Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wild Horses!

South Steens HMA

Caution...picture overload!

(That's what you wanted, wasn't it?)


Blue and One Ear check each other out.


Jingles, an extremely thin mare, and her colt, Juniper. Say a prayer for this pair, folks, for as thin as she is, it'll be a hard winter to survive.


Juniper and another South Steens colt bonding.


Buckskin mare with a GA branded on her hip. This indicates she's been given the PZP hormone that prevents conception. Sad part is, it doesn't stop her cycles, which means she'll have stallions battling over her all winter long. In fact, she's got three that follow her everywhere.


Father and son...also known as Black and Blue. These two are nearly carbon copies of one another. Blue, you can see, has an injury on his neck.


Buckskin mare


This older stallion wasn't allowed to join the other bands, but made to stand out on the outskirts. We spotted him in February of this year as well, again, alone.


No clue the age of this young stallion, but he's a definite looker! He stays very close to the buckskin mare and her filly from this year.

We spent quite a bit of time up on this ridge with the horses. The wind was blowing and there is no question that winter is howling just around the corner. Thanks to a bit of rain earlier this month, the grass had a second burst of green, giving the horses one last little bit of nutrition. But within the coming weeks, it will diminish, and what they will be left with is a wee bit of scrub and straw like grass. Life is hard on the mountain...


Lea and her Mustangs said...

LOVE your pictures. Wish we could have seen that many when we were there 2 weeks ago. Love that bachelor we saw in Feb.

Becky said...

WOW. GORGEOUSNESS! Look at that beautiful little head on Blue..

It's amazing, really--- there's not an ugly or boring color in the bunch. You've got breeders all over who try for coloring that fancy. I bet it was tough on you---- "And I want that one... and that one... and that one..."

Wouldn't the foal be old enough to survive without a mom? Or do our domesticated foals only survive early weaning because of the easy access to food?

Tracey said...

Becky, the colt is just 6 weeks old. A lot will depend on how old he is should he lose her. Easy access to food is just one aspect...the bone chilling cold is another, should she not be milking well enough to get some fat on his bones.

You're right about me picking which ones I want, lol! I'm out there telling them, "Hey, you...I want you to breed that mare over there!" But right now there's a nice buckskin filly up there that I've got my eye on. She'll be 3 when they're gathered next time...wonder if they'll send her back out or adopt her out?

Blackfeatherfarm said...

Fabulous pictures, they are just stunning horses to me.....

strivingforsavvy said...

Thank you for posting the pictures. I love to see them!

Linda said...

Great photos--beautiful herd. I feel bad for Jingles though. Sad. Hope he makes it. I really like the look of the stallion, too. It's a hard life out there for all of them.

Crystal said...

hmmm those are great pictures. I feel sorry for taht mare, she will probly do all she can to stay alive long enough for the foal to survive, hope he makes it. Doesnt look like much to eat out there in winter though.

Linda said...

I've been thinking about this all morning--and I'm wondering--has the BLM considered taking them out hay on the range? If they round them up and hold them in federal pens, they'd have to feed them and pay for their care--it seems it would be cheaper to throw them out hay and let them live on the land.

Tracey said...

Linda, as lovely a thought as that is, feeding out there will bring in over 100 horses from across the HMA, thinking the feed is for them :( So Jingles will just have to do her best to survive long enough for Juniper to make it on his own.

I did get verification that Jingles is 26 years old! We're guessing she's got some tooth issue, as another photographer saw her shortly after foaling and she wasn't pulled down this much.

pinkglitterfae said...

How lucky you are to see these magnificent animals in person!
I pray they survive the winter, they've got enough hurdles to climb...

CTG Ponies said...

Fabulous pics! Makes me sad to see the mare so thin. I hope she survives, for her sake and for the baby's.