Wild Horses and Public Awareness

Throughout the year WHOAS will be hosting several educational and public awareness events on our beautiful Alberta wild horses.  These events will allow the public to gain insight into the horses.  Where did they came from, what role do they play in the foothill’s ecosystem today, herd dynamics and what you can do to help protect and save them for future generations. Public awareness and education is an important factor in our efforts to ensure the horses remain free and wild on the landscape.

Our next event is this Saturday, in Olds, at the Cow Palace,Olds Country Wonderland Market, 5116 – 54 St, Olds.  This event has well over 200 tables with a vast array of wonderful crafts.

If you’re in the area, just drop in for a visit at the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley, next Thursday, November 28. Our next one is at the Rocky Mountain House Public Library on December 5.

We will also be at the Cremona Winterfest on Saturday, December 7. You will find us in the Gold & Silver Hall, on Centre St. with our fundraising calendars for sale.

WHOAS enjoys making presentations to schools, 4-H groups and other interested organizations who want to know the history of the wild horses in our province. To arrange an event, contact us at our email:

WHOASalberta@gmail.com 

 

Changing Seasons

All fall the weather here in the Alberta foothills has been from one extreme to the other.  One day it can be sunny and very warm and then the next a snow storm.  The wild horses though are enduring it all very well.  Here this beautiful stallion stands protectively beside his very pregnant mare on a cold November morning.

At this time of year the sun still has enough warmth to melt the snow on the exposed hill sides. This allows the horses to easily find enough feed without having to paw. This handsome young stallion, perhaps the son of “White Spirit”, feeds along such a hill side with some other bachelor boys.

In the valley bottoms, the heavy willows can also keep the snow from covering the grass. This young stallion has found that that grass is still very green and lush in this area. At first all we could see was his ears until he poked his head up to look at us.

A couple of days later, the weather had changed again and clouds hung low covering the mountain peaks. We found this large herd feeding in this open meadow still able to easily able to paw through not too much snow. The snow was soon to start falling again and they moved off into the protection of the trees.

Next day the sun was out again and this small family was taking advantage of the warm sunshine. All the horses, even the youngsters are still in excellent condition despite the ups and downs in the weather.

This gorgeous, pregnant mare, who is part of another herd, was also enjoying a warm day. Her eyes were closed as she snoozed and ignored us totally.

Just a reminder that our fundraising calendars are available and they can make the perfect Christmas gift for the horse lovers in your families. All the money from the sale of these does go back into our work to protect and save these magnificent Alberta wild horses. You can click on the link at the top of our page to find out how to order online or by mail. Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

 

 

May We Never Forget

May we always remember our brave men and women that have died or fought for our freedom and those that still serve our country in the Canadian Armed Forces.

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 our history and ultimately the freedom we have today.

Some of the wild horses that roam our Alberta foothills are descendants of these horses that served our country and the world.

Please take a moment to remember those who served our country in past and give thanks to those that continue to serve and protect all of us still today.

Seasons Turning

Wild horse country is alive with the colours of fall right now. With the snowfall today, it may not last too long. This is a favourite time of year to be out in the foothills either driving or riding our own horses. All the horses that we are finding are in excellent condition as they prepare for what is to come.

In one of our recent trips we came across some old friends that we had not seen for awhile, Mystical Spirit and her herd.

This herd is the favourite of one of our members who has photographed them extensively for many, many years. It was because of his knowledge of this particular herd that we were able to have them protected as part of the MOU’s contraception program.

Under her leadership the herd continues to thrive and are in this clearcut to escape the horrendous hordes of black flies.

One thing about all the moisture we have had is that the grasses and forest have remained lush and green allowing all the deer, elk, moose, as well as the horses, to forage easily. They don’t have to roam too far to find adequate feed. It seems this can make it a little harder to locate them. We hope the warmth returns and that the rest of fall will allow us to continue to follow all these wonderful creatures.

Rescues

As we have done in the past, WHOAS has been able to step in and rescue young stallions that have roamed out the forestry after having been kicked out their herds and wandered onto private land looking for company. Although many of us would prefer to see them remain free, WHOAS is not allowed to do this due to regulations  imposed by the AEP.

We are introducing you to the three youngsters we have under our care and are preparing them to be adopted to loving, forever homes.

I’m Adopted”

This is Eldorado. He is 3 1/2 years old, has proven to have a nice temperament and is doing extremely well in his gentling process. He stands around 14.5 hands, goes in an out of the barn and ties quietly. He has been gelded, wolf teeth removed, and vaccines are up-to-date.

