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We delayed the horses’ journey by one day due to bad weather but the horses set out Thursday, driven by veteran horse hauler Merle from Canon City. I headed up earlier in the day so I could meet them when they arrived.
They were unloaded into a pen that they could get settled into, complete with a huge bale of gorgeous hay. All four were calm and bright eyed despite their 7 hour journey from Colorado. It was about ten degrees with wind chill, and I was happy that they had thick coats adapted to cold weather. I texted Manda Kalimian, who has been eagerly waiting to hear that her horses have arrived. I am so very grateful to Manda and her organization, the Cana Project, formerly The Seraphim 12 Foundation. http://canaprojects.org/ She believed me when I told her how special these horses were, was optimistic and certain that we could save them, and she bought these horses and made sure that they would have a wonderful home to live out their lives together in peace.
I stayed well back from the fence so they were not disturbed, and watched them for about an hour until the light disappeared. They all dived into the hay eagerly, so I felt encouraged that they would do well that night. Snowfall and Diamond Girl are both much thinner than when they were in the wild, but I feel certain that they will put on weight soon with all that beautiful hay.
The next morning I got out to their pen just as the sun was coming up, and watched them wake up and start moving around. It was still about zero degrees, and I watched everyone working at the sanctuary move around feeding the horses all bundled up. The horses watched me but did not seem alarmed by my presence. They were curious about the wild turkeys moving in and out of their pen.
As I watched them, I noticed that Bronze Warrior and Snowfall stayed together almost all of the time, usually very close. There is a feeling of easy familiarity as between family members or close friends. They clearly have known each other for a long time, and given their coloring, I am assuming that Snowfall, 15, is Bronze Warrior’s son. Theodore is the odd man out in this group but Diamond Girl hangs out with him when the other two are walking around together. She is shy, and likes to have another horse between us when I am visiting their pen.
Later that morning I get a wonderful tour of the upper pastures on the feed truck, driven by Lisa. The horses in different pastures come out to see us and they are so colorful! In one pasture the pintos are numerous, and in another, the Spanish Mustangs are together, and the colors of these horses are stunning here as well. No matter where we go, I am struck by how healthy all the horses look, and also by the wild beauty of the sanctuary. I could not hope for a better place for these older horses to live out their lives together. Rianna takes me out for another tour in the afternoon, and we get to see the setting sun glowing around the horses.
I say goodbye after checking on them one more time, and travel home. Two days later I hear from Susan that she has moved them to a much bigger area, a pasture where they can see the river, and the wild horses on the cliffs behind them, which must surely be a welcome sight to horses accustomed to the wide open prairie who have spent the last three months in small pens with nothing but more captives as far as they could see. They will stay here until Bronze Warrior’s mares arrive from Rock Springs next month.
The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary is a very special place. It was founded in 1988 by Dayton Hyde, who wanted to have a place where wild horses that were unadoptable could live their lives in freedom. Please visit their website here: http://www.wildmustangs.com/
It is a wonderful place to visit, and they host tours year round and now have two luxurious cabins where you can stay close to nature and the horses. Please also consider making a donation for the wild horses that live there. All these horses at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary have a story, and now four wild horses from Adobe Town add their stories to its rich history.
To read part one of the story of these Adobe Town wild horses go here: