Count day and a wee surprise

21 05 2009

Saturday was the big day, and it was a beautiful day. The wind was a little nippy early, but eventually the sunshine conquered the chill. Four groups of riders rode out to different areas, one group drove up to hike up on Round Top, and another group drove in to look for horses from the vehicle.

On the way to Round Top, we spotted Hollywood’s band with Poco and Roach in a meadow northeast of the second intersection. We stopped to watch them, and it got pretty intense over there – especially when Kreacher came up out of the trees. The mares never were visible from our location. We also saw Seven and his band at the crest of the east-west hill (oh, and I forgot to say, they were down toward the arroyo east of the road Friday night).

While hiking up to Round Top’s summit, we spotted one group of riders, off their horses. Then we saw the pintos way, way out down yonder, very close to where I’d seen them the previous morning. Each of the rider groups had a radio, as did one person on Round Top and someone in the vehicle so they could communicate about where they were and which horses they saw – also so the folks on Round Top could give a location of horses, like the pintos, and tell the riders their approximate location relative to the group.

One of the groups that went south saw all the southern horses – the pintos with all their boys, David and Shadow and Bruiser and Cinch. D&S and B&C ended up being the horses I did NOT see over the weekend. Another group that went south and made a big loop that took them up into the east pocket didn’t see any of the southern horses but then got lucky with a few bands gathered – still – in the east pocket. One group didn’t see any horses, but two of their members were riding Spring Creek Basin mustangs that they adopted after the 2000 roundup! And the fourth group saw a black horse that I think must have been Shadow and Hollywood’s band.

And then the ponies had one more group of visitors – birders on a tour as part of the Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival. Now when you can combine seeing birds with seeing wild horses, I’d call that a pretty cool opportunity! My plan was to take them back to the east pocket to have the best chance of seeing horses. We met at the water catchment, and I realized we could see Seven’s band from there, so I pointed them out. Then we found Hollywood’s band and the boys down on the north side of the east-west hill (and a group of riders heading back on the road). Then a quick scan up in the north hills turned up Raven, Corona and Duke. They were all considerable distances away, but still pretty good sightings for not having to work too hard.

When we got back around to the Wildcat Spring area, Hollywood and pals had moved east so they were fairly close to the road. We stopped before we got to them so folks could get out and have a look. Sage was lying down out of sight the whole time, and while we watched, Baylee laid down, too. They were really calm, so we saddled up (figuratively speaking) and slipped slowly by them. Four SUVs full o’ folks. Super slow. I kept watching the horses … they never moved, and neither Sage nor Baylee was bothered enough to even get up! I was so proud! Of the horses AND the people! 🙂

We got back to a little “meadow” before the little triangle doubletrack that leads back to the east-pocket pond, and Grey/Traveler’s band was back against the hill. Close for viewing, and also napping in the sunshine. We could just see the top of Terra’s head and back at Houdini’s feet. We couldn’t see Iya.

We went around … and found Kreacher and the girls off the doubletrack toward the pond, Bounce’s band just past the pond and Aspen and Chrome out sort of south of the pond. We stopped on the road and took to the shade for lunch (K, thanks so much for the sandwich!). Then Steeldust’s band members started to become visible at the pond. Cool!

While we were there, the rider group came up from the south and also hung out to watch the horses. Kreacher and the girls were so worried they ALL laid down! 🙂 (Obviously, they weren’t worried at all.) Steeldust and his band ended up moving into their meadow, but they didn’t immediately get up at that intrusion, either.

Pretty nice sighting for the birders and the riders. They left after lunch, going back out the same way so they’d see horses again on their way out. I stayed to watch the horses and take notes. I told the riders they’d find Traveler just around the bend. I spent another little while watching the horses from the Jeep, then headed back the same way.

The grey boy and his band were still in the meadow, a little closer to the road. Iya was with them (just checking) … and Alegre and Whisper were farther back toward the back side of a hill. There’s a little valley behind that hill, and there’s a little gap that comes out in the little meadow where Kreacher and the girls and Steeldust’s band were, right by the pond. Hmm. But Alegre and her band were behind the other horses. It seemed weird that she’d come up through them and through the gap or over the hill to the back valley … And something looked weird about her …

I looked back at the band and realized Two Boots was missing. Now what. She had been with the band earlier. I looked back at “Alegre” … But the foal? Do you see where this is starting to go?

I had to go for the binoculars. Holy horse. It wasn’t Alegre; it was Two Boots. And it wasn’t Whisper … it was Two Boots’ foal. Dear, sweet, 2-year-old Two Boots. Two-year-young Two Boots. Oh my goodness.

