Friday, March 26, 2021

 As I am reviving my blog 'MUSTANG ECO TOURS" I disclose that mustang eco tours did never go live, meaning that I actually never guided a group of excellent riders from the strawbale house to the Continental Divide on Mustangs. Whereafter we were picked up by a small single engine Cessna to fly over the 800some mustangs of the Sand Wash Basin only to return back to the Strawbale House to dive into the advantages of Sustainable Living.

And why did this not happen? 

Like with so many other things, one does not really know. It was an intent, a vision, a dream and it is clearly a beautiful idea to be pursued now by someone else.

What has continued though is the love for the AMERICAN MUSTANG and the engagement to secure a spot for the wild horse on Public Lands and/or whatever the next development of a PRECIOUS GIFT to the People of this land. is

What also continued is the life of my horses here at the strawbale house. The 7 mustangs, Aragon, Silhouette, Escalante, Galicio, Veedawoo, Ruigoord, and Coppersmith. 

Aragon is now 26 years old and I hope to ride him through the coming spring and summer. Silhouette is 17 and lives with a neighbor who has a mustang mare, that wanted a sistermare. I will ride her also this year. Galicio is now 13 and as my only here-born mustang is my special child with detail to be revealed later. Escalante is still the non riding companion horse to Chief, who is blind. 

Veedawoo died 4 years ago (at age 12) after a rather simple dental procedure, I think he had a severe reaction to medication. Coppersmith who had been close to a lightning strike at one point (no injury though), overreacted in another storm and broke his coffin bone (and even after successul surgery did not heal and was euthanized) he was 9 years old (born 2008-2017)




What wonderful images that show these years gone by
And here come the friends that left.
Ruigoord (35 years old)

Veedawoo (12)

Coppersmith (8)

With that we can probably close this post and return with more stories tomorrow that will go back to report about the horses on the PUBLIC TRUST LANDS

Thursday, March 25, 2021

...sometimes we concentrate our efforts in what we can do and sometimes in what we can stop...

Contact: or FB Gabriele Moritz

Since 2010 and the tragic Calico Roundup a number of things have changed for the AMERICAN MUSTANG. I also always believe that "EVERY EFFORT" counts. Individual, groups, campaigns. At the same time it is very important to realize that the ADVOCACY cannot FLOAT each enterprize. All engagement should assume voluntering and self finance, unless you produce a product that is in demand. That could be Art (photography, movies, writing) training, performing, Tours onto HMAs or a sanctuary open to the public.
I have been a bit involved with all of those aspects: I have ridden and toured on the range (on Mustangs), particpated in the friends of the mustangs, and with that witnessed a roundup. I have trained a mustang in 90 days for the 2011 Mustang Make Over, I have worked in 2 Sanctuaries and are familiar with at least 3 others. I have been to long and short term holding, I have been to a BLM sanctioned ECO-Sanctuary and I have demonstrated on the streets for legislation to change. I have made presentations on the searing questions of the issue and I am not afraid of conflict and conflict resolution:
Since the resources of advocates are limited it is important to be able to distinguish:
and sometimes

TO PRESERVE THE MUSTANG ON THE RANGE (genetic viable numbers)
TO DO EVERYTHING TO SPREAD AWARENESS AND ESTABLISH STANDING on the range.(Active citizen engagement with clean up and possible fertility control, census etc)

Then the camp usually splits:
Some only train and ride and are not involved in the fact finding mission.
Some concentrate on the "AFTER LIFE", the rescue, the sanctuary the Holding facilty.
Some concentrate on the art of the mustang, spending valuable time on the range with the animals.
Others again are deep into the facts and discussion with focus on litigation and problem solving.

But for most of us it is some sort of a mix, or an alternating circuit, which gets us involved here and there.

Here is my bit for today:

There are approximately 20 WILD HORSE (MUSTANG) SANCTUARIES in the country; (Some overlap with domestic horses, most are a mix of rescue and sanctuary and domestics and mustangs)

ONLY 4 of those SANCTUARIES have shown longevity and prevalence:


Most if not all of the Sanctuaries are 501C3 - non profits - depending on public support for their operating expenses. Some of them are as small as "5 horses on 300 acres" (no public access or org. association) Some are obscure and defunct, but still carry a non-profit status and ask for donations.

I would prefer that those who are in the beginnings or looking for self-definition and access stay private and develop their character before addressing the PUBLIC FORUM with pledges and mission statements.

In the example of the BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY we have annual operating costs in the Millions, approx.500 horses on approx 13 000 acres and a large annual tourism traffic on the byway of the Custer National Park etc.

