Wildies Rescued

This spring was extremely hard on the wild horses especially those that live close to the east boundary of the forestry. The snow became very deep and crusted over causing great difficulty for not only the horses but other wildlife to find feed. As has happened in the past some of these animals strayed onto private land and became a problem to the land owners. WHOAS was called in by some of these land owners to help deal with these perceived problem horses.

This lovely sorrel stallion was one of two that had to be caught up and brought to our handling facility. Once caught up it is illegal for us to relocate them back into the forestry. Therefore we have no option other than to bring them in and begin the process of getting them ready for an adoptive home. All in all this year 12 horses in total were rescued by WHOAS and now have started a new life under our care.

Here are some of the horses who we have begun working with and who will be looking for new adoptive homes in the future.

Here are three yearling stud colts from the two herds we took in. They are a long ways off from being ready for adoption. With so many horses at the site right now, it will take some time to gentle these boys, geld them and freeze brand them. Once we feel they are ready we will advertise them and encourage visitors to come and meet them. Right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to take in visitors for the safety of our volunteers. So watch this website for updates.

Here is the second stallion that was brought in – a beautiful boy.

There were five mature mares that also had to be caught up. Many of them are likely pregnant. WHOAS will allow them to safely have their foals and so they and their babies will be with us for awhile. When ready for adoption, the mares and their foals will go together. In all likelihood, these mature girls will only be pasture horses.

Along with these horses, we also have two other young studs and a yearling filly that will be looking for new homes. More pictures to follow.

This is Diablo who we have had over the winter and will be going for training and will be available for adoption after that.

As you can see, we are busy! We have our dedicated team of volunteers who are doing a wonderful job providing care for these beautiful wildies. Lots of hay being munched so your continued support is always appreciated and important.

 

 

Urgent Rescue

On Thursday, WHOAS received a call from a concerned truck driver that there was a mare down in a narrow ditch that couldn’t get up, west of Caroline. Upon receiving the phone call, we quickly grabbed some gear and headed out as fast as we could. It took us almost an hour to find her and we were happy to see an RCMP officer there with another person waiting for our arrival. It was obvious that the mare had been struggling for some time and was heavy in foal. She was exhausted. Despite the gravity of the situation, it was wonderful to see that the stallion never left her and was standing guard.

Here we were planning the best way to get her upright and uninjured. If you look closely toward the last truck, you can see the stallion urging us on.

It was determined the best way to get her out was to dig away the dirt piled up at her back so that she could be rolled and get her feet under her. Here Cst. McIntyre of the Rocky Mountain House RCMP takes his turn at the shovelling.  No more pictures as it was all hands on deck to get her onto her feet. As soon as she got up she raced off joined by the stallion and the other two mares of the small herd. We will do some follow-up to make sure she is okay.

We want to thank the concerned citizens who called us and the RCMP for their assistance.

 

A Little Cheering Up Video

This is the mighty Portero, the herd stallion of our resident herd at the WHOAS handling facility.  Always there to greet you and protect his herd, he is still magnificent in his senior years.

With everything that is happening in our world right now and with so many self isolating and staying home, we thought that this video would bring a little cheer to the wild horse lovers.  It is a photo-show set to music showing our Alberta wild horses throughout the year and seasons.  We hope that you enjoy it.

Stay safe, stay home and take good care of yourselves and your friends and family.

https://youtu.be/jUstoDs3XYI

May 2 Fundraising Banquet Cancelled

Unfortunately we are letting you know that due to the uncertainty about the unfolding of the COVID-19 virus, we feel it prudent to cancel our dinner this May 2. We are refunding any orders we have received to date and look forward to planning another event next year.

Information Session

WHOAS had to reschedule the information session that we had planned in December for the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley due to a snow storm that enveloped the area.  The new date is Jan 16, 2020.  We still have some calendars  available and will have them for sale at this event.

WHOAS will continue to host information sessions in the new year, throughout the province.   As well we can give presentations to 4H groups, schools and other interested organizations at their request.

On behalf of our beautiful wild horses we wish you all a great new year.

 

 

Season’s Greetings

On behalf of the WHOAS Board of Directors, but especially the wild horses of Alberta themselves, we would like to take this time to thank all of you who continue to support us in our work to protect and save these magnificent horses. Thanks to all who have purchased our calendars, to those who have donated to all our different projects and those who offer the horses their moral support. We are truly grateful and will continue to work hard and speak up for the welfare of these horses.

December’s Colours

As December rolled around, wild horse country has quieted down with the end of the big game season. With the reduced vehicle traffic, your wild horses have started to resume what would be their normal winter habits. The snows have started to accumulate making for very pristine settings, which allows the diverse colourings of our wild horses to shine.  This beautiful buckskin mare with her bay foal and stallion stands out in the winter sunshine.

