A Rapa das Bestas

Tucked away in rural Galicia, the little town of Cuspedriños is home to a special kind of silence, broken only by the neighing of its “beasts”. It’s a town of ‘aloitadores’- those who once a year round up all the wild horses of the region in a stone amphitheatre, leap on their backs and test their strength, body against body, till the equines are broken against the sand. It’s an exercise of strength and technique called Rapa das Bestas, which the locals have utilised for centuries to shear the manes and remove parasites from the horses, in order to keep the wild herds healthy. Accompanied by Diandra, an aloitadora, we explore this event that is as wild as it is delicate and discover the secrets of the rapa.


“I have no words to explain how important are horses for me. They helped me to feel free and in peace.”