Some of our wild horses live close to the boundary between crown land and private land. There are fences that are supposed to be maintained by land owners and lease holders, but there are instances where they are not. In some cases it might be temporary when a tree comes down in a storm, and in others it is due to lack of maintenance. The Fence Line Act dictates who is responsible however we are finding that no one is taking responsibility and basically this act is a waste of paper.
In a lot of instances horses that WHOAS has had to rescue, have strayed off of public land and onto roadways or private property through these openings in the fence lines.
So on Sunday, June 19, a young stud wandered onto property close to the WHOAS rescue/handling facility. Where did he come from? Being “poop” detectives we back tracked his trail and found out that he had come out onto the range road two miles to the south. Getting to this point we also found that another large herd had also been on the road. Something had to be done.
This is the beautiful herd including these two young foals, that had wandered off public land and onto the roadway. Luckily by the time we got there they had made their way back to where they belonged in a large grassy meadow.
What we found was a large stretch of fence had come off the posts and was just laying on the ground. Further down we found where the fence had been cut to allow wheeled vehicles to enter this area. We always carry fencing repair material in our vehicle and were able to repair the fence line along the one roadway but we needed more material to finish the repairs. Monday was a torrential downpour and we weren’t able to return until Tuesday. Luckily the horses not come through the repaired section and we found them feeding in the meadow again.
After purchasing more rebar for posts and wire for the fence we were able to make the necessary repairs to hopefully keep the horses where they belong. There are a couple of other spots further back that need some work but without an ATV and hip waders! it is hard to get the fencing material back to this area. We will be trying to find a way to finish all the repairs that are necessary. This is because when checking the whole length of the fence in wet feet we found another herd of horses that frequent this area and were close to the fence line.
This is the second herd in this area. No babies yet but a couple of the mares show they are close. We just have to keep them where they are safe.
Thinking that everything was okay now, we drove the main range road toward the forestry gate and found this. Someone had cut the fence so that they could fell a large spruce tree for firewood. This had been done on the weekend. Luckily there were no horses around and the leaseholder did not have his cattle out yet. So another fence was fixed.
I reported these neglected and damaged fences to the government and other authorities and no one has bothered to respond to me.
This is the gorgeous 2-year old stud that we had to rescue on Sunday and he was the reason we found all the unmaintained fences and were able to assure the two other herds stayed where they belong. We have named him Hunter and we will now begin his gentling process to get him ready for adoption.
This is a 3-year old stud and we have named him Harley. He had strayed onto a rancher’s private property and had lived with his cattle for about two months. Efforts to move him back to public land had failed and so when they brought in their cattle to take out to their grazing lease, he followed the cattle into the corral. At this point the rancher then brought him to WHOAS.
We have been working with him and he has started to settle down to the point where we could halter him. With our handling system we are able to do this in such a manner that causes the horse the least stress.
Harley is in the chute while being softly talked to and gently touched. He won’t hurt himself in here.
Here Danny gently works the halter up toward his head the whole time moving slowly and carefully and talking to the horse. At the same time he gets his halter on, we also give him his first vaccination. Harley was just fine during this process.
Back in his pen and haltered.
This is Hoss who has been with is for awhile and was ready to go to a new home. Unfortunately the person who was going to adopt him was unable to take him due to unforeseen circumstances. So he has been gelded, freeze branded, and vaccinated and is ready to go to a new home. He is coming to be four years of age.
WHOAS is always ready to come to the aide of any Alberta Mountain Horse (wild) that find themselves in difficulty. We will always assure that they have the best forever and loving new home to thrive in. These remarkable horses do make tremendous riding horses in whatever discipline their owner wishes to take them.