Kids and mustangs

17 09 2012

Today, 15 seventh-graders from Naturita came with their science teacher to Spring Creek Basin for a wild horse educational unit set up by Alessandra and Laura of the Telluride Institute.

Kiley Whited, our herd manager based at the Tres Rios Field Office in Dolores, and Kathe Hayes, volunteer program coordinator with San Juan Mountains Association, offered the students a fantastic hands-on activity checking plant inventory along a transect Kiley set up near the water catchment. Students learned about grasses such as blue grama, galleta and Indian ricegrass and shrubs such as shadscale and greasewood, and how those form part of the horses’ diet – and how BLM managers inventory the range to know the appropriate population range – appropriate management level – a given area can support.

The range is looking fantastic now with a lower population level after the roundup and less pressure on the range, despite a significant lack of rain this year. But the little rain we have had has really brought up the vegetation!

Kiley talks about vegetation within the frame along the transect with a Naturita student.

Four groups of students worked along four transects to identify and weigh plant material.

Painted fingernails and a mustang hoof. Kathe Hayes brought this hoof and leg found in the basin several years ago to demonstrate how veterinarians and others are learning about good hoof construction from the hooves of mustangs. The kids thought it was “grody” but kinda cool!

Some “juicy” words the kids used to describe the mustangs: Majestic (love this one!), pretty, field trip!

We had lunch near Seven, Kreacher and Duke, Hayden, Tenaz and Apollo, and also got to see Chrome’s band with little Kwana during our trip.

Thanks all around to everyone who made this trip possible – including the parents who transported the kids! Hopefully we can make this an annual event. The Naturita Colts certainly deserve to learn about the mustangs in their backyard!


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4 responses

18 09 2012
ospanhoff

Love this it is all about education

Sent from my iPhone

The key to winning is poise under stress. – Paul Brown

20 09 2012
Puller Lanigan

Fabulous!!! Wonderful field trip!

23 09 2012
Pat Amthor

How great to teach the young about the land and the horses! I haven’t heard the word “grody” since I was a kid and that was a time ago!

23 09 2012
TJ

That’s what I thought, too. It’s making a comeback! 🙂

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