Water for mustangs

30 06 2013

Not elephants. Although, as this drought continues, it’s beginning to look a lot like the sere plains of Africa out here.

I call this photo “La Sals, Imagination”:


Whaddya mean you can’t see the mountains … through the smoke? Use your imagination. 🙂 Although Grey/Traveler’s band seems to also be looking for the mountains, they were watching Chrome’s band walking toward them on their way to the water catchment.

Smoke from this fire – way, way, way east of here – apparently has drifted into New Mexico then blown back north and west into Colorado. But it’s not the only fire burning in the region.

Earlier, Grey/Traveler’s band had been drinking at the water catchment’s trough:


Maia, clearly at her leisure, worried me; I thought the worst, that the storage tank had drained and the trough was empty, and she was waiting for someone to come fill it, darnit!

Not to fear.

Water trough at the catchment in Spring Creek Basin, looking toward the road.

The trough was full of water. Whew. (The big green tank is the storage tank that holds water from either rain or snow or direct-fill.)

Because of the drought, BLM has been checking to ensure that the horses have enough water sources, and we – National Mustang Association/Colorado – recently got the green light to deliver a load of water – 4,000 gallons – to the catchment tank. Donors and silent-auction-item buyers at the Pati Temple Memorial Benefit Bash, this is the first use of the money you helped us raise! Interestingly, the area of the catchment is used primarily by Chrome’s band and rarely by other bands. But some other bands have started to find the water – and the good forage in this area. Water is a good way to disperse the horses’ grazing and get them to use under-used areas.


Chrome’s band at the catchment trough, drinking clean water. This is an important water source because it’s the only clean source of water in the basin. The others are high in alkalinity and salt because of the basin’s soils. The dusky, hazy color cast is because of the smoke.

The temperature hit 110 degrees Friday. On Thursday, the high was 108. Smoke, wind, heat, zero moisture = ugh.

Cecil Foster, owner of Foster’s Water, to the rescue.


The storage tank is about 15 feet tall, so Cecil brings his ladder to access the hatch at the top. At right is the hose from his water truck.


Seen here are his water truck, the hose to the tank and the water trough in the background at right.


Thanks, Cecil! He also donated a load of water for the benefit’s silent auction. Cecil is a super nice man, and a friend of the mustangs of Spring Creek Basin.

Thank you, NMA/CO, for the delivery of water to the mustangs!



10 responses

30 06 2013
Prairie girl

Eee gads…it looks so beige and dry!! Seems it turned so quickly, too.
And those fires everywhere! Is there no relief??!!
I’m so glad there’s a happy ending to these ‘African’ images. The water tanks, troughs, truck and Cecil are a lifesaver!
Bitter sweetness. Oh, how I pray for rain.

30 06 2013
Pat Amthor

This makes my heart happy! I am glad the horses will drink and that it is clean! Yeah, NMA and Cecil! Makes my soul sing!!

30 06 2013

Bless Cecil.

30 06 2013

A little bit of rain (a spit, really) hit the basin and part of Disappointment Valley yesterday evening. That makes me hopeful for monsoons to come. Those rains will rejuvenate this desert!

30 06 2013
Puller Lanigan

TJ, how much water is required to fill the tank? Tell Cecil he is our hero. 🙂 And of course, thanks to the NMA and you and everyone else that keeps an eye over these beautiful horses and insures they get water. Love the shade awning over the tank to keep it cool.

30 06 2013

The tank has a capacity of 16,000 gallons, I think. I’ll pass all the thanks on to Cecil!

30 06 2013
Lynn and Kathy

It is DEFINITELY difficult to supply wild critters of all sorts with water these days – most especially here in the SW, but we all need to keep trying to do whatever we can. They need us right now – and we will always need them…

1 07 2013

Agreed. I’ve heard some New Mexico wild horses are in particularly dire straits.

1 07 2013

How are the potential mothres doing ? 🙂

1 07 2013

Holding on and holding out. They’re on their own (delayed?) schedule this year.

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