Equine Rescue

Wild Horses – Photographing the Wyoming Checkerboard Horses in Canon City

SOURCE:  wildhoofbeats.com

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation


The beautiful boys 1-4 years old in pen 3 were curious about us

As many of you know, it was quite a process obtaining permission to photograph the wild horses rounded up last month in Wyoming’s Checkerboard Areas who are now in Canon City Short Term Holding at the prison facility.  However, on Monday, no one could have been more helpful and accommodating than Fran Ackley and Brian Hardin, who spent 4 1/2 hours with us, taking us to every pen, and making sure we could get good angles, tag numbers, and good views of the horses.  They want these horses to go to good homes.


Fran Ackley was an excellent guide

I did my best to photograph as many horses as possible and have their tag numbers visible for people interested in adopting them.  I did not photograph every horse – some were behind other horses, and the sheer number was overwhelming.

You are welcome to download and use the photos for identification purposes and to send to Lona Kossnar, but please respect my copyright and do not use them for anything else without my permission.  You are also welcomed and encouraged to share these with anyone who is interested in adopting a horse or horses.


Beautiful young mares 1-4 years old in pen 21


I have broken the photos down into age groups.

First are the foals and weanlings in this link:


Images 1-5 in pen 13A, images 6-57 are in the two adjoining weanling pens, 36C and 36D, images 146-149 are in pen 23.

Then the young mares, ages 1-4 in this link:


Images 59-93 are in pen 21, images 94-100 are in pen “No Man’s Land”, images 101-125 are in pen 22 and images 126-145 are in pen 25.

Then the young stallions, (soon to be gelded) ages 1-4 in this link:


Images 150-155 are in pen 8B, images 156-225 are in pens 3 and F, images 226-246 are in pen G.

The older mares, ages 5 and up are here:


Images 339-387 are in pen 26, images 388-441 are in pen 18. You may notice hip brands on some of these mares – this is because they were treated with birth control, PZP either in December of 2013 and/or October of 2010.

The older stallions, 5 and up:


Images 247-313 and 327-338 are in pens 19b and 19C, images 314-327 are in pen 9.

14CarolWalkerCanonCity-332                14CarolWalkerCanonCity-432

2 of the older stallions                                                      Older mares


Two stunning weanlings, a dun 9135 and a grulla 9133 in pen 36C


You can use the neck tag numbers on the horses for identification purposes.

Some notes about the horses – the 9000 numbers are from Great Divide Basin, the 7000 numbers are from Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town.  They do not list any horses as being from Adobe Town, but there are Adobe Town horses mixed in with the Salt Wells Creek horses.

These are NOT all the horses brought in during the Checkerboard Roundup.  The other 600+ are at Rock Springs Corrals.  They are not ready for adoption there yet.  There are also about 100 weanlings and yearlings and two year olds from Salt Wells Creek that went to Axtell, Utah’s wild burro facility.


There are no burros in Wyoming, Marjorie, but there are burros at Canon City! Ginger makes a few friends.

Several of us have photos posted of these horses out there, so there is no guarantee that a horse pictured will still be available.  I am not in charge of adoption, I am only the photographer.

The next adoption day event is November 21st (but you can call to adopt at anytime with an approved adoption application). Information about the event, how to find out more about individual horses or to download adoption forms can be found at these links:



Through the Canon City BLM office, the first 150 miles of shipping is FREE!  There are group shipping options as well for folks that are interested in the horses, but live a distance away.  Please contact the BLM office directly for specifics.

Lona Kossnar at (719) 269-8539, or email her at lkossnar@blm.gov

Please be kind to and patient with Lona – she will have LOTS of folks contacting her and I know she will do her very best to help all of you!

Pam Nickoles was also there photographing and you can view her images here:

(http://www.nickolesphotography.com/f106188461) entitled “Canon City BLM Checkerboard Horses”

And Amanda Wilder, who has images on her Facebook page with each horse identified by tag number:



The weather changed just as we were leaving – we had good timing!


36 replies »

  1. Thanks you guys for always getting the best of the wild ones and sharing it with all of us..we are all praying for the right outcome for them..they will be free again..


  2. So, what was there reasoning for rounding up this bachelor band? They look fat and happy. Are they playing the numbers game? Will they adopt them all out, how many will get sent to slaughter?

    I’m new to learning all this mayhem, and I’m SHOCKED at what I am seeing.

    Outside of my numerous question, these are fantastic shots that would inspire anyone to adopt a wild ponnnnneeeee!


