I grew up raising Quarter Horses. My dad’s family had bred and ridden Morgans. That was before there was an American Quarter Horse Association. From 1962 to the present we have continued to breed raise and ride quarter horses. Yeah, you knew there was a ‘but’ coming didn’t you, You clever thing, you. OK, here it is. In the 1980s my dear wife became fascinated with sidesaddle (since she had discovered that she wasn’t actually going to grow up and be the black stallion she figured she wanted to do something exciting with horses) We met a young woman who had Peruvian horses. The combination of sidesaddle and Peruvian horses took off, and in a few years, the Texas Ladies Aside, became the official drill team of the state of Texas. Their costumes were largely based on historical themes, so we found ourselves delving into history. Whereupon we encountered The horses of the Iberian Peninsula. There, in what was to become Spain and Portugal, were war horses, stock horses and gaited traveling horses, as it was a time before adequate roads, and carriages had come into use. We discovered that as early as Columbus’ Second voyage all three types of horses began to be imported in small ships across the Atlantic to be involved in the exploration of the Western Hemisphere, a previously unknown land. From those horses came the rootstock in part or in whole for Paso Fino, Peruvian, quarter horse, and even the Morgan. Tune in again next week for the rest of the story
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