Summer 2009 / Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve
The second foal born at Ravenseyrie, like Animado, came before I had taken up recording events here on our Sorraia Mustang Preserve in the Journal of Ravenseyrie blog. Altamiro's first filly, Fada has her birth story documented once again at the website of Leslie Town Photography. There are some delightful photos there as well as the telling of how Fada came by her name. I hope you will follow the link to read about our introduction of Belina and Altamiro's tiny filly, Fada.
And now, a feast of photos showing off this exquisite being...
When she was first born, Fada was SO tiny that she often walked underneath her dam to get to the other side, rather than going around the "long" way. A pity, I have no photo of that adorable maneuver.
In the birth story published on the Leslie Town Photography site I relayed (as I have done elsewhere in the Journal of Ravenseyrie) that Fada's dam, Belina is not the best example of Sorraia phenotype and she sometimes can appear rather pony-like and plain. Curiously, though, I've noticed after each of the three foals Belina has so far delivered, she blooms with an uncanny beauty that accentuates the best of what Sorraia characteristics this pony sized mare does possess. The above photo demonstrates very well what I mean, don't you think?
So many of the foal photos of Fada are absolutely enchanting, and I feel as human mothers must feel, a tremendous reluctance to let go of this phase of their babys' growth, wondering how they will ever be more lovely to behold than they are as infants. But, when I see how stunningly beautiful Fada is now as a two year old, I am glad for the natural maturing process and oh-so-thankful to be witness to these many stages of development.
One of my favorite beach scenes when Fada was a foal...I am always moved to see that tiny, confident form taking a standing snooze with her family without a care in the world.
An obviously poor photo, yet I share it here because it shows the counter-shading "cape" Fada has over her shoulders during this stage of development.
When she still had her foal coat, one could see that Fada not only had a cape over her shoulders but leg stripes as well. These have both gone into hiding once she shed out to such a dark grulla shade.
As dark as Fada's grulla colouring is, even in a long winter coat, her dorsal stripe is still visible.
I've noticed that the first winter the youngsters go through they grow a much longer coat than they do as yearlings and two year olds.
This photo gives a good indication in the small stature of Fada as she stands among Animado, Mistral and the big fellow, Zeus.
Note the contrast here between the very dark grulla colouring of Fada and the light grullo shade of Animado, in the above photo. Some sources have call the very dark grulla colour "lobo dun". It is believed that the typical shade of grulla for Sorraia horses is medium to light.
If it were not for her dorsal stripe and the buff colouring of the interior of her ears, one would think Fada is a black horse.
Fada is smaller than the average Sorraia and darker, too, but in every other way shows the appropriate characteristics. Hardy has reminded me on more than one occasion that with the right stallion, this beautiful daughter of Altamiro could contribute in an important way to the preservation and consolidation of these primitive Iberian genetics. I think she already has made an important contribution by adding a special type of loveliness to our Ravenseyrie landscape.