This lovely bay coloured mare and her foal find open forage around the bushes and trees. As the winter progresses they will depend more on areas like this.

Here is a grey coloured mare also finding suitable grasses near the bases of trees and bushes. Its this ability to adapt to the ever changing conditions in our Alberta foothills that allows the wild horses to thrive.

Further to the west where the chinook winds blow harder, the sun still has some warmth to it to expose south facing hillsides. This young mare is grulla coloured and takes advantage of one these hillsides.

 

This is a red roan coloured stallion who has found an area that is windblown and more exposed to feed in. One interesting aspect about these roans, whether red or blue, is that their coats darken considerably in the winter months.

Even though this picture shows this stallion with reddish colouring, he is actually mostly black. The late afternoon sun highlights the true magnificent beauty of him as he stands so proud. He was so curious and just stood watching us intently for the longest time.

Meanwhile, his buddy, this light coloured bay, paid no attention to us at all as he pawed looking for grass to eat. It was hard to get him to raise his head so that we could get a facial picture of him.

This little grulla or dun coloured baby has a dark dorsal stripe down its back and stripes on its front legs which some wild horse experts attribute to their Spanish descent.

No matter what the colouring of the horse may be, they are all unique and beautiful, true symbols of the spirit of freedom and wildness. Like this boy, a good roll in the snow feels wonderful, even if it is very cold. It helps keep their coats clean and in prime condition to fight off the hardships that any winter weather may bring. After his roll, he stood up, shook off the snow and gave us a “huff” and went off to join his herd.

Need a stocking stuffer or a gift for a horse lover on your list? There is still time to order a 2020 WHOAS fundraising calendar. You can order online from the  Facebook page by clicking on the POWr PayPal Button or visit our website and click on the link at the top of the home page. You can also order through the mail by sending a cheque made out to WHOAS, Box 4154, Olds, AB  T4H 1P7. The cost is $25 which includes postage and handling and we mail them out as soon as we receive your order. All monies raised through the sale of our calendars goes towards our projects to save and rescue our Alberta wild horses. Thanks to all of you who support us.

This little one is enjoying the sunshine while at rest. Let’s hope the rest of the winter is not too harsh for the horses and all the other wildlife.

 

 

Interesting Documentary

You may be interested in viewing this mini-documentary produced by Zoocheck on our Alberta wild horses. It has the perspective of several experts and provides insights from our First Nation’s as well.

All the information presented in this documentary represents the views from all wild horse advocates in regards to the presence and the role the wild horses continue to play on Alberta’s landscape. They are part of our rich heritage and history.

https://www.zoocheck.com/wild-horses/

I’m Safe Back At Home.

Almost 2 months ago we found this horse with a halter on out west in wild horse country. Where did he come from and why was he here? We checked with AEP, RCMP and LIS to determine if someone had reported a lost horse. There was nothing reported on their files. When we first saw him we could only see his left side before he ran off with his new wildie buddy.

When we next saw him we were shocked to see that he had the wild horse freeze brand on his right hip. All horses that we rescue are freeze branded before leaving to go to their new homes. We did not post this then as we did not want him unduly chased or harassed. Over the next few weeks, we made attempts to find him and approach him. The stallion he was with, however, would flee when he saw us.

Good news! On Sunday, November 24th, a team of dedicated WHOAS volunteers was able to catch him up and return him to his rightful owner. He is now safe and enjoying his nice green hay.

 

Wild Horses and Public Awareness

Throughout the year WHOAS will be hosting several educational and public awareness events on our beautiful Alberta wild horses.  These events will allow the public to gain insight into the horses.  Where did they came from, what role do they play in the foothill’s ecosystem today, herd dynamics and what you can do to help protect and save them for future generations. Public awareness and education is an important factor in our efforts to ensure the horses remain free and wild on the landscape.

Our next event is this Saturday, in Olds, at the Cow Palace,Olds Country Wonderland Market, 5116 – 54 St, Olds.  This event has well over 200 tables with a vast array of wonderful crafts.

If you’re in the area, just drop in for a visit at the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley, next Thursday, November 28. Our next one is at the Rocky Mountain House Public Library on December 5.

We will also be at the Cremona Winterfest on Saturday, December 7. You will find us in the Gold & Silver Hall, on Centre St. with our fundraising calendars for sale.

WHOAS enjoys making presentations to schools, 4-H groups and other interested organizations who want to know the history of the wild horses in our province. To arrange an event, contact us at our email:

WHOASalberta@gmail.com