  3. Stunning beauty only Mother nature can create , the Wild Mustangs belong on the range ……………………………..this is how it is supose to be, this is what I will fight tooth and nail to keep !!!!!!!!


  4. 1263 wild horses were removed from the Checkerboard Areas of Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek in September and October leaving only 29 wild horses in Salt Wells Creek, 91 in Great Divide Basin. This was at the behest of the Rock Springs Grazing Association who want all wild horses removed not only from their private lands but also from public lands which they consider to be theirs. Here are some good posts that can fill you in on the background of this issue. These horses NEVER should have been removed from their families and their homes, but now that they are stuck in holding facilities I want to see as many as possible of them find good homes. Our lawsuit continues.





  5. I also wanted to mention that it is absolutely devastating to me visiting these beautiful, noble horses in holding corrals after seeing them proud and free with their families on the range. I have to just steel myself and put my feelings aside when I visit them at Canon City so that I can do my job and take photos and document them there. When I recognize horses it is like taking a fist to the gut. After fighting hard the last few years and doing everything I can think of to stop this roundup it is killing me seeing these horses there.


    • Dear Carol , I admire your complete strength and have no idea where it comes from…..i can imagine just how devastating you feel to see Our Fabulous Mustangs in such peril, !!!!!!!but I know the need to be there and report and photo this devastation is necessary…………………………..God be with his Mustangs !!!!! and with you …………………………… the Huge desgusting Blame lies within the BLM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>….And they must stop this insanity !!!!!!!!!!


  6. Carol, thanks for doing what you can for these hapless victims of humanity. It’s alarming to see so many snotty noses already, and obvious signs of fighting as these horses are confined in unnaturally segregated groups.

    I know you mentioned some appaloosas may be in the mix, did you happen to see any in Canon? Any news on how the adoption went last week?


  7. all this miraculous beauty locked in a PEN??????????? When they should be out on the Range where they were intended to be……… and where nature wants them to be, this is really despicable !!!!!!!!! They by Law were given the Freedom and specified Land …………………………………………


  8. There are Appys and yes it is ridiculous to see the PZP brands on the hips of these mares – they were treated in December of 2013 and in 2010 and instead of managing the horses on the range all of them were brought in regardless if they had been treated with PZP.


    • I didn’t see any photos of appaloosas, but will keep digging. Can’t help but imagine if all those frightened faces you photographed held American passports and were considered citizens by birthright how differently this would play out.


    • If one steps back for a moment and analizes what exactly has been happening here to our Wild mustangs , one can only conclude, it is beyond reasoning , it is a despicable power play for the land, the Mustangs are in their way to take their land for monetary gain,(and dont think if we were in their way itwould most asuridly be us ) this must and has to be stopped !!!!!!! The longer WE yes WE allow this to continue WE are as much to blame as the Greedy , murdering who think they are GOD will continue till there is not one viable Mustang Left to ADORE !!!!!!!!!!! There is not enough room or time to keep talking and do nothing !!!!!!!! Our PURE and ABSOLUTELY NEEDED TREASURES are on the VERGE of EXTINTION does it gewt more serious ?????? I believe NOT, there is so much scientific evidence SCREAMING Stop these Imbiciles the BLM IS NOT THE ONLY ONES HERE NOT LISTENING >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


      • Arlene, I still can’t imagine that so few horses can be any significant issue for the oil and gas developers… your idea only makes sense if the lands they occupy are slated for sale to private buyers, hence necessitating removals since they are supposedly federally protected. Imagine for a moment if the species involved were, elk or deer, and their presence would in most instances be desirable. No need to remove them (other than by legal hunting).

        I’m still at a loss as to how these few horses are a threat to anyone when they are roaming their (ever shrinking) legal publicly owned homelands.

        Lest we forget, cows were introduced here and never native, so that argument against horses fails on two scores. If you accept (I don’t) that no horses walked the Americas before the Spaniards arrived, you are forced to recognize that the horses and cattle both came with them, so if you classify horses as “invasive” you must also therefore include cattle in that determination.

        Separating them as livestock or not is also problematic since both were raised all over the west as livestock, often together––another argument used against horses, claiming they are all descendants of ranch stock turned loose to breed. If you accept this argument then the bill for their 40+ years of federal management should be sent to the ranchers who have profited in so many ways by this broken system.

        These animals fall into a limboland where they are truly neither quite livestock or wildlife, but are federally protected as a “heritage species.” I’m wondering lately if we shouldn’t consider the BLM freeze brand as proof of citizenship and protect these animals as rightful occupants of their ancestral homelands. Especially as our government is considering granting legal rights to children born here of illegal immigrants, the evident hypocrisy is damning on us as a society.

