I headed to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary last week so that I could be there to witness the 10 wild horses from Adobe Town getting released into their new home at the Sanctuary – a huge open pasture.
When I arrived, I was delighted to find that tensions had cooled between the former stallions, and Sundance was keeping a respectful distance from Bronze Warrior’s family. It was so good to see Bronze Warrior with his family. Theodore, Diamond Girl and Snowfall were all busy eating hay when I arrived and I was very pleased to see that Snowfall had gained back most of the weight he had lost at the roundup and at the corrals. Diamond Girl has developed quite a belly, and I speculated about which of the mares might be pregnant. Gwendolyn had lost her foal the the Rock Springs Corrals, but Diamond Girl and Aurora and Sabrina looked as though they might very well be having babies soon.
Bronze Warrior was least fearful of the group, with such wisdom in his eyes and having seen so much in his 22 years, one photographer next to his corral was not bothering him one bit. He kept moving closer and closer to me, and Sabrina and Gwendolyn hid behind him. He looked around at one point as if he was saying, “what are you doing back there?” and I had to laugh.
I made plans with Susan Watt, the Director of the Sanctuary about getting the horses into two trailers in the morning to go on the short ride to what they called the “Rescue Pasture” which now was empty of horses ready fro the arrival of the 10 Adobe Appys.
I had no idea when I went to sleep that night in one of the cabins on the property that our plans for the morning would be disrupted.
I went over to the corrals just as the sun was coming up and Dave was driving one of the trailers up to the corral and then got out of the truck to see what would be the best approach for loading the horses into the trailers. They of course would not know that they would be moving to an area with many acres where they would be free to roam – they were bound to be apprehensive. As Dave walked around the corral he called out to me “there is a foal!”
I moved closer and looked through the fence, and saw Sabrina with a newborn foal. It was still unsteady on its legs and I knew it had to have been born just a couple of hours earlier. Sabrina was very protective, and Gwendolyn, acting as a wonderful auntie, was kicking the other horses if they got too close to the new mother and baby. Bronze Warrior was keeping a safe distance from the heels of both mares, and warning away the other geldings.
I climbed up onto the flat part of the truck so that I could take photos without disrupting the horses, and watched as the other horses from the sanctuary in the pasture next door came running down the hill and over to the fence to see the new arrival. They seemed fascinated by the new baby, and later Sid a rescued horse with a big personality came running up to the fence as if to say “no one told me about the baby!”
After conferring with Susan and Dave it was decided to wait to move the horses until the foal was a little older and stronger. The next project was to see if the foal was a filly or a colt, not always the easiest process with newborns, but usually seeing which direction they pee is a sure sign. After watching for a while we saw that she was a filly.
When she settled down for a nap I left them to relax.
The next morning, which was extremely cold, I was delighted to see the filly looking good, shivering a bit in the cold, but as the sun warmed up and she and her mother moved around she warmed up. When the horses were served their morning grain, she moved to the trough to see what all the fuss was about.
I decided to head home and come back in a couple of weeks when the filly would be up to being moved. I thought about how sad it had been for Gwendolyn when she lost her filly Xena at the Rock Springs Corrals, and now what a happy celebration the birth of the new foal was here at the Sanctuary, and Gwendolyn gets to share in the excitement, watching over the filly as a loving aunt.
Previous Related Posts in the Story of the Adobe Appys:
Manda Kalimian’s Cana Project:
The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, where you can visit the 10 Adobe Appys: