Thursday, August 26, 2010

Adventure!

It was December of 2008 when I first visited the South Steens and had my first real taste of wild horses. Not that I've not tasted wild horse here, what with the dirt and loose hair flying, but truly wild? What an experience!

This is where I first met Honor, the beautiful dark dun stallion. I have no clue why I named him that, but when I shared his photo and his name, it stuck. Photographers I've never met share images of him, and they, too, call him Honor.

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Wandering about, drifting in and out among the horses, was a young colt with a big blaze and four white stockings. Very sociable, not caring who's mares or offspring he buddied up with, it was difficult at first to determine who's 'child' he was. But as the others began to scatter, the colt stuck around with a bay mare and it became apparent he was one of Honor's band. Feeling somewhat romantic, I dubbed him Honor's Legacy.

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Of course, I knew then that the gather was just a year away, and that little Legs may never become a herd stallion like his father.

It was February of this year before I saw 'my boy' again. Debbie and I were down at Color Fest, and one evening we drove up to the Steens with friend Lea and her daughter Nikki. All I saw was a butt...his back was to us and it was such a distance, but I knew it was him. The moment he realized there were people on the opposite side of the valley he began walking and stalking, attempting to determine if we were friend or foe.

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At this point, little Legacy would have been 2 years old, but he was no longer out on the mountainside with his father. The previous day Debbie & I had been able to snag a ride on the morning hay wagon as it made it's rounds at feeding time, and when the blazed face appeared in the group of recently gathered geldings I knew instantly who it was.

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For awhile I tried to find Legs an adopter, but no one showed interest, and after a few weeks I concluded that I'd likely never know where the colt would end up. Sad, as someone would end up adopting the son of a stallion who was now becoming somewhat famous, and they'd never know it.

A couple months went by, and one day while on Facebook I spotted a photo posted by a friend of mine, talking about Gunner, the colt they'd recently adopted.

Say WHAT?

There he was, staring into the camera with is big brown eyes...Honor's Legacy! I immediately contacted Maggie to tell her the news. She was shocked, and then thrilled. So thrilled, that she became obsessed with all photos of the little guy, which as it turned out, there were plenty of. Several different photographers began offering up images of Honor and his band, showing Legs (now Gunner) as a weanling and yearling. One even had stories of how he'd approached her daughter up on the mountain during one visit.

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Showing up in a handful of photos was a bay mare, Gunner's mother. Maggie was now on a mission to find out if that mare had been gathered. She sent photos of her in to the BLM corrals in Oregon, and amazingly one day got an email to say that the mare had been found.

Do I really need to tell you what happens next? This weekend we'll be joining Maggs and her husband in Harney County where we'll first venture up onto the mountain to visit wild horses, and on Monday morning when the corrals open up? We'll be on hand to photograph Gunner's mother as she's loaded up and heads 'home' to be with her son.

And so it is, my friends, that I am headed south...home...out on another adventure with the wild horses this weekend. I can just barely wait until morning...

7 comments:

Paint Girl said...

Sounds like you are going to have a wonderful weekend planned ahead! Enjoy!
Legs/Gunner is beautiful, and that is such a cool story about finding his mother and taking her home. Just wonderful!

Blob said...

Have a fabulous time. Take lots and lots of pictures and be sure to tell us all about it :)

Crystal said...

Wow that is soo cool out of all the mustangs you find him and his mother, have a fun trip!

pinkglitterfae said...

what a heartwarming story! Your friend sounds like a wonderful woman, and I am so happy she will be adopting Legs/Gunner's mom.

Celestial Charms said...

Such a touching story. Hope you have fun over the weekend. I'm going to look over your past posts. It has been a long time since I visited...
Maureen

Gina said...

That is so exciting and very heart touching :) thank you for sharing the story :) can't wait for your next post!

~Gina
Parelli Central

CTG Ponies said...

I am so jealous of your adventure!