Spanish Mustangs

submitted by Kelly and Lana Anders – Blue Raven Farms 

In the 1500s when the Americas were yet an uncharted mystery, it was a race and battle for the land of plenty… on the backs of Spanish Mustangs. From the mountain ranges of Mexico to the treacherously soggy Eastern Shore, they carried men to achieve both great and terrible things. The sprightly Spanish Mustangs hauled fully grown men with all the supplies, weapons, and gear needed to stay alive through hundreds of miles in difficult terrain. They served with the same extraordinary inherent intelligence and heart you find in them today.  

   By the late 1800s the descendants of these men would be responsible for attempting to wipe out the breed along with the Native Americans. Cross breeding began and by 1950s the breed was almost extinct. In the late 1900s, further generations began the process of preserving what was left. A handful of ranchers, Native Americans, and very isolated herds were all that remained. When you really think about what it took in the days before the internet, coupled with the difficulties of remote locations, it took incredible heart and hard work for these conservation pioneers to persevere. 

 Today, in the 2000s, we continue the work of those who have devoted their life entirety to the effort. The Livestock Conservatory¹ lists Spanish Mustangs as threatened, which are “breeds with fewer than 1,000 annual registrations in the United States and an estimated global population of less than 5,000”. 

      There are several strains of Spanish Mustangs, all equally important and sharing the same foundation standards. Multiple registries exist and many of the horses are cross registered. Breed diversity is critical to prevent genetic collapse, and many programs are highly detailed scientific endeavors.      

What really, really sets this horse apart is more than their genetics or even their physical traits. Spanish Mustangs do have strong hooves, backs that are one vertebrae short, have shaped chests that give even more room for lungs that carry them easily with ground eating strides over hundreds of miles. They excel in endurance, jumping, working cattle, dressage… pretty much anything you want a handy horse 13.2 to 15 hands that you can easily get off and on while doing anything you need. These little powerhouses are smart, kind, giving horses that love their people and try so hard for you. You may have to earn that dedication, but it is unparalleled. These are the horses that were used to charge into battle because they were so brave, so responsive, so full of that fire. The very best Spanish Mustangs have Brío.     

According to Wikipedia, Brío refers to a horse’s vigor, energy, exuberance, courage and liveliness; it automatically implies that these qualities are willingly placed in the service of the rider. I’ve said many times, if they were a foot taller, they’d be in every big performance barn. People just underestimate what these incredible horses can do. 

Here are some of the Spanish Mustang registries for further reading or on how to get involved:

Spanish Mustang Registry, Inc.

 American Indian Horse Registry

Horse of the Americas 

Southwest Spanish Mustang Association

American Heritage Horse Association (AHHA) 

The Spanish Barb Horse Association

The Livestock Conservancy

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Don’t forget we have a Rare Breeds class in the Lockdown May Show – enter using the links below:

An introduction to the Morgan Horse

I was first introduced to the Morgan horse aged 12. I helped at the weekends at Ionian Morgans and instantly fell in love with this wonderful versatile breed. I have been around horses from a very young age, I have shown in hand, competed at local dressage, hunted, competed in driving trials, and even attempted show jumping and had a go at western riding but for me the Morgan horse stole my heart and has become my passion, they are full of can-do attitude and will tackle any task you throw at them!

There is officially one breed standard for the Morgan type, regardless of the discipline or bloodline of the individual horse. Compact and refined in build, the Morgan has strong legs, an expressive head with a straight or slightly convex profile and broad forehead; large, prominent eyes; well-defined withers, laid back shoulders, and an upright, well arched neck. The back is short, and hindquarters are strongly muscled, with a long and well-muscled croup. The tail is attached high and carried gracefully and straight. Morgans appear to be a strong powerful horse, and the breed is well known as a good doer. 

We have been fortunate to team up with our dear friends and founders of Starwood Morgans to continue their vision as they start to take a more relaxed approach to life and enjoy retirement.   Currently we have 5 Morgans at our yard in Kent and have started our own breeding program incorporating some great bloodlines that we hope will offer great versatility. 

We are very lucky to have the incredible CBMF Tipping point on loan to us. He came across from America as a 2 year old, this horse is a fantastic showman and saddle seat horse. This is the discipline he excels at and is naturally talented with a high step and head carriage. 

Our mares Kai and Shan were both bred in the UK. Kai has competed in local dressage and indoor driving trials. She enjoys a gallop along a beach and has one of the most loving personalities. 

Shan is a new arrival. We are still getting to know her, but she has the loving personality that all Morgans possess and we can’t wait to see how she progresses. 

We have Starwood Whisperin Jesse who is in foal to tipping point and has competed successfully thru the British Morgan horse society events.

