Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Budenny

 After the Russian Revolution and World War I, with many equines having died in battle, the Russians needed to breed new mounts for the cavalry officers. Marshall Semyon Budenny, a respected Soviet general, began trying to create a perfect officer's mount in 1921. He looked for horses with favored characteristics–strength, sure-footedness, controllability, maneuverability, and spirit. Furthermore, the horse had to be be to survive on scanty rations and still be ready for action the next day.

 They achieved creating such a horse by crossing the Don, a native cavalry horse that traces back to Thoroughbreds, Arabians, and Russian Orlovs, with the English Thoroughbreds that had come over as racehorses in 1885. The best of the offspring was sent to the Budenny(pronounced bood-yo-nee) Higher Cavalry School, where they received training before becoming cavalry horses. Of this small amount of horses, only 10% of the mares and 5% of  the stallions were accepted as suitable breeding stock. In 1948, the horses were recognized as a breed and was named Budenny. In 1953, though, the USSR Calvary disbanded, changing the Budenny's role from a war horse to a sport horse.
If you really look at the Budenny, you can see the Thoroughbred in it.

 Today, only 2,500 Budennies have been registered, with only 600 of them being mares.

Breed Description and Uses
 The Budenny has received the best qualities from both the Thoroughbred and the Don. From the Thoroughbred came its flowing, agile movement; its long neck; its slender, strong legs; large bones, and pretty head, while it inherits its hardiness and calm from the Don. Standing around 16 hands high, the Budenny usually comes in various shades of chestnut, also inherited from the Don. One peculiarity of the breed is that it has the same metallic sheen in its coat as the Don and the Akhal-Teke.

 The Buddenny's temperament, intelligence, and trainability make it an excellent war horse. Often, it is known as a one-person horse because it bonds so deeply with its handler, bravely doing anything for him, whether that be bravely marching into battle or boldly soaring over fences. Also, Budennies are smart enough to think independently should their rider be otherwise occupied. At the same time, though, they will do what their rider asks of them, even if they had made another choice.

 The Budenny excels in dressage, jumping, steeplechase, and eventing, though its ability to recover quickly from a hard exercise makes it an ideal mount for almost any sport.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Brumby

 In 1788, the first horses–a group of seven mares and stallions–landed in Australia with the convicts that first settled the continent long ago. These horses had proved that they were tough enough to survive the voyage and once again showed they could withstand the intense heat and bitter cold of the continent. As a result, the breed improved by one simply law–the survival of the fittest.

 Before the 1800s, horse racing gained popularity on the continent. Consequently, English Thoroughbreds were sent there to improve the racehorses. Timor Ponies, Arabians, Clydesdales, Suffolk Punches, and Chilean horses soon followed. While most were intended to be bred and used as police horses, war horses, and gold rush mounts, many simply ran away and disappeared. These horses probably bred with the free range horses belonging to early settler James Brumby, thus earning their name. When tractors and other mechanical farm equipment came into use, horses were abandoned, sent to run with the wild Brumbies.

The Brumby source
 Many of these Brumbies were gathered to be used as sheep and cattle. However, some people believed that the wild horses were eating to much of the cattle and sheep grazing lands, and thought that the horses had to be killed, so they began shooting them from airplanes to reduce their numbers. One such massacre occurred at the Guy Fawkes River National Park in October 2000. Shortly afterward, a group of people in favor of saving Brumbies formed an organization known as Save the Brumbies Inc. The group seeks to stop Brumbies from being killed in huge numbers and wants to give them a sanctuary where they can safely roam. However, just like the BLM continues rounding Western United State's mustangs, Brumbies are often being hunted, though alternate methods of control are being investigated. This includes the adoption of Brumbies.

