Winter’s Hardships


Winter weather has enveloped wild horse country along with the cold tempatures and the snow has really started to accumulate. As the snow pack deepens it becomes more challenging for all the wildlife including the wild horses. Using their broad hooves, they must dig through the snow to find forage.

In conditions like this it is more difficult for mares with foals at their side. The foals are still nursing and thus these mares have a harder time keeping their body condition in good shape.

This beautiful stallion has brought his small herd onto this open hillside where the wind blows hardest and therefore helps expose feed.

This herd is out in the sunshine which has melted any snow from their backs. Notice the horse second from the back that has such a beautiful silver mane and tail.

This mare had badly injured her right rear leg in 2017. Showing the resilience of the wild horses, she was able to deliver this thriving foal in the spring and has recovered remarkably. We found her sleeping in the sunshine and she is still in fairly good condition able to move around to find food with the rest of her small herd.

This healthy foal is with his herd in the heavier timber where the trees prevent the snow from building up which exposes some grass.

Milk break time!

This young mare was definitely enjoying the sunshine on a day where the temperatures were close to 0C. This bright sunshine also helps their overall health and warms them up. Just look at the shiny coats.

This 2-year old stud is still with his herd who has found feed along the treeline. This spring, however, he will probably be dismissed from his herd and have to find other young boys for company.

These two are from Sock’s herd. One of our supporters named him “Flyer” as it looks like a kite on his face. Both mom and babe are doing well this winter under the guidance of such a wise stallion.

Pawing through the snow. We often notice deer tracks around these areas where the horses have been digging. The deer are better able to find their feed once the horses move on.

This wonderful stallion gives us “the look”.

Who’s this? Even the skunk comes out on a sunny day. It is amazing the other wildlife that share the country with the wild horses – deer, moose, elk, wolves, fox, cougar and coyotes as well as the birds of prey – we are able to observe as we travel the backcountry. 4 x 4 vehicles are definitely needed in order to navigate the back roads and trails. A lot of the roads are not plowed very often.

As winter carries on now without much sign of letting up, and the snow deepens, we hope that the horses continue to stay healthy. This young girl is asleep in the sun and we wish her well.



Christmas and Your Wild Horses

The cold and the snow has come to wild horse country, just in time for Christmas.  Back trails are accumulating the snow now and good tires and a 4 x 4 are the safe way to go out and visit these beautiful horses in such pristine and wonderful scenery. It is nice to know that there will be no capture season this winter and the horses will be able to just be.

Although the snow is starting to accumulate the wild horses are having no difficulty in finding feed buried under it.  All the horses are in excellent body condition to endure the cold and snow. The late arrival of winter certainly helped them out.

Generally the horses are so well adapted to the cold. Their coats are thick and their body fat insults them extremely well.  Snow on their backs indicate a healthy horse.

At this time of year when the snow is not falling you’ll find the herds out in the open soaking up some sunshine.

This beautiful stallion took exception to having his herd photographed putting himself between the danger (us) and his herd. The mares and foals however, were not worried at all and kept feeding.  Even the later born foals are fat and sassy! It is so exciting to watch and visit them and enjoy the tranquility of winter scenes like this. The nice thing about a fresh snowfall is you can see the tracks of all the other animals that inhabit our west country – cougar, wolves, squirrels, rabbits, foxes and of course the ravens.

At this time on behalf of the wild horses and WHOAS, we would like to thank all our  supporters. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



Our two new boys are progressing quite quickly in their gentling process, slowly learning to trust the humans.  This is Cheyenne and he is quite a curious boy.  He comes up to the fence to sniff at new comers to the WHOAS facility and has quickly learned to be led about.  Even some gentle rubbing of his face is now okay with him.

Comanche too is coming along but is somewhat more timid than his buddy. Despite being a little more cautious, he shows great promise and will do extremely well when he finds his human to bond with. Maybe that’s you? Both these two boys have yet to be gelded.

This is Cascade and he has progressed a long ways. His buddy, Chico has been adopted and we continue to work with him so he will be ready to go to a new home soon.

December’s weather is so dramatically different from the cold and snow of early November. With the warm temperatures, wind and sun, a lot of areas are free of snow allowing the horses to forage easily. Our palomino boy here has certainly grown up. We were worried about him because we had been unable to locate him and his herd for the longest time.

His stallion has picked up another mare who has a foal beside her. The lead mare is as spooky as always so it is wonderful to actually see them.

In the valleys where there is still lots of grass, the snow is a little bit deeper and the horses can paw through it easily. This beautiful mare that we have been following since she was a foal, is pregnant and is in excellent condition. Well look forward to seeing her foal in the spring.

Always present, surveying wild horse country, are the beautiful bald eagles. In native culture they are the ones that soar closest to the Great Spirit who oversees all.

Here our buddy, Socks, and his herd has found one of those exposed areas. As you can see, “Flyer”, his colt from this year, is doing well. With this warm weather, comes ice. All roadways and trails back in the bush are sheets of ice and very dangerous. This can cause difficulty for the horses to roam about.

