Our Wild Horses

Husband and I took a trip with his father to feed our wild horse herd. After a 3 hour drive to our grazing lease, we were hoping to easily locate the groups. It was a cold day of -20F (ugh), but beautiful and sunny. The hay was loaded high on the trailer and the bag of oats were waiting as a bribe. Since the horses live without human contact for most of their lives, it’s not always guaranteed we’ll find them, but this day we were lucky. As we drove onto the lease, we found a large group of about 20 horses sunning themselves in a large field. A beautiful sight of fat and sassy well-wintered horses. This group was an especially welcome sight as  father in law hadn’t located them in awhile. They were all eager at the sight of the truck and even more excited about the oats. Maybe not so wild after all? It’s amazing to me that this is my life and I sometimes just stand there open mouthed in awe. Which is decidedly awkward for all involved, but hey, I’m getting better okay 🙂 Horses are such gorgeous animals and to see them in a large herd in the wild is kind of a cool thing. Definitely not something I thought I’d get to see let alone deal with on a daily basis. But life is funny like that, and I do like to laugh.

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So where did these wonderful creatures come from and how did we end up with them? Well I lucked out in the marriage department as they are a result of my father in law’s old rodeo stock and outfitting pack horse stock. Our family used to provide rodeo’s with bucking horses and after they got out of that business, the remaining horses were released onto a grazing lease along with some mountain horse stock from the family outfitting business about 10-15 years ago. Now we have a hearty herd of wild horses with one remaining Tuchodi mare who they estimate to be about 30 years old (the white horse in the photos). She is the only one branded and the only one whose been ridden. Never thought I’d be in the business of breaking horses… I think maybe I’ll be the supervisor and ensure there is plenty of lemonade.
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 There seem to be 2 main stud groups across the river grazing, a pale face pinto stud and a blue roan stud. The blue roan stud group is who we found and most of the mares look pregnant which means babies to look forward to this spring. We estimate the total count between 45-50 horses, so we will have our hands full this summer when we bring them over the river to our property and start managing them.  Managing them will include branding, gelding, breaking and introducing a new stud into the mare group which will be released back onto the grazing lease next fall. Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. This is all quite new to me and I had to ask husband to check the above terms twice to make sure I sound like I know what I’m talking about. I think I nailed it. I look forward to learning and laughing and BABY HORSES!!  There will be plenty to do, but hopefully we have the resources and large men to help do it. I guess that’s the beauty of marrying a cowboy!
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Springtime will bring the building of corrals, the clearing of pasture and reinforcing fences. Then we have to trap them, get them in a trailer and teach them some manners. All sounds easier said than done in my book, but hey, that’s what this adventure is for. Plus, I’ve waited 32 years for a horse of my very own… so why not start with 50… I was never one to half ass anything.
~Katy
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18 thoughts on “Our Wild Horses

  1. Katy this is amazing! as a horse woman I am dying of jealousy but I am also fairly afraid for you lol! you have your hands full haha. good luck with all your horsey adventures 😀

  2. Katy… This is awesome! And yes, I’m completely jealous!! I was very impressed with the correct horse terms you threw around, but I’m not gonna lie, you are going to learn as lot in a short amount of time! I cannot wait to read more about your adventures! The love of a horse cannot be explained with words! Enjoy every minute, and soak up the knowledge like a sponge! Ask questions and enjoy!!!

  3. Katy, welcome to your new life! Great pictures of the herd. Hope you’ll find time to start a garden….with a good fence around it!! I still remember my first garden after a couple of horses rolled in that nice soft dirt. The next day a fence was under construction!

    • Thanks Maureen! I’m looking forward to documenting my successes (and fails) in gardening here and am hoping it’s pretty similar to gardening in Alaska. I’ll be looking for advice soon!

  4. I’m a bit late on this one, but am absolutely in aw of your situation! I grew up riding and eventually got into training/starting/breaking young horses and unfortunately had to grow out of it as the business in my area crumbled. All we have here in Wisconsin is wild turkeys. And they are not that interesting to watch! Keep up the hard work! Can’t wait to see the progress of all of it!

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