WHOAS Address Change

WHOAS has been required to obtain a new postal box for our mail.

Our address is now:

WHOAS
Box 4154
Olds, AB
T4H 1P7

 

Reminder – There is still time to register as a participant or to observe the Evan Bonner Clinic to be held August 5-8 at Sunset Guiding. For information contact Lori at Sunset – 1-888-637-8580.

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Summer Days

Well summer is certainly here with very warm temperatures and of course the hordes of annoying insects.  At this time of the year the bands of horses tend to congregate in areas where they can find some relief from the bugs and heat.  It will be an open grove of trees where the visibility is good, yet they can be shaded from the sun and the branches help in keeping the horseflies off of them.  We call this treeing up.

It can also be an open area on top of a ridge or along a logging road where the wind will keep them a little cooler and also blow away some of the insects.

In these areas you can find several herds occupying the same small area and the herd stallions seem to have a truce with each other as long as the another boy does not get too close to one of his mares.  They also let young bachelors stay closer, as long as they behave themselves.  It only happens for a short time and then they will disperse throughout their range.

The foals that we have found and that were born this spring are doing well. There’s an abundance of grass this year allowing all the horses and other wildlife to stay in prime condition.

It is fun to watch the interaction of the siblings as well as the discipline that takes place by their moms or stallion when they stray too far away from their herd.

In the heat of the day the yearlings and adult horses go about their daily routines, you’ll often find the young ones snoozing in the sunshine.

Caught this little boy right out of it.  His herd had wandered off. Worried that maybe something was wrong, I approached right up to him looking to see if any of the mares would be looking for him. Nope! Standing close to him I softly talked to him and he opened his eyes and was not startled at all by my presence. He slowly stood up and started calling for his mom. I was sure relieved that he was okay.

 

It was fun to watch this youngster using this bush to scratch his belly. As you can see it quickly drew the attention of two of his siblings who wanted to get in on the action.

This little filly was so intent on watching us that she let her mom wander off.

Here comes Mom to collect her wayward offspring.

Look at me – I’m so beautiful! This is one of the younger foals we saw that day.

WHOAS has started our foal count from our study area using our volunteers. This type of information will be added to our database and will give us critical information about the total number of foals born and how many make it through their first year. In order to have any proper management strategy, this is the type of information that is needed.

Evan Bonner Clinic in August

Evan Bonner, a trainer who won the Trainer’s Challenge at the Mane Event in Chiliwack, BC, is coming this August 5-8, 2017. This event is being hosted at Sunset Outfitting, about an hour west of Sundre, Alberta.

Check out Evan’s webpage at Evan Bonner Horsemanship

Registration is limited to 10 participants. Click on the poster below for information on how to register. Auditing is also welcomed.

EvanBonnerClinic

Join us for 2 or 4 days at this beautiful location along the Panther River. Accommodation and meal packages are available.

The New Rescues

Every year about this time the 2-3 year old studs that have been with their family band since birth are chased out of their herd by the dominant stallion.  This is way it is in the herd dynamics of wild horses.

For the most part these young boys will wander around by themselves until they have the opportunity to join up with other bachelors.

Here they form bachelor bands that continue to roam free throughout their range. Usually causing no trouble except among themselves. You always see the young boys testing each other as they begin to mature. There is safety in numbers and so they are more brazen and don’t always flee from humans.

By banding together they are also a lot safer from the predators that share their habitat. Can you see the wolf next to the boy above? He was with four other boys all strong and healthy. The pack of wolves sensing this just wandered right past them looking for easier prey.

On the private land that borders the public forestry, some of these youngsters looking for their own mares or even other horses for company, stray onto this private property. Here they can cause a lot of problems for the landowners and their domestic horses. In the past they were just picked up and sent to the meat buyers.

WHOAS continues to respond to complaints such as this in order to rescue these trouble-makers. If possible we try to push them back into the forestry and assist the landowners with fixing their fence lines. Sometimes nothing works and these boys keep coming back and at this point WHOAS steps in.

Currently, government policy will not allow us to relocate these horses further back into the forestry. Therefore, we attend to where they are causing problems and rescue them. We then transport them to our handling facility where the gentling process begins to prepare them for adoption. This is Caruso who is coming 2 years old. He had jumped into the landowners corrals to find company. Once he is gelded and gentled so he can be handled safely, he will be available for adoption.

