Return of the Mustang

We have a new young student here at Quinta do Brejo – a beautiful 5 year old cremello Spanish Mustang mare named Moon Fox, who started life in the United States.

Spanish Mustang Mare 'Moon Fox'

Spanish Mustang Mare 'Moon Fox' (image by Brigitte Blanche).

Belem Tower, Lisbon

Belem Tower, Lisbon (30 minutes from Quinta do Brejo) was made a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its importance in the history of maritime exploration, including the voyages of Columbus. (click to enlarge)

Like me, I’m sure many of you won’t be too familiar with the Spanish Mustang. The modern breed is descended from horses taken to the Americas by Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadors and therefore has strong connections with the origins of the two main Iberian breeds, the Lusitano and the Andalusian. In the twists and turns of American history following the Spanish conquests, feral herds of Mustang horses developed, migrated north and became extremely hardy in the vast wilderness of what is now the United States. They were prized by Native Americans, would play an important role in the shaping of the nation and are now an icon of America.

It’s interesting though to think about the strong links between the Spanish Mustang and those breeds that were valued in the European Baroque and Cavalry traditions – horses closely related to each other, living in worlds that couldn’t have been further apart. It’s also special to see a descendent of those horses taken by Christopher Columbus from these Iberian shores to the New World, now come full circle to live in Portugal.

Columbus map

"Columbus Map, drawn ca. 1490 in the Lisbon workshop of Bartolomeo and Christopher Columbus (click to enlarge).

Moon Fox has just been started and I’m delighted that she’s now going to continue her training for some months with me at Quinta do Brejo. She has a lovely temperament, moves well it’s a real pleasure to have her around. I’ll keep you posted on her progress.

For more information on Moon Fox, the Spanish Mustang breed and its history see www.spanishmustang.org, www.centerforamericasfirsthorse.org and www.cavalospirit.webs.com

One Comment

  1. As a UK Spanish Mustang owner I am glad that the breed ha finally returned to its roots. Let us hope it wil lthrive and prosper

    Reply

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