Over the weekend, we took a trip down to Washington state to see some of the most amazing Andalusian breeding stock in North America. Ami MacHugh, intriguing and witty owner of these wonderful horses, kindly invited us onto her ranch to look at her breathtaking horses (which she, adoringly, calls “ugly” – more on that later), and took us on the tour of our lives over her acres and acres of land to look at horse after horse. Funny enough, even after seeing so many horses, we never got tired of seeing more!
Our first stop was the barn, where we took a look at a few fillies she kept there, one of which was SO big she was actually taller than me at the lowest point on her back! Karamba was quite the sight, and at only two years old, I’m not sure I could mount her without a ladder, even now. (For those who don’t know, Andalusians are a later maturing breed, meaning Karamba still has another 4 years to grow.) She was quite the sight, and I have no doubt she will go far – her height makes her extremely athletic and her movement is to die for. Her personality is also a plus, which is extremely friendly and a little goofy.
It was around this point where we asked Ami what she looks for in her horses. She explained that she likes “ugly” horses – she wants them to be big boned, to have obviously strong muscles, and to not be dainty, “pretty” horses. Although she said her fillies are slighter boned than her stallions, they are still extremely well built and will likely pass that down in their genes.
Her stallions were even more something to look at – she described it well as “masculine.” She had quite a number of the boys tied quietly in their stalls for us to “ooh and ahh” over. They were very well behaved, and their personalities seem exceptional – she described them as the “Labrador of horses.”
Next stop was the pasture, where Ami keeps her mares and foals. It was really neat to see how many she had all kept in one pasture! I enjoyed this part the most, because it is so wonderful to see someone who keeps her horses in such a natural state. These babies learn from day one the rules of herd behaviour, which saves the humans from having to teach them later. It also is simply more natural for a horse’s herd instinct to be kept together. What a wonderful way to raise horses!
Overall, we were very impressed with both Ami’s horses and her methods of raising them. She aims for the best in both conformation and personality, which is a common goal between her and Ledge End. We will definitely be going to visit her again sometime soon! Thank you to Ami and her horses for the wonderful experience.