Friday, October 23, 2015

Race Horses?

Yes, I remain opposed to nearly all forms of equine competition. Yes, I continue to hate few things more than traveling. Yes, I firmly believe that the only thing worse for the future of Colonial Spanish Horses than being rejected by the established horse world would be for them to be embraced by that world.

And, yes, I am getting ready to compete in an endurance run. Yes, it is all the way up to New Jersey. However, nothing that we are doing is designed to seek the good graces of the established horse world. We plan to take three Choctaws, a Shackleford, and a BLM/SSMA cross to the Mustang Memorial Endurance Race in two weeks for the sole purpose of gathering that much more objective proof of the extraordinary athleticism of these historic horses.

And more specifically, to be able to give an even stronger answer to that question, "Can these little horses really carry a grown up?"

I doubt if any rider at this race will weigh more than I do.

 Joey will carry me just fine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

And the Fight Goes On

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wild and Free

I do not ever want anyone to mistakenly assume that the training and breeding program that we have developed for the Corollas will be an adequate substitute for maintaining a wild herd on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. All we are creating is a safety net, and a tenuous one at best.
Before cars, before the Civil War, before Nat Turner and Dred Scott, before the Constitution, before the Revolution, and yes, even before the settlers landed at Jamestown, Spanish Colonial horses roamed free in the southeast. Now they only reside wild and free and purely Spanish at Corolla and Shackleford.
They survived the wars. They survived the hurricanes. What ever the threat, they survived. If your ancestors, be they black, northern European, Indian, or Spanish, lived in the triangle drawn from Richmond to New Orleans to Key West; between the early 1500's and the American Revolution, they rode and worked these little Spanish horses. These horses carried my ancestors to their weddings, their wars, and their funerals.
Why should they be preserved? Because we do not have the right to extinguish history.


Anonymous said...
And I bet some of them were too heavy to carry. Or am I beating a dead horse?

There are folks who work to preserve prarie, even after barbed wire became the norm. (Really..there is a program at Columbia that maintains a few acres of twelve foot deep prarie grass..such as what you would have read about in " By the Shores of Silver Lake" by Laura Ingalls Wilder...) and there are those who sail square riggers...still keeping their backs to the wind despite the switch to will always be so. And there will always bethose who rail against those who do...that is too dangerous, stop breeding garbage, you cannot do that because I said me. I suppose it is human nature to meddle, and has often caused me to wonder at our life expectancy.
There are a few groups dedicated to preserving these horses...there needs to be more.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Importance of Intransigence

After over a decade of building our program of teaching natural horsemanship to children and novices-more particularly teaching them to train and ride will horses--our program has never been stronger. More horses, more riders, more volunteers, more educational programs and more lives changed than ever before.

There are many elements behind this success but the most important is our intransigence. At every step of the way we have refused to make a single concession to the established horse world. To do so would not create a slippery slope. It would create a cliff for the program to fall off of.

Our program is revolutionary. Revolutions fail when, after achieving a modicum of success they revert to the ways of the old regime.

As long as the scorn of the established horse world continues to be heaped on what we do, we will know that we are succeeding.