        I return again to my idea from a few years back – why can’t we insist on being able to adopt wild horses IN THE WILD, and leave them there. I would gladly pay the $1.35/month (which should be less, if based as the system demands on their weight). If we have around 40,000 wild horses left in the wild, and if a person spent, say, $5.40/month to adopt 4 horses, it would take only 10,000 people to do so. We’ve seen well over that number in petition signatures achieved in a few days… so this is a reachable and equitable solution.

        These rates match those given to private, for-profit enterprises and technically should be even less to citizens wanting to keep wild horses in the wild since we are already paying the salaries etc. for the broken systems already in place. But to keep a level playing field, whatever Congress decides is the private rancher grazing rate should be the same for citizens adopting wild horses and keeping them in the wild.

        I challenge any of the WHB organizations to take up this idea! I am only one person but would gladly put energy towards this, and my coffee money too. Wonder if we could get Starbucks to get involved – the price of one cuppa joe there would sponsor 4 horses for a month… I might even go back there one day if they sponsored such a program. Imagine WHB photos on their coffee cups, with names and locations!?!


  9. Speaking of photography, just stumbled onto this free app for phones… why can’t something similar be put in place in the STH and LTH pens, so people could see “our” horses whenever the sun was shining?


    • oops, here’s the link:
      horseCam Online App

      Your horse is only a click away – literally! horseCam Online, a service of the horseCam camera system has created an app that allows you to see their horse from anywhere within an 800 m range. The app allows you to view your horse stable via your mobile phone. At home or in the office, this app allows you to check up on your horses.

      This app can be downloaded on iPhone here:https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/horsecam-online/id431819079?mt=8


    • Isy Spots, I for one would give $15.00 or more to adopt horses on the ranges. Based on the $1.35 a month, I would be adopting at least fourteen horses. Based on this, it would not take that many to adopt and own all of beautiful wild horses. And, dare anyone try to take them away from us, the owners. I think your idea is great, keep me appraised if there’s a take on this idea and I will be the first to send monies – The $15.00 or more. I hate the BLM for what they are doing. This agency should be dismantled and all employees FIRED. We need one where the individuals are knowledgeable about horses and an agency that is honest in their dealings and know they are being paid by us, the U.S. Citizens.


      • Dear Lynne Jones I am in full aggreement with Icy, and with you I will follow your lead, and i am sure everyone who loves our Wild Mustangs will do the same………….. Icys Idea is Brilliant…………………this is how we will Save Our Precious gifts the WILD MUSTANGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  10. Nest Wednesday evening Debbie Coffey has invited me and Ginger Kathrens to be her guests on Wild Horse and Burro Radio for her finial show of the year to talk about the wild horses of the Wyoming Checkerboard at Canon City and our experience being down there with them. We will be posting more information soon about what time and where to tune in.


  11. Also some good news – Lona Kossnar who is in charge of adoptions at Canon City reported that she has been inundated with calls of people wanting to adopt, so thank you everyone who is planning to provide a good home for our Wyoming Checkerboard horses – they deserve it!


  12. Dear Icy possitively Brilliant idea, that would certainly work!!!!!!!! Once presented it would separate the Murder minded imbilciles from those who want to do the right thing for the Mustangs ,,,,,,,,,,, there isnt a better offer out there ~~~@@@@ I would also pay that for Our spectacular Beauties …………………….


    • Arlene, I agree with you. As mentioned before your comment, I would send a minimum of $15.00 – which would mean I own at least fourteen horses. I probably would send more. I agree, this is a brilliant idea. Icy Spots and Arlene, let’s run with this idea. I think it has true potential.


      • I am ready !!!!!!! This looks to be the answer, how can greed turn this offer down ???????????????????????????????????


    • Arlene: I don’t think greed will turn this offer down? They are money hungry as evidenced by all the cattle on the ranges at the wild horses expense.


  13. The BLM site linked in the article leads you to a gallery – but not for any horses at Canon City, so I presume they must be posted someplace else?


    • We have links from me, Pam Nickoles and Amada Wilder that have photos of the wild horses in Canon City in the blog post above. The BLM links are for adoption information and paperwork, not for photos of the horses.


      • Hi Carol, and thanks. The BLM site mentions online photo galleries of adoptable horses, and does have photo galleries from a bunch of facilities which identifies specific horses by number etc., but they only show the curlies at Canon City.

        I’ve combed your links numerous times already (thank you!) and sent them on to others in hopes of getting more horses adopted in a timely manner. Hope a bunch find new people tomorrow, but am not sure how we’ll know.


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