THE TRANSHUMANCE

Life is movement. The horse is movement.

Grazing for walking and walking to graze.

Our approach is to accompany the horses and vertebrate the territory with transhumance, to save the forests of our country.
We have travelled with horses on their trip from  the Pyrenees to the sea in autumn  and from the sea to the Pyrenees in spring.
The project structures the transhumance of the Foundation’s horses herds, retrieving thus an ancestral practice almost disappeared. We travel through transhumant paths which have been interrupted, forgotten, silenced and broken by roads, highways, factories, municipalities... it is the memory of a way of living, of communicating, of cooperating, a model of sustainability, a cultural legacy and historical memory that we are discovering, in the exciting context of transhumance.
During 5 or 6 months, from  May to November, horses live in the Pyrenean and high mountains pastures , in November they move to the warmer lands where the horses spend the colder months, grazing there from November to May.
 
We make the Transhumance of Coast Horses to the Parc del Garraf by the cattle path of the Coast, going through Montserrat and the Transhumance through the cattle path of the Coast and through the path of Bonshomes towards the Alt Berguedà, crossing the Cadí to the Alt Urgell. And so we are spreading the territory and moving around Catalonia where the opportunity of new pastures opens up.
We have been pioneers and we are experts in reconnecting the horses with the natural environment. The horses of the Miranda Foundation, with the guiding and collaboration of Cavalls Guiabosc Baridà, have been the first to return to the cattle path of Coast, after 70 years without anyone has used it. Experts, scholars, heroic pastors and lovers of the territory have been recovering it stone by stone, step by step... a path that no one uses, it loses its meaning and it is no longer a path ... With our step , we've returned it to life!
The horse is nomadic
In winter, when the high mountain grass stops growing, we have to move to the low lands, to prevent horses stopping and waiting for the human to provide them food that they can not find at the alpine pastures. Respect for their needs and nature has made us look for and manage natural spaces with many hectares of mountain and forest to ensure that our herds can continue grazing freely throughout the year, and that they are self-sufficient and continue moving during the winter.
Nature has designed the horse as a being prepared to survive in the natural environment, and if it has a group, grass and water, it does not need the human to move forward.
The Miranda Foundation's horses graze freely throughout the year, while improving the territory, returning health and balance to our forests, and constituting a biodiversity agent, and a very powerful firefighter
We work with nature and not against it, and therefore the management of herds is done in the most sustainable way, respecting the family and friendship ties established by the horses, and saving the high and antiecological cost of the purchase and transport of dry grass to supplement their diet. Instead, we facilitate their movement and ensure their pasture.
Custody of the territory
In Alt Urgell, with the transhumance of the Sal Paths, we have grazed and improved for two years the Commune of Ossera, a village of craftsmen, by an agreement with the City Council of La Vansa. In this way the horses have supported the prevention of fires.
We have also grazed the sunny side of the Alinyà mountain for two years, thanks to an agreement with the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera. The substandard lands of Alinyà have turned green again thanks to the presence of these herbivores.
In the summer headquarters of the Fundació de la Serra de Catllaràs, Alt Berguedà, we count on 103 hectares of a very rich pasture of high mountains.
 
In the Garraf, with the transhumance of the horses of the Coast, we are pasturing 400 hectares of Mediterranean steppe of the Parc del Garraf, based on an agreement with the Diputació de Barcelona. The presence of these great herbivorous is of great interest for protected species such as the Mediterranean turtle, which can not prosper in places where vegetation is too dense, or the Bonelli's eagles that need open spaces to be able to hunt and feed . The horses keep the spaces open and keep the underbrush in optimal conditions, in this region with a high risk of fire.
At Garraf we also enjoy the 600 hectare cession, in agreement with private owners. Altogether, some 1,000 hectares of Mediterranean steppe with some very ambitious areas, which horses have conquered, especially when their presence is combined with a sustainable forest management. Thanks to them they are discovering and recovering old wells, lime kilns, old farm fields, paths and shortcuts.
The farms we pasture in Garraf belong almost to the municipality of Olivella, and a small part belongs to Avinyonet del Penedès and Olesa de Bonesvalls.
 
When we talk about dry land such as Garraf, where the food or water resources are scarcer and more disperse, therefore more space is needed for a smaller number of horses. Thus we guarantee that the equids can ingest the amount of digestible vegetable fibre that they need to stay in full shape. This condition forces them to move more, than in rich pasture areas where food is everywhere as in a large eatable carpet, and the movement improves their health. The driest terrain or calcareous rocks also contribute positively to the wear and hardening of the hooves, reducing the need of intervention for their maintenance.
We have seen how the horse, a hundred percent herbivorous animal, adapts itself perfectly to the poorest and less proteinous vegetation on the coast, and how it adapts itself to stays in very rich summer pastures.
Thanks to an agreement signed with the City Council of Avignon, we graze 70 hectares in temporary exploitation of the municipal pasture at the Font de la Rovirassa.
We enjoy a pasture of 500 hectares at the foot of the mountain of Montserrat, thanks to the kindness of the Súnico Family. In this farm we have, in an initial phase, a permanent pasture project for a group of equids, and also a space for temporary exploitation in Transhumance.
Recently, the Balance France Project has invited us to spend two months of summer on the 2,000 hectares of pasture that are managed by the French Cerdanya.
 
In total, more than 3,500 hectares of grassland for 50 horses throughout the year.
We recover the historical, natural and cultural heritage.
 
From the Miranda Foundation we work to create with this movement, the transhumance ancestral practice, a unique experience for the people who want to accompany us.
Transhumance also generates value to the territory, to the people and institutions that accommodate the horses (lodgings, restaurants, friendly roofs, municipalities, craftsmen ...), as it becomes an event and a claim for the influx of people and tourism .
 
We have recovered old paths, shortcuts and lost itineraries that connect populations and mountains. The horses’ passage keeps them open. This is the case of the road that goes from El Molí de Fórnols to Ossera, from Ossera to Coll d'Ares to go to Alinyà, or the cattle way of Coast that goes from the Pyrenees to Garraf.
 
Paths of Bonshomes and Trementinaires, from ancient transhumances, history-rich paths that connect nature and culture, territory, horses, forests and people.
Institutions and people involved in the Transhumance of the horses of the Foundation
 

Cityhalls and municipalities Friends of the Transhumance:

Olivella, Avinyonet del Penendès, Sant Cugat Sesgarrigues, Sant Quintí de Mediona, Hostalets de Pierola, Avinyó, Castellgalí, Vilanova i La Geltrú, Santa Margarida i Els Monjos, Canyelles.

Institutions:

Diputació de Barcelona, Parc del Garraf, Garraf Coopera, ADF Olivella, ADF Sant Pere de Ribes, ADF El Bruc, ADF Penedès Garraf, Associació Camí Ramader de Marina, Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera, Camí dels Bonshomes, Turisme del Berguedà, Mossos d'esquadra.

Friendly roofs:

Pere Garet (La Font Sostenible), Família Súnico (Montserrat), Cooperativa La Passada.

Accommodation Friends of the Transhumance:

Refugi Puigcercós, Món Sant Benet, Alberg Cal Gras d’Avinyó.

People:

Volunteer team of the Miranda Foundation

Project management:

Rosa Galindo i Marc Giró.

Guiding on horseback:

Guiabosc Baridà Horses.

Carles Lluch, Joan Rovira, Alfons d'Ossera and Roser Gómez, thank you for paving the way.

Thank to Aigua Films to explain our history and the territory by recording images of our first descent into the sea.

 

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