Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Fork In The Road

Those of you who have been reading this blog for years have probably noticed that the posts seem to have different purposes. Most are written to inform and/or entertain. On occasion I write simply to think out loud and in hopes that I will get some useful input from readers.

This is one of those times.

A bit of background--we are a 501(c)5 non-profit breed conservation corporation. That is not how we started out. We were once a for profit operation. In 2008 we began to acquire a few wild Corollas from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, likely the oldest and rarest distinct genetic grouping of American horse. We began the effort to breed these horses domestically in an effort to stave off their extinction.

These wild horses had to be gentled and trained and the other major facet of our program is to teach natural horsemanship to children who eventually tame and train these horses. Over the years we have added other strains of nearly extinct Colonial Spanish Horses to our program.

We now seek to preserve and promote such historic strains as the Choctaws, Grand Canyons, Baccas, Marsh Tacky, Galicenos, Brislawns along with our Corollas and Shacklefords. The Choctaws, Corollas, Marsh Tackys and Shacklefords All descend from horses that were brought to the southeast by Spanish explorers. The Galicenos are Colonial Spanish horses associated with Mexico. The Baccas, Grand Canyons, and much of the Brislawn strain came from the western part of our nation. Again--all the same breed, but different strains in that breed.

The breed, the Colonial Spanish horse, is in its entirety  endangered. There are likely fewer than 3,000 horses of all of these strains combined. Of that sparse number only a fraction have been trained to saddle. As a result, very few experienced horse people have ever even seen a Colonial Spanish horse, and only a relative handful of Americans have ever ridden one.

So here we sit--guarding a treasure while trying to protect and share it, all at the same time.

My focus has always been on increasing the number of satellite breeding facilities. Maye I need to add another strategy to this mix.

More on that later.

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