2018 WHOAS Calendar

Our yearly 14-month fundraising calendar is now available. The cost is $25 which includes postage and handling. You can orders yours now with PayPal or send a cheque to:

WHOAS
Box 4154
Olds, AB   T4H 1P7

Thank you for your support and interest in our efforts to further protect and save our Alberta wild horses. All funds raised goes toward our work with the horses. Your support is so important to the horses and we thank you sincerely.

Buy Now Button

Advertisements

New Rescues

Blog 1

About two weeks ago WHOAS received information about two young wild horse studs that were causing a problem for a private land owner.  The two young boys had wandered onto the property and had managed to get into a pasture where they were chasing his mare and three geldings around.  We were requested to assist the owners to deal with the boys.  There is also a major highway a very short distance away and there was fear that the horses could wander onto the road, becoming a danger to the public and to themselves by maybe being hit by a vehicle.

Our first trip up to the property was to bring panels and gates in order to set up a pen to lure the horses in to.  This was done and salt and feed were put inside in order to lure the horses in.  We left after we had instructed the owner on what to do when the boys did enter the pen.

Later that night we were informed that indeed the two youngsters were now in the pen and secure inside it.

Blog 2

A team of WHOAS volunteers then went back up early the next morning in order to load the boys up and bring them back to our handling facility.  We backed our trailer up to the gate, opening the gate and doors.  The two were not panicking and took their time to look everything over.

Blog 3

The biggest thing in being able to load the horses safely is patience.  We allowed them to take all the time they wanted.  As they got close to the trailer we moved in some more panels behind them.  This prevents them from challenging it and us and maybe hurting themselves.  It is always about the safety of the horses.

Blog 4

With a little bit of encouragement the boys jumped up into the trailer.  We let them settle down as we took down our panels and after they were loaded, we were all on our way.

Blog 5

At the WHOAS handling facility we backed up to our pens, opened the door and let the two beautiful youngsters unload themselves and enter in to what is to become there new home for a while.  Again the two were quite calm as they wandered around their pen smelling everything and checking out what these new digs were all about.

Blog 6

Blog 7

The whole time the horses were not excited and soon one and then the other took a good dust bath.

Blog 8

It did not take them long to find the waterer, salt block and then the delicious and abundant hay.  They are safe now.  It would have been nice if the studs had remained free, but once they are on private land and WHOAS has to pick them up ,we are not allowed to turn them loose again.  The two boys will begin a new life at our facility and in a short time the gentling process will begin with our expert horse handlers.  A little later they will be gelded, wormed and vaccinated.   The gentling process will continue until they are ready to be adopted out to new homes.  As with all our other adoptees we know that they will have good life and be loved and enjoyed by their new human partners.

Please contact us at whoasalberta@gmail.com it you are interested in coming and visiting these two new amazing young boys.

 

 

 

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.