Today’s Horse Facts: The DUTCH HARNESS HORSE: A High Stepper

“Fancy” is what we horse lovers consider the Dutch Harness Horse. Why?

The Dutch Harness Horse: A High Stepper

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

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”

 (Psalm 37:23)

For many centuries the Dutch (people from the Netherlands in Europe) concentrated on breeding high-stepping horses. Although farmers valued the horse as a helper and a source of income, they also considered a fancy horse a status symbol. And “fancy” is what we have with the Dutch Harness Horse.

The Dutch have a strong tradition of breeding driving horses. You might wonder what the difference is between a harness horse and a driving horse. There is no difference. The term “in harness” often describes a horse being driven. A horse harness is a type of tack with a breast collar that allows a horse to pull heavy vehicles such as carriages, wagons, or sleighs. The Dutch Harness Horse is noted for pulling lighter, fancier carriages in international competition. But where did he get his start?

During the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the warm-blooded Dutch Harness Horses were known as “luxury horses.” The first studbook in The Netherlands was founded in 1879, which started classifying them as a recognizable breed. It eventually emerged from two separate equines in the Netherlands. One breed, the northern Groningen, was heavier and had dark coats. The Gelderlander from southern Netherlands was taller and leggier and chestnut in color. Although the resulting horses were stout and could work on farms, they were also elegant with a high step to pull fancy carriages. Owners continued to improve their horses by breeding the best mares to the best trotting stallions. The result? The more streamlined and fancier “Sunday horses” became a separate line from the stronger working horses.

Because of those horses’ classy development, their owners started competing to see whose equine was the showiest. When machines made farm horses unnecessary, the higher-steppers were bred for driving competition. Thus, by 1969, the Dutch Harness Horse became so popular, The Royal Warmblood Horse Studbook of the Netherlands (KWPN) was founded to preserve the breed.

As recent as the late 20th Century, more crossbreeding with Hackneys and Standardbreds resulted in a harness horse with stunning beauty and a natural high step. Today, although only 40 sires and fewer than 2,000 broodmares are registered, the Dutch Harness Horses are very easy to spot.  In the past few years, a few have come to North America and have been crossbred with Arabians, where they are used as sport horses and saddle seat horses. Regardless of how they’re shown, their fancy trot separates them from most other breeds. And there’s a reason why.

The Dutch Harness Horse is unique in that he has strict rules when showing, and it has to do with his feet. The shoes must be within a certain width and thickness, and pads added to the hoof are prohibited. He’s then able to step “to the high heavens” on his own, not because of special shoeing.

Besides his high stepping, the Dutch Harness Horse would have a braided mane and a natural tail in competition. He’d be decked with gorgeous tack, often wearing a white bridle with a cavesson (a noseband) that might match a white carriage. His coat colors can be chestnut, bay, brown, or black. However, he might be gray, a shade of roan, or a creme color. A tobiano paint Dutch Harness Horse surfaces occasionally, but he’d be rare. Regardless of the appearance of this beautiful horse, one fact is certain. He’s proud to be high stepping for the one controlling his reins.

As the steps of a Dutch Harness Horse are in the hands of his driver, so are our steps in the hands of our Driver. Have you ever thought about your life and how each and every detail is planned by our Amazing God?

The Bible tells us that God has a plan for every Christian, and the Lord directs every step in the life of a believer who trusts in God’s wisdom.

Do you pray and ask God for wisdom and for Him to direct your steps? If you have, then God directs your steps through those older and wiser such as a parent, a pastor, or a teacher. Obeying those people will make you a “high-stepper,” allowing the Lord to direct your steps throughout your entire life.

PRAYER: Dear God, I trust you with my life, and I want you to plan my steps. I’m willing to serve you in whatever you ask me to do.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

What do you think might be some “good” steps a young Christian should take in his life? Be determined to take those steps in your Christian walk with Jesus.

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  Branding horses is now illegal in the Netherlands, so the red-lion-standing-on-his-hind-legs brand of the KWPN is found on the left thigh of only older horses. Today, KWPN horses are microchipped instead.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21 NKJV).

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Today’s Horse Fact: The Furioso-North Star: Fearless!

Have you ever heard of a Furioso horse? The Furioso-North Star is a warm-blooded breed named after two stallions that started the line over 200 years ago. 