This is Comanche who is also about 2 years old. He too got into the pens of a landowner who had a very old mare and was causing her extreme stress. Again once he is gelded and gentled so he can be handled safely, he will be available for adoption.

This is Chinook who got himself into trouble on a rancher’s property. We have been working with him for awhile and he has already been adopted.

This is Crimson who was causing havoc in a provincial park and had to be removed. He too is lucky enough to already be adopted.

We also have beautiful Bernie, a 6 year old who we are still working with and getting ready for adoption.

We hope that the rest of these young boys stay out of trouble and don’t need our help. If you are interested in adopting any of these boys, contact us to come out for a visit to see them.
WHOASalberta@gmail.com

Our Colourful Wild Horses

It’s May and the hillsides have lost their covering of snow.  Now the green grass, leaves and early flowers are coming adding colour to wild horse country.  We can now hike or ride our horses into the more out of the way valleys and meadows.  We are then able to find some of the more colourful horses that roam the land.  This beautiful stallion has his two mares in one of those spots, but so far no foals.  It will be soon however.

This stunning mare still has her foal, which is a sorrel, from last year at her side.

This young stud is still with his small herd of two mares and the stallion.  He is growing.  Soon though he will be forced out and have to find some other young boys to join up with.

This roan 3-4 year old boy was with his buddy as they search out the new grass on an open hillside.

 

In a valley bottom we came across one of our favourite herds.  There are three pinto mares, two with pinto yearlings and one with her sorrel yearling.  It was so nice to see all three of the young ones along with the rest of the herd had successfully made it it through the long winter.

We came across this golden-maned yearling travelling with his herd. He stands out even from a distance compared to the rest of his band. He is so beautiful but as you can see needs some groceries and green grass.

This yearling was enjoying a good butt rub on some willow bushes. His lips were just quivering as he got into it. It feels so good!

It is always wonderful to witness the new life that every spring brings on. This mare and her newborn filly were enjoying the evening and new grass finally emerging on the exposed hillside. It was cute to watch the little one mouth whatever Mom was eating. Her lips would just go with nothing much in them.

Far away from the roads we came across this magnificent black stallion with his one mare and buckskin yearling. What a beautiful specimen of a wild horse! So very, very proud.

Just to keep you updated, we have been unsuccessful in being able to capture the young stallion with the lasso around his neck. The biggest reason is there is now new feed available and all the wild horses are moving around a lot. The rope is broken off and is still around his neck but only about 4 ft. long. We will keep trying to see what we can do for him, but hopefully he may be able to rub it off himself now.

 

Helping a Wildie in Distress

WHOAS had learned that some illegal roping and chasing of wild horses had occurred in various locations within the Sundre Equine Zone. The information that we received was passed along to the authorities in hopes that the perpetrators could be apprehended.

Last Thursday we received notification of the above young stallion having a lariat  wrapped around his neck. Acting on this we spent two days tracking him down. We determined that the only way to help him to prevent injury to himself was to attempt to capture him in order to safely remove the lasso. We applied for a permit from the AEP and were issued one. The permit allows us to catch the boy, remove the rope and then release him.

We are in the midst of doing this and will update you of the progress.

Click on the Report to the Community at the top of the page which shows the latest wild horse counts done by the province in March of this year.

New Babies

We think spring is finally trying to come even though it is hard to believe with some of the extremes of weather the last little while. It is enjoyable to visit the wild horses  and witness all the new foals with the herds. One of our favourite little herds, a beautiful stallion with 2 mares, produced these 2 healthy foals. The first shows a little colt with his mom, and the second a filly, about a week younger, with her dame.

It is amazing to watch how quickly these little ones learn how to navigate through the old cutblocks.

This time of year the horses do quite a bit of rolling to remove their winter coats, dander and to help get rid of any parasites. This little girl can’t quite figure out what mom was doing so danced around all excited. The baby wanted her warm milk and wanted her mom to stand up.

At the WHOAS handling facility the mare we call Blondie” foaled on Easter Sunday. Her baby is little filly we’ve named “Chrissy” who is very healthy. Although Blondie has been darted with the contraception and had a pregnancy break last year, she is just one of those mares that is very fertile. Here is a short video of mom and babe taken yesterday when Chrissy was 5 days old.

As you watch you can witness Chrissy having the same reaction as the foal pictured above when Blondie took a luxurious roll.

We hope you enjoy the antics!