Seasons Turning

Wild horse country is alive with the colours of fall right now. With the snowfall today, it may not last too long. This is a favourite time of year to be out in the foothills either driving or riding our own horses. All the horses that we are finding are in excellent condition as they prepare for what is to come.

In one of our recent trips we came across some old friends that we had not seen for awhile, Mystical Spirit and her herd.

This herd is the favourite of one of our members who has photographed them extensively for many, many years. It was because of his knowledge of this particular herd that we were able to have them protected as part of the MOU’s contraception program.

Under her leadership the herd continues to thrive and are in this clearcut to escape the horrendous hordes of black flies.

One thing about all the moisture we have had is that the grasses and forest have remained lush and green allowing all the deer, elk, moose, as well as the horses, to forage easily. They don’t have to roam too far to find adequate feed. It seems this can make it a little harder to locate them. We hope the warmth returns and that the rest of fall will allow us to continue to follow all these wonderful creatures.

Rescues

As we have done in the past, WHOAS has been able to step in and rescue young stallions that have roamed out the forestry after having been kicked out their herds and wandered onto private land looking for company. Although many of us would prefer to see them remain free, WHOAS is not allowed to do this due to regulations  imposed by the AEP.

We are introducing you to the three youngsters we have under our care and are preparing them to be adopted to loving, forever homes.

This is Eldorado. He is 3 1/2 years old, has proven to have a nice temperament and is doing extremely well in his gentling process. He stands around 14.5 hands, goes in an out of the barn and ties quietly. He has been gelded, wolf teeth removed, and vaccines are up-to-date.

The is Enoch. He is also 3 1/2 years old. Although he has been a little slower to come around, he has responded well to his handlers as his gentling process continues. He is haltered, leads well and stands quietly in a stall in our barn. He too has been gelded, vaccines are up-to-date and wolf teeth removed. He is just under 15 hands high.

Meet Eli, who is 2 1/2 years old and stands just around 14 hands high. He has an excellent disposition, and has proven to be friendly and willing. Again he leads well, and also stands quietly when tied. Gelded, vaccinated and wolf teeth removed, he, along with the other two boys, is ready to go to a new home.

Don’t let their size deter you from being willing to adopt them. They are strongly built with excellent bone and feet, and they are able to take their riders anywhere they might want to go. All of these horses have excellent common sense and once bonded to their new owner are loyal companions.

Why not arrange to come out and see them. If you would like to arrange a visit, contact us via our email:

WHOASalberta@gmail.com

Our annual fundraising calendar will soon be available for purchase. When ready, we will put a link on our website with the usual ordering information. Here’s hoping for the return of warmth so that we can enjoy many more trails this fall.

 

The Green Grasses of Summer

WHOAS is so happy to let our followers know that our two beautiful adoptable yearlings, Dave and Diamond, have found a new forever home.  They will stay together as the wonderful person who adopted, wanted them to stay together.  We know that they will receive nothing but the best of care and lots of loving in their new home.

This year spring came in a normal fashion with some moisture and plenty of warm sunshine.  This allowed the wild horse mares that were in foal to give birth to healthy babies who had the ideal conditions to start their new lives.

With the rain, the countryside is lush with green grass allowing the wild horses to quickly build up their body conditions. This also allows the mares to produce lots of delicious milk for their newborns. As you can see here, this little filly is looking so cute and good.

 

You would think that the the two foals in the first picture were twins wouldn’t you? In this meadow the adult horses were so busy feeding ignoring the antics of their little ones. The dark foal had been sleeping and when he awoke the herd had fed off a bit and he had to come racing to catch up.

With the grass being so new and soft it allows for the new foals to start testing out this delicious treat. They watch and mimic the adults in searching out the best tasty morsels. This little one was trying out the dandelions.

In our travels throughout wild horse country, it is nice to come across some of our familiar herds. After not seeing Socks all winter, we came across his family which had two yearlings and a new foal. It is so great to see this magnificent stallion still doing so well.

We also found this palomino young stud doing extremely well. Last fall he had been kicked out of his herd and the last we had seen of him he was running down a trail calling out loudly for his family. He is now joined up with three other young bachelors. Maybe one day he will have his own herd and spread his coloured genes to his own offspring.

Here are two of his buddies. Just beautiful!

This beautiful pinto mare with her last year’s foal, had come through the winter months in good condition. Guess what – the stallion is a bay!

This herd of bachelor boys was found feeding, up to their knees in the water in this runoff pond. Just like moose, they were searching for the new grass shoots just under the surface.

Springtime is so wonderful because not only do we come across the wild horse foals, but also the newborn of all other wildlife. Here this beautiful black mama bear was feeding in this meadow also eating the new grass shoots. It was so neat because her roly-poly cub was cinnamon colour. This colour phase is not unusual in this particular area. They did not hang around long.

This foal is less than a week old and he tried to approach us out of curiosity but his mom would have none of it. And with a gentle murmur she called him off. With the abundance of rain, the forests including the grass are very healthy and this will help all of nature’s creatures.

 

 

Dave and Diamond

Our two young horses that were rescued last summer as foals, are now a year old and ready for adoption. Dave is the bay colt as pictured above, with Diamond, a filly, just behind him. They have come a long ways and are now looking for someone to love them and help them grow up.

