“A Rapa Das Bestas” is a festival held in La Estrada region, Pontevedra, on the first weekend of July (07-10 July 2017) . It is an old tradition which has been celebrated at least since the 18th Century. It seems it was for a symbolic initation for the transition from childhood to adulthood.
On Friday, around 7 am, it is time to start going up into the mountain. Most people go walking but there are some horse- riders. They look for the wild horses which graze there. Their aim is to catch as many horses as possible and lead them in herds to an enclosed area, where the foals are branded by their owners, at the same time that their manes are cut.
The following day, a lot of people take part in leading the horses to Sabucedo village, where the “curro” is. This is a round closed place or pen where the A Rapa Das Bestas is celebrated. The “aloitadores” are the ones in charge of cutting the mane and tail of the equines. They do not use any help to catch the animals, just their bodies. Once the herds are in the curro, the foals are taken off by the younger aloitadores to protect them from any harm. It is then when the show starts.
After three days, the equines are taking back to the wild life in the mountains.
This is a very interesting festival. I found helping to lead the horses a very exciting experience. If you are a nature lover and you like walking and horses, you should take part in the event of A Rapa Das Bestas.