If I hadn’t gone back past them, I wouldn’t have known (yet). Remember when I saw the band the day before? No mystery foals. So there’s the background. Now some pix.

One extra

One extra

So at left is Two Boots. Looking at me is Twister. Baby seen through his legs. Terra and Houdini at right.

Visit

Visit

Aunt Iya comes to visit.

Twister, Two Boots and baby

Twister, Two Boots and baby

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Twister adores Two Boots. If I was a betting gal, I’d put money on Twister as the “teenage daddy.” No practical way to know for sure. They were almost yearlings when Traveler stole them and Houdini from Seven last March (2008).

Boogie-baby

Boogie-baby

Terra’s curiosity overcomes her certainty that she is approaching something scary.

Terra

Terra

No words for the cuteness.

Mama and girls

Mama and girls

How weird is it to have a baby two weeks before your baby has a baby?! Maybe not so weird for a wild mare, but goodness me. Iya, right, is Houdini’s yearling.

Up and at em

Up and at em

Baby finds the milk bar.

Uh oh

Uh oh

Whoa, mister. Wrong warm body.

Right body

Right body

He figured it out.

Baby boy

Baby boy

So he’s a colt and brown – but I’d also bet he’ll go grey – and he has front socks that zip up taller at the back of his front legs (if that makes sense) and hind stockings. His star looks like a backward apostrophe or speech bubble. A looker, for sure.

Birthday boy

Birthday boy

In honor of the colt being born on the day of the count, I asked P, the 4CBCH rep, to ask the club members to come up with a name for the little guy.

So our foal count stands at eight, with Jif expecting … and remember Kestrel? Now you know why I’m suspicious of that belly!

I’m a little nervous about Two Boots’ mothering skills, but a new life is always something to celebrate! And what a truly wonderful weekend.





Before the count, part 2

21 05 2009

The pintos had gone unvisited (seen from a distance a couple of times from Round Top) for quite a while – since the start of foaling season – so I decided to check in with them Friday morning. I hiked in at dysfunction junction, but they weren’t on “their” hill. They were quite a bit farther southwest, on a hill kind of above the road, as it turned out.

They’re all still together, and Copper still seems to be the dominant stallion. Mesa is still low man on the totem pole, so he gets the duty of being first contact, while Ty and Corazon freely (mostly) wander with the band and bug Copper.

Hmm. WordPress doesn’t seem to like my first picture. Moving on …

Mesa

Mesa

Look at his face. Does he remind you of anyone? Same color and same lack of markings, but the similar faces have had me thinking for a while that Mesa is Poco’s son.

Spook and Kiowa

Spook and Kiowa

Spook’s birthday was May 1, and Kiowa hasn’t had a foal this year (and shouldn’t). I love how shiny and healthy she looks.

Kiowa and Chipeta

Kiowa and Chipeta

Kiowa again (Spook behind her) and Chipeta. This is Chipeta’s second season without a foal; so far, the PZP is doing its job.

All but one

All but one

This was the first one I tried to post. Only Ty is missing from this picture. From left, Reya, Spook with Kiowa’s back just visible over hers, Chipeta being followed by Copper, Corazon with the heart on his side and Mesa at right.

Ty and Corazon

Ty and Corazon

My black boy Ty has a grey tail and mane, and his face is getting pretty “grizzled” as well. I’ve been calling him black, but he’s always had this not-quite-black look. He’s surely the darkest grey I’ve ever seen at this age – and I don’t know how old he is, just that I’ve never seen a grey horse this mature still this dark! They’re shiny, healthy boys, though, huh?

After I left the pintos, I stopped at the corrals to visit with the Back Country Horsemen early arrivers. As my visit stretched on past noon, the place started filling up with trucks and trailers, people and horses! The small contingent from the Mesa Verde Back Country Horsemen, based in Montezuma County, arrived, and it was great to see them. I never know how much human info to reveal on this blog, but T with MVBCH and P with 4CBCH are representatives to our Wild Bunch group. P and her husband, F, started the wild horse count partnership with the BLM about 11 years ago, and they continue to organize the annual outing. T really came up with the idea of all our groups getting together for the horses and has been a source of great information and ideas. She let me ride her fantastic pinto Curly horse last spring during a camping trip to the basin!

