Three new faces

15 09 2021

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind – not all connected to mustangs and mustang endeavors (well, in my world, it’s all connected, really, but some of it was more tenuous than usual).

My Internet crashed (there may or may not have been an incident involving my tractor, the shredder and my dad … !), my ankle rolled (which may definitely have involved the tractor and me being in a hurry), which led to an ER visit (thanks, family, for being here!), a brace and crutches … family and friends visited … and left (LOADS of thanks to you all for doing what I couldn’t and felt like poop for not being able to do!) … and more friends visited … and I had only cell service, which, for me, involves driving out of the draw in which I live and up on the road to catch a signal – and thank goodness I’d just/already a week before replaced my phone (!), whose battery decided to give up the ghost (was it really THAT old?!) – and then there was a call, the most important call … which leads us to this post, to whet your appetites for another post. For now, a teaser and an introduction. (Whew!)

As many of you know, a roundup was conducted recently in Sand Wash Basin (a polite warning: no negativity of any kind will be tolerated here). Because Spring Creek Basin is relatively small in size (22,000 acres) with a correspondingly small herd (AML of 50 to 80 adult horses), in accordance with a recommendation years ago from equine geneticist Dr. Gus Cothran, we introduce mares periodically to help keep our herd’s genetics strong, healthy and viable.

A quick history lesson: In the mid- to late 1990s, three stallions were introduced. For various reasons, that didn’t go so well, though they contributed enormously to the current herd’s genetic and color makeup. In 2001 and again in 2008, three mares were introduced (six total), all from Sand Wash Basin, it being a Colorado mustang herd with characteristics similar to our herd. Now, in 2021, with our herd management area plan updated last year, which continues our PZP program and increased our appropriate management level (among other things), and the Sand Wash Basin roundup, it was time for another introduction.

We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to welcome these three young mares to Spring Creek Basin from Sand Wash Basin, to enable them to stay wild and to contribute their lovely and unique genetics to our herd.

Please welcome palomino yearling Rowan, dun pinto yearling Aiyanna and 2-year-old dun Dundee! The above photo of the girls was taken about 15 to 20 minutes after they stepped off the trailer into their new forever home in Spring Creek Basin.

Thank you to Spring Creek Basin’s BLM herd manager Mike Jensen and to BLM Colorado’s on-range wild horse and burro specialist Ben Smith. I have such enormous respect for you both.

Thank you to Stella Trueblood and Linda West with Sand Wash Advocate Team for picking these beauties for us and providing us with their names, ages, lineages and other information … and for being stalwart champions for Sand Wash Basin mustangs and our sisters in advocacy.

Thank you to Tif Rodriguez, who made the run with me to Sand Wash Basin and back on absolutely last-minute notice, and to Kat Wilder, who was in Spring Creek Basin to welcome us home and swing wide the trailer door!

His domain

14 09 2021

Maiku watches another band approach in the greasewood flats between his ridge and Spring Creek.

The sight of the lush galleta grass waving at his knees makes ME weak in the knees!

The Spring Creek arroyo gathers rainwater running from all the little arroyos in Spring Creek Basin and sends it all flowing out of the basin through the spectacular canyon between the rimrock ledges in the basin’s western edge. … The very edge of our beautiful world, as far as the mustangs are concerned!

Just a little wispy

13 09 2021

Mysterium and her mysterious, mystery fairy stylist(s) have undone her braids!

Dark girl running

12 09 2021

After the rain, the horses were greedily grazing on every bit of just-doused grass they could find. What an amazing time that must have been for them (let alone the human)! Then Cassidy Rain realized that Hayden had grazed his way across a road, and she decided that over THERE was better than over HERE, and away she went … glorious background the backdrop of the sound of her hooves in damp soil.

Shadow beauty

11 09 2021

Dear Shadow. Mostly, her natural and wild wariness can’t tolerate my even semi-close presence.

But sometimes. … Sometimes, I think she just stops a little longer than usual to wonder “what the heck is that two-legged *doing* over there?”

And then. … Then I catch her natural and wild loveliness. 🙂 Just for a moment. Just in a photo. Just in my memory.

Shy girl

10 09 2021

Come right out into the open, beautiful girl. There’s no hiding your coppery, glowing goodness!

Lovin’ the breeze

9 09 2021

When summer’s dry wind blows, often the best thing to do is enjoy the breeze – and that it’s blowing the buzzers elsewhere! Sweet Seneca knows the peace of that, sure enough.

A little bling

8 09 2021

Another couple of besties in the basin are Raven and Cassidy Rain. They’re usually pretty stoic girls, but every now and then, they like to spice things up. Cassidy Rain went with a sprig of greasewood. … I think it suits her!

Hair on fire

7 09 2021

Another one of Sundance, with his brilliant mane aglow against the dark wall of Spring Creek arroyo in the far eastern part of Spring Creek Basin. Really, it’s impossible to imagine “too much Sundance.”

Summer bright

6 09 2021

Summer is starting its slow slide toward fall. Sunflowers are plentiful, adding bright snippets of color to our green basin. Of course, we think GREEN is a color to be celebrated, over the drab brown from before the monsoons came, but yellow is pretty nice, too!