The snow has finally come to the hills and mountains in wild horse country and is starting to really accumulate. This beautiful stallion stands proud keeping an eye on his family on a hillside where the sun and wind still can expose the grasses.
Here is his small family group, two pretty mares and a yearling colt. They hardly moved at all as they watched us, letting the warmth of the sun melt the snow from their backs. The snow on the back of a horse indicates they are in good health with plenty of body fat built up to help them endure the cold temperatures of winter.
The horses we have been following are all looking healthy and strong. This little filly had no trouble keeping up with mom.
Even as the snow deepens it is still very soft and easy to paw through for the horses as they feed. Also next to the tree lines, there is still lots of totally exposed forage. Mom and her son are taking advantage of this.
The sun stays lower on the horizon now and late in the afternoon it highlighted this mare’s lovely mane.
This past summer there was so much human activity in the forestry that it kept the horses always on the move and seeking areas that could offer them some solitude. For a brief time the amount of traffic on the back roads diminished and the horses began appearing in more open areas again. With the November snows though, comes the Alberta big game hunting season and lots of traffic again on the back roads.
Although most hunters are very ethical there are still those individuals out there that view these wild horses with disdain. They are the ones that blame the horses for there being allegedly no deer or elk for them to harvest. It is with sadness and some anger that we have been notified of and found two wild horses that had been shot and killed. One was up in the Clearwater, a 3 -4 year old young stud and the other, a 7-9 year old mare, was killed along the South James River. Both beautiful horses that deserved to live, but were killed for no reason.
This magnificent stallion so exemplifies the beauty of our Alberta wild horses and why WHOAS and other groups continue to work so hard to get them better protected.
We continue to travel the back roads to document and monitor the horses. By doing so we are able to experience such peaceful beauty as the pregnant mare above and her stallion enjoy the sunshine. She is very pregnant and healthy and we hope to be able to witness her offspring come springtime.
We leave you with this photograph of this beautiful black mare, her black foal and her very pregnant “auntie”.
You can help WHOAS in our work to protect and save our wild horses by clicking on the link at the top of this page to order our yearly fundraising calendar. Again it contains beautiful photographs of the horses and the stories about how they live. As we a charitable society, we can provide tax receipts for any donations. All the funds goes towards the horses.