31 05 2014


Doesn’t Chrome make a handsome backdrop to a glowing bunch of Indian ricegrass? The rain has done wonders for the grasses in Spring Creek Basin, and a variety of wildflowers have bloomed recently. The mustangs reap the benefits!

4CBCH annual wild horse count

30 05 2014

On May 17, members of the Four Corners Back Country Horsemen came to Spring Creek Basin for their annual wild horse count. This was their 14th year!

This is an important, ongoing partnership between 4CBCH and BLM. In addition to counting mustangs in Spring Creek Basin and getting an idea of the makeup of bands, members traditionally complete a work project during the weekend. Previous projects have included fence maintenance, packing out old wire and weed surveys. The last couple of years, the Forest Service has sent a weed-spraying crew to the basin to spray some of the locations we’ve surveyed.

In years past, horseless members of the group would drive to the base of Round Top and hike to the summit, then use binoculars and spotting scopes to search for mustangs. Radio communication between horseback groups and the hikers would help with locations and identifications. Now, we have horseback folks and folks who take “horseless carriages” around the loop road in the basin to look for horses, completing projects on the way.

Again this year, we surveyed ponds for the presence of knapweed and musk thistle. Fortunately, we found little of either type of weed at all the locations we checked.

Between the riders and the drivers, we saw almost all the horses! And a few of the bands put on a show by being in close proximity to each other, which was great for everyone to see so many of our mustangs!

Pat (president of 4CBCH) and Frank Amthor were the weekend’s leaders, as usual, and as always, they hosted a wonderful event full of horses, stories of past mustang sightings and terrific food. A highlight this year was meeting a Spring Creek Basin mustang, Tipi (spelling?), adopted in 2005. He reminded me completely of Bruiser – minus the spots!

Lisa Cribbs, Travis, Cathy Roberts, Cindy, Adrian and Mikayla

Lisa and her son, Travis, lead the way into the basin from the campsite off the Disappointment Road. Travis has attended most counts since he was 6 years old!

Travis, Cathy Roberts, Mikayla, Adrian, Kat Wilder

Eva Duvillard and Tipi

Eva and her Spring Creek Basin mustang, Tipi. (Yes, the gnats are out!)

Adrian and mustang Reno

Eva’s husband, Adrian, also rode a mustang, Reno. They recently adopted a third mustang. These are true mustang supporters!

Cathy Roberts and Shenoah (sp?)

Cathy is 4CBCH’s vice president; this was her first count. Her lovely mom, Millie, came from California and joined us to see mustangs from the vehicles.


This also was the first count for Cindy and her daughter.

Mikayla and Saphira

Daughter Mikayla (sp?) and her little mare Sapphira made a great pair.

Lisa Cribbs on Bullseye

Lisa is a past 4CBCH president, and she has attended numerous counts – and has lots of great stories about the mustangs they’ve encountered!

Travis, Lisa Cribbs, Cathy Roberts and Mikayla

As noted, Travis has been coming to Spring Creek Basin since he  was 6. He’s now 20!

Bob Volger on Buckley

Bob is another past 4CBCH president who has ridden in the basin several times. He also has packed old wire out using his horses.

Kat Wilder on Kua

Kat is one of our NMA/CO board members, and this was her first count. It probably won’t be her last!

Thank you to all involved for your camaraderie and super enthusiasm for our Spring Creek Basin mustangs! We’ll see you next spring!


29 05 2014

Bounce, McKenna Peak

Mr. Bounce against the backdrop of iconic McKenna Peak, namesake of McKenna Peak Wilderness Study Area, which overlaps Spring Creek Basin’s southeastern and eastern edges.

Horsin’ around

28 05 2014

Chrome and Kwana

Chrome tolerates a little attention from Kwana.  And maybe not totally patiently. Check out those nostril wrinkles!

Struttin’ his stuff

27 05 2014


Corazon ignored his band to hang out with Seven’s band. Not permanently, of course. But he kept Seven hopping for a while.

‘Tis the season.

Pinto peek

21 05 2014


Pretty pinto Puzzle. What a lovely face she has.

Break right

17 05 2014

Corazon snakes Reya, Spirit and S'aka away from Seven's band.

Corazon snakes Reya, S’aka and Spirit away from Seven’s band during a recent visit. They went right back past the other horses, then settled down to graze nearby.


15 05 2014

Corazon and Reya

Corazon and Reya were close to Seven’s band. Copper has stopped following Corazon’s band and now is sticking with Seven’s. How quickly alliances (or interests) change.


13 05 2014

Chrome and Winona

Chrome and Winona on a particularly windy day, of which there have been many this spring.

We did get drizzly rain this weekend. It seems to have boosted the green blush of the valley.

Happy Mother’s Day – really

11 05 2014

Claret cup cactus

May you find beauty even in small places.