Merry Christmas!

24 12 2010

I wish all of you – and all of our wild and beautiful mustangs – a very merry Christmas. Peace on Earth is not too much to wish for. It’s not too much to hope for. It’s not too much for the horses and all creatures to ask of us.

May we all enjoy a little peace on the Earth, wherever we call home.

Merry Christmas. 🙂

Safe travels

22 12 2010

To everyone traveling to spend Christmas with family, friends and loved ones, please be safe and have a very merry Christmas!

Beautiful Girl(s)

19 12 2010

Through this blog, I’ve been blessed to come into contact with mustang lovers all across the country and the world. That has been as gratifying to me as my journey with the horses themselves – and I’ve probably learned just as much!

I’ve known about Linda’s “Beautiful Mustang” blog for a while now (it’s linked to the right under my blog roll), but the calendar posts brought us in closer contact – particularly when she mentioned she was going to do a post about PZP. Linda adopted her mustang Beautiful Girl as a yearling after she was rounded up with her mother from Beatty’s Butte, Oregon, and her blog relates her journey with this feisty, beautiful girl and other paths along the way – such as her cool Irish wolfhound and the other horses and goats and family she shares her life with!

There’s a lot of information out about PZP (sometimes confused with PZP-22) – and about fertility control in general. I’ve been sitting on a draft post about fertility control and some misconceptions I’ve read for about two months now. It’s a big issue, and the post, while longer than most I write, doesn’t begin to cover it all. I worry about what I’ve left out as much as I wonder how people will take what I’ve written – knocking down misconceptions and outright untruths about PZP and fertility control that some have come to see as irrefutable fact.

So I got pretty excited when Linda proposed a Q&A on her blog about PZP and fertility control (native PZP is not the same as PZP-22). She emailed me six questions, and it took me a long, full day to answer them (lucky I got snowed out of the basin that day!). She has Part I up on her blog now along with some pictures that help illustrate it. These are the questions she asked:

1.) Can you tell us how you became interested in Mustangs and a little about the herd you document?
2.) You’ve said that  you’d advocate the use of PZP to control the growth of Mustang herds, can you tell us why you’ve come to that decision?
3.) From your observations and knowledge, does PZP change the behaviors of wild horses?
4.) Your organization has submitted a plan to the BLM, can you give us the highlights of that plan?
5.) What are the down sides, if any, to using PZP—in your personal assessment?
6.) Do you have any unanswered questions about it?

Like I told Linda, I am not a scientifically “knighted” expert about PZP or fertility control. I don’t have letters before or after my name. But with a specific herd that I advocate for, I decided it was in their best interests for me to learn as much as I could – just like the decision I made to document them. Lots of people have put up information about PZP that seems reasonable and logical and workable … and is perfectly NOT suited to reality. I can’t tell you that *I* know what I’m talking about (I can – you don’t have to believe me). I have cited scientific information researched by people who DO have lots of letters before and after their names.

But I have not yet used PZP, and although PZP-22 was given to eight mares in or brought to Spring Creek Basin, that’s a pretty small “research pool.” (And of the five SCB mares that got the PZP-22 at the end of the 2007 roundup, three are surviving.) I can tell you only what I know (from training and my own reading/research and observations of “my” wild horses) and what other people have taught me. I believe it to be reasonable. I believe myself to be reasonable. I am incredibly emotionally invested in these mustangs (possibly the understatement of the year), but I am also realistic. We’ll have a roundup next fall. I will HATE it, but I recognize the necessity of it.

I absolutely encourage everyone who reads this to READ, RESEARCH, DISCOVER, ASK QUESTIONS! Of me, of actual experts – and make your opinions accordingly. The more that’s asked, the more that’s learned. You may not agree with me, but you’ll have the information to make an informed decision.

And thank you, to a mustang angel in Washington, for giving me another forum to add to the discussion. 🙂


19 12 2010

Rio  was following mama Two Boots (that’s her tail at left), paused to check out Chrome, who raised his head up over Rio’s head and neck when he walked right in front of him – then stopped. Solid Chrome just let his chin rest on Rio’s back and continued his nap. I love these little moments that show stallions  involved with their families – not just fighters or stand-offish protectors. Later, with Hollywood’s band, they were grazing around … then I noticed Piedra had stopped grazing and walked back to where Hollywood was standing to nap with him. Companionable in close proximity. Pretty soon, the others came back and gathered close for a group nap. Comanche’s – very nearby – also stopped to nap. The funniest thing was at one point watching them start to raise and turn their heads to look up the hill – out to my left. Sage appeared over the hill, looking at ME … I was singing Christmas carols while they napped, and he came to investigate. 🙂 Have you noticed that “Silent Night” has a lullaby quality?

