At this time of year we receive calls of young bachelor studs straying on private property looking for “love” and a chance to start their own family. WHOAS responds to each situation to help the landowner deal with of the horses causing the problems. In some cases it is just a matter of chasing them back onto public land and fixing fences. In some we even purchase electric fencing to assist where its feasible to help keep the horses away from private property. Then in some we are obligated to have to go in and capture the young studs causing the problem. They are then taken to the WHOAS rescue/handling facility where we start gentling them and giving them a chance at a new life.
Once we have captured the wild horses, we are not allowed to return them to the forestry. That is the case with the three young studs pictured above who had broken down fences and were causing difficulties with the landowner’s own domestic horses, particularly her purebred mares.
Here they are at the far end of her hay field and you can see where they had broken down her fence. While on her land and refusing to move off, the owner was obligated to keep all her horses locked up to prevent injuries to any of the horses.
So with a full crew of volunteers, and a large number of our own panels, we arrived early in the morning and began to set up a capture pen. With the expertise of our volunteers, the pen was set up in a manner which would allow the horses to be slowly funneled toward our horse trailer which was baited with some fresh hay.
It took a bit of time to slowly move the horses into the area where the pen was set up. This is something you do not want to hurry as you want to keep the horses as calm as you can. In order to encourage them close to the pen, a domestic horse was brought over in an area outside of the panels.
Once the horses were close to the trailer, the crew moved in to close off the opening. The whole idea is to slowly close in the panels so that the horses have smaller and smaller areas to move about.
By moving slowly ourselves in everything we do, the wild horses don’t become too upset. As you can see here, they are standing and not too stressed. We would have wanted to take more pictures, but as the process begins we are more concerned about their safety and getting them into the trailer. So cameras down!
Almost there and shortly after all three of them safely jumped into the trailer and the door secured them in there for their journey to the WHOAS facility.
Once at our site, the horses were unloaded in their very own pen and introductions began with other horses we have in our care, two of whom are already adopted.
None the worse for wear, boundaries began to be set out with lots of squealing as introductions were made. Once they have settled into their new space, hay was introduced to them and they eagerly started to fill their bellies.
Over the next few months, our volunteers will begin to work with these horses to gentle them down and start getting them ready for future adoption. All boys will be gelded and vaccinated before going to their new forever home. Another government requirement is that all the horses be freeze-branded with the WHOAS brand.
The three amigos ready for a new life.
This is another young boy who has recently come into our care. Meet “Howdy”, who is only 2 years old and he is adapting well to his new life. He is quite thin but is quickly putting on weight.
Besides the four boys here, we also have two other boys and one mare that will be looking for a new home. If you are interested we encourage you to arrange a visit to see if any of these horses would be a good fit for you. You can find our adoption application at the top of this page.
We are also looking for volunteers to help out cleaning pens, feeding the horses and learning more about the gentling process. Bring boots and your lunch! Contact us at WHOASalberta@gmail.com.