More Wild Horses Including Curlies Lose Their Freedom in Salt Wells Creek by Carol J. Walker
Yesterday I went out to see wild horses that were still free after the horrible morning watching 167 get captured. It usually serves as a balm and helps combat the feelings of helplessness generated by watching large groups of wild horses that should never be captured rounded u with helicopters. But this time I knew that freedom was fleeting for these horses. I had heard that the BLM was going to round up horses the next day who were near the 191 highway in Salt Wells Creek because some horses had been killed on the highway and it was a hazard for public safety. We passed a game warden who told us that there was a big group at the top of the hill.
Sure enough, once we wound our way up the hill we saw a large group of wild horses grazing behind a fence on a flat area. I parked and we walked out toward them. The horses were completely unconcerned by our approach.
Many foals were lying down napping, and I spotted a bald faced sorrel mare who had a tiny foal nursing. He or she looked to be less than a week old. I was concerned about the little one’s ability to run from the helicopter the next day and decided to let them know about this foal so they would hopefully look out for it. As we were watching I realized that many of these horses were Curlies, with curly coats and manes. Here is a link for information on them: www.curlyhorses.com
There was an impressive bay stallion with a very wavy curly mane and there was a gorgeous pinto stallion red and white, who really seemed to be the big boss, who I learned was named Maestro.
We got to see Goliath breed the little foal’s mom, so I am pretty sure my guess of less than a week old was correct – the mares come into “foal heat” within a week of giving birth. It was so peaceful standing there watching the horses get up from their nap and move along and I was saddened thinking that that peace would not last for long.
This morning when we stopped 2 miles south of where I had seen the horses I knew I was right – they were the target today. I was glad I had had an opportunity to see them still wild and free.
We drove down to Maggie Springs, then followed the BLM to the site they had picked out for us to observe from on top of this hill, going up a rocky and rough two track. The wind was blasting us and we all bundled up as well as we could and held onto our cameras for dear life. We were quite a long way from the trap, but I hoped we would be able to see the horses coming toward us along the road first. I let the BLM know about the little black foal being so young.
Leaping onto the road
Suddenly someone yelled over the wind that the horses were coming. There was a huge group that met a smaller group, and the helicopter was pushing them along. There were too many directions to look. Maestro was leading one group – his distinctive markings made him stand out easily. Then I finally spotted the bald faced mare and little foal. He was keeping up! There were many other foals but he was the littlest. In all the confusion of the horses turning, jumping onto the road, then turning again I lost sight of him then saw him again and he was falling behind his mother. I began to worry a bit.
The little black foal is falling behind
Heading to the trap
The whole group was getting closer and closer to the trap. I watched one of the helicopters get down and right up behind the horses while the other hung back. They all went in, and I cannot imagine that they would have captured less than the 60 more they planned to catch in Salt Wells Creek. We waited quite a while before we heard that that was it for the day.
This evening, Jason Lutterman from the BLM who had been out there with us sent me a photo of the bald face mare and the little black foal who had been reunited at the temporary corrals. I was extremely relieved and grateful that he sent me this photo. I was told that they captured 66 wild horses today, which was 6 more than their number, so they are releasing 6 wild horses. They are keeping 46 adults and 14 foals.
I have to wonder how many Curlies are left in Salt Wells Creek? I hope that some of these beautiful and unique horses remain.
Advocates File Suit to Stop Illegal Removal of Wild Horses in Wyoming
[…] Source: wildhoofbeats.com […]
Thank you for what you are showing here to our “civilized” world, through your work and photography. My heart has ached for our wild horses since I saw “The Misfits” when I was a young child, over 60 years ago. I couldn’t believe the cruelty I was seeing on the theater’s movie screen then. How can this possibly still be happening, and on this scale now? PLEASE KEEP DOCUMENTING as spectacularly as you are! We must keep trying to show the world, and end the ignorance of the torturing the USA is doing to the actual backbone on which our country and really most of our world was built! SHAME ON THE BLM! It amazes me. Thank you again for your caring and sharing, and keep up all your touchingly beautiful, hard and heart-felt work!
So sad to this happening with so little anyone can do about it. Why can’t they just leave them alone!!!!
Thank you for documenting and bearing witness to this devastation of our wild curly herds. Once these rare and gentically unique horses are removed from our wild horse population, they will be gone forever. These curly horses are not a nuisance animal, but one whose origins are shrouded in distant, unknown history. We are only now beginning to unravel their elusive genetic puzzle, and losing these horses will forever impact the existence of this rare breed.
Thank you for keeping us all abreast on this tragedy. I’m not understanding why all of these horses are going to areas where the public isn’t allowed. How do we know they aren’t trucking them in small groups to Canada or Mexico?
This is just so wrong – have no words!
AWFUL!!! Leave them alone!!!! So pissed off about this, it is so wrong!!!
Carol, thank you for watching and sharing your work on the wild horses being rounded up. I have been following you. It is gut-wrenching and I get such a powerless feeling. Will we ever be able to stop this? It makes no sense to have these round-ups and then put the horses in holding pens. For what??? It seems like we will never be able to win this fight with the BLM, ranchers and our government that takes back their word. I will continue to do what I can to keep our wild horses free.
Jason Lutterman, BLM how can you live with yourself knowing that you have separated foals from their mamas at such a critical age. Capturing innocent horses for slaughter when they should be living freely without harassment from your agency – tell me what have they done to deserve a horrendous brutal death? Let me tell you the reason: the BLM can recoup their losses for holding 46000 wild horses in holding pens. How much money do you hope to gain from the kill buyers for the lives of such beautiful animals who unfortunately happened to live on land owned by the American people but ‘managed’ by the BLM. A sin that is what it is.
the BLM all your fault you are all dirtbags. What goes around comes around. These beautiful horses will all suffer because of your actions. Karma will get you all…
This makes me sick to my stomach. Watching what is the end of these beautiful animals in the wild. They are destroying what is natural. Families never to be again. Just so incredibly sad.
A Law Suit in Federal Courst is the only option at this point! The Evil BLM and the EVIL Sec. Ryan Zinle will not stop their evil deeds unless the court tells them to STOP!
Most people can not have a horse. Sure wish I could have one!
Leave them alone!! They are a minute (no idiots not a time clock) part of all this leave all of them and the rest alone… Can somebody tell me where the ‘pens from hell are”? PLEASE!
I still just do not get it. There is so much land for them roam, at least it looks like it when you see the pictures of the round- ups. No need for this. More then half of the horses will never be sold and so the rest must spend the rest of their days in holding pens. No more freedom.
Unfortunately these horses will be killed if the Senate votes that way this week. Everyone should be calling their Senators this week and telling them we do not support the killing of healthy wild horses and burros.
Some of the horses that were removed were so used to people that they would come right up to you. One of these bands actually mobbed me and followed me as I tried to get away from them several times. The “curly mare and foal” and “curly sorrel colt” were part of that band. Beautiful horses but wild animals shouldn’t be that acclimated to people. Whoever adopts them probably won’t have too much trouble gentling them.
Please do not say this Sally. If you say this you are saying we should get rid of all the horses in the Pryor Mountains, McCullough Peaks, Sand Wash Basin and Onaqui because they are too used to people. I would like to keep our wild horses wild and free on our public lands. There are NOT enough people to adopt even a fraction of the horses that have been rounded up and most of them may end up killed if the Senate votes to kill them this week.
Why release 6? So you can create a new herd of dangerously inbred horses? What is the reason for capturing these horses who all look very healthy.
If you can go back and look at past posts information about the whys and wherefors about the roundup should become clear. There are other curlies still in Salt Wells Creek.