Breed Characteristics and Uses:
The Brumby's appearance can vary, seeing as many different breeds have been introduced to the wild over the years. However, they usually stand 14.2 to 15.2 hands high, and are cunning, sure-footed, and intelligent. Sometimes, they are even captured and used as saddle or stock horses.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Secretariat Sketch

Secretariat was one of the greatest Thoroughbreds to ever set foot on the racetrack.
Even people unfamiliar with horse racing know of his achievements. He is most known
for winning each Triple Crown race in record time and zooming to a 31 length finish in
the Belmont Stakes. Today, this legendary horse is considered to be one of the greatest
racehorses to ever live, the other being Man o' War.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Equestrian Activities: a Workout

I saw this one on Facebook and thought fellow equestrians would appreciate it. Bye bye long hours at the gym! Lol.
Ha ha! Who needs a gym membership when you have horses? Not me!

The Belgian Draft

 The ancestor of all draft horses, the Flemish, a heavy black horse much like the Friesian, originated in the small European country of Belgium. From him came another draft in the early 1800s–one sharing similar traits to the Flemish.

 To encourage the breeding of this new breed, the Belgian government started making district shows, all of which were qualifying rounds for the great National Show In Brussels. They began offered generous cash prizes for well-bred mares and stallions. They even had inspection committees examine stallions that were in public stud service so they could control the type of horses that were produced. It was a huge-scale operation, set to produce the best new type of draft horses. These "Belgians," as they came to be called, were like a treasure and national heritage to the people of Belgium.

 In 1866, Dr. A. G. Van Hoorebeke from Monnouth, Illinois imported the first Belgian horses to the United States. Several businessmen in Wabash, Indiana, became interested in the breed and began importing them and selling them to the Midwest in 1885. In February of 1887, they founded the American Association–breed offices–for the Belgian in that city.

 The gentle nature, strength, and willingness to work made the breed the perfect choice as a foundation for many other draft breeds. In 1891, Belgians were exported to government stables in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Twelve years later, they breed had it's first official public appearance in America when some were sent St. Louis World Fair and the Chicago Livestock Exhibition. From there, the popularity of the breed steadily increased and Americans "Americanized" the breed, as they sometimes do for other breeds. However, all that changed as the twentieth century wore on. Once World War I started in 1914, importation halted. 

 During the '20s, draft breeds everywhere began to decline. Parts of certain countries that were still in need of drafts bought Belgians, which were imported in small numbers. By the mid 1930s, things began to look up for drafts. Belgians were once again exported in massive numbers. The last group to be imported were sent from Iowa to New York on January 15, 1940, just four months after the start of World War II. Four months later, the Germans invaded Belgium. 

I can't believe she's riding that beast! source
 Throughout World War II, with the push for mechanization, draft horses once again began to decline, and the Belgian was no exception, At one point, under 200 were being registered a year. Then, slowly, ever so slowly, the number of Belgians increased. During the first half of the '80s, the average number of Belgians registered a year was a whopping 4,000! Today, the Belgian remains the most popular draft breed. 

Breed Characteristics and Uses:
 Belgians are strong, hefty horses, standing 16.2 to 17 hands high, and built to work hard for hours at a time. They can haul a load of 6,000 to 8,000 pounds! At first, the breed was a farm horse used to pull plows, but later on they found themselves in cities working at warehouses, freight stations, and fishing wharfs alongside other draft breeds. Today, they are used for hobby farming, logging, pleasure driving, and sometimes even riding.  Unlike most other horses, they mature quickly and can begin working at a mere eighteen months.

When the breed was new, it was commonly bay, roan, black, gray, and chestnut/sorrel. As time went on, though, they changed to how they are today: sorrel with a blaze, four white stockings, and white manes and tails.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Dressage Chronicles Book Review

 Recently, I read a novel about dressage, called the Dressage Chronicles, written by Karen McGoldrick. It's a great, well-written book, and I would recommend it to any horse lover, even dressage isn't your preferred discipline.
The Dressage Chronicles

 The book begins by introducing a college student named Lizzy who is looking for working student job with famous dressage trainer Margot Fanning. She gets hired as a groom, with dressage lessons to boot, and begins her journey in high-level dressage. Throw in a hard to please boss, a cheerful trainer, and hard-working take-charge co-worker, and you get the Dressage Chronicles. Throughout the book, Lizzy and her horse both learn more and more about dressage, and I even learned a little myself.

