Archive for the ‘ASPC/AMHR History’ Category

The Prayer of a Horse

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

I realized today that I have been very slack at keeping up with my blog! My intentions are good but time seems to get away from me. In looking through the July 1954 issue of American Shetland Pony Journal I found this poem reprinted –

The Prayer of a Horse

To Thee, My Master, I Offer My Prayer.

Feed me, water and care for me and when the day’s work is done provide me with shelter… a clean, dry bed and a stall wide enough for me to lie down in comfort. Talk to me, your voice often means as much to me as the reins. Pet me sometimes that I may serve you the more gladly and learn to love you.

Do no jerk the reins and do no whip me when going up hill. Never strike, beat or kick me when I do not understand what you mean, but give me a chance to understand you. Watch me and if I fail to do your bidding, see if something is not wrong with my harness or feet.

Examine my teeth when I do not eat. I may have an ulcerated tooth and that, you know , is very painful. Do not tie my head in an unnatural position or take away my best defense against flies and mosquitoes by cutting off my tail.

And, finally, Oh my Master, when my useful strength is gone, do not turn me out to starve or freeze, or sell me to some cruel owner to be slowly tortured, and starved to death, but do Thou, my Master, take my life in the kindest way and your God will reward you here and hereafter. You may not consider me irreverent if I ask this in the name of HIM who was born in a stable. Amen

There is no author given for the poem but the article says that the poem was printed and framed on a wall at the Willliam McKinley Stewarts at Grayslake, IL and through the courtesy of Mrs. Stewart, a copy was given to the Journal office. I think it’s a beautiful poem so aptly expressing what our horses/ponies must feel.


Friday, February 4th, 2011

I love history, always have. And I especially enjoy reading and learning about the history of our registry and the ponies, miniature horses, & people that were all a part of making ASPC/AMHR what it is today. We were very blessed to know Carolyn Roberts, RFP Family Ponies, and to call her a friend. She was fascinating to listen too and she was always willing to share the knowledge she had with us, whether in person or on the phone. I remember a sunny summer afternoon in July in Carolyn’s kitchen soaking up history, stories, & good pony fellowship. We met Carolyn’s husband Harold that day and he was a wealth of knowledge too. He wasn’t at the shows much during the time that Ray & I began showing our shetlands, but he sure knew his ponies and he knew about training. Ray & I still today will talk about a training tip that Harold shared with us on that summer afternoon. It is one of my fondest memories of good times with people we enjoyed. Carolyn had several duplicate sets of American Shetland Pony Journals as well. She had sorted through them and so we came home with a boxful of old Journals. The oldest Journal we have is June, 1954. The editor was James H. Roberts (no relation to the Roberts mentioned above that I’m aware of) and the president of the association was E.T. Sproull of Bristolville, OH. There are several ads in the magazine for Pony sales and several breeders listed in the breeder’s directory. One of the things I find intriguing is that the majority of the shetlands pictured resemble the B Miniatures of today, in my opinion anyway. One of the articles that I found most interesting¬† was entitled ‘The Shetland Revival-Rebound from the ’36 Rockbottom…”¬† Among the facts and figures and names that make up the leadership, membership and registration throughout the years, the article also states this “The work of the type committee was climaxed on July 5, 1947, when a Shetland Pony Type Conference was held at Des Moines, Iowa. This has come to be known as the Shetland Pony Congress”.¬† It’s a fascinating article sharing history before the magazine’s publication date and a glance back at the story of the ASPC/AMHR. And of course I should mention that we had to look at ponies that day at the Roberts and yes, we did buy one later that fall that we had both been drawn too – our Modern Shetland gelding RFP Change of Luck.