K with our group also came for the day. I think she’s a member of each group represented, and she organized work projects Friday. She brought her husband and a friend, and they and I and P and Claude Steelman (he’s already famous!) dug post holes and set posts (husband B and friend D), and we put our backs and McLeods to some illegal routes people have driven in. Claude pounded in three new carsonite signs, and K attached the “No Motor Vehicles” stickers. We also had more fun than should be allowed with such work, rolling rocks and pulling old tree trunks down the hill and making a former trashed “campsite” look as inhospitable to setting up a tent as possible. That was back in the Wildcat Spring area. The reclaimed road – work done by fabulous University of Missouri students back in March – still looks awesome.

Not a bad bit of work for a couple of hours in the sunshine and company of wild horses! On our way to Wildcat Spring, we were treated to an up-close and personal view of Raven and baby Corona when they popped up from below the road between the two intersections! K and P were with me, and we got the best view! Yes, Duke is still with them. I’d say he was “leading” the band, but mostly he just follows wherever Raven goes – ha! Hollywood and his band, with Poco and Roach (!), were up in the meadow by the second intersection. Baby Sage is such a darling, and I’ll have more pix of him later in the program.

There is quite a bit of water at Wildcat Spring (relatively speaking), and while it smells less than stellar as usual, there is water trickling through, although the actual stream bed is dry from just below the spring. 

We split after our work; I continued on east, and the other workers went back to the corrals. Steeldust’s and Bounce’s bands were still in the area of the east-pocket pond, but Grey/Traveler’s band was out toward the gap between Knife Edge and Lizard Mesa, so I went toward them. This becomes fairly important later on (that I saw them), but at the time, I just parked the Jeep to watch (no pix). Ahh, the sunshine was so warm and lovely. There was just enough breeze to keep the bugs away – I didn’t think they were bad yet this year? (I did remember, though, the next day at Round Top that we were battling them last year.) I snoozed right there in the Jeep, and by the time the back buckle of my visor was digging into my head too much to ignore, the ponies had crossed over to the greenery of  “sorrel flats,” one of the pond areas to be dug out this spring in the hopes that it will fill with water when the monsoons come. That’s on track to happen; we just don’t know exactly when.

So I went back to visit with the other horses and see how week-old Whisper and Sage were getting along.

Whisper and Alegre

Whisper and Alegre

Just a handsome bugger!

Charmer!

Charmer!

Daddy Bounce

Daddy Bounce

And no wonder! This is Whisper’s handsome daddy!

Gaia

Gaia

Baby girl seems to have gotten over her shock at not being Mama’s one-and-only anymore. Here she’s giving me the weird-eye. In color and markings, she does look like J and V’s Spring Creek Basin mustangs – which they bring back and ride during the count weekends! – but her “look” and conformation are different.

Nourishment

Nourishment

In this pic, you can see his not-quite-black sheen.

In-bound

In-bound

What had their attention? Steeldust’s band was heading toward the pond for their evening drink.

Shades of ... grey

Shades of ... grey

I guess Mahogany wanted to be part of the “in” crowd, so she gave herself a coloring! I didn’t really think about it until I looked at this picture on the computer and realized they were all “grey”! That’s Alpha beside her and Steeldust at right.

Mouse

Mouse

Lt. Mouse was actually first to drink, as the band milled around between the pond and Bounce’s band still just up on the little hill.

Family?

Family?

Those boys – that’s Sundance at right and Butch second from right – do stick close to Luna … The shorty red trying to squeeze in is actually Storm, not Ember. Hannah was pawing at the water – everybaby (!) knows it tastes better when you splash it a few times!

Storm

Storm

Here’s Stormy Jones trying his best to impersonate a shedding bison! But under that curly winter hair and mud, look how grey he has become.

Hannah

Hannah

Super model girl. 🙂

Size comparison

Size comparison

Check out the green grass, and check out the size/angles of Sable and Hannah. Sable was a week and a day old here; Hannah was about a month and a week old.

Brother, sister, Mama

Brother, sister, Mama

See, I don’t *forget* to take pix of Pinon … he’s just always around other horses! He had just celebrated his 1-year birthday.

Awwwww

Awwwww

Sable discovered mud.

Horseplay I

Horseplay I

Storm and Pinon. You can see Storm still has his red shade in the sunlight, but check out how grey his face is.

Horseplay II

Horseplay II

I saw this sign in a science lab this week at a local school … I smiled and wondered, when did “horseplay” become a bad thing? 😉

Mystery belly

Mystery belly

I’ve been ignoring this little bulge on 2-year-old Kestrel for the past few weeks, hoping she takes after her mother – butterball buckskin Luna – and/or that she’s really getting a lot to eat this spring.

