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Mustang Delivery

After many challenges and plans being changed by external forces literally minute to minute, tomorrow I head for North Carolina to meet the adopters of some of the Checkerboard mustangs I photographed last September, and await their arrival from Colorado this Saturday. It’s an exciting time for all of us, anxiously awaiting the horses we’ve been following for months from their gather off the Salt Wells Creek, Adobe Town and Divide Basin Horse Management Areas in Wyoming. How wild will they be? Did they transport safely? And most of all, are they the horses we dreamed they’d be?

IMG_6126 - Version 2I know for sure that Shiloh, the red Appaloosa mare is due to be delivered. Heavily pregnant, she also is soon due to deliver her foal. Sadly, Lieutenant, the grey band stallion (now gelding) has been delayed until Feb/March.

IMG_6199-2B-2BVersion-2B2

Every since photographing his band, I have been haunted by Shiloh and Lieutenant. You can see him watching me in every photograph and Shiloh was never far from his side. In a perfect world, I would have them as a saddle and pack horse team for my treks through the Rockies. Alas, I am living in a 12′ travel trailer. I could not even prevail upon friends to pasture them since they don’t understand what a fence is, and need immediate gentling and training.

Lieutenant 1Lona Kossar at the Cañon City, CO holding facility was able to locate them and give me their tag numbers. Shiloh was five years old and available for a $125 adoption fee. Lieutenant was thirteen and as such would be sent straight to long term holding, but could be sold for $25. I was determined to find him a home and posted his info on the Cañon City Mustangs Facebook page. After that, Shiloh and Lieutenant were snapped up immediately by two women in North Carolina.

Over the next couple of months one of them also stepped forward for Sister, the grey mare doppleganger of Lieutenant. As time progressed the authorities in Cañon City decided she was too close to foaling to ship, so sadly she is left behind. We also tried for Ghost, the white mare in the first photo, probably related, probably pregnant and looking very good at age eighteen! So far no takers for her either.

Shiloh & WhiteyInterestingly and somewhat sadly, in the corral photos, Shiloh and Sister were often photographed with another poorly conditioned white mare between them, and Ghost right behind, preserving their family bond in the holding pens and protecting the weaker horse.

I am so looking forward to meeting Tammy and the rest of the adopters, some coming from as far as Alabama and Maryland to the distribution point in Marshall, NC. I am hoping for no further obstacles getting to NC. Keep your fingers crossed that I have safe, uneventful travels and can continue to tell the unfolding story of these most magnificent of God’s creatures.

5 Comments

  1. Barbara
    January 15, 2015

    Thank you for all you do in helping our wild mustAngs they look as pRt of the family of apps that went to No Dakota.

    Reply
  2. Sheila Horne
    January 15, 2015

    I. Love love love horses. Had three n the past and kept till they were old and died. I am curious where r the people from n alabama getting these mustangs. I
    Am In Tuscaloosa alabama. My parents have land and gosh I would love keeping some of these mustangs together. Even the older ones.
    Give me info.
    What I wish more than anything is that they would leave these horses along and let them stay on their land. But we live in a horrible world.

    Reply
    • Kerry O'Brien
      January 15, 2015

      It’s do-able Sheila. And a very generous offer. I hope to meet an adopter from AL this weekend. One of my objectives in photographing wild is to document families in an effort to keep them together. Unfortunately they are separated into groups by sex and age. If you are serious, I will let you know if I can identify any more families. I just found out many of the yearlings went to Utah and I’ve not seen photos yet. Ghost, the white mare in my photos is eighteen. Have you checked out the Cañon City Mustang FB page? Keep the faith.

      Reply
  3. Gloria Kersey
    January 15, 2015

    I am so upset and heartbroken over the illegal and horrific helicopter roundups of these magnificent WY horses from the checkerboard of WY! I absolutely do not understand how the BLM and RSGA are getting away with these atrocities! !! They should have never been rounded up to begin with! Now their freedom is lost, their families are torn apart, and many will be slaughtered! We have to do everything we can to stop these monsters from destroying more wild mustangs!

    Reply
    • Kerry O'Brien
      January 15, 2015

      Gloria, I suggest you do better research and stop reading the inflammatory, emotional stuff aimed at getting you to open your wallet. Helicopter roundups are not illegal or horrific and are safer for both the horses and wranglers than other means. I have attended many. The casualty rate is the same as for bait trapping. Also, mustangs are not being slaughtered. Approximately 1% of the horses crossing the border for slaughter (slaughter of horses is illegal in the US) are titled mustangs. Most are Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses. The issues we need to get behind are contraception and adoption. Pointing fingers, name calling and villainizing doesn’t help. I suggest you read Wild Horses and Sacred Cows.

      Reply

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