Every once in awhile, I like to share another one of my favorite topics. Once I leave my cerebral cave, at the computer, I indulge in my other passion - horses. There are currently 4 living on this little horse farm, a Quarter Horse, an Arabian, an Arabian/Quarter Horse and a wonderful buckskin Mustang. This is where I get my exercise. You don't have to ride every day, there's always plenty of work to do. I've been passionate about horses since I was a kid. I found them amazingly beautiful and later learned they have the most endearing souls. Each breed is so different, each with their own specialties, each with their own history. I love them all, even the pasture bred 'mutts.'
While researching different family lines in genealogy, it is impossible to miss the role horses played in our ancestors' lives. Generally they were all purpose, serving the family in many different ways. In today's petrol-powered, life on the fast track world, we forget that a little over 100 years ago, our ancestors relied heavily on the horse. Horses have a very different role in today's society. For the most part, gone are the heavy harnesses, the drudgery of hauling wagons, and the role it played in transportation. Unfortunately, the worst aspect of their lives still exists - abuse. I would ask anyone knowing of a situation where abuse is suspected to do what's right and report it.
As often happens, someone sends me an article or picture(s) of something special. Recently I received a link that showcases the amazing Friesian breed. It is believed that these stunning horses were first used as war horses. They are lighter than some of the other draft breeds, making them agile and quick on their feet. This was really an important feature for a horse to have when a spear is heading in your direction. Later they were used as cart horses, pulled barges in the canals, and as farm animals. Today, they're are used in harness and under saddle and have entered the world of dressage.
The breed was developed in Friesland, a northern area of The Netherlands. It is thought to be descended from the primitive Forest Horse. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Andalusian (a breed found in Spain) blood was added, but the Friesian bred true to form, regardless. They are almost always black and stand 16 hands or more. A decline in their numbers occurred by the late 19th century and by 1906 there were only three purebred stallions left to revive the breed. Displacement of the breed by gas driven vehicles and tractors, played a heavy role in their dwindling numbers. In 1913, a group formed dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the breed. Today all registered Friesians can be traced back to the three stallions still surviving in 1906.
You'll find Friesians in the show ring, driving competitions, pleasure riding, dressage and even motion pictures. However, Hollywood uses their eye catching beauty in ways to add to the drama of the story, but may have forgotten to check out the time line, historically speaking. Some 'history' movies use this breed before it was known to exist.
This breed is an expensive one to purchase. Youngsters start out at around $5000 and I've seen some stallions advertised for $25,000. Although I love the way this breed looks and moves, love the stable, easy-going temperment, I'm afraid it's too pricey for me to own. I share this link with you for your enjoyment.
These guys are just playing - FEELING GOOOOD!