Friday, December 1, 2017

Ravenseyrie Mares in Autumn

Zorita (Portuguese Sorraia x Sulphur Mustang) and Esperanda (Portuguese Sorraia x Kiger Mustang)

This is the fourth autumn the Ravenseyrie mares will be experiencing down on the Twinravens range in Tehkummah, southeasterly Manitoulin Island.  Do they miss living up on the East Bluff of Gore Bay were Kevin and I and the bachelor band of Sorraias continue to dwell?  We certainly miss them and treasure those days when our conservation efforts included having an intact family band of wild horses showcasing their amazing equine culture day in and day out.  Unfortunately we learned 360 acres is not enough space (both physically and psychologically) for more than one wild living family band of equines.  Perhaps in the future there will come to be a large tract of land somewhere on the island or elsewhere in Canada where the males and females can live together in complete autonomy like what occurs on Sable Island.  For now, we must be content with knowing we continue to safeguard these horses in non-breeding groups.  

Pinoteia (Portuguese Sorraia x Spanish Mustang)

I continue to reserve my precious Mondays off from work to make the hour's drive down to Tehkummah and visit with Bella and Belina and Zorita and Fada and Pinoteia and Esperanda and Altavida and Rija.  It makes my heart sing to see them in such good form and in an environment that is able to naturally sustain them most of the year.  Being on a limited range, however, they do need hay supplemented to assist them in surviving the harsh winters Manitoulin Island experiences.  In early autumn local farmer, Larry Cress, drops off large round bales of dried summer in the front sector of their range, while Kevin and I stock the mares' forest shelter sector with large round bales we bring from home.  

Until the landscape is deeply locked in with snow, the mares prefer to dine upon what their range offers them naturally.  In the photo below, Rija purposefully selects dried thistle stalks...a delectable treat, or for medicinal purposes...she did not say which!  (see her eating these prickly plants in the YouTube video link below)    

Rija (Portuguese Sorraia x Spanish Mustang)

The mares coming up from the back range for treats and a visit.

Rija (Portuguese Sorraia x Spanish Mustang)

Rija tells Akina to skedaddle.

Our Majestic Mares!  How much a part of the landscape they are!

In this video, back at home, our purebred Portuguese Sorraia, Altamiro and one of his sons come up to say hello.  How different their lives are without the presence of the mares...I am sure they miss them being on the home range as much as I do.