Why I Like It
 Unlike many other horse novels I have read, this one is very realistic and covers the small parts of horse ownership and showing---grooming, braiding, cleaning tack, putting on polo wraps(however imperfect they were at the beginning), and working hard to take care of horses at shows. I really like how Lizzy comes to Margot as an imperfect rider who had trained her own horse and competed only at the lowest level of dressage. You can really see how she progresses as she experiences life with the pros. 

 All in all, reading the book was an enjoyable, realistic horse experience. Those who show their horses in the arena will probably relate to what happens, and even readers who don't do dressage will understand the hard work of grooming horses. I would recommend this book to all horse lovers looking to read a book about horses that stills covers all the tiny things that only horse owners or those around horses a lot can relate to. Believe me when I say that I would give it a six rating if I could. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Barb

 The Barb is an ancient breed, and is the ancestor of many Spanish horses to date. Although its complete origins are unknown, it is believed to have been established in the Fertile Crescent of North Africa, a place that surrounds the countries of Morocco, Algeria, and Libya.

 The Berbers of North Africa prized the fast and agile Barb as great war mounts, using them when their large Muslim armies invaded Spain in the eight century. The name "Barb" actually originates from the group of barbarous people.

 By 1492, the Spanish had regained control of their country and began their explorations of the New World. They took with them many horses---descendants of the ancient Barb. The horses were originally taken to several islands throughout the Caribbean, where they were bred for multiple purposes, but later they were taken to what is now the United States, Mexico, and South America. From there, they became foundation horses for many popular American breeds---Quarter Horses, Paint Horses, Appaloosas, etc.

 During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many horses had escaped and were taken by Native American tribes. At about the same time, the English had begun colonizing much of the east coast, and found these Spanish horses, thinking of them as native horses.
Barbs are the ancestors of many popular breeds, including
Spanish breeds and stock horses.

 Before long, the English began importing their own horses---racehorses of a Barb type with a little bit of added Irish blood. From there, of course, the English imports were bred with the Spanish horses, and  many horses made their way West with pioneers. However, it was during these westward treks that many of the breeds already living in the West became endangered. People didn't realize the value of the Spanish Barbs that were living in the West with Native Americans. As a result, they crossed their English horses with the ones that had been their for centuries, hoping to Americanize the ones that had seemed unappealing. Many were sold or slaughtered or extensively crossbred, nearly destroying the pure Spanish Barb. However, Western ranchers liked the breed and helped preserved the ancestor of America's stock breeds.

Breed Description and Uses:
Barbs are stocky, standing 14.2 to 15 hands high, and can come in almost every color, particularly dun, chestnut, grulla, black, bay, roan, palomino, buckskin, grey, and pinto. Their head is long and refined, with a broad forehead, short ears that point slightly inwards, and a refined muzzle that often sports crescent-shaped Roman noses. Their chest is strong, their ribs well-sprung. Much like Arabians, they only have seventeen ribs. Their shoulders are sloping. As for their back, it is proportional to the rest of the body, complete with short, straight loin, a rounded croup, and hindquarters that aren't very heavily muscled.  The legs are straight and strong, with clean cannon bones, strong, sloping pasterns, and hard hooves.

 Barbs makes excellent endurance and trial horses due to their stamina and agility.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Banker Horse

 Off the Coast of North Carolina lay a group of islands known as the Outer Banks. Wild horses, known as Bankers, have lived there for centuries, carrying a blood variant that was present in ancient Spanish horses.

