How did we end up with 11 horses?

In the beginning, our plan was to have 4 horses and two smaller ponies. When we were settled in a place where the horses could move into, we started chatting to locals about where we could start looking for horses.

Pretty soon, we were standing in a field full of horses discussing buying a group of 8 mares.

That original group was;

Lua – a wildling baby, born in the field, completely unhandled and uncatchable

Paloma Faith – Luas mother, very suspicious about people, aggressive if aggravated

Lola Montez – uncatchable and shy

Zara – beautiful and friendly lusitano type mare with lots of visible wear and tear

Loretta Van Buuren – stunning PRE with a seriously dipped back

Bolinhas Pequenas – pretty like a picture lusitano mare, very friendly

And from another group, from
the same owner, we bought two more;

Tina Turner – a real scruffy looking palomino yearling, orphaned at a young age

Ellie Goulding – old gypsy cart mare, very friendly but very bruised, scarred and battered

Sounds like a great shopping list, right?? This is like a chapter from the book ’How NOT to buy horses’. I didn’t try any of the horses under saddle or have any intensive vet checks done.
After all I knew I was buying a bunch of gypsy horses, it only mattered what the horses showed me about their capabilities, not what the vet report would indicate.

Instead of checks and trials, we spent time hanging out and getting to know each other. At the end of it, I was sure that things would work out just fine.

Well, I also figured that since I only really needed 4 horses for light use, this lot would be great! Even if half turned out unusable, I’d still have horses to work. I just needed to retrain them, and we’d be well along the way! Easy peasy!

Later on, 3 more horses joined the gang;

Hakita – Daniels birthday present to Pia

Jennifer Lopez – a luso-arab who grew up in a barn with two sheep. Fearful, unpredictable and aggressive.

Severa – a rescued gypsy horse that was handed over because the owners couldn’t keep her anymore. Totally scarred from a car accident and very difficult to handle.

Now that our plan and vision has evolved and we don’t need the horses working for us as such, I have really come to appreciate what each of the horses bring to the table. They all have their stories and we are so lucky to have them all with us. These horses are with us for life, they are a totally irreplaceable part of the team.

Pia Saari is the founder and owner of Country Quest Portugal. Throughout her life she has gathered extensive experience with horses in many different ways. She has worked with horses professionally in riding schools, livery yards and racing stables. She has worked in horse rescue and helped numerous horses recover from severe physical and mental negligence. She has studied equine ethology and psychology, learning theory and many other subjects relating to horses. Country Quest Portugal has a mission and a vision to make the world a better place for horses - sharing knowledge by an online course is a very important part of this mission. The course is priced low to make it accessible for everyone who wants to learn how to better care for their horses.