When we reached the top, there was barely anything left to eat. The mares started descending quicker than usual, which means they knew where they were going: a place with enough grass. The only mares that left the path were the youngest, they still don’t know the way. Jaume affirms that, with time, he could leave them alone and they would come back down by themselves.
One year, Jaume’s father decided to sell all his mares because the price of meat was too low. He only kept one, Colomina’s mother, the oldest horse Jaume owns. Years after his father sold them, Jaume brought back the tradition and now Colomina is the most loyal of all the mares and the herd’s leader. She wears the “esquella”, the bell that makes the herd follow her lead.
“Ara aniré a amorrallà la euka”
The morralla is what Jaume uses to hang
the bell from Colomina’s neck.
This is the end of the cycle. It will start again next spring, but for now the mares will stay in the lowlands until winter ends. Joining Jaume has been an extraordinary experience and an opportunity to reflect on the value traditions still have nowadays.
Photography and words by Clàudia Grosche
Edited by Laura Beneyto