 During the times of the exploration of the New World, Spaniards had several breeding stations located throughout the Caribbean, where they would breed work and saddle horses. In 1526, eighty-nine horses from one island, Hispaniola, and 500 people travelled up the coastline of North and South Carolina  and Virginia in hopes of creating a colony. Their efforts flopped. Within the year, the colony disbanded, leaving behind deceased people and many horses to return the Caribbean island of Antilles. The abandoned horses travelled back to the coast of North Carolina, swimming to the nearby Shackleford Banks island. With no interference from mankind, the number of horses grew, helped along by groups of horses abandoned in shipwrecks.

Banker horses are relatively small, though they have the
proportions of a regular horse. source
 In 1926, National Geographic stated that 5 to 6,000 horses lived on the islands off the coast of North Carolina. By the late 1950s, thousands had been removed under the mistaken belief that horses and other livestock caused the Banks to wash away. Residents managed to convince the state legislature to stop removing horses until they had hard evidence that they were causing damage, but not before the majority had been taken away.

 Only 350 Bankers are left in the world today, with a herd 117 in Shackleford. The legislation protecting them limits their number, using birth control to do so. Excess horses are adopted out of the herd.

 Breed Description and Uses:
 Standing under 14.2 hands high, Bankers are compact with strong haunches and slender legs. His profile is straight.Bankers belong to the same group of old-style Spanish horses that the Paso Fino belongs to, coming complete with several inherited gaits: the running walk, single foot, amble, and pace. They come in chestnut, buckskin, dun, bay, and sometimes pinto.

 Though Bankers are protected in their natural habitat, several people have taken them off the island in past years and trained for personal use in driving, trail riding, and mounted patrols. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pura Raza Española

 In 1578, when Portugal was annexed to Spain, the horses living on the Iberian Peninsula were known simply as the Iberian Horse. These horses were an ancient breed, with similar ones found in 20,000 year old cave drawings. In AD 711, during the Moorish invasion, the ancient Iberian horses were bred with the invaders Barbs, changing the breed a little. Over time, other civilizations, including the Celts, Carthaginians, Romans, and some German tribes, influenced the breed, making it what it is today. 

 During the Middle Ages, the Andalusians were briefly replaced by heavier breeds as a war mount of choice, but that soon changed when guns started coming around. Before long, the Andalusian became the royal horse of Europe and was found in riding academies in Austria, France, Italy, and Germany.

 In 1567, the breed was selected by King Phillip II to go the Royal Stables of Cordoba, where they were trained in classical dressage. For centuries afterward, the breed was reputed as the ideal war and dressage horse. Many dressage enthusiasts know Francois de la Gueriniere, who wrote that Spanish horses's agility, elasticity, and strong hind legs make it an ideal dressage horse. He also continues on to state that their natural cadence and pride make in preferable in parades and its courage make it suitable for battle. 

 The Andalusian is arguably the original dressage horse. Centuries ago, when many of today's horse were still doing farm work, the Andalusian and Lusitano were in the arena, performing flying changes and half-halts. Because of that, it became the foundation breed for other breeds, including the famed Lipizzaner, and is found in many popular breeds all over the world, namely the American Quarter Horse, the Connemara, the Cleveland Bay, Peruvian Paso, and many of the German warmbloods. 

Another name for the Andalusian is Pura Raza Española, P.R.E. for short. In the breed's early days, major breeders living in Spain were often found living in Andalusian, hence the modern American name for the breed. Their first national studbook was formed in 1911 by Cría Caballer, and the recognized official breed name became Pura Raza Española.

Andalusians are beautiful, elegant horses. source
Since then, arguments have arisen between Spain and Portugal about the breed. Historically, Spain's Andalusians and Portugal's Lusitanos are the same breed, but disagreements between the two countries separated it into two different breeds. In 1954, the two countries made an attempt combine the two studbooks, yet a common name was never agreed upon so they were never united. Consequently, the Andalusian and Lusitano share many physical qualities, the only difference being lineage or usage. 

