Hello Friends of Sable Island!
I am Rebecca, the summer student working on transcribing R.J. Boutilier’s Letter Book and sharing it on the Friends of Sable Island Society social media so more people can learn about the fascinating history of Sable Island. I will be making posts on this blog over the summer, and look forward to giving you all some interesting material to share with your friends about Sable Island. I started on Monday, and already I am blown away with how much I have learned.
Like many others, I had heard about the horses more than anything else before beginning this position, so when I came across a brief discussion of the horses within my first couple of days, I was delighted. The protection of the horses began in 1961, long before I was even born, so when I read R.J.’s ideas from December 12th, 1884 on how to breed the horses to make them stronger, I was very interested. This is what I read:
“Permit me to call your attention to the number and conditions of the wild horses. It is properly estimated that there are at least four hundred on the Island, and some of the outpost men make the number much larger. They have their separate feeding grounds, and gangs with a leader horse, and has been the case always. The consequences of this; interbreeding has greatly deteriorated the stock, and given us the present generation of smaller & weaker ponies. An introduction of a few larger horses of finer breed is greatly needed, and the matter should be attended to at an early date.”
In light of the many questions surrounding the horses, I think learning as much as possible about how our interactions with them in the past have affected them is very important. I look forward to learning more about how this plan, and the other interactions of R.J.’s crew with the horses, affected the horses and life on the Island.
On a closing note, as I mentioned above I will be sharing my findings on the social media pages of the Friends of Sable Island Society. If you aren’t already, you can follow those pages to keep up with the stories I uncover this summer.
Facebook: Friends of Sable Island
And the brand new Tumblr: http://friendsofsableisland.tumblr.com/
May the Sands of Sable Island find it’s way between your toes,