Here’s a video with Klara, our lead volunteer, showing how far they have come to being able to be handled safely. As you will see, both have come to trust their human helpers.

https://youtu.be/EMx564YE4NA

Diamond has such a beautiful little face. She was the shyest of the two, but now loves her attention and has become more confident.

It takes a special person to know and come to understand these horses so that they are able to make that bond with their human. In our years of working with these beautiful wild horses, we have come to learn that this bonding is so very important for the horse.

When Dave saw Diamond getting a close-up, he wanted a close-up too! Maybe too close! This is typical of Dave who is so curious and friendly.

If you are at all interested in adopting, we encourage you to contact us via our email (WHOASalberta@gmail.com) and we can arrange a time that you can be introduced to them and Klara would be happy to show you how she works with them.

 

 

 

Adorable Adoptables

Spring it feels is finally here after such a brutal February and first two weeks of March.  We thought that we just update everyone on little “Chaska” the foal born in December.  With January being so good the little one was able to gain size and strength.  Then with such a good mom he was able to survive and thrive in the extreme cold and deepening snow.  Here, as mom stands guard, he takes an afternoon nap enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Last summer WHOAS had to rescue a whole herd of horses that were on private land and faced the threat of being sold to meat buyers.  Two of the mares at that time had foals at their side and to assure their safety we turned the mares out with our resident wild herd.  Here, along with their foals, they were accepted by the herd stallion “Porterro” and the other mares.

We have now had to wean the foals from their mares in order to make sure of the health of both the mares and the foals.  We have started to work with the two foals to begin their journey toward finding a new and loving forever home.  One is a filly, “Diamond” and the other is a colt, “Dave“.

We are looking for potential adopters who would be willing to come out to volunteer to work with them, in order to get know and understand them fully.  We are also looking for individuals who would like to volunteer and help out with the wild horses we may have to rescue throughout the year.

It will still be 4 – 8 weeks before either of these two adorable little ones will be ready to go to a new home.  Their gentling process has started and we hope to expand their trust in us humans.

Here is the little filly, “Diamond“.

This is the little charmer colt, “Dave“.

If you would to look at one of them for adoption, please contact us and we can arrange an introduction to them.  If you are interested in just volunteering, also contact us and we will set up a date for training.  We will instruct you in working with and understanding the behaviour of our Alberta wild horses.

Send us an email at:

WHOASalberta@gmail.com

January and the Wild Horses

We thought we would let everyone know how well little Chaska, the late born colt, is doing. When we saw him the other day as he was having fun tearing around with his siblings in the herd.

Here he is with two of his siblings being protected by their sire. The stallion always  keeps such a close eye on all members of his herd.

One of his beautiful mares and her foal.

Another beauty with her foal. Where do the genes that dictate colour come from? As you can see by these photographs, all the horses, including the youngest, are all in excellent condition for this time of year. This is encouraging since its almost the end of January already.

As we continued in our travels that day, we came across this group enjoying the afternoon winter sunshine on an exposed side hill.

The sunshine just totally highlighted the golden mane and tail of this beautiful mare who is part of the same group.

These young stallions put on a display for us. As is typical with young boys, they were challenging each other to see who was stronger. This is an important trait they must learn in order to eventually challenge a mature stallion to get some mares of their own. It is fun to watch. Again it is mostly bluff and posturing with no harm coming to either. Soon they wandered off feeding peacefully together.

Below them was another large herd, led by the stallion we call Thor. As you can tell by some of the mares in this group, the mare pictured above is one of their offsprings.

Can you see me? Further along our travels we came across some familiar boys including this wonderful grey boy feeding amongst the bushes. He paid absolutely no attention to us, as he was very focussed on getting his feed.

We admired the shiny coats of these two young studs, who were very interested in our dog, as we hiked along taking pictures of their herd. Here you can see there is absolutely no snow which allows for easy access for food and one of the reasons that they and their coats are in such excellent condition.

As the sun began to set for the day, we found Raven and his herd feeding close by. He displays such classic Spanish-type characteristics – fine ears and head, long mane and tail. He is truly a magnificent specimen of how beautiful our Alberta wild horses truly are and why they should be allowed to remain free and wild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Born Foal

This week in our travels we came across one of the herds we know and we had a surprise waiting for us. This little colt! We have given it the name “Chaska” which means first born son. He was likely born around the middle of December,  into a herd led by a beautiful stallion who had his mother and three other mares along with two yearlings in it. All the horses were in excellent shape including this little one.

Occasionally we come across wild horses where they have foaled out of season. There could be several reasons for this. One could be that this mare lost her foal last year due to the extreme winter and then came into season right away and the result is this baby. All horse mares do cycle shortly after having given birth so it is not just limited to the wildie mares.

Here is another example of a foal born in the winter. It was minus 20C when we found “Yeppa” along with its mom feeding in a clear cut. It was the offspring of the black stallion “Raven” which was highlighted in the 2011 calendar. Despite the extreme cold and snow, this foal survived. We are hopeful that the little colt we saw this week will also thrive, especially since the winter so far has been relatively mild with little snow.

These two yearlings also belong to Chaska’s herd.

Here is his mighty sire. What a strong and magnificent stallion. With his genes the foal should do extremely well.

Still around today, this is “Raven” the sire of “Yeppa”. It was so nice to see him and his herd the same day also doing so well.

Here is a shaky, short video of Chaska and as you watch you can see he has already learned to paw imitating what the other horses were doing.

We hope to be able to keep you up-dated on this little boy’s progress.