you a peculiar Christian?

The Bible tells us that Christians are peculiar in that we are special members of God’s family. When we give our lives to Jesus, we have different ways of looking at things. We have different interests than those who aren’t Christians.

Does everyone you know love to go to church and read the Bible, two activities Christians should want to do? Think about some friends who might not be Christians. What are they interested in? Because you choose not to do some of those things, those friends might actually call you “odd.”

If others think you’re odd, that’s no reason to be sad. God calls you a good kind of peculiar because you do love Him and want to please Him. For that, you can be very thankful.

PRAYER: Dear God, sometimes it’s hard to be so different from some my friends. I want to be a strong Christian, even if others think I’m an oddball. Please help me to be like the Curly and not be ashamed of who I am and who You are.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Name some things you should do as a Christian that some of your friends might think is “odd.” Ask God to help you be a good testimony.

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  Some Curly owners collect their horses’ shed hair from the manes and tails and donate it to the International Curly Horse Organization Fiber Guild. The guild uses the hair for making clothing. The proceeds go to ICHO Curly research efforts.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT  59 DIFFERENT BREEDS OF HORSES?

CHECK OUT MY LATEST BOOK:

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH: A 60-DAY DEVOTIONAL FOR KIDS

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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).

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

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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: 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:

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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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Dear Horse Facts Fans,

For several years we’ve posted all kinds of blogs about horse breeds, horse care, and horse anything. For awhile, we’re taking a break, but we have dozens and dozens of blogs in here about over 50 horse breeds with lots of nice pictures. Browse our past blogs by going to the SEARCH box on the right column. Plug in any horse breed or horsie topic and enjoy the true/false horse facts quiz. Visit some blogs where I wrote about all the horses that enriched my life over the years. And keep on riding!

REX

Rex, my all-time favorite horse, who went over the horsie rainbow bridge a long time ago. I still miss this horse so much.

Visit my website, http://www.marshahubler.com

There is lots of “horsie stuff” there too!

Today’s Horse Facts: The East Bulgarian

The East Bulgarian breed of horse is not well known. It’s only a little over 100 years old.

Today’s Horse Facts: The East Bulgarian

E.bulgarian.Dark.Brown

 

(All facts taken from the websites cited at the end of the post)

 

Have you ever heard of the East Bulgarian horse? I hadn’t until I did a little research and found out about this beautiful breed of horse. It comes from the country of Bulgaria, which is in southeastern Europe on the western shore of the Black Sea. Let’s take our T/F quiz and see if you know more about this breed than I did:

  1. The East Bulgarian breed is only a little over 100 years old.
  2. The breed came from a cross of local Bulgarian horses and Quarter Horses.
  3. This horse was officially recognized as a true breed in 1951.
  4. It can be any color.
  5. It is a short stocky horse.
  6. The breed is used only for draft work.
  7. This horse is quiet but very energetic.
  8. This horse is bred all over the world.
  9. It is a cold-blooded horse.
  10. Its confirmation resembles mostly that of a Thoroughbred.

Here are the answers to today’s horse facts quiz. Let’s see how you did:

East.Bulgarian.Mare.Foal

 

  1.  T
  2.  F       The breed was developed from local Bulgarian horses, Arabians, Anglo-Arabians, and Thoroughbreds.
  3.  T
  4.  F       It is usually chestnut, bay, or black.
  5.  F       It is usually about 15-16 hands and has a long back and sleek neck.
  6.  F       This horse does draft and farm work, but the breed also can be      shown in different classes like dressage and eventing.
  7.  T
  8.  F       It is predominantly bred on farms in Bulgaria and a few other      European countries.
  9.  F       It’s warm-blooded.
  10.  T

So, what do you think of the East Bulgarian? If you’d like to learn more about this breed and the country of Bulgaria go to:

http://horsebreedslist.com/horse-breeds/64/east-bulgarian

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

http://www.theequinest.com/breeds/east-bulgarian/

Do you know where Bulgaria is? Check out this map of Bulgaria:

http://maps.google.com/maps?gs_rn=16&gs_ri=psy-ab&suggest=p&cp=8&gs_id=v&xhr=t&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47534661,d.aWM&biw=1821&bih=829&q=bulgaria&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x40a8fec1c85bf089:0xa01269bf4c10,Bulgaria&gl=us&sa=X&ei=rnWzUd32OseCrgHxpICwAw&sqi=2&ved=0CKIBELYD

Happy riding!

