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24.3.13: Welcome PDF Print E-mail

24.3.13: Welcome to the Sorraia Mustang Blog in Thinking Horse!


If you saw the March 16th Thinking Horse news update, you'll have seen I have been offered the opportunity to work with true semi-wild horses - Sorraia Mustangs, to be exact! Very few of us, especially in Europe, get the chance to interact with wild horse of any sort - so I have set up this blog to share my thoughts and observations as I get to know them and work with them.


The posts here won't be training articles, those will stay in the "Articles, News and Quick Tips" section. Here I'll be posting my day to day interactions, observations and photos as a comparison with what one might expect in similar situations with domestic horses.


There's a great background article on Sorraia Mustangs, and on our group, in this article from Ravenseyrie Reserve, including some more details about two of our mares, Levada and Tocara, so I won't go into details here - I'll get straight on with introducing the cast!


"Little Spanish Annie"

... or just "Annie" to her friends, is a Sorraia type Mustang bred from the Pryor Mountain Mustangs in the USA. Born in 1998, she's the "granny" of the group, and is much the quietest in handling.

Annie seems to be the one who keeps her head when the rest of the world are losing theirs and is a useful ally if the others get excited!


"Little Spanish Annie" - or just "Annie" to her friends!



Tocara and her half-sistar, Levada (same sire) came from the Ravenseyrie reserve in Canada. Tocara had a chip in her left hind, and had an operation to remove it early in December 2012. That was followed by 3 months of restricted movement, so she lived in an enclosure inside the domestic horses' Aktivstall area. As a result of her operation, she had had more human contact than Levada and Alegria when the group was put together at the end of February 2013, and was more used to being haltered and led. She's more confident than Levada, and also cheekier! To look at, they are very similar, but Tocara is a little larger, and Levada's face is a little darker.




"Levada" and "Alegria"


Levada is Tocara's half sister, and Alegria is Levada's foal, born in September 2012. As a result of Tocara's operation and the building work still being done at the ranch, Levada and Alegria were the first to move into the Sorraia Mustang range, and were on their own there for a couple of months before they were joined by Annie and Tocara.


In the time they were alone there, they were very wary of strangers and would often hide in the pine woods when unfamiliar people approached. Alegria was rather bolder than her mum, and had an inclination to attack if she felt under threat, while Levada preferred to run. They were bit like a teenage mother with an unruly child! However, once the "aunts" moved in, discipline began to be established and they all began to show more typical equine group behaviour.


Levada and her foal, Alegria


It's been fascinating to watch how each horse is changing and developing as the group settles down.  There's a new horse coming to join the group in the coming weeks, then very likely a stallion in the late spring or early summer - so more integration and adjustments to the group in the near future.


I hope you'll drop by and follow our progress, and the ups and downs of working with wild horses. As always, feel free to get in touch - either with me directly at or at the Thinking Horse Facebook page.



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