More horses then you can count!
As promised, I wanted to continue the blogging from my Sand Wash Basin trip, but I have been busy with painting and music...finally, I am making the time to get posting #2 of the three I will post from my trip. Outside of the incredible experience of viewing mustangs wild and on the range, there was another event over the mothers day weekend trip, The Sombrero Horse Drive. This is an event that has been happening for well over 40 years in a little community called 'Maybell' just outside of the SWB area. The Sombrero horses are domestic, though we did see a few 'tatooed' BLM mustangs in the herd also carrying the 'Sombrero brand' which typically looks like a sombrero hat on the left rear hip of each horse owned by this ranching organization. The Sombrero horses are 'wintered' on land adjacent to the the SWB HMA (Herd Management Area). For over 40 years every spring the Sombrero horses are rounded up by horseback and driven through the town of Maybell about 20 miles to land owned by the Sombrero Ranch, to be counted, sorted and seperated and put back to work at riding stables all across the west until the next winter season of rest. In our lifetime, I dont think there will be another place to see the number of horses rounded up all at one time, unless of course you attend a BLM wild horse round up over this summer as they will be 'gathering' well over 1200 wild mustangs in Wyoming alone this July. Unfortunately the wild mustangs will be rounded up by helicopter. Quiet a controversial event as it is foaling season and the stress related to helicopter roundups will cause much damage to many of these young foals during this time of year. It was quiet the adreniline rush to see between 600-800 horses running along the street with cowboys ahead and behind on horseback. As they were passing us, with mane and tails flying, the sounds of whinnies as they were trying to stay collected with thier 'pasture mates' just increased the hype of emotion. My eyes felt like they were absorbed in a candyshow beyond all others! Color, shape, sizes, of all kinds...and mustangs, yep, Once in a few running by I would notice the BLM tatoo on the left neck of several of the horses. Cheryl and I were beside ourselves! We drove several miles down to get ahead of the horses, and parked. Before we knew it the cowboys were breaking for lunch and had the horses in a roadside ravine where they could rest and graze for the next treck of thier destination. We sat on the roadside for over an hour and snapped away on the cameras. Horses everywhere...calling for each other...displaying thier pecking order behavior...and the colors, my oh my, color everywhere! And then, we saw the mustang tatoo! With the permission of a cowboy eating what looked to be a cheese sandwhich on white bread, we headed down the ravine, cameras in hand. Searching for the branded mustangs! And to our delight we found them, we saw 4 or 5, I can almost be sure there were more. On occasion....during the winter season, the wild mustangs occasionally jump the fences and 'gather' a mare or two to their side...so come spring, there are some offspring of domestic + mustang babies. The Sombrero Ranch usually puts some of these up for adoption...unmarked by the BLM tatoo, but obviously carrying the mustang gene adding to the stature of the domestic breed in their offspring. I recently did a benenfit show at a horse rescue organization in LaPorte Colorado. They had several of these SandWash Sombrero babies, and they are beautiful horses, half mustang, half quarterhorse more than likely. 'Halfbreeds' many would call them, but a hardy horse carrying the durable mustang traits. The more I am learning of the mustang, the more I am learning what a valuable resource they are to the horse industry. A hardy, sturdy, intelligent horse, and when 'adopted' and trained...makes an incredible mount and companion, but more on that later when the Extreme Mustang Makeover comes to town in Fort Collins in just a few weeks. For now, enjoy the pictures...If your wondering where to go on your summer vacation this year...How about one of the 4 herd management areas here in Colorado, or the other states in the west that still have wild horses. Its important to see them...they are hard to find on the range, thier numbers are decreasing every year. This year alone 5000 are on the schedule to be rounded up, few will get adopted, some will go to the prison in Canon City to be trained, adopted out and sent to our 'Borders' as Border Patrol mounts, and the other huge numbers will end up in long term holding facilities for years, if not the remainder of thier lives. Make visiting the range and viewing the mustangs one of your summer vacation plans. For now, enjoy the pictures below from the Sombrero Horse Drive.
as always, running with the horses! Melody
5/25/2011 11:16:22 pm
Look at you getting yourself a thorough Field Education and Induction training....To see 700 horses is intense - I had the same feeling last year, and then to go and try to walk up to a WILD ONE (heart beating) is the creme de la creme....Streaker and the others will thank it to us to have put them on the map of the event horizons of eco tourism and protection whether they are considered WILD LIFE or WILD LIFE>>.that does not matter to the EYE OF THE BEHOLDER<, but LOVE DOES>
7/10/2012 07:02:48 am
I had no idea it was so easy to create a free blog here at Weebly, thanks.
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