Jesse working at home prior to taking in foal

And last but by no means least Ionian Xcell now 25 he is enjoying his retirement this horse taught me everything I know, he was the first horse i ever showed saddleseat, he also took me to indoor and outdoor driving trials, he loves to gallop along a stubble field and beach and he is my horse of a lifetime  

Our goal is to keep introducing this wonderful breed for the UK to consider. Morgan Horses in the UK currently compete in multiple disciplines including Eventing, Dressage, Pony Club events, as well as top level private driving.  

Ian Martin

Starwood Morgan’s

If you’d like to know more about Starwood Morgans, visit them on facebook

If you would like to know more about the British Morgan horse society, visit them on facebook

Ten reasons to love online horse showing

Online horse shows have become a thing. As Lockdown descended and any hope of attending ‘real shows’ dwindled the new age of online showing came into its own. I have been part of that movement with the Lockdown Show and I have a few thoughts I would like to share with you.

“Online shows are not real shows” is something I hear quite often. I agree that online horse shows aren’t traditional, but they are very real, just different! In fact I think they are new, progressive, and exciting!

Before you make up your mind let me share with you my top ten reasons to love online horse showing.

1 . Anyone can take part

So this is probably my favourite thing. A show for everyone! Many online shows offer breed and type classes as well as hosting speciality and novelty sections in their schedules. Whatever your level of expertise in the show ring, or conformation and breeding of your animal there are classes for you! From the total novice to professional, online showing has got you covered.

2. There are no practical restrictions

Online Showing has no transportation requirements, costly entry fees or restrictions on time. I think thats brilliant , as I myself am not a lover of hiking up and down the country with a fire breathing dragon in a metal box at 4.30am! From a practical point of view it’s a winner.

3. Online showing offers the opportunity to show under more judges

An increasing number of judges are enjoying the online showing experience. Technology gives you, the competitor, access to highly qualified, experienced judges, with impressive C.Vs from all around the world! Online showing provides opportunities for competitors to show under a wider circle of judges. Hey if you’re really clever you could even use this arena to work out the opinion of a specific judge on your animal before entering a traditional ring!

4. Points and prizes

Let’s be honest we all love the ribbons and the opportunity to bag ourselves a fantastic prize. Many online shows run accumulator rewards as well as offering beautiful rosettes, sashes, and prize giveaways. For this reason alone, I’m in!

 5. There is a fantastic sense of community to many online horse shows

These communities last much longer than show day and provide a space to share and celebrate achievements and all things showing with other like minded competitors. Its also a great way to connect with showing enthusiasts all around the world.

6. Online shows provide an excellent medium for education

Many websites offer top tips on getting started and discuss important topics from getting your showing attire sorted to how to present your horse or pony to the judge for the best possible outcome. I wish I’d had access to this information before I presented myself in the show ring in that pink tie!

7. An online horse show is international

Online showing offers the opportunity to compete in larger classes and to compete against animals all around the world. For our showing professionals and seasoned experts this could mean new competion, different opportunties and an international experience.

8. Online showing is all year round

Another great thing about online showing is that its not limited to the show season. Competions are held all year round so the fun never stops. You can show all winter without having to get wet and cold and hey you dont even need to leave the comfort of your sofa if you dont want too.

9. The two for one deal

If you, like many others enjoy all the delights of the traditional show ring you can enter your photos from a recent show day into an online show for a two for one showing experience. You get the unique opportunity to compete twice, plus the chance to win double the ribbons. I think that one’s a no brainer!

10. In an online show you get the chance to show yourself on the very best day

We have all been there, all those hours of training and preparing only to find your horse gets a fly in the ring and bucks like stink or they just wont stand still for the judge. Not in an online show. You can show yourself in your best light every time because you get to choose which moment in time you enter! Like the sound of this? Hundreds of competitors do too!

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you love online horse showing too? Maybe you are a first timer and would like to give it a try? If so, the Lockdown Spring Show is now open for entries. The links to enter are below……..

How to enter our online show
spring schedule
enter the show

Super Stars

Sienna & Penny Chase won the Interpretation to music class at our June show, and then went on to be Reserve Champions of the whole show. Their video based on the song Superman by Black Lace, was an amazing creation that was shared and viewed thousands of times. They already have their idea for the next creation for the July show!

‘Our Lock Down Show Story as told by Sienna (6yrs) and Penelope (4yrs).
We have really missed not having any shows or pony club to go to at the moment. Mummy and Daddy asked us if we wanted to do the Online  Lockdown Show . They explained it was an interpretation to music and we could dress up, decorate our ponies and have fun.  My favourite part (Sienna) was when I could canter Prince in my superwoman outfit as I love going fast . Me and Penny also loved decorating our ponies with chalks . Penny’s favourite part was giving me a lift on Bumble. We have had so much fun making this video and we hope you enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed making it.

