Saturday, June 27, 2015

THE BIG ADVENTURE OF ADOPTING TWO WILD HORSE FOALS

Inanna, wild horse filly
Red Boy(temporary name), wild horse colt
I have envisioned adding a wild horse to our herd for a long time now.  I use the term wild horse rather than wild mustang because nowadays, most of our wild horse herds that are scattered across eleven western states are a colorful mixture of many breeds of horse, including mustangs.  Domesticated horses have been released out onto the range with the wild mustangs for many years, for many reasons.  

Sourced by my desire to photo-journal, advocate and educate about the current state of our wild horses, I have wanted to have the privilege of personally knowing and raising a wild horse.  

About a month ago, I mentioned this to one of my cowgirl friends, and she said, “I know two mustang babies that need a home.”  She went on to tell me that two domesticated mustang mares owned by a ranch in Craig, Colorado, had been impregnated by a wild stallion from the Sand Wash Basin that jumped the fence.  The Sand Wash Basin is a Herd Management Area, where approximately 400 wild horses are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the governing agency for our National Wild Horse and Burro program.

Robert and I drove up to Craig, Colorado this past weekend to meet these beautiful, healthy and strong foals.  The mothers are loving and gentle.  
Inanna with her Mom


Red Boy with his Mom

This is a costly challenge every year for ranchers whose property abuts the wild horse herd management areas.  The impregnated mares cannot work during the last part of their pregnancy, or the months that they are nursing their young.  It becomes the rancher’s responsibility to care for these mares and their foals until such time as the babies can be weaned.

"LIGHTNING", Sire of Inanna, Wild Sand Wash Stallion 

"SNOWMAN," (far right), possible Sire of Red Boy, Wild Sand Wash Stallion

The stallions will figure out a way to get to the mares if they want to.  Horses depend on their strong sense of smell and the body language of a mare to discern when she is in estrus (in heat and receptive to mate.)  

If someone doesn’t take on these youngsters, the ranchers are required to contact the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), and the baby wild horses will be picked up and placed into the holding facilities.  Currently, we have over 49,000 wild horses standing in holding facilities across our country!!  This is a problem that direly needs our attention. 


So guess what!  We are adopting not one, but two 6 month old baby wild horses! We chose to adopt two rather than one because they know each other, and will have each other's companionship to support them as they adjust to life without their family band, and integrate into domesticated life on our ranch with our horses. 

We will be bringing the foals up to our ranch in Lyons sometime in the first week of July, when I will begin documenting their development on a regular basis.

Happy Trails!

Deborah Inanna Krenza
Founder and Herd Queen
Gates of Inanna Ranch



Friday, February 27, 2015

THE COMPLEXITIES OF MANAGING OUR WILD HORSES

"It's not a horse issue......it's a range health issue."


This well-written article and video clearly explain the complex issues and that have contributed to the  current challenges we face in managing our wild horses.  Currently, there are approximately 48,000 wild horses out on the range in eleven western states, and there are another 50,000 wild horses in holding facilities.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/us/as-wild-horses-overrun-the-west-ranchers-fear-land-will-be-gobbled-up.html?_r=0#story-continues-1


Friday, May 9, 2014

Video: Little Bookcliff Wild Horses

Friday, February 7, 2014

THE SOCIAL ORDER OF THE WILD MUSTANGS: THE LEAD STALLION

  THE LEAD STALLION

The medicine of Horse is Power and Freedom, and a Wild Mustang Lead Stallion is the epitome of these qualities. 


 The lead stallion is the patriarch of the wild mustang family unit, which is called a “family band” or “mustang band”.  

                                                                           


His job is to protect and hold together his family band, which consists of several mares, their foals and sometimes another stallion or two, which are called “Lieutenant Stallions”.  This stallion is standing between the photographer and his family band in a stance of the protector.



 



Stallions spend a good amount of their time working to gather mares with which they breed. 


The first mare they choose usually becomes the “Lead Mare”, who partners with the stallion to lead the family band. 





This stallion is displaying the Flehmen’s Grimace, where he curls his upper lip to expose olfactory glands that he uses to detect the scent of a mare in estrus.


Sometimes stallions vie for mares, demonstrating an impressive display of posturing and if necessary, fighting to win the possession of the desired mare.



I have observed many encounters between stallions out on the range, and I am impressed by their wise use of energy in these challenges.   They exert only the necessary amount of pressure and aggression to ward off their opponent.  Once one of the stallions submits to the other, the fight is over.  No grudges held, no vindictive retaliation. 


When I visited the Wild Kaimanawa Horses in New Zealand, I witnessed a chase between two stallions that went on for over thirty minutes.  When it was over, the two stood together and grazed - an exemplary example of efficient conflict resolution.


When a fight does occur, it is a brutal display of biting and kicking, rearing and pursuing.   Injuries can occur, which may result in fatal infections or crippling.




At some point, the aging lead stallion acquiesces his rank to a younger, viril bachelor stallion.   He leaves the family band, and lives out the rest of his life, mentoring young studs in a bachelor band.



A brave warrior, indeed 


 I offer much gratitude to Marianne Martin, of Real Life Portraits - www.reallifeportraits.com for allowing me to use her photographs in this blog post.

I am filled with joy for the opportunity to share the magnificence of these powerful creatures.
Madly in love with the Mustangs,
Deborah Inanna