Somewhere far off, in the cool darkness of predawn on May the 6th, the eight-year-old Sorraia Mustang mare, Belina, gave birth to her fifth foal. Unlike last year's overly large stillborn colt which had obviously lost its life during a difficult delivery, this colt was a more appropriate size for the small mare and both were in top form and already with the herd coming in from the northwest sector perchance to score some breakfast oats from us humans.
Of all the Ravenseyrie mares, Belina is the one who seems to truly be proud to have a new foal to show off, and when we first saw this year's foal, he appeared to us as another amazing masterpiece of creation--taking our breath away and filling our hearts (once again!) with awe and appreciation for the quality and homogeneity of offspring the Sorraia stallion, Altamiro, sires with these mustang mares of Sorraia type.
Whereas Bella's 2012 colt, Gosto, came into this realm in perpetual motion, Belina's colt was all about composure, quiet steadiness and exuded an inner calm, like some ancient, wise sage in equine form. And such perfect form!--ever-seeming to be striking a genteel pose, drawing attention to himself not by energetic movement and verve, but by his natural, harmonious self-possession. To look upon him was to witness an inherent noble bearing of a creature already aware of his uniqueness and latent contribution to a high cause.
We inquired of him if he would like to answer to the name, "Fidalgo" and upon hearing this name he stepped forward and accepted with a slow, exquisite single blink of his fine equine eyelashes.
"Fidalgo" (pronounced: fee-daal-go) is a Portuguese word derived from "filho de algo" which in english would mean "son of some (important family)" and is a traditional title given to the gentry and nobility of the the Iberian Peninsula. It's Spanish counterpart (made more familiar by the Hollywood movie) is "Hidalgo".
And so Gosto has himself a younger brother to include in his always abundant playtime schedule, and Zorita's 2011 colt, Legado, appreciates another playmate as well. Please give a hearty welcome to Fidalgo and enjoy some photos of these handsome young males.
Playtime with Gosto:
Playtime with Legado, a bit more subdued due to the heat and the biting insects:
Sorraia horses in Europe and Sorraia Mustangs in North American may not appear to mainstream horse breeders as examples of nobility--having each a primitive, rustic morphology and controversial heritage when people typically favour high breeding and detailed pedigrees reaching back into dusty historical records--nevertheless there are two meanings for the word "nobility" one based on using the word as a noun and the other as a verb. Living with these archaic horses and experiencing their equine culture as naturally as is possible, there indeed is an essence of noble deportment among them. They care not for pedigrees (though in many ways, they have highly meaningful ones!), rather they care about those qualities that make up their daily lives and its an amazing variety of contrasts encapsulated with a definite air of "we are special". Whether they are dozing with drooped lips and slack hips or equipoised with alert eyes and arched necks...whether interacting with utmost gentleness or exploding with violent action, ever and always a sense of nobility vibrates from their core beings--not because some human derived title was bestowed upon them, but because they are survivors of a more primal era and bear within a quality that sets them apart. The nobility of these Sorraia horses is a well honed, empowered awareness ideally suited to a body type that can thrive in the wilderness and yet befriend man. Simply, by their very existence, these horses evoke something grand and magnificent and worthy of our admiration.