Mustangs Musts...

Mustangs Musts...
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

GREAT ESCAPE MUSTANG SANCTUARY: DEER TRAIL COLORADO - June 2013 through October 2013

Last year I had hoped to train a yearling for the Ft. Worth Mustang Makeover but circumstances cancelled the project. Then in June came the HIGH PARK FIRE and I was glad not having a young mustang to take care of that was geared to compete in autumn. Nonetheless the fire had its effects on my home and neighborhood and led me to consider and contemplate my future in the Strawbale House, In Red Feather Lakes, with MUSTANG ECO TOURS and with the mustang issue at large.

With shortage of hay and a burned landscape the thought of mobility and flexibility gained momentum and I decided to rent the strawbale house and take the MUSTANG ECO TOUR on the road yet again. This time not to the BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY but to a small 1000 acre upstart sanctuary in DEER TRAIL, south of Denver.

What attracted me was the OBJECTIVE of this particular PROJECT:
Similar to the Black Hills the sanctuary was to provide for horses that had been through a roundup.
Similar they were to be guaranteed a life of peace and space. And there was the goal of training and adoption. Similar also was the scenario of a man's wild horse dream now realized and continued and carried by a woman, that loved that man for his dream.

The particularity of this sanctuary: IT WAS A LOCAL COLORADO SANCTUARY FOR A LOCAL COLORADO HERD with LOCAL COLORADOANS engaging and caring. I could not think of anything that would make more sense, acknowledging that I CONSIDER THE MUSTANG NATURE'S RENEWABLE RESOURCE HORSE (provided, raised, educated and delivered at no charge) (we all know where the charges are - and that they are NOT with the horses on the range)

THIS IS THE SAND WASH BASIN HERD - and over 12 Sand Wash Basin horses call it home. There are currently over 410 mustangs on the 160 000 acres of HMA west of Maybell Colorado and over 60 foals were born in 2013. The death rate averages 7% and in cooperation with the HSUS and other volunteer organizations in the area the attempt is made to manage the herd with fertility control rather than roundups.

Whether or not we seek dialogue with the BLM or are pro PZP native, the care of the horses in the local arena (even though this is a federal institution) is close to my heart.

It is now over 3 months ago that I came to this facility owned and founded by Michelle Sander, who has dedicated the ranch to her late father, whose dream it was to have a sanctuary for wild horses. It is a beautiful near 1000 acre facility at the very northeast corner of the Black Forest in Eastern Colorado. Currently 27 horses call it their home.  A set-back is the rather remote location of the Ranch and the fact that it is not home to the owner/operator. Since 3 months I have fed and cared for the horses in the corrals and also watched over those on the range. Together with 2 young Californians (Giulia and Nicholas) and several highly appreciated visitor volunteers, we have ridden and trained, cared for and treated, cleaned the range and removed 1000s of feet of barbed wire, and consecutive t-posts from Cross fences, experimented with feeding and rotation and dealt with weather, wildlife and not so wild life.

Here are a couple of pics:







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