Sunday, March 19, 2017
Education and Entertainment To Preserve Nearly Extinct Horses
In this special series of posts we are taking the time to explain our complex approach to conserving Colonial Spanish horse strains, primarily the Corollas from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but also the Choctaws, Marsh Tackys, Grand Canyons and Shacklefords. So far we have talked about the off site breeding program, our PTSD program with the Hampton Veterans Hospital and our programming with Rivermont School.
And that is just the beginning of this discussion. The conventional prescription to try to save rare historic horses is to have them compete against modern breeds in horse shows and other competitive events. Regardless of the success of the Colonial Spanish Horses in these endeavors, that strategy by itself has produced limited results.
We believe that the best way to preserve these horses is to teach people to ride them. They can't ride them if they have never seen them and we work hard to attract people who are new to the horse world out to see these horses. We build a picture frame around the horses to put them in their proper historical context. We not only have the horses of early colonial Virginia, we have the goats, pigs, and even some chickens from that era.
And....we replicated a 1650's era farm site, complete with home, smokehouse, heirloom seed garden, tobacco barn, and a corn crib.
We use this setting to do occasional living history programs to show what life was like here in the early years and to help visitors understand how these Spanish horses fit into early colonial English America.
We want our visitors to understand that if their ancestors lived in the Southeast during the early to mid-Colonial era these were the horses they rode. These were the horses that pulled in their fish nets. These were the horses that pulled their wagons and plows. These were the horses that were ridden hard through the night to get a doctor for a sick child. And when it was all over, these were the horses that brought their simple caskets to the little church cemeteries.
These horses have been here for nearly five hundred years. We do not have the right to cause their extinction.
That is what everything else here revolves around--preserving these horses while working to improve the lives of those around us..
And you can be part of this effort. Go to our website www.millswampindianhorses.com and make a contribution today. We are a 501 (c) 5 non-profit breed conservation program and as such contributions are not tax deductible. We are in our fifth day of our month long social media fundraising effort. Feel free to share this with everyone that you know who cares about horses and people.
Posted by Steve Edwards