Horse News

Rescuing an Abandoned Wild Horse Foal

Source: Carol Walker’s Wild Hoofbeats.com

“I realized that this was a foal, and he looked miserable, head down, standing next to a post”

On Sunday, I was driving in Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Area in the Red Desert of Wyoming. This area is over 1 million acres in size, vast and beautiful in parts, with power plants, a few ranches, wildlife (which includes deer, antelope, and wild horses), plus cattle and sheep.  You can drive for over 30 miles on dirt roads from I 80 south and still not reach the border of the herd area.

13CarolWalker-10I was there because last week, a judge in Wyoming Federal Court signed a Consent Decree which will eliminate all wild horses from this Salt Wells Creek Herd Area this coming summer. I wanted to see and photograph some of the over 600 wild horses inhabiting this area that would soon be separated from their homes and families and end up initially at the Rock Springs Short Term Holding Facility.

The last time I had visited this herd was in August of 2010 before the last round up of Salt Wells and Adobe Town.

On Sunday is was rainy and sunny alternating, and there was a storm that was supposed to be coming in that evening, and the roads were wet in spots, so I planned to stay to paved and extremely improved dirt roads only. I was driving along and saw a sign for County Road 27 and the road looked good, so I turned.  I drove and saw manure from wild horses and stud piles, but no horses.  The scenery is varied and beautiful, and there was one ranch along this road which I passed.

I saw no other vehicles, and I had been going for about 10 miles.  Soon there was a turn for Aspen Mountain, and the road underneath my tires got looser and looser and I started to slide.  I almost turned around, but I got this urgent feeling that I needed to keep going.  I turned north up CR27 and drove a little bit, and the road got a little firmer which was a relief.  But the clouds started coming in, and I almost turned around.  Then I spotted a horse – finally!

As I got closer, I realized that this was a foal, and he looked miserable, head down, standing next to a post.  I looked and looked but could not see any other horses.  I drove closer and got out, and got my binoculars.  I could see for at least a few miles in every direction, but not a single other horse was in sight.  The little guy had worn a path around the post, and from the little bits of manure it looked as though he had been there a while.

I approached slowly, not wanting to scare him, and notice a big bite mark on his neck, from another horse.  It looked like a big scrape, not a deep wound and it was not bleeding.  He was bright eyed and moving just fine. I wondered how he had come to be there all alone – perhaps he had a young first time mother who had wondered away, perhaps a stallion had bitten him and driven him off, or maybe his mother had died shortly after having given birth. I knew he was less than a week old.

When I got closer he whinnied at me, a little high pitched happy noise, clearly glad to see another creature! I was able to touch him, and he tried to nurse on my fingers.  He was thirsty!  I knew foals this small could not graze and need to nurse from their mothers every few hours, and there was a big storm coming in the next day, so he clearly needed help. I could not fit him in my vehicle, let alone lift him in, and also there were regulations about how to interact with wild horses and so I needed help…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and view Carol’s Photos

13 replies »

  1. Okay. What is behind the removal of these gentle Wild Mustangs
    from their home, this time??There is plenty of empty land in that area. If this is for oil and gas exploration, the horses would adapt.. It appears that the majority of our politicians/judges, etc., are set on destroying all which is good!!! Donate toward ther lawsuit, in an atttempt to stop this insanity! This story has a very nice ending.

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    • The reason for the removal of the animals? Ask the farmers that use the land to graze their cattle and other live stock. Ask them why they feel it is ok to shoot the “pests”, Ask them why they feel the horses do no belong. BLM is required to care for these creatures by law. They are doing the only thing they know how to do. If you truly want to stop the round ups, then start pointing your finger at the people really pushing them from their land…the farmers.

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  2. Carol Walker, you are a REMARKABLE person!

    I was riveted by your well written, beautifully photographed story.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! (I thank the BLM rep, rancher, vet too)

    Do you think it is possible that this was actually a domestic foal that had been abandoned?

    Please keep up posted on Destiny’s progress and yes, people need to send whatever they can to fight this in the courts. I recommend that everyone finish reading this moving story at Carol’s blog (linked above).

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  3. Carol destiny places us where we are suppose to be, destiny brought you to the Little Foal !!! Thank You Carol and Destiny !!!!!!! What a Beautiful caring Lady you are !!!!!!!!! God Bless Destiny !!!!!!

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  4. Amazing story with miracle elements, amazing trust of a wild youngster, and amazing teamwork of people doing the right thing.

    Would be wonderful if BLM leadership were equally amazing.

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  5. I read this yesterday on “Wild Hoof beats” website and it just made my day…………

    Carol Thank you and everyone involved for saving “Destiny…..

    So Heart Warming…………………

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  6. Well done! This poor little baby, helpless and happy to see another creature. Damn! I get so mad when we betray this trust in all senses of the word, and break the law by violating the Horses and Burros Act! The spirit of that law – “in order to enrich the lives of the American people”, mandating that they are to be “protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” It’s like we have lost our soul and put importance on things that have no real meaning.

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  7. He whiinied when she approached and stood so confidently next to Ray. I believe. Carol”s photos are wonderful as always they bring us the truth of the horse.

    In the 60’s and 70’s, so many fought to bring enlightment to America. We succeeded on so many fronts and a new era of compassion enveloped us; but slowly, as in every society, profiteering, entitled, nepotistic and even sociopathic people have bled our vision for a peaceful society for all they can. We must keep fighting, keep reminding each other what and who we fight for, and bring new rules into place.

    Please do today as much as you can do to challenge the takeover of our dreams of a world working together with respect and compassion.

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  8. This is absolutely great! I feel bad again that he will not know what it is like to live in the wild, he is safe and is luckier than most. What a peanut!!! Who knows what will be coming for the rest. This is the part that scares me. Where did this baby come from? At any rate, he is safe and will be going to a forever home.. The Angels guilded you to him by the hand of God..God bless all of those in the rescue of “Destiny.”

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  9. Noted at the bottom of Carol’s article on Wild Hoofbeats (buy her book) that an article was published in March, 2013 about the plight of our Wild Horses. Perhaps more people will become concerned about our totally unique American Treasure.

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