Horse News

Help stop the “Shearing of the Beasts” of Spain’s Wild Horses


by Arjun Walia

Every year, hundreds and hundreds of wild horses in Spain are rounded up and wrestled to the ground as part of a Spanish festival that has lasted approximately 400 years. It’s called “The Rapa das Bestas,” which literally translates to “Shearing of The Beasts,” where horses are forced to the ground, wrestled and have their manes and tails clipped. Horses that are born in the year of the festival are then branded.

Keep in mind that these are completely wild horses in the mountains of North Western Spain, and multiple communities in Spain participate in the event.

Apparently, the first record of the festival was at the beginning of the 18th century. The ‘beasts,’ (horses are not beasts) were brought down from the mountains for cropping and branding. The event coincided with celebration, wine, parties and was primarily done for the maintenance of the horses hygiene as well as for keeping track of the herds.

The event takes place over the first Saturday, Sunday and Monday of July. Herders make their way to the horses, numbering in the hundreds and  divided into over a dozen herds. They live in the wild across acres of land stretching more than 200 km across the mountains.

We wont be able to stop this years event, but we can certainly use our voice and reach to stir up some problems.

The horses are forced into an enclosed area, where they are again, wrestled, clipped and branded against their will.

Putting (all animals) horses into a state of anxiety, where they are terrified and stricken with fear and pain is something the human race desperately needs to stop. This event causes great distress to these animals, and to think about what happens to them and how they are taken from their spaces of comfort is heartbreaking.

Again, the horses manes and tails are cut. Imagine something like that happening to you? That’s horrifying and disgraceful, and should not be something representative of the human race or human beings. Doing so also removes the horses’ natural defenses from various things, like insects.  Read the rest of the article here.

Take Action:

The event will take place from July 4th to July 7th. Please raise your concerns by sending a personal email to the addresses below:

The Mayor:, (986) 57 00 30

Tourism Office:, (986) 57 52 75

You can find more email addresses and information HERE.

Last year, over 500 horses were sheared, and in 2007 the festival was declared a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest by the Spanish General Secretariat of Tourism.

66 replies »

  1. Why on earth do the Spanish have to stand out as idiotic and insane. They have a beautiful country but practice extreme cruelty toward animals as fun. Will never travel there.


  2. Macho baloney…why don’t they just get over it. Whether it’s Spain, Mexico or Japan, they torture poor creatures to feel more manly and powerful and it’s just pathetic.


    • Thank You geri !!!!!! For showing and reminding us the real Freedom we feel through our Mustangs , I have witnessed this in Nevada on the Desert for many many years,,,,,,,,, It is evident and Clear this is what our mustangs must have and be given back to them…… This is true innocent FREEDOM precented in its Natural awesome state of being !!!!! !!!!!!!!!!! Thank You Geri, for making my Independence Day Real !!!!!!!


    • This comment is exactly what it is about. WE humans are made in God’s image and I don’t think we are living up to that gift. Never stop believing or hoping for change of this abuse to horses.


  3. What is it with Spain and cruelty to animals? I don’t care if it’s part of the “culture” it’s just plain cruelty!


  4. Sick culture with some sick ideas will never go there even if I wanted to see the country. Those tourists there to watch as well as participants should be the ones in the enclosure to be branded as f…..idiots!


  5. The Wild Mustangs are so completely perfect in every way, created with Love , the most beautiful love filled gift ever recieved , and given Understanding, and healing, also so many attributes that it would be impossible to type them all out here, and there is no need to, everyone here is so very aware…………. of this fact !!! obviously it is hard to convience Stupid or change stupids creed ridden minds……………………………………..


  6. Why is it that EVERY festival in Spain involves cruelty to animals? I will never, ever travel to Spain or purchase anything that’s identified as coming from Spain. The only kind of tourists who want to see the many cruelties you inflict on innocent beasts are almost as monstrous as the Spanish officials and the Spanish people themselves who “celebrate” them. ALL of Spain needs to repudiate all the many tortures and cruelties you practice and celebrate in your so-called “festivals.” End it all NOW.


  7. Please stop them from tagging and curtibg their hair and tails. Stop doing this to horses it is crul and mean!
    Thsnk you, Cindy Arnett


  8. I am considering to travel to north of spain and do what I Can do stop this freaking mess. Can’t you do a organized trip for thou who want’s to fight for this kindly animals?


  9. Omg !! Are they living in the barbaric age ?
    Are they even humans to do such a thing ?
    Sick country !! Pls Hv compassion humanity towards animals. They Hv a life like you n me. Why do it in the voiceless ? Big bully n shame in these countries who do such evil things.


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