Autumn Splendour

 

Autumn so far this year has been one of many different weather patterns.  From  the brilliant colors of the tree leaves and very warm temperatures, to rainy days and then to snow event days.  Only in Alberta!  The wild horses though are doing well and starting to change their routines as the next season gets closer.

We have been able to get in few rides on our horses to enjoy the company of the wild horse herds and the beauty of the country they call home.  We were saddling up the one day when this young boy came along to investigate our horses.  Likely due to the very dry conditions this summer, we have not been finding the horses up on the ridges. Just below where this boy appeared there is a spring and where we found lots of horse tracks. Keeping closer to water sources is where they have been hanging out.

We met this herd down in a creek valley but upon seeing us they raced up the ridge. Two foals were with this band including this little black beauty. She was so curious and unafraid. As you can also see the lead mare is looking very healthy and pregnant.

A little further along we came across another herd feeding in a clearcut again close to a small stream. You cannot believe the deadfall that is hidden underneath the tall grass. Yet it is amazing that these wild horses seem to navigate and traverse such difficult terrain with ease to find such luscious grass.

Coming up out of the creek bottom you can see that the grass is up to their bellies. Such a beautiful setting to find them. We’re hoping for more nice fall weather to enjoy our horse back rides with these wonderful wildies.

We continue to welcome school groups, interested social groups, and others as well as visit 4-H clubs giving a presentation on the history of the Alberta wild horses and the work that WHOAS does to protect and save them. We look forward to further visits.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

WHOAS Address Change

WHOAS has been required to obtain a new postal box for our mail.

Our address is now:

WHOAS
Box 4154
Olds, AB
T4H 1P7

 

Reminder – There is still time to register as a participant or to observe the Evan Bonner Clinic to be held August 5-8 at Sunset Guiding. For information contact Lori at Sunset – 1-888-637-8580.

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