We both also loved our Sash and Rosette for winning our class and being Reserve Champions… we did have a little fight over who should get to keep it, but after some time out and reflecting… we decided it was ok to share!’

Sienna and Prince & Penny and Bumble

Lenmar Shady Reflection

Krystle Shawyer’s picture of her beloved horse won the Horse of a Lifetime class at our June show.

‘Lenmar Shady Reflection best known as Henry was my horse of a lifetime for many reasons we had an amazing friendship bond together and we knew each other inside and out and we clicked from the first time I rode him for his breeder in 2000. I had him on loan from his breeder for a couple of years then I had the opportunity to buy him from her in 2003 which was amazing.

Henry made all my dreams come true in the showring winning lots of classes and championships over the years and qualifying for many major championships and was always placed he loved his job and always wanted to please the bigger the show the better he went he loved the big buzzy atmosphere.

My biggest favorite moment has to be qualifying for Olympia in 2014 as a ridden veteran and finishing 6th overall it was a dream come true and a perfect way to end our showing journey together.

Everyone who knew Henry feel in love with him as he was such a friendly happy horse with lots of character and loved to give, he preferred people to other horses and lived for his food he always made out he was starving. Henry thought he was the most important horse on the yard and got very annoyed if he wasn’t the first horse to be fed or turned out. Whenever I entered the yard he would always called to me, which I miss dearly.

When I got married in 2012 I knew Henry had to be a part of my wedding day as he was my first love and my husband knew he would always be second best to Henry so we arranged for Henry to make an appearance at my wedding reception so I could get some beautiful pictures of me sitting on him in my wedding dress and the photographer took some amazing photos of us, it was so special to have him there.

Sadly in august 2019 Henry passed away at the grand age of 24 and I realize how lucky I was to have him in my life for so many years he was such a special boy and my horse of a life time.’

Don’t Forget to Donate

Thank you so much Melanie Jane for getting in touch with the Hampshire And Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. We are so pleased they are also excited about our show and have added it to their events page ?❤️?
The Air Ambulance provides such a wonderful service for our equine community and we are delighted to be fund raising for them! ❤️
All the proceeds from classes 21) Prince and Princess and 23) All round Horse or Pony go to the air Ambulance so please get your entries in for these two classes!

There are three ways to donate;

1. Simply by entering classes 21 and/or 23

2. When selecting your classes choose the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance button to add a donation to your basket

3. At the checkout page tick ✔️ the box to add a £1 donation to your order.

Fingers crossed together we will raise lots of money for this wonderful cause

Rain won’t stop our fun…

We have had several people messaging us as they are worried about not being able to get new photos and videos to send in for their Lockdown Show entries, due to the wet and windy weather that we are having lately. The show team just want put your mind at rest, under our show rules you can use any photo or video clip that has been taken in 2020 for classes 1-20. The other classes state that the photo can be from past or present. As each of the classes will have a different judge from the previous shows, it is acceptable to submit a photo/video that has been used before.
So if your beloved equine is making it clear how they feel about the bad weather, who can blame them!!

Highland Beauty

Our Lockdown Show Champion for June was Lizzie Rowley’s charismatic Highland mare.

‘Rhinns Point Iona, (Iona at home) is a cream dun seven year old highland mare, who lived on the Isle of Islay until January 2019. Iona is kindly loaned to us by Angela Monaghan Macleod. We previously brought her brother “Rhinns Point Domhnull Hendie” unseen from her in 2009 and had a successful showing career with him, with his highlights being 2nd at HOYS 2014 & 3rd in 2013. Iona lived out as a “nanny” as she looked after the youngsters and she has a really sweet nature. She is currently at Sarah Field’s yard as I’m having to “shield” due to covid 19. Sarah is introducing her to ridden life and Iona is taking to her new role under saddle really well. Sarah has done a fabulous job with Iona so far and thinks she shows great promise under saddle for her showing career.   Sarah’s nickname for Iona is “ The GC” as she is Gemma Collins in highland form!’

Champion from our June show – Rhinns Point Iona
Iona starting her exciting new career

Dreaming of the future

Sarah Gibb won the New Forest class at our June Lockdown Show with her quality yearling filly, Ashley Daydream. She won a very strong class of 37 entries, filled with ponies of all ages. We asked Sarah to tell us Daydream’s story to date

‘Ashley Daydream, known as Dora at home, was bred by Owen and Val Dibdin. She is by Willoway Dancing Gold out of Ashley Athena.  I messaged Val last summer to see what foals she had and she sent me a few pictures through. I instantly fell for Dora and agreed to have her at weaning. She arrived in November. Dora will be for my daughter Jessica to show. They have an amazing bond already! Having the most amazing laid back nature, she loves lots of cuddles and can’t wait to come into her stable during the day to go to sleep! Jessica is hoping Dora will make her dreams come true and take her to HOYS!’