THE SPANISH MUSTANG
I live just north of Parker, Colorado. The entire area from Parker to Elizabeth and Kiowa is horse country. If you love horses, this is the place to live!!! We have horses of every kind and every discipline here. If you don't live here, you should be jealous of me because I get to!
I have just finished writing a Young Adult novel about a wild mustang that bonds with a troubled teen and they end up saving each other's lives. So, in honor of the story, "In the Heart of a Mustang", I want to tell you about the Spanish Mustang.
Elizabeth, Colorado is the home of the Sunflower Ranch which breeds gaited Spanish Mustangs. (See, I told you, you could find any thing horse-related here!)
On their website: http://sunflowerranch.com/ranch.html, is a cute story about one of their mares, Sorpresita.
It so happens that this flatbed trailer was left out in the pasture. One day, out of curiosity, the little mare decided to climb aboard. In so doing, she discovered that her hooves could make a great drumming sound. She proceeded to "make music" for a couple of hours a day for several days, until the trailer was removed! Isn't that a great story!
The Spanish Mustang is a direct descendant of the horses brought to the new world by the Spanish. These are different than the feral horses managed by the BLM and about which I wrote "In the Heart of a Mustang". Columbus started bringing breed stock, horses, cattle and sheep to the new world on his second voyage. Breeding farms were set up on the Caribbean islands and, eventually, Mexico.
Catholic priests bred the horses and gave them to natives who converted to Christianity. The Apache Indians never converted to Christianity so they acquired the much desired horses by raiding the breed farms and stealing the stock. It appears that they traveled as far south as Mexico City to acquire the much desired horses. They are responsible for bringing the Spanish horses northward. Eventually, these horses numbered in the thousands. Some were lost or escaped and became wild throughout the west. They managed to both adapt to the demands of nature and mix with the native american's horses.
Today's Spanish Mustangs are being bred and controlled by the Spanish Mustang registry. They are being used for endurance, rodeo and ranch work as well as pleasure riding.
If you are coming to Denver for the National Western Stock Show Jan. 10th to Jan. 25th, I will be signing books at the Colorado Horse Council's Booth each day until 2:30 except Sundays. Stop by and say "Hi".