After hanging out at the Adult Horse Rides most of the day, we took the Littles to see the various horses on display in front of Equine Gatherings.
Many breeds were on display including this cute little donkey. Five donkey facts:
- A male donkey is sometimes called “jack” and a female a “jenny”.
- A donkey can carry 20-30% of their own body weight. No wonder they are called “beasts of burden”.
- The first donkeys born in the United States was owned by George Washington.
- Did you know that beginning in Old Testament days, ownership of many donkeys was a sign of God’s blessing? The Bible often specified whether a person rode a donkey, because this was a sign of wealth.
- And legend has it that the cross marking on the donkey’s shoulders comes from the shadow of the cross at Christ’s Crucifixion, placing the donkey at the foot of the cross.
This Miniature Mediterranean Donkey is the companion to the Andalusian, Listo, the Painting Horse. He’s a bit jealous of the attention his pasture buddy receives because of his popularity as an equine artist. Apparently, he has started painting as well.
The Miniature Mediterranean Donkey is a separate breed of donkey originating from the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. According to The Miniature Mediterranean Donkey Association, “because they were so small they were employed to turn grinding stones for grain inside the peasants houses. There are 18th century wood block pictures showing these small donkeys, blindfolded, attached to the grain mill and walking in endless circles. They were also used to carry water from village wells and supplies into the mountains for shepherds.” (credit)
Oh my Grandmother, what big feet you have… and hairy… very hairy.
Did you know that at one time there were over 140,000 Clydesdales in Scotland. But by 1975, the Clydesdale was on the Rare Breed Survival Trust vulnerable list. The Clydesdale now numbers about 5,000 around the world and is considered an “at risk” breed.
These beautiful horses are one of the largest of horse breeds, weighing in at 2,000 to 3,000 pounds at adulthood. At birth they weigh around 180 pounds.
Whew! My uterus just hurts thinking about that. :o
The Haflinger has the distinction of being referred to as the “tractor of the Alps”. They earned this title working on the small, steep mountain farms in the Alps of Austria. They often lived in close quarters in the lower levels of the house with their owners, who took advantage of the horse’s body heat. Because of this living arrangement, they developed pleasant, sensible, and affectionate personalities. One breed description I read somewhere noted the Haflinger as “uncomplicated”.
“That looks like Whinny.”
Yes… same breed, baby.
“I think Whinny is cuter.”
Not a bit of bias in that statement.
I posted this photo on our Photoblog last week of the Quarter Horse.
The fastest horse is a Quarter Horse, having been clocked sprinting short distances of up to 55mph. That’s a quarter mile in 21 seconds! The current QH record holder is a 3 year old filly named Eyes of Dawn. She ran 300 yards (or 3 football field lengths) in 14.909 seconds. Whew! That’s mighty fast!
This Friesian, Isabella, is an expecting momma. She also had something in common with Ylluster, a Friesian at Ann-Marie’s barn (you’ll meet her tomorrow)… the same daddy. :D
The Friesian was often used to carry knights into battle and are recorded as having been around since at least the 1200s.
Friesians are named according to the year they are born. Each year, Friesch Paarden-Stamboek (FPS) designates a specific alphabet letter for which all foals born within that calendar year should be named. For example, the names of all foals born in 2010 will begin with the letter G, H or I. FPS is one of the oldest studbooks in the Netherlands, and is the original studbook for the Friesian horse.
Over 80% of all Morgans today have Saddlebred crosses within them. In 1930, Morgan owners began breeding the Morgan with Saddlebreds because of the rising popularity of the Saddlebred as well as the prestige in the show ring. This practice continued making the Morgan resemble closely the Saddlebred. The Foundation Morgan Horse Society is looking to preserve the original Morgan, whose appearance differs from that of the modern Morgan. These Morgans must trace their paternal ancestry directly to that of the original Morgan horse, Justin Morgan.
Like Saddlebreds, Morgans were popular cavalry mounts in the American Civil War. Stonewall Jackson’s “Little Sorrel” was originally a present for the colonel’s wife. But because Jackson’s larger, more powerful mount was too skittish, he choose to rode Little Sorrel. His easy temperament made the decision easy and proved itself time again and again in battle. (Read more about Little Sorrel here.)
A relatively young American breed, the Standardbred was like the family car 200 years ago: pulling the family on errands, to church, and plowing the fields. The Standardbred is so named because of the standard (one mile) that he can trot in harness. The current standard for 2-yr olds is 2.20 minutes, and for 3-yr olds the standard is 2.15 minutes.
If the Standardbred is the family car, then the Thoroughbred is the Ferrari. With speed up to
43mph, this horse can fly. This Thoroughbred was from the group, Communciation Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses or CANTER. He is known as an OTTB or Off-Track Thoroughbred.
Did you know that while the USA leads the world with 50,119 races in 2008, Japan came in second with 17,744 races held? I had no idea racing was so popular in Japan! (stats)
This Arabian was not part of the breed display. Kaybear walked with Makenna around and found her owner getting ready to leave. If I remember correctly, behind where the adult rides were, there was knight demonstrations. There were many trees blocking the view but I think I saw medieval costumers on the riders and horses. Regardless, this beautiful girl seemed anxious to get home and eat! (photo taken by Kaybear)
I missed this Gypsy Vanner when we were touring the breeds, but Kaybear and Makenna made sure we had a photo of him. Mickey was in last year’s Celebration of the Horse parade as well as this year’s.
The Gypsy Vanner was so named after the Gypsies of England and Ireland who bred them as well as the caravans (“vanner”) they were bred to pull. They were bred for the temperament (gentle around children) as well for their looks. And WOW! If you ever seen a GV in person, you would be wowed by their long mane and tails. I couldn’t imagined how long it takes to groom the GV!
… You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you …
Could Carly Simon have been singing about Mickey?
We couldn’t leave the event without giving the little donkey a good-bye kiss.
“Goodbye, donkey. We’ll see you next year!”
Tomorrow… the Friesian, Ylluster. She wasn’t the Fresian in the breed display but she was admired by many at the Adult Horse Rides. Wait until you see her!
May your life be graced by a horse,
Celebration of the Horse 2010 series:
Part 1 The Parade Staging Ground
Part 2 The Parade
Part 3 The Parade: Our Group
Part 4 Adult Horse Rides
Part 5 Never Too Old
Part 6 Breed Display
Part 7 Ylluster
Part 8 Award