Kestrel

Kestrel

Something happened Saturday to make me REALLY start to wonder …

All in good time.

Dust to dust

Dust to dust

After they drank, they followed the doubletrack right back the way they had come, back out to open meadows of green.

I headed out as well and thought I might get to see Hollywood’s family again on my way out. (Sorry, Aspen, but I’m glad he got his girls back!)

Just past Wildcat, I saw movement up on the hill that turned out to be Kreacher and the girls. Kreacher-feature was trying to snake them toward the trail to the spring, and the girls were oh-so-politely and resolutely refusing.

Kreacher

Kreacher

Taking a break under the scrutinizing eye of the photographer.

Mona and Kootenai

Mona and Kootenai

Love that soft light? The girls were fixated on *something* out of sight, and there are a lot of pinon-juniper in that area, so I wondered if maybe Hollywood had already brought his group to that area to drink at the spring. So I walked back and up the hill we rolled the rocks down and looked down at the spring, but there was nary a horse to be seen. I walked over and looked to the southeast, too – nada.

When I got back to the Jeep, the girls and the boy had resumed their dance. Boy insistent; girls refusing!

I found Hollywood and his lot down to the east of that section of road between the intersections. Poco and Roach still with them. The boys had a little tat for about two seconds, then settled. Far different cry than the frantic running, running, running when Roach was temporarily with Steeldust.

Poco

Poco

He’s looking at the band. This isn’t a good angle to compare him to Mesa, but I’m telling you, it’s there.

Roach

Roach

Looking at … something else? Poco and the band were behind him.

Sage, Mama and Daddy

Sage, Mama and Daddy

Invitation to play, but they weren’t buying.

Baylee was back to the left, so he went back to show off for Auntie.

And hes off!

And hes off!

To set the scene, Baylee was to the left, and Piedra and Hollywood were about the same distance to the right. Baylee was the start/finish line.

051509sagebend

And he rounds the bend, looking for the home stretch!

051509sageleap

And it’s a leap over four-wing saltbush on his way to the finish line! Can he keep his momentum?!

051509sagerunbaylee

And the winnah is Sage by a mile!

Too bad I don’t have a video camera – he was fantastic! 🙂

Baylee and Sage

Baylee and Sage

Bayles is a super auntie and babysitter for the young mister. He has just finished his race, and now he’s taking her back to Mama and Daddy so he can be congratulated.

Need-a-snack

Need-a-snack

Of course, racehorses need good nutrition …

Nap time

Nap time

… and plenty of rest. 🙂

Check out his dorsal stripe. He has faint little leg stripes, too, mostly visible on his front legs now. I’m kinda holding my peace on what might be his actual color …

Hollywood

Hollywood

Terribly concerned, the elder mister would raise his head to look at me for about 2.7 seconds – long enough for me to straighten my camera but not enough to do that and focus, too – then go back to grazing. So what you see is (mostly) what he did!

Such a peaceful visit – and entertaining!

Sweet boy

Sweet boy

Just the sweetest little heart!

And with that, I left the ponies and called it another beautiful day in the basin. My oh my. How can you not believe in the absolute magic gift of life seeing a colt so overjoyed just to RUN?! I do love these ponies. 🙂 I smiled all the way back to camp.





Before the count, part 1

18 05 2009

Every year, the Four Corners Back Country Horsemen, a group based in Durango, hosts a wild horse count in Spring Creek Basin. I think this was their 11th year. They partner with the BLM to ride out – and hike to the top of Round Top – to check on the horses and report numbers and descriptions. It’s a testament to their dedication to the horses – and to the fun they have with the wild ones – that they’ve been doing this so long!

This was the second year I’ve joined them, and like last year, it was a beautiful weekend. The count itself happened Saturday, but a few people were out as early as Thursday, and by Friday afternoon, the trailer traffic to the corral campsite was unlike that seen any other time of the year. Lots of folks this year, and I think everyone had a wonderful time. There were four groups of riders this year (three groups last year), six of us up on Round Top (including Jamie Seller-Baker with the BLM, who made a point of attending even though she was in Denver – thanks, Jamie!), a group of BCH members who drove into the area and a group of folks on a tour of the area as part of the Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival.

In spite of the major increase in visitors to the area, the horses were completely at ease (with the exception of some stallion- and spring-influenced behavior). Everyone was so respectful, and the horses took it all in stride! Wonderful experience! Not all the rider groups saw horses, but collectively, all the horses were seen this year! The people I talked to couldn’t stop talking about the horses – who they saw, their behavior, how great they looked, etc. Music to my ears to hear people so excited about visiting the wild horses! Maybe it’s a simple thing … but it’s not. It’s huge.

