Finding wild horses can be tough. Consider this: in Sand Wash Basin there are a little more than 250 horses on about 160,000 square acres. In White Mountain and Little Colorado there might be 300 horses left post-roundup (if we’re very, very lucky) on almost a million acres.
It’s challenging, but not impossible. With a good vehicle, advice from friends/locals, and a pair of binoculars, horses invariably will show up. You’ll see juniper horses, rock horses, horse-shaped antelope… but eventually a speck will show up and it will be clear that this time, this time, it really is a horse.
horses, junipers, or figments of your imagination?
But alas, intrepid readers, the horse finding woes are not over yet. Oh no. From there, one has to find a way to get to those little dark spots sticking out in the sage. I hope you like to hike.
It was a refreshing little walk that led me to my first foal sighting of 2012. I had seen two bands not too far off from where my tent was sitting and I thought “Hmmm. Horses!” Now my father would point out that exact thought goes through my head about 731 times a day… but I digress.
A short walk led to Prince’s band! Prince and his family were all grazing peacefully. Hopscotch, an adorable little medicine hat filly, was a very pleasant surprise.
I was going to spend a little more time on my blog focusing on the positive before getting into the more heavy topics concerning what few wild horses are left on the range. Life apparently has other plans.
This weekend a foal was euthanized (read: shot) at Sand Wash Basin. Think that’s upsetting? Read on.
The foal was euthanized because he managed to get baling wire wrapped around his neck which was strangling him to death. This makes Little Colorado the second horse in Sand Wash Basin to be killed in the past six months from wire. (See Nancy’s blog on Greasewood for more details)
Stop the presses, Streaker had her baby!
Streaker, you see, it absolutely adorable. Put a baby at her side, and now we have a giant bundle of cute intense enough to start a nuclear reaction that unleashes a wave of flowers and cotton candy.
What a fabulous weekend in Sand Wash Basin! None of my photographs came out very well, but I was having too much fun to bring myself to care. But where my camera skills failed, the memories remain. So I am going to share the horses stories with you.
I thought about going in chronological order, but then I thought why be obvious? So instead I’m starting smack dab in the middle with little Tripod. When will you hear about Mingo and Picasso’s foal, White Out, Hopscotch, or ornery old Benson? Heck if I know. Guess you’ll have to keep checking back here. 😉
But onto little Tripod! Tripod is a classic underdog. His right hind was severely deformed from an accident as a foal. As a result, he hobbles around the range. The first time I saw him, I wondered how he was still alive. He was alone, unable to keep up with the other bachelors running about, and seemed so small and gangly compared to the more robust 3 year olds running about.
This trip helped change my opinion on Tripod. It’s a little less towards the how the heck is this poor baby still alive and closer to he’s had a bad shake in life but he’s just another wild horse living out his life. Tripod, you see, is a classic example Mustang tough. He may never have a band, and he may not be able to keep up with the other bachelors full time, but Tripod is still surviving and has a shot at a life that isn’t half bad.