Find a (wild) horse!

Note: This page was created as a “catalog” of all the mustangs in Spring Creek Basin. Disclaimer: The horses are organized by band, but bands are dynamic; band stallions may lose or gain mares, mares may end up with different stallions, young horses may come and go, and the bachelors are the most fluid of them all, ranging all over the basinΒ with all or some of their pals. Page under construction. Thank you for your patience.

48 responses

19 03 2008
Barb Headley

Awesome! What a super job you’ve done to help monitor our wild horses! It makes one feel like you’re right there beside you visiting the herd area! I’m delighted that I can now compare my photos with your “catalog” & know who it was that I saw.
I feel so lucky to be close to this rare & historical beauty of wild horses & have a chance to experience the thrll of seeing them. I hope they will be there for all future generations to enjoy! We’ve taken my grand children out there when they were visiting from Michigan & they loved it too. Actually all the friends we’ve taken have cherished the opportunity to witness a part of our heritage in real life.
Keep up the good work, I know you love what you’re doing & sharing with the rest of us. Barb πŸ˜‰

19 03 2008
TJ

Barb,
You hit it right that we all “cherish” the time we can spend with those horses! They are so uncomplicated and wonderful to observe. I’m so glad this blog can be a great resource – that’s what I was hoping!
Thanks so much! I’ll see you out there!
TJ

20 03 2008
Billie

TJ, you are doing a great job keeping track of your horses. It really comes through how much you care for them. Keep up the good work.
Billie

20 03 2008
TJ

Billie, thanks! I am so excited by all the interactions I’m seeing in the basin this spring, and I’m excited about things going on outside, too, with protections we’re trying to put in place. Our BLM guy is now aware of the USGS “WHIMS” system to identify and keep track of horses. Do you know about it? His research turned up the info that it’s used there in the Little Book Cliffs. We’re trying to get it here so I can plug my info in for him to use as an inventory tool.
We’re getting closer to baby season!
TJ

20 03 2008
Billie

TJ,

Yes, I do know the WHIMS system and use it. We also make a weekly horse list in the summer and do mare interchange. WHIMS is a pretty easy system to use. Holler if you need help.
Billie

20 03 2008
TJ

Excellent! Thank you! Our BLM guy has been in contact with Ron Osbourn, who says he’ll have a new version ready – at least for limited release – by May. The main thing I know about the new version (from Matt in Lovell) is that it allows multiple photos per horse.
What do you mean by weekly horse list? Weekly trips to the range, identifying each horse you see on each trip?
I’d love to visit sometime this summer. It would be great to meet you and be introduced to your horses!
TJ

20 03 2008
Billie

Weekly horse lists are by band. It is just a way of tracking them. I go to the range at least 2-3 times per week if the weather cooperates. I have a full time job too, so I only go a few times a week. But, we manage to see a lot of horses. Marty helps as do several other people. They let me know if they see a mare with a different stallion and things like that. It has the horses names, age and markings on it, so it is easy to carry with us to help identify horses. We do a mare interchange list just to see how often mares change bands (not that often usually). I haven’t used the WHIMS updated program yet, but the old version lets you put multiple photos on it too.
Billie

20 03 2008
TJ

Ah. Maybe Matt has an even older version. You guys are lucky to have the herd so close to GJ! Spring Creek Basin is about a two-hour drive from my house – just to get to the boundary – so I’m limited to weekend visits. Our herd does have a volunteer monitor program through the San Juan Mountains Association (Barb Headley, who commented, is a monitor!), and I’m hoping to get a little more involved with that this year. Maybe now that we have our list of horses (names, colors, markings, etc.), we’ll be able to supplement that with the information the monitors come back with, too.
We could really learn a lot from you guys with Friends of the Mustangs!
TJ

3 04 2008
Mustang Jack

Due to the arrogance and self importance of advocates in which they feel they are exclusive to educating the general public about the wild horse dilemma is precisely why wild horses will continue to be eradicated from the rangelands. Rather than pool resources and knowledge with people like myself you have expressed your self absorbed grandeur through the sensationalism of your readers. It is a shame that you have become so caught up in your own self proclaimed legacy. So go ahead and delete this comment. God help the horses with your kind of advocacy!!!

