Wednesday, March 06, 2013
The Horses of Cape Bonavista
Until relatively recently, common grazing ground was found in most of the small communities of Newfoundland and Labrador. Horses and ponies, sheep, goats in in some cases cattle all grazed on community pastureland, ranging at will. If fences were constructed, they served not to keep animals in, but to keep them out of the immediate areas around the houses or vegetable gardens. Today, with less reliance on family farms and fewer people following a traditional rural lifestyle, that community pastureland is fast disappearing. There are a handful of communities, about thirty, where the practice continues and Bonavista is one of them. The community pasture is located on a small peninsula or cape, and a public road leading to the Dungeon Provincial Park runs through the middle of it. The area is fenced, and at the points where the road goes through these fences, cattle grids have been installed. Cattle, sheep and horses all graze here: the curious horses sometimes approaching people who stop for a photo -- like these three.