Ep #14: Wild Horse Roundups: The Abuse Must EndAugust 14, 2023
Ep #15: Blue ZeusSeptember 4, 2023
by Carol J. Walker
The first time I met Bubba was in June, 2020. I asked my friend, who is that gorgeous black curly stallion? “His name is Bubba.”
From the wonderful curls of his mane to the big body with waves of curl in his coat, I was immediately enchanted. And when he ran by me chasing another stallion away from his mare, I felt the ground shake. He reminded me of the drawings of the huge destriers ridden by knights in armor. And I was fascinated by the curls – I had never encountered curly horses before, let alone wild curly horses.
I found out that there are only two herds in Wyoming that have curly horses in them – Salt Wells Creek and White Mountain. Although Bubba was big and could look very intimidating to other stallions, he was a gentle soul with his family.
In October, 2021 there was a roundup in Salt Wells Creek, and although I was there for quite a lot of the roundup, the day Bubba and his family were captured I was not there, but the day that the Bureau of Land Management announced that they were releasing some of the stallions to go back to their home, I was there.I was concerned that they might put him down because of his large knee which had been injured at some point, but it did not slow him down or make him limp. I held my breath when they opened the first trailer, and then the next, hoping that Bubba was going to be among those released. He was! As he jumped out of the second trailer I felt like cheering. There he was with another stallion Named Medicine Man. It was bittersweet – although he was free again, his family was not.
I did not return until spring of the next year, and was relieved to find Bubba.
He had a new family, two mares and a foal, and he looked good. The foal was not his, but he was devoted to all three of his new family members.
This year, 2023, I got to spend a couple of days with Bubba and his family in June. I was delighted to see two new foals in his family.
Bubba was always near his rival and friend Scarface, and the two of them would rear up and scuffle from time to time, but I never saw any serious fights.
I returned in August and looked for Bubba, but did not see him. I was not alarmed because it is a large area, and the horses go to different places all the time. But at the end of my trip, I was deeply saddened to hear that a local called the BLM because Bubba had an acute injury, and he was put down the day I arrived.
Bubba was in his twenties, which is old for a wild horse, and he lived his entire life wild and free. He had almost two more years in the wild after the roundup, and leaves a legacy of beautiful foals and offspring, and wonderful memories of time spent with him for the people all over the country and the world who have been captivated by his beauty, pride and gentle spirit.
The Salt Wells Creek Herd has been targeted as one of two herds in Wyoming for being zeroed out – meaning no wild horses left in their new Resource Management Plan. How can you help? Donate to the legal fund to aid in the lawsuit filed to stop this action at American Wild Horse Campaign, https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/litigation and spread the word. I know that Bubba would not want his herd to become just a memory.
These and other images can be found on my website at http://www.LivingImagesCarolWalker.com.