3 04 2008
TJ

Dear Mustang Jack,
Comments like those above are, in part, why I chose to delete your original comments. Whose self-absorbed grandeur are we talking about, hm?
I did not start the blog to educate “the general public about the wild horse dilemma.” I started the blog as a way to enable people to watch the horses of Spring Creek Basin – specifically – along with me and as a place to add their own observations and photos. I started my project as a way to bring change to the current system, but the blog is, simply, about watching the behavior and habits of the Spring Creek Basin wild horses.
Unfortunately, in singling out horses of a specific herd for discussion, my thoughts of grandeur don’t seem to rise nearly as high as your own.
About your comments, which did seem like spam because they weren’t even directed to the Spring Creek horses, I decided it would be more appropriate if I linked to your own site/blog instead. If you want to provide that URL, I’ll consider adding it to the blog roll.
Yelling at me only exacerbates the perceived problem of “the arrogance and self importance of advocates.”
TJ

5 04 2008
Mustang Jack

Yelling at you?Hardly yelling.It is impossible to determine if someone is yelling when there were no inflections expressed in my comment. I was simply expressing that your lack of reply via an email explaining why you approved my comment then deleted it was rude and arrogant.All I was asking of you was a little courtesy.I would have left it at that.ou chose to wait until now to give me that reason.Are you telling me that you couldnt give a reason because of reasons out of your control? If that is the case then I stand corrected.Somehow it seems that by the way you chose to reply on this blog rather than emailing me is a distinct indication of your sensationlized character.Per educating people about wild horses?I guess I was foolish for being presumptuous that advocates of wild horses felt compelled to educate those whom which are clueless about the wild horse dilemma.I pretty much summized that certain advocates had a personal agenda and took interest in specific bands or herds and that is why I didn’t exclusively refer to the spring creek basin horses. If what I have expressed regarding to my passion for wild horses is considered grandeur and arrogant,then so be it.I take this issue a bit more serious than most and look for no rewards or pats on the back.
Thanks for the offer and late reply.

12 04 2008
T Poling

TJ,
Why don’t we just call the mahonogany mare Mahogony. I think the name fits her just fine.
While we are at it , I think we should do our best to ignore the ignorant comments of some people that do not have the best interest of our horses in mind. Once again thanks for all that you do. Those of us who really love the wild horse appreciate it. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

14 04 2008
TJ

T,
I think that’s a great idea. I was thinking about the bay colors this weekend. The bachelor stallion Duke also is that wonderful, dark, rich bay – as is David, another bachelor and, I think, “Mahogany’s” son. Thanks for the suggestion! I also was thinking about names for the two rose-grey studs with Steeldust. I’m leaning toward Butch and Sundance. It’s reputed, I think, that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid roamed the Disappointment Valley with their gang back in the outlaw day. Butch for the bigger, coarser guy, and Sundance for the prettier youngster.
TJ

14 04 2008
T Poling

I think that Butch and Sundance are wonderful names. You know these horses better then anyone and I think whatever you think is right.

17 02 2009
Audrey Fitzgerald

Wow, you are doing a great job. Found the page by accident but it’s brilliant. I have alot of questions for you but I wont bore you with them now. I do think though that you are very knowledgable and I think you would be able to answer them. I would love to have all that information in my head. Keep up the good work. Well done.

17 02 2009
TJ

Audrey,
Thanks – glad you like reading about the horses! Please do ask any questions, or if you prefer, I can email you. Lot of info in my head … lot of love in my heart for those ponies. πŸ™‚
TJ

22 07 2009
Carol Walker

Dear TJ,
Karen Keene Day told me about your blog – this is terrific!
Thank you for doing this.
Carol Walker
http://wildhoofbeats.blogspot.com/

23 07 2009
TJ

Carol – Thanks! I visit your blog, too!
TJ

7 11 2009
Marilyn Wargo

TJ, having lived in the Mancos and Dolores valleys I am very happy to have found your blog and the great photos of these horses. Will read to fill in what I don’t know. Soon I hope to visit the area again as I am now in Pagosa. How many horses are in this group? If it is only those you list it is small. Hope to meet you one day. Glad you are here. Mar

10 11 2009
nicole vinson

any updates on Duke and Molly and little Hayden???

10 11 2009
TJ

I’m so sorry … I’m doing a terrible job at keeping up with the blog lately. I will have updates and photos of Hayden – he’s AWESOME! – but I didn’t see Duke or Molly and Liberty this past weekend. I did have a report of Duke from the previous weekend (Nov. 1) that he was circling Steeldust’s band and walking fine, but I also saw SD’s band that day and did not see Duke. About Molly and Liberty, the best thing I can say for now is that they’re missing together … Well, missing from MY sight; they know where they are. πŸ™‚ All the other horses (except for Duke, Molly and Liberty, the only other horses I didn’t see were the pintos, probably because of hunter traffic on the road) look fabulous!
TJ

27 12 2009
Rochlia

What happened to Hayden- I didn’t see him on the list- is he OK? I LOVE this site- it’s the only way for me to find recent updates on wild horses!

28 12 2009
Rochlia

Never mind my stupid comment about Hayden- I see what you mean now! I love his ‘sun worship’ picture-soo cute!

28 12 2009
TJ

That’s one of my favorite pix of him, too. πŸ™‚

31 12 2009
Nancy Roberts

All these horses are so beautiful. Especially fond of the Sand Wash mares! I love your blog, your love for these horses shine through!

2 01 2010
Rochlia

I think Bounce is my favorite :] He is SO cute!

2 01 2010
TJ

He was named for the extreme suspension in his trot. πŸ™‚

14 01 2010
Nicole Vinson

Hello i have not talked to you in a while. I got rid of the mustangs that i was working with i ended up sendinhg them back to the owner because he really started working with them. he will send them back to me this spring to saddle train. that will be interesting. All of the horses look great and i am so happy that all of the babies look pleasently plump going into this winter. I hope to hear from you soon. Five more months and i will be heading off to equine law school!!!

29 01 2010
Rochlia

Oh, Shadow’s so cute too! My favorite horses are like her, spirited, adorable, and black!

13 02 2010
Kenny

I am a freind of Nancy Roberts and I am looking for her blog on the sand wash horses.

13 02 2010
TJ

Hi, Kenny,
Here’s Nancy’s blog URL: http://sandwashwildhorses.blogspot.com/
Find it any time in my blog roll. She’s doing a great job!
TJ

18 02 2010
Terrin

Beautiful, I hope i get to see them someday. Absolutely magnificent!

18 02 2010
TJ

Terrin, I hope you get to see them some day, too! There’s nothing in this world like seeing horses in the wild and knowing all their ancestors have done for mankind. They are American treasures.
TJ

11 06 2010
Rochlia [Tracy]

They’ve all changed so much :] I guess they’re just growing up on us!

6 07 2010
Matt

I am wondering if anyone who has been watching the herd since before the 2007 gather can help me with a little information. I am wondering if there was an appaloosa colt, no more than a few months old that may have been involved in the gather. I was told that he was but haven’t been shown any paperwork to back it up. He is not freeze branded, but i am not sure how recently BLM started doing that.

Thanks,

18 09 2010
Karen Keene Day

Hi again TJ,
I just finished reading almost all of your documented horses’ information and descriptions, and photos of them. What you have done is amazing. I never cease to be in awe of the amount of material you are compiling. Is anyone else doing this at other wild horse preserves?

19 09 2010
TJ

YES! Matt Dillon at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center was my original inspiration to start documenting the SCB herd as well as start this blog. Visit his blog: http://pryorwild.wordpress.com/ And visit the center’s website: http://www.pryormustangs.org/ His work on kinship is nothing short of amazing! He can trace those horses back – most if not all – to the 1960s with information he has put together from various people who have watched the Pryor horses over the decades.