Unfortunately we have found a mare who tried to get over a gate leading into some property who slipped and became entangled. She did not survive. This appears to be a very freak accident and our hearts were torn when we found her. We hope her spirit is running free. Life is tough on our Alberta wild horses and they face many dangers and obstacles in their fight for survival.

As we travelled cautiously this week, we found this yearling enjoying the sunshine and some green grass in this opening.

Two of this year’s foals came out to join him and soak up the warmth of the day. Because of the warm temperatures, all the horses we have come across so far are looking so good and healthy. Each day of warm temperatures makes their ability to survive the hardships of winter that much easier.

This big stallion is snoozing peacefully standing guard over his herd. A pleasant end to our day keeping track of your Alberta wild horses.




Two New Rescues

WHOAS once again has been called upon to rescue two young studs who strayed onto a rancher’s property and were trying to bother his horses.  We truly would love to see these beautiful horses remain running free and wild, but once they are on private land they fall under the Stray Animal Act.  In the past these two boys, along with a lot of the other studs we have rescued, would have met with a much different outcome. We have tried to obtain approval to reintroduce these rescues back onto public land, but in all cases have met with a refusal from the AEP. Therefore, we will continue to step in to rescue, gentle and then find them new loving homes.

Feel free to contact WHOAS to come and visit these boys and our other two adoptables. If you are contemplating adopting one of these wonderful horses, email us to arrange a time to see them.

Looking for a New Home

WHOAS has two young boys that were rescued earlier this fall. These young wild horses had wandered onto private property after a domestic mare. As in the past, WHOAS was able to step in and safely remove these boys. Since we are not allowed to release wild horses back into the wild, they were brought to our handling facility to begin a new life.

This is “Chico” who is 3 years old. He is close to 14hh and is very solidly built, typically of many of our wild horses. He has just been gelded, vaccinated, wormed and had his wolf teeth removed. Also at this time he was branded with WHOAS freeze brand. The gentling process is moving along. He is led into our barn for feed and grooming twice a day. He is still needs more work to convince him that humans can be his friends. He is very smart and once into someone’s formal training program will move along quickly.

This is two-year old “Cascade”. He came in with his buddy, Chico. As with Chico, he has been gelded, vaccinated, wormed, had his wolf teeth removed and freeze branded. Both these boys have responded quickly to our gentling process and show a good willingness to learn. Again he still needs some more time with us before he will be ready to move on.

These wild horses require a person that understands them, is willing to learn with them because once they bond with a new owner, their allegiance is unwavering. If you feel that you have what it takes to own one of these beautiful horses, we encourage you to contact us to arrange a visit.

A reminder that we still have our WHOAS calendars which make a great Christmas gift to your horse loving family and friends. The sale of the calendars help us continue with the work we are doing for the wild horses like these two boys.

Here’s our email if you would like to come out for a visit:


Remembering our War Heroes

May we remember our brave men and women that have died or fought for our freedom and those that still serve our country.

I would hope that we can also take a moment to remember the millions of horses that also died on the battle fields.  Horses throughout the history of mankind have always served us with little thanks for the important part they have played in our heritage and history.

Please take a moment to remember.

First Blast of Winter

Cold and snow have enveloped Alberta and in wild horse country the horses are quickly adapting to the change.  The temperature was -9C and snowing lightly today as we travelled some of the back trails checking on them.  Snow on the ground allows you to see the tracks of all the wildlife that are moving around in the area,  from the deer and horses to wolves and other small animals.

It was a delight to come around a bend and find one of favourite stallions “Socks” overseeing his herd from an open hillside.  The snow is only about 10 cm deep and very soft, allowing the horses to easily push it aside to get to their feed.

This young colt is one of his offspring and was  busy watching five young studs who were very busy foraging through the snow close by.  What name should we give this little charmer?

It is early in the season right now, but all the horses including this year’s foals are all looking in excellent condition.  This is so important as it enables the horses to better survive the hardships that the winter season can bring.

A little further along we came across this handsome young pinto stallion feeding close to three other herds.

He has just a small harem of two mares and as you can tell this beauty is pregnant with his foal.

He made sure to keep the girls away from any of the other horses feeding in the same area.


These mares were were part of a herd of eleven that were also close by. The two roans we had shown earlier in the summer with much lighter coloured coats. Roans can darker up substantially as their winter coats thicken.

As we continued along we found this three-year old boy munching with some other bachelors. We have followed him since he was born and he has turned into quite a handsome stallion.

A break in the clouds allowed the sun to shine on this stallion who has two mares and two foals this year. The sun truly highlighted the beauty of this Alberta wild horse.

As Christmas approaches, remember to purchase the 2018 calendar. The calendar has been produced since 2004 as means of fundraising for WHOAS’ work to protect and save your Alberta wild horses. We appreciate your support and hope you enjoy the photographs and stories.  See the link at the top of the page.