Breed Characteristics and Uses:

 Andalusians are athletic horses with dramatic movement. They are strongly built, yet elegant with good, substantial bone, arched necks, well-defined withers, short backs, deep barrels, strong hindquarters, and rounded croups, all framed by luxuriously thick, flowing manes and tails. They stand 15.2 to 16.2 hands high. Their gaits are naturally collected. Most commonly, Andalusians are grey, though bay, black, dun, and palomino sometimes occur.  

 Their profiles are lean and rectangular with a broad forehead, and their eyes are large and kind.

 In contrast to the Lusitano, their profiles are straighter, hindquarters finer, and trot more active. 

Andalusians excel in dressage, jumping, saddle seat, driving, cavalry displays, bullfighting, and ranch work. 

 They are proud, docile, intelligent, and cooperative, learning quickly and easily. Just like Thoroughbreds, they have what most people call heart and bravely do what they are asked, whether it be fighting a bull or clearing an impossibly high fence. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Homemade Horse Treats

 Almost everyone loves to feed their horses treats---lots of them. Horses can be found nibbling at their owner's pockets, searching for a peppermint or a horse biscuit. Have you ever considered the benefits of homemade treats? For people who love to bake, they can be a cheaper, and possibly even healthier, alternative to store-bought biscuits. I've been going through an old horse health magazine that my dad picked up from New Zealand several years ago and found some recipes for homemade herbal biscuits.

Biscuits for a Healthy Coat
2 cups feed(pellets or whatever you usually use)
2 cups rolled oats
1 ounce dried nettle powder
30 grams dried mint leaves, crumbled(brings out dapples)
1 cup flax seeds(fatty acids to make healthy coat)
1 cup molasses
1/4 cup of brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 356 F(180 C) and lightly grease the cookie sheet you will be using. 
  2. Combine all of the ingredients. If it doesn't have a sticky enough consistency, add a little water. 
  3. Drop the mixture onto the greased cookie sheet by the spoonful.
  4. Bake for an hour, then let them cool for another hour before removing them from the tray. Store in an airtight container. 
  5. Horses love being fed treats. source
  6. Feed to your horse!
Nutrition Biscuits
1 cup of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 cup oatmeal(quick oats)
1/4 molasses
1/4 water
1/4 dried rose hip powder
2 tablespoons dried ginger powder
30 grams dried chamomile flowers
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 356 F(180 C) and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Stir ingredients well. It should come out as a sticky mixture.
  3. Scoop out a heaping spoonful of the mixture, then roll in your hands until it forms into a ball. Set on the greased cookie sheet and repeat until all the mixture is used.
  4. Bake for five to ten minutes or until golden brown. This treat can be stored at room temperature in a jar.
  5. Feed to your horse with lots of love!

Herbal Biscuits
3 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dried parsley
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/4 barley grass powder
30 grams dried goat milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

  1. Combine the dry ingredients together. Then add the water and oil.
  2. Knead the dough on a floured board and roll until it is about one inch(25 millimeters) thick.
  3. Let it stand for 30 minutes before cutting into squares. 
  4. Place in 356 F(180 C) oven. Check every three minutes; they burn easily.
  5. Feed to your horse!
It's fine to experiment with different herbs and other healthy foods. For example, garlic powder and apple cider vinegar work well with bug repellent.

tis post has been linked to the HomeAcre Hop.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Magic of the Egyptian Arabian

Usually, when I draw a picture I just show you guys a finished copy. Today, I have decided to show you the unpainted version, as well as the painted one.


Friday, September 6, 2013

The Kentucky Saddler

  Back in the eighteenth century, British colonist wanted to produce a horse more suited to their new environment, so they crossed their own stock with sturdy Canadian horses, creating the ambling Narragansett Pacer. Most of America's breeds date back to the this horse. However, all the crossbreeding between it and other breeds soon led to its extinction.

 During the American Revolution, settlers crossed the Pacer with Thoroughbreds, creating a horse lean and elegant like the Thoroughbred with the smooth, flowing gaits of the Narragansett Pacer. They named the horse simply the American Horse.