“I’m Adopted”

The is Enoch. He is also 3 1/2 years old. Although he has been a little slower to come around, he has responded well to his handlers as his gentling process continues. He is haltered, leads well and stands quietly in a stall in our barn. He too has been gelded, vaccines are up-to-date and wolf teeth removed. He is just under 15 hands high.

“I’m Adopted too!”

Meet Eli, who is 2 1/2 years old and stands just around 14 hands high. He has an excellent disposition, and has proven to be friendly and willing. Again he leads well, and also stands quietly when tied. Gelded, vaccinated and wolf teeth removed, he, along with the other two boys, is ready to go to a new home.

Don’t let their size deter you from being willing to adopt them. They are strongly built with excellent bone and feet, and they are able to take their riders anywhere they might want to go. All of these horses have excellent common sense and once bonded to their new owner are loyal companions.

Why not arrange to come out and see them. If you would like to arrange a visit, contact us via our email:

WHOASalberta@gmail.com

Our annual fundraising calendar will soon be available for purchase. When ready, we will put a link on our website with the usual ordering information. Here’s hoping for the return of warmth so that we can enjoy many more trails this fall.

 

The Green Grasses of Summer

WHOAS is so happy to let our followers know that our two beautiful adoptable yearlings, Dave and Diamond, have found a new forever home.  They will stay together as the wonderful person who adopted, wanted them to stay together.  We know that they will receive nothing but the best of care and lots of loving in their new home.

This year spring came in a normal fashion with some moisture and plenty of warm sunshine.  This allowed the wild horse mares that were in foal to give birth to healthy babies who had the ideal conditions to start their new lives.

With the rain, the countryside is lush with green grass allowing the wild horses to quickly build up their body conditions. This also allows the mares to produce lots of delicious milk for their newborns. As you can see here, this little filly is looking so cute and good.

 

You would think that the the two foals in the first picture were twins wouldn’t you? In this meadow the adult horses were so busy feeding ignoring the antics of their little ones. The dark foal had been sleeping and when he awoke the herd had fed off a bit and he had to come racing to catch up.

With the grass being so new and soft it allows for the new foals to start testing out this delicious treat. They watch and mimic the adults in searching out the best tasty morsels. This little one was trying out the dandelions.

In our travels throughout wild horse country, it is nice to come across some of our familiar herds. After not seeing Socks all winter, we came across his family which had two yearlings and a new foal. It is so great to see this magnificent stallion still doing so well.

We also found this palomino young stud doing extremely well. Last fall he had been kicked out of his herd and the last we had seen of him he was running down a trail calling out loudly for his family. He is now joined up with three other young bachelors. Maybe one day he will have his own herd and spread his coloured genes to his own offspring.

Here are two of his buddies. Just beautiful!

This beautiful pinto mare with her last year’s foal, had come through the winter months in good condition. Guess what – the stallion is a bay!

This herd of bachelor boys was found feeding, up to their knees in the water in this runoff pond. Just like moose, they were searching for the new grass shoots just under the surface.

Springtime is so wonderful because not only do we come across the wild horse foals, but also the newborn of all other wildlife. Here this beautiful black mama bear was feeding in this meadow also eating the new grass shoots. It was so neat because her roly-poly cub was cinnamon colour. This colour phase is not unusual in this particular area. They did not hang around long.

This foal is less than a week old and he tried to approach us out of curiosity but his mom would have none of it. And with a gentle murmur she called him off. With the abundance of rain, the forests including the grass are very healthy and this will help all of nature’s creatures.

 

 

Dave and Diamond

Our two young horses that were rescued last summer as foals, are now a year old and ready for adoption. Dave is the bay colt as pictured above, with Diamond, a filly, just behind him. They have come a long ways and are now looking for someone to love them and help them grow up.

Here’s a video with Klara, our lead volunteer, showing how far they have come to being able to be handled safely. As you will see, both have come to trust their human helpers.

https://youtu.be/EMx564YE4NA

Diamond has such a beautiful little face. She was the shyest of the two, but now loves her attention and has become more confident.

It takes a special person to know and come to understand these horses so that they are able to make that bond with their human. In our years of working with these beautiful wild horses, we have come to learn that this bonding is so very important for the horse.

When Dave saw Diamond getting a close-up, he wanted a close-up too! Maybe too close! This is typical of Dave who is so curious and friendly.

If you are at all interested in adopting, we encourage you to contact us via our email (WHOASalberta@gmail.com) and we can arrange a time that you can be introduced to them and Klara would be happy to show you how she works with them.