Equine Rescue

Wild Horses: Adobe Town Wild Families Reunited at Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

SOURCE:  wildhoofbeats.com

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

Bronze Warrior and his mares

In September last year when I first saw a noble older wild stallion with spectacular spots leading his family in Adobe Town, my heart broke because I knew what was going to happen to them in a matter of days – they would be separated from each other and lose their home in Adobe Town and their freedom forever. When I called Manada Kalimian of the Cana Project, I was hopeful she could save a few of these horses from living out their days in holding pens or an even more uncertain future.

Snowfall at Sunrise

Snowfall and Bronze Warrior

A week and a half ago, six wild horses from Adobe Town that were rounded up in the Checkerboard Roundup and were held in Rock Springs, Wyoming arrived at Cana Project, and families were reunited as they joined the four Adobe Town horses that had come from Canon City, Colorado in January.

Snowfall, Theordore and Diamond Girl

We arrived as the sun had just disappeared and needed headlights to make sure the gate to the corral was secured before unloading the six wild horses into the corral next to their family members. All of them got out of the trailer and walked into the corral, and with hay and water ready for them, I felt sure that they would be fine overnight, and I headed to the cabin.


16 replies »

  1. Excerpts from THE TRAIL RIDER

    An American Original: Dayton Hyde
    By Honi Roberts
    Meet Dayton Hyde, rancher, conservationist, author, photographer, and champion of America’s last wild horses

    TTR: When did the plight of the American wild horse first capture your attention?

    Hyde: In 1970, when it became clear that the act to protect wild horses was going to become law, people who had cared for them panicked. A lot of wild horses were shot. In the past, ranchers fed wild herds throughout the winter and appreciated them. In the spring, they harvested weanlings and turned them into wonderful saddle horses. But when the government planned to take over, some worried that the government might also take possession of adjoining lands, so many wild horses were shot on sight. That hurt me deeply.

    TTR: What did you do to help the wild horses that were being shot?

    Hyde: I left my gates at Yamsi open, and the local wild horses came in. They ate hay at my place and were safe. Eventually, I closed my gates, and we took care of them. When I went to northern Nevada to buy cattle, I saw a government holding corral filled with captured wild horses. They were sad and dejected. My life functions on anger, and I got mad. I thought about coming back at night, throwing the gates open, and setting them loose. Then I realized they’d only be captured again. I called my kids to tell them they had to take over the ranch – I had something to do.

    TTR: How did you end up in South Dakota?

    Hyde: The governor of South Dakota, George Mickelson, heard about what I was doing. He’d already read my books, and appreciated my philosophy. He took me up in a helicopter to look at this beautiful land. He feared that it would be subdivided, developed, and lost. He hoped that if I started a nonprofit organization to save wild horses, they could run free, and it would be a way to save the land, as well as the horses, for future generations. That’s exactly what I have done.


    • In1968-1970 I was in Klamath Falls Ore going to college, I took my horse to college and boarded her at the fairgrounds. It was the first time I saw wild horses up close, as semi-loads were brought to the outdoor arena to await shipment to slaughter-they were a sickening mangled mess having been rounded up by a local rancher with a fixed wing airplane..he crashed in that plane shortly thereafter and was killed..no comment…This is the country where dayton had his ranch, bless his heart. And I too got mad and passionate as only a 19 year old can be.
      Two years later, I went to work with my boyfreind on a generational cattle ranch in N. Nevada..between jackpot and wells nv..take a left turn on a dirt road and head west about 40 miles of no man lands where ranches all have cattle allotments to go along with some meadow land where they grow hay along a river bed.
      In the spring thru the fall we pushed cows back out onto BLM grazing lands every other day..because cows hate scrubbing for food they are lazy and head back to the home pastures like lemmings..The family had ranched there for generations so I heard first hand of the evolution and ultimate destruction of the wild horse herds that had lived there. at one time that area had well over 20,000, head of wild horses, during WW1 the US government went around and talked ranchers into picking out TB “remount” stallions from back east and turning them out with the wild horse herds to breed a tougher horse with more endurance, the TB adding a bit more leg to them, then committed to buying those offspring once rounded up..long story short..by WW2 horses and cavalry was no longer needed..this is when the slaughter started…In 1970-71 when I was there the great herds were gone and what remained was one last band of wild horses, we would see off in the distance..When ever the ranch needed saddle horses they would round them up take the 3 year olds release the rest and call the horse trader to bring them some broke saddle horses and trade them the wildies-we got some real junk whereas the wild ones were stunning..they just did not want to invest the time and manpower to break them


  2. WOW!!!!!! That is an absolutely, stunningly, beautiful group of horses. Yes, Carol Thank you for your part in saving this wild bunch.


    Pete Ramey

    So, I walked into wild horse country thinking that I was on a tourist trip; confirming what I already knew. I could not have been more blind. I could not have been more wrong. They were much, much more than I had ever imagined. What I write here, will probably sound very similar to what my predecessors have written. I don’t know if anyone’s words can get the point across to the world, but I have to try.
    I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away.
    I have worked on thousands of horses, all over the world.
    I spent six years of my life in the saddle from daylight till dark.
    I’ve had the privilege of working on some of the finest horses, for the finest horsemen in the world.
    Understand that after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse.
    I literally had no idea of their potential.

    How has the horse world ignored the remarkable lessons the natural horse has to offer us? Only a few people have noticed them and very little time has been spent studying them.

    The true wild horse is an endangered species, because true wild horse country is almost gone. We had better learn to treat them as such and get all of the answers we can from them before it’s too late.


    • So beautifully said and thanks for posting that for us Louie and he is right, especially this sentence, “I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away.”


  4. If there is 1 question unanswered?????? I would like to know what it is????? as to why the Mustangs should not roam free forever protected by Law????


    • Arlene, keep fighting the Good fight.
      Today’s news on American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign website

      Federal Court Dismisses Nevada Cattlemen’s Anti-Mustang Lawsuit
      Posted on March 12, 2015 at 6:12 PM

      Court Grants AWHPC Motion to Dismiss Legal Action Seeking Roundup & Slaughter of Wild Horses

      Reno, NV (March 12, 2015) . . . Today, the U.S. District Court in Nevada Judge Miranda Du granted a motion by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), author Terri Farley and photographer Mark Terrell to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) and local ranchers against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeking the removal of thousands of wild horses from public lands and the sale for slaughter of wild horses warehoused in government holding facilities.

      The motion was granted “with prejudice,” which means it cannot be amended or refilled.

      “We are pleased that the Court declined to allow these grazing interests to use the judicial system to revamp the priorities of the 1971 Wild Horse and Burros Act – to protect wild horses on the public lands as much as possible,” said Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, which represented AWHPC, Ms. Farley and Mr. Terrell in the case.


  5. Thank you Carol for your hard work to save Bronze Warrior and his family. They are the most beautiful horses I’ve ever seen in photograph. It’s my plan to visit the Black Hills this summer. I hope I can also say, “I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away.”


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