Wednesday, January 12, 2011

If I Could Choose His Future


Interessado, our coming three year old stud colt by Altamiro (Sorraia) out of Ciente (Kiger Mustang) has recently caught the eye of several readers of the Journal of Ravenseyrie. Each interested party has written me specific questions in relation to this fine young stallion, which I have answered to the best of my ability.

Just the other day, a reader from Colorado posed a query that elicited deep contemplation from me during morning chores among the horses. The pristine, elemental sunrays were alchemically transmuting the frosted snow into faceted diamonds, this, coupled with the bitter high wind and the physical exertion of hauling a toboggan of hay to the northerly forested windbreak, was very inebriating and prompted me to compose a rather poetic answer.

The Family Band

Both the question and the answer are things that I consider of great importance not just for Interessado but for each of our "Iberian Tarpan" youngsters. Because of this (with her permission) I have decided to share Susan's question and my answer with the readership, to provide insight to those of you who are perhaps also dreaming of purchasing one of Altamiro's sons or daughters and might likewise be wondering what Kevin and I are looking for when considering a life for them away from Ravenseyrie.

The Question:
If you could choose his future, what would that look like?

The Answer:

I would choose a future where he continues to have opportunity to live, play and engage in an equine family life (whether a breeding group or a bachelor group of two or more) in a setting where there is a varied natural habitat which will continue to provide him the physical and mental development advantageous to his health and well being.

Silvestre, Animado and Interessado

I would choose that he remain a stallion with opportunity to sire offspring that carry on the preservation of the ancestral Iberian Tarpan/Sorraia type.

In addition to equine companionship, I would choose that any humans who interact with him understand the relevance of his primitive genetics and treat him as a noble being worthy of respect, admiration and kind regard.

I would choose that humans in his life nurture a balance between free expression and educated channeling of his abundant energies--that such energy be embraced and encouraged, not feared and subdued.


I would choose that whatever heightened human relationship he may accept be mutually fulfilling, leading both horse and human to a self-actualization that transcends what they might experience separate from each other. I would choose that they engage in a flowing partnership based on a shared leadership rather than hierarchical domination. I would choose an intuitive heart-connection for them, never one-sided, always reciprocal and abundant with love--the love between equals and friends. I would choose that his "no" be honored and his "yes" obtained always through understanding and willing cooperation. I would choose that poems be written about such a relationship as what is possible for this particular horse and whatever human he befriends!


I would choose that he be ridden only if he willingly accepts having a human astride. I would choose that there be no bit in his mouth or iron on his feet. I would choose there to be a constant vigilance on the part of the human passenger to monitor his mental and muscular capacity for engaging in ridden work or play and to never cause injury through lack of mindfulness.

I would choose that he never be valued for his presumed "usefulness" or cast aside as "unwanted". I would choose that his life be long, of the highest quality, with a timeless resonance and the full knowledge that he was appreciated as a splendid being by equines and humans alike.

Susan had this question as well:

Could you explain the procedures and cost associated with getting your horses to new owners in the U.S.?

Moving horses between Canada and the United States is not nearly as involved as overseas import/export requirements. All that is required is a negative Coggins test and passing health certificate, both of which are performed by a veterinarian and are not expensive. There is no quarantine imposed.

Transportation of horses, on the other hand, is very costly. To give you an example, when I imported Zorita from Oregon in 2008, the transport fee was $3,000, and would have been higher than that had I not shared a ride with another client. This is to be expected when hauling coast to coast. Presently, I think gas prices are the same or higher than they were then, however with the economy being in such a funk it is possible that professional haulers have come down in their prices to gather more clients. There will be sales tax charged at the border and if using a professional hauler, there will also be brokerage fees which vary from hauler to hauler.

Silvestre, Animado and Interessado

When looking for a quality hauler on both occasions that we imported horses from the American West, I found The Traveling Horse online directory very helpful. This directory allows you to connect with potential haulers, receive quotes on what it would cost to pick up a horse in Gore Bay, Ontario and deliver it to your destination. Through this network one can often find a hauler that is traveling coast to coast and has an open space on their rig.

Pinoteia and Tocara

Sheri Olson of Soul of Sorraia ranch does her own hauling with a large rig and may be willing to take a few other Ravenseyrie youngsters with her when she comes this spring for Animado, Encantara and Segura. If someone in the states is seriously contemplating buying one of our youngsters, you may connect with her through the link to her website to determine if something can be worked out which would be mutually beneficial.


The prices on Fada, Interessado and Silvestre will go up as each of them celebrate their birthday this year. Levada, Pinoteia and Tocara are also for sale, but will not be ready to leave Ravenseyrie until they are naturally expelled from the family band. I'll put pages up for them later this spring.