The Furioso-North Star: Fearless!

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(Photo compliments Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furioso-North_Star)

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.”

(1 John 4:18a)

The Furioso-North Star is a warm-blooded breed named after two stallions that started the line over 200 years ago.  There’s ongoing discussion whether the breed originated in Hungary or Romania, countries in Europe. Unfortunately, today The Furioso-North Star is endangered with only small numbers in those two countries and Slovakia. Those countries, involved in raising this rare horse for centuries, still have small herds grazing on their grasslands today. Because a few of these horses are only privately owned, the Furioso-North Star is considered a very valuable breed.

So, where did this horse get his start?

A beautiful English Thoroughbred named Furioso was foaled in 1836 at a stud farm in Hungary.  Four years later, he was crossbred with Hungarian mares, which started the line of Furiosos.  At about the same time, another Thoroughbred stallion, North Star, came from England and crossed with Hungarian mares. Those foals became known as the Furioso-North Star driving horses. North Star also sired foals of Norfolk Trotters and with Hungarian Nonius mares. By the end of the 19th Century, the two lines merged and were called Furioso-North Stars.  North Stars produced great harness racehorses, and Furiosos produced excellent heavyweight riding horses.

The Furioso-North Star makes a noble appearance with a strong body. He has the reputation of having a calm temperament and learns quickly. He’s a medium-heavy horse with a large frame that stands at 15.2 to 16.3 hands.  He’s mostly bay but can be chestnut or black. He’s done light farm work, has performed in competition, and has been used in harness.

The Furioso is known as a good quality riding horse especially for one type of rider, the Csikos (CHI-kosh) from Hungary. They would say the Furioso faces any rider’s challenge with a good attitude. The Furioso’s shoulders and legs are muscular and strong enough to hold tremendous weights, even off-balanced ones like the trick-riding Csikos. And the horse does it with no fear!

Why would a horse fear any rider or anything the rider would do? We’re not just talking about any rider.

The Csikos, mounted horse-herdsmen of Hungary, famous all over the world for their trick riding skills, often use the Furioso for their performances. What’s unusual is how highly trained their horses are.

If you know anything about horses, then you know how “skittish” or overcautious most foals are. Many are afraid of loud noises, water in hoses, fire, or any fast movement around their bodies. Even as they mature, horses can fear the saddle or any weight on their backs as well as the bit in their mouth.  We’ll have to admit they’re often big scaredy cats!

However, when trained properly from little up, especially for Csikos trick riders, Furiosos have no fear of anything the riders do. Some riders stand on their heads on the back of the horse, hang off the side of the horse, crawl under the horse’s belly and come up the other side, carry flaming torches, or stand backwards on the saddle, and all of the tricks are done while the horse is galloping around an arena!  The Furioso-North Stars are truly fearless!

Can you say you’re fearless like the Furioso-North Star, or are you afraid of things? How about the dark? Spiders? Snakes? The bully in your school or neighborhood? Were you bitten by a dog once and now you’re afraid of all dogs?

Most people have some fears about all kinds of things, and they might say it’s just part of being human. However, do you know the Bible talks a lot about how we should handle our fears? God wants us to give all our fears and concerns to Him.

You might wonder how to do that. The Bible says to pray and ask God to give you courage then trust in the Lord for peace in your heart that only He can give. If you ask God to take the fears from you, He will. That doesn’t mean the dangers are gone, but you’ll be able to face them with a different attitude. God loves you, and love always takes away fears. With God on your side, you can conquer any fear you face.

PRAYER: Dear God, I know You love me, and I can trust in You to take my fears away. Please help me to always remember that.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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

Think of some of your fears and ask God to take the fear from you. It might be a good time to discuss your fears with a parent.

Take your ride: (Do you know?)  In 1784, the Hungarian Emperor Josef II founded the stud farm, Mezohegyes, which became one of Europe’s great horse breeding centers.

Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?)  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

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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).

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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.

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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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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

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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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Want a crazy horse adventure?

Read book seven in the Keystone Stables Series

Whispering Hope (Keystone Stables Book 7)

http://amzn.to/2C2NMxL

Foster kid Skye Nicholson has her hands full training a wild Mustang and trying to help new foster kid, Wanda Stallord, who is rude and spiteful around everyone.