 The breed's smooth gait allowed farmers to ride for hours in relative comfort. It was also strong and sturdy enough for moderately heavy farm work.

 As time passed, more Thoroughbred blood was added, and soon the breed was named the American Saddlebred Horse. In 1891, owners and breeders living in Louisville, Kentucky founded the first breed association designated for an American breed---the American Saddlebred Horse Association.

 Standing 15 to 16 hands high, Saddlebreds have long, slender bodies with good muscle tone and shiny coats. Their pasterns are long and sloping, giving a lot of spring to their stride. They are very refined, smooth, and exceedingly exquisite. Commonly, they come in chestnut, bay, brown, and black, although gray, roan, palomino, and pinto and sometimes found.
Saddlebreds look just as flashy in a harness as they do under saddle.

 Saddlebreds always seem happy, perky, and curious, giving them lots of admirers.

 Saddlebreds are most commonly found in the show ring. there, they compete in four primary divisions: Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited, Harness, and Pleasure. Five-gaited, harness, and show pleasure horse are shown with long, full tails that are often set unnaturally high with a device called a tail set. Competitors of the five-gaited are shown with roached manes to accentuate their long and thing arched necks. In the three-gaited classes, Saddlebreds are judged on the three common gaits: walk, trot, canter. Five-gaited horses are judged on the previous three, as well as two other man-made gaits: the slow gait and the rack. The slow gait consists of the horse moving in a prancing motion and lifting the legs very high. A racking horse will move faster than a slow-gaiting horse, covering more ground with each stride and snapping up his hocks and knees. The overall impression of a Saddlebred in the show ring is elegance and grace and a look that seems to say, "Hey! Look at me!"

 Throughout history, specifically during the Civil War, several Saddlebreds have been found on the battlefield. Among those are Traveler, Robert E. Lee's mount; Cincinnati, who has ridden by Ulysses S. Grant; and Little Sorrel, Thomas Jonathan Jackson's horse.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

American Cream Draft

 In 1911, a rich creamy colored draft mare was sold at a livestock auction in Story County, Iowa. A horse dealer by the name Harry Lakin bought her, calling her Old Granny, and used her a breeding program. To his delight, all her foals sported the creamy coloring.

 During the 1940s, a man named C. T. Rierson, who lived in Hardin County, Iowa, further contributed to the breed by purchasing colts sired by Silver Lace, the foundation stallion, and creating his own herd.  Then, through careful, painstaking research, Rierson recorded the pedigree of each horse. In 1944, the American Cream Horse Association of America was formed. In 1950, Iowa's Department of Agriculture recognized the association's breed standard.

Creams are actually quite small for a draft horse, and can be found
under both a harness and a saddle. credit
 In the mid-twentieth century, when the age mechanization replaced horses with tractors, the market for draft horses collapsed, and with it, the number of Creams. Their numbers had already been low at the time, seeing as they were a new breed, and that declination hurt the breed more badly than any other. At one point, they had almost become extinct.

 The breed wavered in a dark ages state for decades, until 1982, when several breeders decided to reopen the inactive stud book. Since then, their numbers have slowly increased, yet, with only 400 horses currently registered, they are far from safe.

  When mature, a Cream will stand anywhere between 15 to 16.3 hands high, with mares weighing 1600 to 1800 pounds, and stallions 1800 to 2000 pounds. Their profiles are straight, necks arched, and body well-muscled. Ideally, they are a light creamy color with a white mane and tail, pink skin, and amber colored eyes. Blazes and stockings are desirable. Creams are born with eyes that are nearly white, but they darken as they age, becoming amber colored once they reach maturity. The unique coloring---cream coat, amber eyes, pink skin---are a result from the Champagne gene, which has been passed along to every Cream since Old Granny. Temperament wise, Creams are calm and willing.

Because of their small size, Creams can still be used as saddle horses, though they are commonly found under harness.