Patti Mosbey: Emotions run high with gather of the Sand Wash horses
Many of you are aware of the ongoing gather of wild horses in Sand Wash Basin. This is the first time a bait and trap gather has taken place in Sand Wash. In previous years the Bureau of Land Management, BLM, has done roundups with helicopters. With the support of the Sand Wash Advocate Team, SWAT, in cooperation with BLM we have worked to keep helicopters out of the basin. The goal is to bring the number of horses down by extracting smaller numbers and administering birth control.
The horses that are being removed will not go into long-term holding facilities. We have adopters waiting in line for many of them. This SWAT/BLM program is being carefully watched, the success of this endeavor may make way for other such programs in other herd management areas.
It has been hard for the advocates and fans of Sand Wash to watch as one by one the names of each captured horse evokes a sentimental and sometimes anguishing emotion. I have tried to be the encourager, assuring that in time we will all get to witness the horses moving into new homes and making adjustments into domestic life. Most wild horses adapt well in captivity. Having been an adopter of many wild ones myself I can speak from experience. We often want to attach human emotions to them but they are animals and make adjustments to their ever-changing surroundings.
I recently made a quick trip to verify identity of several in holding at the BLM corrals. Although I was familiar with the scene I would partake in, somehow this one touched me differently. In the past as I have peered through those heavy wood corrals and looked upon the captives there, the eyes that looked back at me had no names. This time I knew each horse in a different way, I knew their personalities, I had named one of those colts.
This wasn’t just a bay, roan, pinto or grey — this was River, Countess, Trojan and Fleck. My heart ached at seeing River separated, although temporarily, from his mare and foal. Meanwhile War Horse was circling the corrals on the outside. He had loyally followed the trailer from the trap site all the way back to the holding corrals. He knew he wanted his band back and was willing to fight through the corrals for them. Eventually his group was released and they made their way back to freedom and away from the corrals.
The gather will resume next week. There remain 15 more horses to be captured to fill the quota of 50. A few that lucked out and returned previously may not find luck in their favor this time.
As long as the roads will allow access I will attempt to make a weekly voyage to the frozen winter scene of wooly horses making their way through winter.
Patti Mosbey is a regular visitor to Sand Wash Basin. Photographing and documenting the daily lives of the Sand Wash herd is a passion for her. For more of her photos and adventures find her on Facebook at Sand Wash Adventures.Patti Mosbey is a regular visitor to Sand Wash Basin. Photographing and documenting the daily lives of the Sand Wash herd is a passion for her. For more of her photos and adventures find her on Facebook at Sand Wash Adventures.Patti Mosbey is a regular visitor to Sand Wash Basin. Photographing and documenting the daily lives of the Sand Wash herd is a passion for her. For more of her photos and adventures find her on Facebook at Sand Wash Adventures.
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