I hope everyone did have a fantastic weekend in Spring Creek Basin! I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Here are some photos from Thursday:

Kreacher and the girls

Kreacher and the girls

Kreacher, Mona and Kootenai were conveniently visible near Filly Peak. Have I mentioned the traveling these ponies have been doing? By Saturday, they’d be in the east pocket.

All together

All together

I had a report from last weekend that Duke had been seen alone, and Raven and Corona were with another stallion. Worried? Me? Nah. (Total lie; of course I was.) When I first drove in, I spotted a single bay horse up in the north hills – dark … looked like Duke. By the time I got around to the catchment and stopped to scan again, I spotted Raven as well. So I headed up that way. Corona was napping in a bed of globe mallow when I got up to their little meadow, and I watched them from behind a tree until she got up to nurse and follow Raven as she grazed. Oh, sure, I had confirmed Duke by then. It was just nice to watch them for a little while. This was taken as I walked away. Glad to see them all together.

Pro view

Pro view

Durango photographer Claude Steelman was in the basin for the weekend, and it’s always good to see him. Claude published the wonderful book Colorado’s Wild Horses last summer, which showcases all of Colorado’s wild horse herds (surely Spring Creek Basin is his favorite!). Late last year, he adopted a mustang colt, Pancho, from the Carson National Forest in New Mexico. “I’m not a photographer anymore; I’m a horse trainer,” he kept saying. I think the wild horses have spun their magic around dear Mr. Steelman … Pancho certainly has him wrapped around his hoof. 😉

Many of the northern bands were in the east pocket, enjoying the good grass and water source, and that’s where Claude and I met up. From the road, we could see Hollywood’s band – with Roach and Poco nearby! – Steeldust’s band, Grey/Traveler’s band, Seven’s band and Bounce’s band. Aspen and Chrome were in the area as well. The horses were fairly close to each other – Seven had his band the farthest away – beyond the pond, so Claude and I walked out to see what we could see.

We got out to an open area and stopped to watch the horses. Steeldust’s were in a fairly tight group, probably because of Aspen and Chrome (Hook?). When they started moving, Grey/Traveler’s band came around from behind them and toward us. We just stayed where we were and snapped some of the action.

Defense

Defense

At the same time, Steeldust’s band started to move toward them. This is Traveler posturing toward Mouse and Comanche from Steeldust’s band while the mares and youngsters stopped then went back the other way. (People from the Back Country Horsemen remember when he was so dark grey he looked “blue.” How silver is he now!)

Two grey make one red

Two grey make one red

Traveler, Houdini and Terra going the other way – other horses behind them.

Meanwhile, Steeldust’s band walked across right in front of us.

Mahogany and Sable - and Hannah

Mahogany and Sable - and Hannah

Hannah is about a month and a half old now; Sable was just a week old this day!

Mmmm - tail hair!

Mmmm - tail hair!

Cheeky Hannah is bold and fearless. She has a completely different personality than big sisters Ember and Kestrel. She’s very outgoing; they’re very calm and laid back. She’s chewing on Butch’s tail here, and he was completely obliging.

Mouse

Mouse

Who couldn’t love that face?

We waited until the horses had moved on before we even moved from our spot. We thought they might go to the pond to drink, but they were just looking for a place of their own, a little farther from the other bands. The horses don’t typically gather together so close like this, but they’ve all figured out the good grass and water in that area right now. The surface area of the pond has shrunk some, but it will probably hold out longer than the cheat grass, especially if we don’t get rain soon.

More to come.





Happy (belated) birthday, Pinon!

18 05 2009
Pinon

Pinon

With the busy-ness of last week and getting ready to go to the basin this past weekend for the annual wild horse count hosted by the Four Corners Back Country Horsemen, poor Mr. Pinon was forgotten – until I got out there and realized my lapse! And looking for pictures of the boy – by himself – proved so difficult, I realized I have many pictures of him surrounded by his family but not so many of him alone! I’ll have to think of that in the future and concentrate on getting some pix of the handsome boy.

Pinon and Mahogany

Pinon and Mahogany

I have many of the sweet boy as a baby. See how light he was when he was born? I put his birthday at May 13, and he was first seen by – and later named by – photographer Claude Steelman, who was the first to see him right before the count last year.

Aww, Mom!

Aww, Mom!

