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The culprits

The culprits

Several times during a year WHOAS receives reports of wild horses that for one reason or the other wander outside the boundaries of the forestry reserves. One of the activities we have actively pursued over the years is helping land owners or even just the wild horses move them back to safety. This was the case on a beautiful spring day, May 6th, minus 2C with snow flurries! Spring? We had received word that there was a small group of these wayward horses that were wandering out on a busy roadway west of Sundre. Due to the heavy snow and fallen trees on fence lines they had found an opening onto the road. Desperate was their search for feed.

The team of volunteers has arrived

The team of volunteers has arrived

WHOAS responded to this and issued a call for volunteers to help move these beauties back onto the forestry land. There were four horses altogether. We found these two beside the roadway and the other two just in the trees behind some broken fencing. The land they were on was private land thus the reason for moving them. Often we just have to repair the fence but in this case that would not suffice.

The herding has begun

The herding has begun

Using volunteers on foot and in vehicles aided by the mighty Badger, we started moving to where we knew there was an open gate leading into the forestry. It was about a mile and a half that we slowly pushed them along trying not to get them too upset. Ahead we had more volunteers waiting to make sure they turned into and through the gate.

Almost there

Almost there

It seemed the horses recognized where they could go and be safe because without hesitation in they went. Right away there was some exposed grass for them and they began to feed. This made us feel relieved that they were off the road and had obviously not undergone much stress.

Yummy green grass

Yummy green grass

The stallion even took time to have a good roll and shake himself out. It made us smile.

Oh that felt good

Oh that felt good

What remained to assure that they now stayed safe was to repair some fencing right at this area. Armed with our fencing pliers, fence stretcher, barbwire and fencing staples, the crew set about securing the fence.

Crew at work

Crew at work

Once this was done we observed them for awhile before we left them free and safe. As you can see, winter is not over for the wild horses. There was at least six inches of fresh snow blanketing the ground out here. We travelled a little bit farther into the forestry and found these two young mares with no stallion seeking out food.

So thin

So thin

Usually by this time of the year, the wild horses have begun to rebound. Not so this year as you can see by the condition of these two mares.

I need more green grass

I need more green grass

Let’s hope it warms up soon for all the wild horses and other wildlife. WHOAS is proud of our volunteers and the work such as this that we do to save your wild horses. Thanks to all of our supporters.

Bob

 

One Response to “Relocating Trouble”

I and a friend took a drive out west on Monday. I was shocked at the number of horses that were absolutely emaciated – much thinner than the mare in Bob’s picture. I was also surprised to see so many horses on or near the road and sooo much poop everywhere. Have they been mustering by the road, waiting for the hills to green up?

Something to say?