Saturday, December 28, 2019

Wild Horses in Freezing Rain


Our winter on the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve got off to an early start with a snowstorm on November first, followed by a determined freeze.  Thankfully we had a thaw not too long after that and though we have had more snow and freezing since, there has not been the harshness of persistent, prolonged storms like we had last year.

Frozen Hawberries

On December 9th, we had some freezing rain, which did not last long, nor was it as severe as we have experienced here on Manitoulin Island - in fact, it had a certain allure to it because the wind was not wicked and the air temperature was somewhat mild.  I wanted to get out in the elements, so donned my rain gear, put my camera in a plastic bag and went out to check on how the horses were coping with the inclement conditions.

Hawberry Tree

The bachelors who live out on the range* on the Ravenseyrie Sorraia Mustang Preserve are our Portuguese Sorraia stallion, Altamiro and his sons and grandsons out of our Sorraia Mustang mares.


Legado (Altamiro x Sovina's Zorita)
Fidalgo (Altamiro x Belina)
Gosto (Altamiro x Bella)
Capaz (Interessado x Pinoteia)
Sedutor (Altamiro x Sovina's Zorita)
Ousado (Altamiro x Bella)


Interessado (Altamiro x Ciente)
Silvestre (Altamiro x Ciente)

*Two other Ravenseyrie residents are our 33 year old draft mule Jerry and the escape artist stallion, Destemido (Interessado x Fada) who have adjacent pastures near the house.  Our eight Sorraia Mustang mares continue to reside on the Twinravens range in Tehkummah, thanks to the generosity of Mark Seabrook and Michelle Hrynyk.

The bachelors do not congregate all together like they did when the boys were young, but have been keeping in clusters that are not always fixed. 

For the most part, Altamiro prefers to keep to himself. 

Ousado, the youngest of the bunch laid claim to the geldings, Interessado and Silvestre, as if they were mares and does not allow the other stallions to have direct contact with them, though he will tolerate the other stallions nearby.  This arrangement has lasted for several years now. 

Fidalgo used to often hang out nearby Altamiro, but has now attached himself to the fringe of the main band of boys, while Capaz now hangs out nearby Altamiro.
Sedutor likes to float between the main band of boys and wherever Altamiro might be.  Gosto is a firm follower of the main band of boys as is Legado.

These herd dynamics are likely to shift again, depending on the moods of the bachelors.  We would like them all to be "best buds" and stick together as one group, but this is not up to us - they call the shots and determine who gets to hang out with who.


Although I found it difficult to keep the horses in focus while the freezing rain fell, I decided the activities the fellas were engaged in, despite the inclement weather were interesting and attractive enough to put into a video for my YouTube channel.  I hope you enjoy it!



Flora Eerschay said...

Ravenseyrie is the most beautiful place that ever had a blog! ;)
I was thinking about you recently, hoping that you'll write again.

Lynne Gerard said...

Flora Eerschay, I am glad you see the beauty in our rugged world here at Ravenseyrie!
I am not as frequently posting in my Journal of Ravenseyrie, but try for at least something put up once a month.
Thank you for not giving up on checking in on the blog!
Have a super winter!

Sharon R Fase said...

Hello Lynne,

I hope you have a blessed 2020!

Sharon Fase

Lynne Gerard said...

Hello back!!!
I think of you, too! And send you best wishes for all good things in 2020. Thank you for your note!

Joan of Arc said...

Wonderful Lynne,

I was just thinking about asking you a question about any predators bothering either of the bands - and if it's happened, and how they cope with it.

I know that there is a lot of wild life on Manitoulin, which is a great thing, but for a wild band of horses - what is their experience?


Lynne Gerard said...

The Ravenseyrie horses may see coyotes pass through their ranges and the occasional timber wolf, but they do not appear to trouble the horses. Even when foals were being born there seemed to be no worries. It may be that the predators recognize healthy, fit, wild horses are formidable fighters and so do attempt any attacks.
Thank you for your query!