Also Billie Hutchings and others with Friends of the Mustangs in Grand Junction have done the same amazing documentation for the Little Book Cliffs horses and are my second inspiration, having attended their very well-run roundup almost a month after ours in 2007. Visit her blog: http://wildhorsefever.wordpress.com/ And visit the FoM website: http://friendsofthemustangs.org/

The McCullough Peaks herd outside Cody, Wyo., also has an amazing advocacy group, Friends of a Legacy, FOAL: http://www.friendsofalegacy.org/

And Nancy Roberts has started the process with the Sand Wash Basin herd in northwestern Colorado, where a Humane Society of the United States study of PZP-22 is ongoing with the help of an Annenberg Foundation grant (the study also is looking at the Cedar Mountains mustangs in Utah). Visit her blog: http://sandwashwildhorses.blogspot.com/

These are just the ones I know about specifically, but I think folks are working for their horses with very little fanfare in many places.

3 01 2011
MorganG

An extraordinary amount of work and love you have put into this. I haven’t followed this blog before but I certainly am going to beginning now.

3 01 2011
TJ

What’s the saying … For love of a horse? πŸ™‚ This blog is for the love of many. Glad to have you!

9 04 2011
LindaLMartinArtist

TJ I am having a wonderful time looking over your website. I see several horses I would love to paint for the Mustang A Day Challenge. I did have a question if you have the answer.. what was the reason that the BLM decided to send 4 mares from SWB to Spring Creek? Im very interested in that back story. If you have already mentioned it you can just post the link and I will read up. I find it facinating that they PZPed the mares then released them here. I think it would be interesting to know what they were thinking. Also there is a SWB horse named Nomad that looks very similar to Jif and Hollywood. Infact at first glace I thought Hollywood was Nomad. As soon as I get a few minutes I will shoot you another email in FB about what Im thinking for the Mustang A DAy Challenge.

You are btw welcome to follow the blog: http://MustangADayChallenge.blogspot.com

Also I just released a new video of one of the Kiger’s I painted for the challenge You can see that on the news blog link at the top of the blog page. Have a wonderful week. Linda Martin

10 04 2011
TJ

Linda – I loved looking through YOUR blog. Beautiful art and a fantastic cause and goal!

I have talked about the Sand Wash Basin mares, but in different places and posts and comments, and I don’t mind repeating. We do have a total of four mares originally from Sand Wash Basin, but they didn’t all come together. Buckskin Luna came with a dun mare and a grulla mare in 2001 when they were 2-year-olds. We believe the dun mare may have been rounded up and removed with no one knowing/realizing she was from Sand Wash Basin – and this is likely the reason behind branding them now. The grulla mare was rounded up during the 2007 roundup (Luna was not), but she was released, and I named her Slate. She was a very pretty mare, and her color, of course, was striking. She did not survive that winter. I saw her in December with her band … and when I saw them next in early February, she was missing. Along with the other horses, her condition had rebounded considerably when the population was reduced, so I’m afraid it must have been some kind of catastrophic injury.

From pictures I later saw of her and a very young Hollywood (a yearling, maybe), I theorize that she was his dam … and given his color – which is not “native” to Spring Creek Basin – it’s a very strong theory that one of those introduced mares was his dam (not to mention his confirmation, not like most of our other horses). I’m sure the buckskin, dun and grulla were introduced at least partially for their colors, but they haven’t had a lot of success in overcoming our dominant grey and bay color genes. This year’s will be Luna’s fifth foal since I’ve started documenting the horses, and only her 2007 foal (Kestrel) has been buckskin … then Kestrel’s very first foal (born in 2010) is buckskin! It will be interesting to see her 2011 baby. Hollywood and Jif were our only duns until 2008, when red dun Mona and apricot dun Kootenai were introduced with black-and-white pinto Raven from Sand Wash Basin.

They were all introduced to boost the genetic viability of the Spring Creek Basin herd because it’s so small – and the size and very limited resources of the basin indicate the herd size.

