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

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

The Cleveland Bay: Welcomed at the Royal Palace

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

Photo compliments of Wikipedia

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

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

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

(Romans 8:16-17a)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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).

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   Summer Camp Adventure

Today’s Horse Facts: The Azteca – Full of Grace!

Do you know what an Azteca horse is? Check out this beautiful breed.

The Azteca: Full of Grace

AztecaHorse.jpg

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8-9)

If you live in Mexico, you know what an Azteca (Azz-TECH-ah) horse is. Since the country of Mexico is only a little over 200 years old, you’d think the Azteca has been around for hundreds of years, as well. But this beautiful breed only appeared on the scene in 1972 when Mexican charros (cowboys) began to breed horses with great skill and lots of “cow sense” to work on their cattle ranches. The charros crossed Andalusians with their Quarter Horses and the little-known Criollo mares with amazing results.  This new breed, officially recognized by the Mexican Department of Agriculture in 1982, now had speed, strength, a sweet disposition with the desire to learn, and equine “grace.”  The Azteca became so popular, he’s now known as The National Horse of Mexico.

You might think a horse with all these excellent traits would be a huge brute, but the Azteca only averages from 14.2 to 16 hands.  He can be any color or combination of colors accepted in the American Quarter Horse Association and the American Paint Horse Association.  His head is a medium size with a broad forehead, alert eyes, and medium ears which are always twitching.  His muscular neck arches slightly, and this little beauty often has a long flowing mane and just as spectacular a tail.  Despite his “average” height, his free shoulders and hips allow him to be incredibly athletic and smooth to ride.

Whether you like English or Western style riding or whether you need a graceful dancer or cow horse, the Azteca might be just for you. How about if you enjoy jumping, dressage, driving, cutting, penning, or reining?  Or would you just love a wonderful companion for trail riding?  Take a good look at the Azteca.  He can do it all and do it well.  All of these skills create a horse full of grace that anyone would be proud to own.

There’s someone else who is full of grace too—the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, He has more grace than anyone ever had or ever will have. He has so much grace, He willingly shares it with us!

Do you know what the word “grace” means? One of the definitions describes grace as having mercy or forgiveness, and that’s exactly what Jesus did on the cross for us. He knew we could never be good enough to be allowed in heaven, so He died, rose from the dead, and is willing to save anyone by His grace. But there’s another important meaning of the word grace.

Grace also means thoughtfulness toward others. If someone has grace in his life, he shows kindness and generosity toward his family and friends, even when he doesn’t feel like it. As a Christian, when you show grace to others, your actions will show God how much you love Him and want to model your life after His. Then others might consider you as someone full of grace.

PRAYER: Dear God, I’m thankful Jesus shed His blood so I can go to heaven someday. As hard as I try, I know I can never be good enough to be ready for heaven. Now I know what grace really means, and I want to give to others with your help. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Think of the names of a few people who have shown grace to you and analyze in your heart how they did it. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  When Mexican breeders brought the Azteca to the United States, they crossbred him with American Paints to make a stunning, splashy horse called the American Azteca.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3: 18).

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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.

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Today’s Horse Facts: The Austrian Warmblood

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

The Austrian Warmblood: A Loyal “Soldier”

Image result for austrian warmblood for sale

(Photo compliments of pinterest.com)

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

(2 Timothy 2:3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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).

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Today’s Horse Facts: The Arabian – “The China Doll of the Horse Kingdom”

The beautiful Arabian horse is known as “the China Doll of the Horse Kingdom.”

The Arabian: “The China Doll of the Horse Kingdom”

Halterstandingshotarabianone.jpg

(Photo compliments of Wikipedia)

“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
(1 Corinthians 4:2)

There’s not a horse lover anywhere who doesn’t drool when gazing at one of the most perfect creatures in the Animal Kingdom. Sometimes called “The China Doll of the Horse Kingdom,” the Arabian is known as an absolutely stunning horse because of his delicate features.

Researchers have long believed this breed is the oldest and purest. It’s not known for sure if it originated in Arabia, but evidence found in archaeological digs dates the Arabian back 4,500 years. Bible scholars believe the first horse God created in the Garden of Eden must have had the traits of strength and beauty seen in the Arabian today. It’s also a rarely debated fact that all other horse breeds descended from this gorgeous breed that also has stamina, courage, and intelligence.

A purebred Arabian is small in stature, only 14 or 15 hands. But don’t let his size fool you. He has strong endurance to tough circumstances and is extremely loyal to his rider. Other features that catch the eye of horse lovers include a delicate “dish” face with a broad forehead and tiny muzzle, two alert ears that point in, and large eyes that often have rings of black. He also has a graceful, arched neck and a high carriage in his tail. The breed can come in practically any color, including dappled and some paint, but you can know for sure if the horse is of Arabian blood if you run your finger against the grain of his coat and see an underlying bed of black skin. If that’s the case, then even an Arabian who might appear to be white is called a “gray.”

If you think you’d like to own an Arabian, it’s recommended that you have riding experience. Arabians, as gorgeous and loyal as they are, have a reputation of being high-spirited even after they’re well-trained and ridden for years. Your Arabian might take you on a ride you’ll never forget!

Many horse lovers think the combination of loyalty and high-spiritedness is a tremendous asset in any breed of horse. But are they two traits a Christian young person also should have in his or her life?

How about you? Do you consider yourself loyal to anything? To anyone?

Another word for loyal is “faithful.” A faithful Christian wants to please God by attending church, reading his Bible, and praying. A faithful young person will also stand up for God at school or with friends. Do you stand up for God or are you ashamed you are a Christian?

Do you consider yourself high-spirited?

One definition of “high-spirited” is to be lively and full of fun. If you’re full of fun and pleasant when others are around, you’re the best kind of high-spirited person. Everyone loves someone who has joy in his or her heart and wants to do right, no matter the circumstances.

So, if you want to be like the classy Arabian, determine to be faithful to God. Work hard to develop an excitement deep in your soul to do right and make up your mind to smile while you’re doing it.

PRAYER:

Dear God, please help me to be faithful and joyful in my church attendance, Bible reading, and prayer.

I want to please you in everything I do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Are there any chores you must do that make it hard for you to be faithful when doing them? Do you do them with a joyful spirit?

Think about your chores and how you can improve.

(SIDEBAR 1:)
Take your ride: (Do you know?)

The Arabian is classified as a hot-blooded breed, a category that includes delicate, spirited horses bred for speed.

(SIDEBAR 2:)
Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)

“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation” (Psalm 35:9).

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