Jif and Chrome, sharing their own companionable nap.

Two Boots taking a break from grazing to give Rio a snack.

Handsome Hayden napped a short distance away during most of my visit. Such a quiet, laid back boy. Like his stepdaddy, not much seems to ruffle him.

And the winner is …

17 12 2010

Prairie Wind Lady!

I took pix of the drawing that I’ll put up later, but the reality of life caused a little later drawing that I had planned, so I wanted to get the announcement out there.

Thank you to everyone for going through all the photos in all the months and choosing your favorites! You did a fantastic job!

Prairie Wind Lady, I’ll email you for your mailing address. 🙂 Congratulations!!

Update with pic:

Thank you to my co-worker Katie, who pulled the name out of the basket!

Catching up

16 12 2010

You’ve been working hard to select photos the last week or so, now I have some new photos to share of gorgeous ponies!

Taken last week – hasn’t Puzzle grown?!

Aw, Mom!

Maiku and Kiowa

Checking out a tendril of mama’s mane.

Today … sweet Chrome and baby Rio


He makes me smile. 🙂

2010 Spring Creek Basin calendar

15 12 2010

THANK YOU ALL so very much for helping me choose the photos for my 2010 calendar featuring the mustangs of Spring Creek Basin! Every vote and comment is treasured because, after all, these aren’t just photos, they’re captures of a moment in time of these very special horses. I’d put them all in if I could!

January - Kiowa & Milagro

February - Cuatro & Hayden

March - Kestrel & Ember

April - Bounce

May - Kestrel & Winona

June - David

July - Hayden

August - Hollywood's band

September - Seven

October - Duke

November - Hook's band, La Sal Mountains

December - Jif & Hayden

Cover - Grey/Traveler

This was really tough, and I appreciate the time and consideration you all took to make your choices! There was one last-minute tie for August – I broke it in favor of Hook’s band. Several of the choices won by just one vote. I particularly appreciate the difficulty of the September choice. While Seven earned the nod there, the picture of Maiku, Spook and Chipeta garnered a lot of votes, so if you win the calendar or order one, I’ll include a 4×6 print of that photo, too, if you want it!

Note: All the photos will be 4×6 inches (some of the photos were cropped as 5×7 for the blog – or a “custom” crop, such as the one with Hook’s band against the mountains).

THANK YOU for your choices! And Friday, I’ll  have the winner of a calendar featuring the photos you chose!


15 12 2010

Just a reminder that today is the deadline for votes! I’m headed out to visit the horses under threat of snow, and voting will close when I get back – which ought to be about two hours after sunset, Mountain time – unless it blizzards!

Again, thank you to everyone who has voted and commented and expressed your interest in these wonderful wild ones!

Calendar – review

13 12 2010

Thank you all so very much for all your attention and votes and reasons for choosing and stories about the horses you’ve met! I love to know what you love about the horses!

I’m going to list the choices by name just to see where we are. Wednesday evening, I’ll make a final tally and list the winners with the photos! Some new names are still popping up to vote – you have to actually vote to be counted (no waffling – you know who you are! :)). Votes will close Wednesday, and my friend will draw a name Friday – because that’s when I’ll be close to a friend who can draw!

January – Kiowa & Milagro by a mile

February – Cuatro & Hayden by a mile

March – Kestrel & Ember; Iya & Baylee fairly close second

April – Houdini & Gemma very close over Bounce

May – Kestrel & Winona very close over Two Boots & Rio and Tenaz

June – David, sky very close over Liberty, Gaia & Whisper

July – Hayden by a mile

* August – Hollywood’s band tied with Gideon & Winona; Chrome & 2B and Duke both close behind

September – see my dilemma

October – Duke very close over Hook

November Hook’s, mountains by a mile

December – Jif & Hayden, unanimously!

cover – Grey/Traveler pretty close over Seven 🙂

Calendar – September, revisited

13 12 2010

Wow! You all have made excellent choices, and for most of the months, a clear winner has emerged. I’m going to list the highest-rated choices in a  minute, but let’s talk about September.

The image of Maiku, Spook and Chipeta got the most votes by far, but Grey/Traveler is the clear choice for the cover, so I need your thoughts:

For September:

Maiku, Spook & Chipeta




I already know which way I’m leaning here, but you did vote originally! 🙂