So there I was, a Brit in exile, watching your drive across America from my sofa in southern Alberta, and I have to say was drifting into forty winks (long day nothing to do with your wonderful series), when I heard through the bleary blur that you were off to ‘The Mustang Ranch’. My ears and eyes opened sharply and I paid attention once more and waited for you to be greeted by a herd of horses. Instead I saw you enter a brothel as luxurious as a shopping mall in Dubai and not a glorous equine in sight – only beds the size of my living room.
Why did the word ‘mustang’ grab me awake? Well, that’s because I have set up a small breed preservation project out here in AB of the Spanish Colonial Mustang horse aka the Conquistador Horse as these are the direct descendants of the horse brought to the New World by the Spanish in the early 16th century. As 2010 dawns I am in the process of selling up here and bringing the horses (+ two dogs and a cat with a gimpy hip – I know, other people collect stamps and thimbles) back to the EU.
I forgive you for not visiting some equine mustangs but thought you’d like to know about these rare gems of a piece of American history. This breed is critically threatened worldwide – less than 3,000 and only 1,000 registered. Wish I could attach our latest brochure but we have a website that is about to be updated http://www.spanishcolonialhorses.eu
Finally, I felt so very sorry for you when you were launched onto that horse's back in Virginia(?) and made to lumber nervously around the paddock. Horses are not just for riding – they can be trained for driving (pulling a buggy/cart) but the most beautiful way to work with horses is on ‘the ground’ and it is the best feeling to watch a horse work and perform riderless, unbridled and free.
They are extraordinary creatures and I just hope you get a better horse experience some day on your travels.
Happy New Year