Heavenly Horses

Some ancient history regarding our Heavenly Horse type.

The Chinese were farmers at a very early period, unlike their nomadic neighbors to the north and west; they had horses, but they used them only for draught and burden.  They did not ride at all before 600 BC

Eventually they imported some Mongolian ponies and began riding for military purposes.   China was being threatened by a  ferocious enemy, the nomadic Hsiung-nu, the Huns; who according to the Chinese had unbeatable cavalry.

The imported Mongolian ponies were better than the old wild Prjevalsky's; but they were not good enough to enable the Chinese to best the Huns.  A completely new source of horses was found and in countries far to the west like ancient Bactria and neighboring countries which had been conquered by Alexander the Great Greek.   Like most conquests of the ancient world, his were accomplished by superior cavalry.  When the Greeks left, the descendants of their horses remained.

Alexander's Buchepalus, whom only he could approach, closely resembled this majestic horse above left . According to friezes from the Parthenon ruins, and wonderful historic tales, Alexander even rode his powerful stallion bareback. That speaks volumes as to the comfort of the ride, as many of our Gliders and gaited horses are also easy to ride bareback. Bucephalus had a distinctive blaze and is believed to be the ancestor of the very best horses in Central Asia. Marco Polo apparently heard of horses said to be descended from Bucephalus as late as the 13th Century BC. Tigre's Heavenly division  is helping to develop a horse much like Alexander's beloved Bucephalus.  Certainly Alexander  would have agreed that his horse was Heaven sent.


Introducing The Heavenly Horse

Tigre recently opened a stud book to register Tiger Horses born from one Royalty registered parent and one color producing Appaloosa, that do not inherit a strong middle gait. Heavenly horses prefer to perform the "Glider Ride" aka "Indian Shuffle" and even the hard trot. This type when Gliding, covers the ground fast in what resembles the diagonal 2-beat trot, but at the moment of impact with the ground, delays ever so slightly to create a 4-beat gait. Some perform this gait laterally while others perform it diagonally. Either type is highly suitable for hard sports like hunter jumper, dressage and cross country events. Appearing as the diagonal trot to the naked eye, we have identified it as different from the trot. After studying many Gliders frame by frame, on video, we now know that Gliders perform a 4 beat type of sitting "trot."  Gliders appear be fast runners. Their gait is nothing like the slow deliberate gait of the 2 beat jog-trot, with which they are often confused. To identify whether the Glide is lateral or diagonal, visit our page on GAIT ID.

Alexander The Great's horse Buchephalus, was referred to as a Charger. The Glider horses can certainly be considered "Chargers" although they are under control at full speed.

When only one parent is gaited ie Royalty horses, and the other parent used is an Appaloosa that does not gait, we do this to develop the breed so a large percentage of our horses are exotically marked.  Unfortunately middle gait is not always inherited in these crosses. The Tiger Horse breed was started by using non gaited "homozygous" Appaloosas (we have named them Ghost Horses), which guarantee color, and one parent from a gaited breed that would not be able to transfer spots, but hopefully transfer middle gaits. It was experimental breeding like this that taught us a lot. We discovered that gait tends to be gender related, IE, mothers to sons, and fathers to daughters. The Heavenly Horse Registry was created to protect the non-gaited foals from these crossess we have named "Gliders." Breeders are advised to use only the exceptional Gliders in future breeding experiments, and only with Royalty horses.

Note: As of January 1, 2011. Glider applicants will only be registered if at least one parent is Royalty registered with Tigre.  Breeders wishing to breed Tigre registered Gliders to each other, perhaps to develop a Warmblood sized sport horse that does not gait, are now free to do so, in the knowledge they have a Registry that will accept and support them.  That Registry is TIGRE.

Above is a painting of a substantial, heavily boned "Ghost Horse,." so named for his ethereal and ghostly beauty, he closely resembles our modern day Ghost Horses and in particular the leopard producing Heavenly types. There are two types of Tigre Ghost Horses, this type that does not gait beyond the Glide or Indian Shuffle, and the Snowcap type that is Royalty quality.
Ghost Horses and any other of our Tiger Horses that do not perform a strong middle gait, but do inherit the ability to "Glide," are now registered as Heavenly Horses, and are used in a variety of useful ways to further the mix within The Tiger Horse breed.   Hard pacing and hard trotting horses are never acceptable to Tigre as both types are outside the realm of middle gaiters and will not produce middle gaiters.
Heavenly Horses share many of the same characteristics as our less muscular Royalty types, but like the leopard producing Ghost Horses which seem to be a breed apart, Heavenly horses tend to be more substantial, and different in athletic ability. Often taller than full siblings that average 15 Hands.

Solid colors are accepted in both divisions. 

In appearance today's Heavenly Horse should show a typical Iberian profile, and although much larger than our Royalty gaited horses, should closely resemble them. We want a naturally arched neck bending at the second vertebrae. The withers should be moderate to high, The shoulders sloping back, and the back should be of moderate length. Tail sets may vary.  Legs should be well boned and dry, with adequate hoof size.  The disposition of the Heavenly Tiger Horse should be friendly and sociable with a business-like interest in the task presented them.  Original entries are not invited to apply for registration.  Horses born from at least one Royalty registered parent are eligible for registration. Foals born from two Heavenly registered parents automatically qualify for registration in the Heavenly Horse division.

Exceptions to the rule: Original entry exceptions in both divisions will be considered provided the applicant meets the highest standards for SOULON pheno-type and must first receive "The Soulon Seal of Approval" from that Registry. Both Heavenly and Royalty horses may apply for The Soulon Seal of Approval. Foals born from two Soulon approved parents, should apply to The Soulon Registry with registered details of both parents. 

(left)Antique French hunting scene on fine tapestry cloth. The color and markings of the lead horse are typical of our Ghost Horses, and while they are more muscular than their gaited brothers, they tend to Glide (or "Shuffle"), when they ride.

The ideal Heavenly Horse will exhibit an uphill style of movement, and either perform a true trot, or a "Gliding" 4-beat "Shuffle" gait.  While the "Glide" might be mistaken for the diagonal trot, it is a 4-beat gait, easy to sit, and quite fast. Breeders wishing to concentrate on the Gliders and/or Trotters that share phenotypical characteristics with our Royalty Horses, are usually more involved in sporting events and showring activities, than riding the trails. Heavenly Horses are welcome to breed in the hope they will excel in such disciplines as Dressage, as Hunters, or Jumpers. Their way of going can be compared to many Warmblood breeds which lift the shoulders, and display forward motion originating from their sloping hindquarters.