This has always been one of my favorite baby pix of Pinon – of any of the foals, really.

Happy birthday, shy boy!





Just say no more

17 05 2009

On Wednesday, May 20, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct a public hearing to discuss the use of motorized vehicles or aircraft in the monitoring and management of wild horses and burros on public lands in Nevada.

Please contact BLM to protest the harsh practice of chasing wild horses and burros with helicopters, often over exceedingly long distances. Please also ask that what appear to be no-bid contracts to BLM?s primary round-up contractor, Catoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., totaling about 18 million dollars (our tax dollars!) since 1996, be subject to review.

BLM?s primary concern in round-up operations continues to be efficiency, to the detriment of the horses? welfare. Instead of helicopters, urge officials to use bait trapping, a much safer and more humane method of capture. BLM has refused to use bait trapping in such instances as the 2007 Jackson Mountain round-up, when 185 horses ended up dying at the holding facility due to stressed immune systems. Demand that limits on distances over which horses may be chased be enforced, and that accountability and penalties be established for round-up contractors who violate humane handling procedures.

The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in the Great Basin A and B conference rooms at the BLM Nevada State Office located at 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nev. To make oral or written statements to present at the hearing, contact JoLynn Worley at (775) 861-6515.

Written comments can be emailed to: nv_gathers@blm.gov or mailed to: BLM Nevada State Office, Attention: Helicopter Hearing, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520 and must be received by Tuesday, May 19 to be considered at the hearing.

For eye-witness accounts of helicopter round-ups, please click here.

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
www.wildhorsepreservation.org





Gaining ground

17 05 2009

Public Lands News®
Published by Resources Publishing Co. • P.O. Box 41320 • Arlington, VA 22204. Annual subscription $287 for 24 issues and 10 bulletins • © 2009 EIN 52-13635389
Phone: (703) 553-0552 • Fax: (703) 553-0558 • Website: http://www.publiclandsnews.com • E-Mail: james@publiclandnewsletter.com
Editor: James B. Coffin
Subscription Services: Celina Richardson Volume 34 Number 10, May 15, 2009

Wild horses are gainers in Obama budget
Within BLM’s resource management line item the budget proposes a sharp
increase for wild horse and burro management of $27 million, from $40.6 million in
fiscal 2009 to $67.5 million in fiscal 2010. As PLN has frequently reported, the
wild horse situation on the public lands has reached crisis proportions with the
number of animals on the range exceeding carrying capacity and BLM unable to pay for
maintaining excess animals.
An Interior Department budget summary says the increase would “allow BLM to
vigorously pursue increased adoptions and sales through new management policies,
such as stewardship incentives and expanded partnerships with horse advocacy groups,
and to more aggressively implement population control efforts that will help reduce
out-year funding requirements for the program.”
But, warns the budget request, “The BLM’s latest analysis indicates that
program costs would continue to increase significantly in future years unless new
and innovative management approaches are implemented, such as a stewardship
incentive program and aggressively implementing fertility control treatments and
adjusting sex ratios of wild horses in Horse Management Areas.”





The beauty in the day …

7 05 2009

… is in the two new additions to Spring Creek Basin!

Alegre and Whisper

Alegre and Whisper

The lovely girl finally had her foal! Not quite black – kind of a smoky black – and I think it’s a colt. Huge star and a tiny snip. Maybe born Wednesday. Trots just like daddy Bounce!

Gaia, Whisper and Alegre

Gaia, Whisper and Alegre

Bounce was close; he had just returned from a little chat with wayward Aspen.

And … drum roll, please …

Hello, you!

Hello, you!

Hint: That’s Ember and Pinon in the background.

Mahogany and filly

Mahogany and filly

Surprised? Me, too! This girl wasn’t due until the middle of the month, but like Luna, she decided to surprise us early. She never did get very big in the belly, and she just slipped this little girl into the herd to surprise me today. In fact, because of the baby’s slight wobbliness (!) still and the dried blood still on Mahogany’s rear legs, I think she was born early Thursday.

The baby is a filly, and she has a big blaze, left hind sock and right hind pastern. I think she may stay black.

Seven’s band also was very close, and Ze is just a little hunk of stout baby cuteness.

Chrome and Hook had come over one of the Lizard Mesa saddles and were out in the open a little to the west.

Kreacher and the girls, who had been drinking at the catchment when I arrived, were over by Flat Top when I left. Those ponies are traveling. Looking for Raven? Just trying to find their place in the world? Sightseeing?

It’s a beautiful day when you’re blessed with sunshine and babies!