Endurance Riders

Endurance and Long Distance Equine Disciplines

In March I adopted a Mustang online. It wasn't just any Mustang, it was a Sulphur Mustang from a special herd in Utah. I had fallen in love with this strain a few years ago when I went to look at a Sulphur stallion for sale. They are similar to the Kigers and are 90 some percent pure original Spanish Conquistador horse. He is a silver grulla with zebra striped legs and a black mane and tail with blonde streaks. As far as I know, no one has ever competed one in endurance. I hope to be the first. I arranged to have him shipped from Utah to Palomino Valley near Reno. Then I discovered I could have him gelded for free. I had to wait 3 weeks for him to heal before I could go get him. By now it was early May. I went with a friend who had a stock trailer which we backed up to the chute while one of the wranglers shut him in to the chute. He is only 3 and 13 hands, just a pony, yet as soon as he was shut into the chute he started to climb it and got both front legs hooked over the top, like eight feet up! The wrangler just threw a loop of rope over his head and pulled him back down. My friend, on who's place I was going to keep him initially, said, "we're screwed, he can climb 8' fences!" I said, "don't say that, it'll be fine, you'll see." All the way home we were nervous. Then I remembered all the tall grass we let grow in the enclosure, and I figured that would get his mind off leaving. Sure enough, when we let him out into the pen he settled right down and started grazing. Soon the rest of the horses came around the perimeter and greeted him and he settled right in. Within a week all the grass was gone and he had to settle for hay. He was skittish, but was OK with me being in the enclosure with him as long as I didn't get too close. I made a habit of sitting just outside his pipe corral stall while he ate. After a couple of weeks he even let me stay in the stall with him while he ate. After another week he started eating hay out of my hand. I could just barely touch his nose while he ate. I tried approaching him in the enclosure, but he was not ready for that. The horse in my profile picture is his best buddy and hangs out at the fence with him a lot. Occasionally he reaches through the fence and nips him on the butt. I started reading tips on a website of a ranch that specializes on gentling Mustangs. One idea is to start touching him initially with a long bamboo pole. Eventually you can use it to put a loop over his head. My first try at this was met with much snorting and running around, with even a few bucks. I backed off and planned to try it again later. In the meantime my friend has reported that he sniffed his feet while they were up on the rail, and snuffled his hair with his lip. I am 30 miles away and can only get out there about once a week. I am on a search for a place closer to home so I can spend more time with him before he gets more bonded to my friend than me. I would like to get him round penned by this fall, and maybe even started under saddle. But first I have to get a halter on him.

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Comment by Judy Houle on August 29, 2009 at 12:46pm
I know Wars with Thunder Felicia. She was owned by Cammie Seferovich and was the mother of Sulphur's Anhur Maximus, the horse that got me hooked on Sulphurs. I went and saw him about 5 years ago when he was for sale and fell in love with the breed. Small world.
Comment by Kimberlee jones on August 29, 2009 at 12:24am
Nice to see another fan of the Sulphur! I am sure you are well aware that not horses on the HMA are Spanish. Just a very small group of them. Most are just Mustangs. However, just because a horse has lived in the wild does not take away their Spanish breeding. Of course, the Sulphurs have a history tracing back to the original vaqueros of California and proven through genetics and of course old style Spanish conformation.

Here is my website about this amazing breed: www.spanishsulphurs.org

I own one mare and plan on having a training and breeding program centered on this breed so that the extremely rare breed of the Spanish California horse does not go extinct. The Spanish Sulphurs are extremely rare and many people that own them don't realize what exactly they have. Thus just calling them Mustangs as though they were just another mixed bred feral horse. From the wild? yes. Mixed bred all American horse? No.

Wars with Thunder Felicia was competed in endurance although I am not certain to what extent. I have youtube videos of Spanish Sulphurs as well as Spanish Mustangs (different breeds). You can see them here: http://www.youtube.com/barbhorses

Do you have more pictures of your guy?
Comment by CG on July 15, 2009 at 11:22pm
Nice looking guy! Good luck with your mustang, I'm surprised there aren't more mustangs doing endurance- it seems they would be a good choice as they are used to rough terrain and most seem to have excellent feet.

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