The introductions started – as far as I’m aware – in the 1990s with three stallions, all from Wyoming: an elegant grey, a larger grey with a Roman nose and a pinto. The pinto is singlehoofedly (!) responsible for the pintos in our herd today, and, as I’ve noted, grey is our dominant color. The pinto was found shot just inside a boundary fence off the Disappointment Road; the elegant grey was taken to Little Book Cliffs, where he was later found shot; the last grey was taken to a sanctuary and gelded … and bled out and died (I don’t know why the two grey stallions were removed – or after how long).

Then we’ve had the two introductions of three mares each, and that has seemed to work well. Because I have such extensive documentation of all the horses (the three most recent mares have known me literally before they stepped hooves off the trailer onto Spring Creek Basin soil because I was there for the event), further branding is unnecessary. BLM lost track of the original three mares (though I later saw a pic of the three, which is how I know their colors), and I suppose that’s the reason they branded the most recent three, though it was well-known to BLM at the time that I was documenting the herd – and that I would be there to document the arrival of the most recent three mares.

They did give these mares – with all the released Sand Wash Basin mares – PZP-22 (not native/annual PZP). I’m glad they did. They came to us in October of their 2-year-old year; one was pregnant and foaled the next spring. But I think it was otherwise nice for them to be able to get their bearings first in a new range without the added necessity of raising/protecting a foal. Raven did very well. It was also nice for them to wait till they were a little older: Mona foaled last fall as a 4-year-old, and Kootenai has not yet had her first foal. One of the benefits of PZP-22 and native PZP is that you can use it to let your fillies grow up and be stronger, healthier, wiser before they start having babies – I mention “wiser” specifically in this case because they left everything and every horse they had ever known and came to a completely new land, where they had to learn everything – where to eat – where to DRINK – where to seek protection from the weather. Now, we have very healthy mares – Raven is obviously pregnant and the healthiest pregnant mare this spring, in my opinion – who know their way around the basin (they are exceedingly well-traveled, even in our well-traveled herd) and are very well-prepared for having babies and contributing their genetics! πŸ™‚

22 05 2011
Garnet Pasquale

This is very, very interesting.

13 07 2011
LJBain

Stumbled acroos your blog and LOVED it. I’ll continue to stumble back again and agian and again…….well Thanks..and as for the other guy…DELETE.

7 09 2011
Arla Ruggles

Excellent work!

I document Nevada herds in Triple B, Antelope Complex, & Maverick-Medicine. Was referred here in a comment @ some older stallions recently taken … How did you get Grey/Traveler back?

28 09 2012
Marianne Mate

TJ, Hi, Marianne Mate here in Dolores. Love your blog…just found it via getting my NMA newsletter. How are you? I didn’t know you were down in Dissapointment Valley. I was one of the original folks involved in getting NMA to get involved with the herd here back in 1996/97. I’d love to come and visit, is that a possibility? I hope this finds you well! 882-2510

22 10 2013
Terri Remenius

Nancy, I have been following your work forever it seems, well I’ve been a huge advocate of as I call them “My Sand Wash Basin” Mustang herd for 18 years now… What I am in the middle of doing right now is I want to proudly wear my Carhartt jacket with Picasso in his lovely “dual” fighting form in a fight with another male, hair flying, beautiful image of him embroidered on the back of my jacket around 10″ to 12″ tall, with the words “Sand Wash Herd Management Area, Maybell Colorado encircled around the horses. Then a smaller Picasso with a couple of hoof marks smaller around him on my chest. What I’m needing now is first “permission” to use one of your photo’s, 2nd one of your BEST photo’s of him in a “brawl”, to let the embroidery artist use. Is this possible? Thank you Terri, (pcfd562@q.com) and thank you so much for your beautiful phtography…… also, is there anyplace that I can purchase a tshirt with Sand Wash on it and a couple of our horses?

2 04 2014
Suzie-Cowgirl Charm Gifts

I love the work you do, thank you!

2 04 2014
TJ

Thanks!

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