Marsha

www.marshahubler.com

http://pinterest.com/marshahubler/

 

Looking for some exciting horse adventures?

 WHISPERING HOPE

BOOK SEVEN in The Keystone Stables Series

Book 7. Keystone Stables

 A wild horse and an angry young woman. Is there a secret to taming them both? Wanda Stallord is a wild, nasty handful when she first comes to Keystone Stables, and Skye is put off by the teenager’s grungy clothes and thirst for trouble. The former gang member is a lot like Keystone’s other recent arrival, a beautiful but uncontrollable Mustang called Rebel. Skye wants to help Wanda, but she seems interested only in shooting pool and handing out insults. But as she practices the gentle art of horse whispering with Rebel, Skye discovers a key that just might open up for Wanda’s fearful, lonely heart to the healing power of God’s love.’

http://www.amazon.com/Whispering-Hope-Keystone-Stables-ebook/dp/B003TO59SW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370717165&sr=1-1&keywords=Whispering+Hope+by+Marsha+Hubler

 

 

Today’s Horse Facts: The Hanoverian

Today’s Horse Facts: The Hanoverian

Hanoverian.Chestnut

 

(All facts taken from the websites cited at the end of the post) 

If you’re a horse lover like me, you probably love to watch horse shows and especially the Olympics, which features three competitions for horses. Of course, most of the shows I’ve seen have been from a FAR distance—I’m sitting on my sofa watching the horses perform on a television program.

One of those horses that you’ve most likely seen and didn’t know its name is the Hanoverian. So let’s take our T/F quiz and learn about this amazing breed:

  1.  The Hanoverian is a warmblood that originated in Spain.
  2. By the end of the 18th Century, this horse breed had become a high-class coach horse.
  3. After World War 2, Quarter Horses were used to refine the breed.
  4. This breed is an excellent jumper.
  5. Hanoverians can be any color.
  6. This breed is mostly between 16 and 16.2 hands high.
  7. One of the most famous Hanoverians is an 1992 Olympic gold winner jumper named Top Gun.
  8. The Hanoverian brand is always placed on the right hindquarter of foals accepted into the Hanoverian Society breed’s registry.
  9. The American Hanoverian Society was started in 1958 to help preserve the breed.
  10. Hanoverian horses have gaits for even showing in dressage.

Here are the answers to today’s horse facts quiz. Let’s see how you did:

Hanoverian.Jumper

 

  1. F  The Hanoverian is a warmblood that originated in Germany.
  2. T
  3. F  Thoroughbreds were used to refine the breed.
  4. T
  5. F  They’re usually solid browns or blacks with little white. Buckskins, palominos, and cremellos are not allowed to be registered.
  6. T
  7. T
  8. T
  9. F  The AHS was started in 1978.
  10. T

Now, tell me if you knew much about gorgeous breed of horse.  I sure didn’t, so I’m glad I chose this spectular horse to feature today!

To learn more about this very versatile horse, visit:

http://stabledays.typepad.com/stable_days/2008/12/five-fun-facts-of-my-favorite-horse-breeds-hanoverian.html

http://hanoverian.org/

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

 

Happy riding!

Marsha

www.marshahubler.com

http://pinterest.com/marshahubler/

P.S.  HORSE LOVERS AND READERS, CHECK THIS BOOK OUT!

THE LONG RIDE HOME

BOOK EIGHT in The Keystone Stables Series

Book 8. Keystone Stables

The search begins for the parents Skye never knew. But what will happen if she finds them? On a trip to South Carolina with her foster family, Skye gets the shock of her life when the waitress at a local diner seems to recognize her. The woman proves to be Skye’s long-lost Aunt Millie—Skye’s first-ever contact with her flesh-and-blood family! As Skye and Mom and Dad Chambers attempt to track down her real parents with Millie’s help, Skye’s foster sister and best friend, Morgan, struggles with her own family regrets. More is at stake than anyone can imagine—and the outcome is one that only a truly amazing God can bring about.

To order, go to either http://www.marshahubler.com or http://www.amazon.com/Long-Ride-Home-Keystone-Stables/dp/0310716926/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367103976&sr=1-1&keywords=the+Long+Ride+Home+by+Marsha+Hubler