PIcking up

 here we are 2021 and i am picking up where i left off

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Summer has now passed and it was a story-board of the high desert prairie with temps near 100 on a daily basis. HOT DRY with all physical hard work. Not the stuff that tourism is made of. And not for the faint of heart. Our days begin around 6:30 (that is my day, I am the morning shift) and I feed Pasque Flower and Dulcena, Regal G, Hudson, Spirit, Shania, Ayashe, Dexie and some of mine (who are not on the range - Silhouette, Escalante and Rui). The hay is in big square bales, and is distributed by wheel barrow to individual feeders, which have been topic of many discussions in regard to convenience, functionality and friendliness. Discussions develop around each activity, whether it has to do with machinery or with animals. After breakfast riding and training. 4 saddle horses (some overweight, some barn sour, some a little lazy, some aloof and most yearning for attention and relating...are kept conditioned and advancing depending on their age and stage of training. 2 youngsters are being trained in hand. The obligatory and healing ride on the range is to check and fill the water tanks, visit and observe the herd and herd dynamics and possibly try to envision a chance to bring a horse in or release a horse out. RIDING IS BREATHING AND LIFE....we take our time, even if it is 100 degrees...


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:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2013 - February: BLOG out of fashion

Blogs seem to have lost some of their immediacy and attraction. But when Facebook fails blogs come in handy again. So for the start of 2013 a small update.

ERICH PROELL (docu film in austria) and his 3 mustangs
 The austrian Television aired a 3 part series on the american Mustang by Film maker Erich Proell, who  adopted 3 mustangs after the Wyoming White Mountain Roundup in 2011 and consequently exported them after the adoption year to Austria
My mustangs (Coppersmith and Aragon here) continue to flourish and learn
I have continued to train and condition my 7 horses, even though there is no plan to undertake any expedition, since I will be headed to the Black Hills Wild Horse sanctuary again in the summer.

The Abenteuerreiter Guenter Wamser and Sonja Endlweber are still continuing their ride on their mustangs after 5 years not in ALASKA

The Mustang Heritage Foundation has introduced the Mustang Million and set an adoption goal of 1000 mustangs for 2013.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


 Arriving at Beaver Meadows on Thursday Sept. 20th, we were the only campers and the pair of Moose cow and bull were quite the surprise for Aragon and I. Their slow motion movements have affixiating qualities...I was wondering whether I would be well served to put a bell on the horse at night. But I did choose not to expose him to that.

The next day things looked just as sunny and glorious. The little creek running by the campsite and temps dropping below freezing made for a serene night experience. Then the cappucino with the rising sun was marvellous.

For over 10 years I have been a member of the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, an associate volunteer organization for the Forest Service. My patrols extend through most of the Roosevelt National Forest here in Northern Colorado. The mounted patrol contentrates on highly traveled and used trails and we maintain communication between the Forest Service and the participating public. The work in the following years will shift to focus on burn and beetle kill. The land has suffered and a renewal has begun. Here are some images of our last 4 day camping trip and some of the grandiose fall riding.

Yes, the Toyota Landcruiser pulls the 32 foot airstream no problem...
Christine Churchill riding Aragon, Gabriele on board Coppersmith#900

Friday, August 24, 2012


August 13, the day the wall was built in Berlin (1961) and now August 13, 2012...Things to do b4 you turn 60...Have your WILDfire, train a mustang for the Extreme Mustang Makeover, raise 7 Mustangs...Here are a couple of pictures from the gathering of friends that helped with the restoration of body land and soul disrupted by a powerful and quite destructive fire.
Strawbale house - the fortress - with wonderful sunset light...
It took 2 month for the land to look like this. And it looks similar inside the hearts of the people and animals that lived here...and or still live here.
Streamers and the unbearable lightness of being...(Photo Linda Bell)
 Thank you to my friends for celebrating and restoring. Stranger than paradise, indeed....

Reminders of our fragility

Linda Gresham Hanick (thank you for the photos)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

EMERALD ISLE after the fire - the GREEN...

It is about a month since the fire in the 12th filing...Two weeks after the fire the GREEN returned and the MEADOW looks like EMERALD, the Coppersmith is in 7th heaven and every day is amazing. Then the rains came, some people say, one month too late. I say: NOT SO, absolutely accepting what happened and embracing this wonderful event.

It has become quiet in the mountain, the sounds are of wind and animals and some vehicles, but much less.

Looking onto the POUDRE the fire coming up the gulch in short order burning down 60 buildings and acres of trees and green.


Sunday, July 8, 2012


I will remember. Let the beauty of what you love be what you do...(RUMI)


What is it that I love.? ICELAND? ORKNEY>>>NORTHERN LIGHTS

CAMP LE JUNE - the mustang camp at the sheep barn

And then at one point it is TIME TO LEAVE. And the 7 mustangs and I (plus the little cat) moved to the 70 acre pasture by the sheepbarn. (owned by a very generous and beautiful person) and then there was room to MOURN with VIGOR: for the little beloved dog, for the fire goods and for the ones who were less fortunate.


The beautiful airstream always ready to save me from peril