Silvestre and Fada

I believe that each of these horses has their own destiny. The considerations Kevin and I have for their future have an influence on their destinies but we cannot guarantee that which we would choose for them is how their future will actually unfold. For this I have to put my trust in the universe that those humans who may guide the lives of these horses once they leave Ravenseyrie will honor the futures we envision to the best of their abilities...but most of all respond to what the horses themselves demonstrate as being right for them.

Bella, Altamiro and Pinoteia

A Side Note:
For those of you who are interested in helping to preserve these type of ancestral horses but are not able to manage importing one of our youngsters. You may like to check out the Soul of Sorraia ranch as well as the Spanish Sage Ranch and also Caballos de Destino. Each of these breeders are participating in the consolidation of the Sorraia type among select mustang horses and have some very nice examples available. You may also like to email Hardy Oelke at: Hardy maintains the Sorraia Mustang Studbook, a data base (just a sampling of which can be seen online) of others who have mustang horses that possess varying degrees of Sorraia type and are able to contribute to preservation efforts. Some of these horses may be for sale as well. There are many ways to become involved in these preservation efforts that might be a little less involved and with appropriate horses that are closer to where you live.


Susan Catt said...

Thank you Lynne for a very detailed and eloquent heart felt answer to my question. My admiration for you as a horse woman is unfolding in heaps and bounds. I will email you soon with my response.


June said...

In other words, you want for Interessado what everyone should want for every horse!!!

Tired Dog said...

Oh Lynne, the eloquence of your words is surpassed only by the beauty of your heart. You are one of the most exquisite humans I have ever had the fortune of knowing. What you write about Interessado has touched me deeply. The images that remain imprinted on my mind of you and Kevin, out there braving the elements with joyous hearts and smiling faces - daily - for the equids with whom you share your lives - they never leave me. I still carry with me the envelope that you calligraphically addressed to me, containing your beautiful cards. THANK YOU ... for being who you are, for being what you are, and simply - for being. I can sincerely and honestly say that I love you, although we have never met face to face. Thank you for everything you do. You are changing the world from your special island paradise.

Annemiek said...

I totally agree with Tired Dog, the world is definately a better place with you and Kev in it!

Erin said...

Sovina (Sorraia gelding) is now for sale with all Portuguese tacks (Working Equestrian saddle set and Portuguese bridle set)to the right home where he can be promoted to represent the Iberian Sorraia of Portugal. He can be sold without or with the Portuguese tacks for a different price. My time is very limited due to full time horse training and horse shows for clients. I will be listing him on Dreamhorse after Feb 8th. Email for more information, serious inquires pls.

Kathryn said...

Lynne, you have described in words what I thought was impossible to describe.

eva said...

Lynne, i am deeply touched like the rest of your readers here. It seems fitting that his entry should follow the dreadful nightmare entry, they belong together like two sides of a single sheet of paper.

Have you considered linking this post to the top of the page so whoever browses the profiles of the available youngsters cannot miss it?

June said...

Lynne, when I started my own blog, I called it "an exploration of how to implement the ideas of Imke Spilker, KF Hempfling, Carolyn Resnick and Lynne Gerard into my life and that of my horses..." At the time you said something to the effect that your name didn't deserve to be included among those others.

I think everyone would agree with me that you do deserve to take your place in that pantheon!!!

Lynne Gerard said...

You know, a week or so ago there was a little news story on CBC radio that discussed just how uncomfortable it is for Canadians to accept complements. As an American, praise, while always appreciated nevertheless made me feel curiously uncomfortable. Now that I am also a Canadian citizen, I feel doubly squirmish under all these lovely comments you nice people have left in this journal entry.

The radio story said that the most effective and important way to express to those who have complimented us is to say a heartfelt "Thank you".

So here it is...Thank you, Susan, June, AmyJo, Miek, Kathryn and Eva.

Eva, I think a link to this journal entry on each of the youngsters' sale pages is a good idea. When I get some other things caught up I will do it.

I need to also thank the horses here at Ravenseyrie for helping me see the world in a new way. It really is their essence and special intelligence that I share with all of you.

Máire said...

June that is a beautiful post. I am reminded of poets who write poems like "a prayer for my daughter" (Yeats comes to mind) and maybe, one day a poem will be written about Interessado and his human.

I had meant to comment on your dreadful dream, but could not find the words. I do hope that writing this post helped balance the thoughts, images and feelings evoked in that dream. Because there is such beauty in the world with all its brokenness and in humans too, with all our brokenness.