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.
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.
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!
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.