Monday, December 6, 2010

Documenting Altamiro's Offspring / Animado

Animado (Sorraia x Sorraia Mustang)
Early Summer 2010 /Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve

What a gift it was for Kevin and me to be actually present at the birth of the very first Sorraia Mustang here at Ravenseyrie! And it was by sheer luck and utter amazement. You can read the story by visiting the special page Leslie Town Photography set up to share with others an article I wrote for our local paper, The Manitoulin Expositor along with a string of photos I took during those first magic moments. Animado was born before I was a "blogger" so it was very thoughtful for Leslie and her sister Janet Grant to offer to make this page for the story on the website. Animado's birth story was also published in Volume 3 Issue 4 - July/August 2008 Equine Wellness Magazine.

Without further adieu, lets get on to the photos documenting Animado's life thus far:


Animado blends well into the colour of the rocks down on the Ravenseyrie beach.

2009Animado's dam, Bella is a shade lighter than Altamiro, but with an overall darker face. Animado is a couple shades lighter than his mother and has much more contrast between light and dark on his face.

Animado has a dark round spot on his right cheek, but not on his left. He also has a faint short stripe on either side of his withers, just as does his sire, Altamiro.

A nice comparison here! Animado on the left, next to his sire, Altamiro on the right
Note specifically the difference in the bi-colouring of their manes and tails, with Animado's being might lighter in contrast to Altamiro's

2010Here Animado is on the right, next to his half-sister, Encantara

Another nice comparison scene between Animado (fore) and his sire, Altamiro (back)

And look at the difference in shades of grulla here between father and son!
Altamiro chases Animado in early spring

It is believed the grulla colouring of primitive horses while expressed in varying shades from light to dark, were "solid" meaning no white blazes, socks, stars or other markings. White markings are assumed to be indicative of the presence of domestic horse genetics present alongside those of the primitive. Both the Sorraia and Sorraia Mustang horses were exposed to outside influences in their histories and though their primitive genetics 98% of the time express themselves purely, occasionally white markings and off colours (black, bay, grey) may emerge. The Polish Koniks and even the Przewalski's Horses have been documented with a "cropping out" of white markings or off colours in certain individuals. One would normally not include horses with any white in their preservation efforts, however, Animado is a perfect representative in every other way, and with so few good candidates in the world, he is considered to be an excellent choice for a herd sire. Animado has been purchased by the Soul of Sorraia ranch and is expected to travel to Cheyenne, Wyoming in the spring of 2011.

Just like his mother , Bella, Animado displays short, faded cross striping along his spine, depending on the time of year and the play of the light, as shown in this photo.


Kris McCormack said...

How nice to see the photos of Animado's birth again! That was such a moving story. I loved the way the horses arranged to have you present at this important event.

JEN-SKA said...

WOnderful photos, and you saved the best for the last, I love it! So dignified and proud.

June said...

What an amazing birth story. Has Altamiro shown the same kind of nurturing behavior at the birth of any of the other foals?

Máire said...

Lynne, thank you for posting that story. I found Altamiro's role in the birth quite moving. How wonderful horses are, and how they confound all our expectations if only given the chance to do so. Animado of course looks splendid and quite noble.

Lynne Gerard said...

Kris, Jen-ska, June and Maire--

I'm so glad you all enjoyed Animado's birth story. It's amazing to see these photos all together and see the changes that occur as foals mature.

June asked: "Has Altamiro shown the same kind of nurturing behavior at the birth of any of the other foals?"

I couldn't say if he has assisted in quite the same way as he did with Animado, because with all the other births, I've been an hour or two after the fact and the foals were up and nursing already. What I do notice is that with the subsequent newborns, Altamiro seems to offer oversight and protection...but I've not seen the same degree of intimacy as occurred with Animado. This may be due to the mothers being familiar with the process now and so prefer to do the work themselves. But again, not being there right when the births occur, I cannot say what role Altamiro may still be playing when a newbie slides out of one of his mares.

The proud bearing and noble appearance we see in Animado is something that you will note in the others as well when I get their photos up. Fada will be next!

Miek said...



This is exactly what I wanted to say:

" It's amazing to see these photos all together and see the changes that occur as foals mature."

What a great idea to put the photo's together this way. I am looking foward to the photo's of Fada and the others!