Patti Mosbey: Sand Wash — a passion for wild ones
October 30, 2015
During our days as wild horse advocates, we chose to showcase the wild horses and promote adoptions. Through an annual Colorado Wild Horse event and the Tri-State Wild Horse event we encouraged others to adopt, train and benefit from good animals with strong stamina and close bonding to their owners and trainers. I personally showed my freeze branded horses at the open horse shows and was witness to our Nevada mustang winning Supreme Horse at our local open horse show, shown by a young man in the youth division. It was a thrill to see 14 hand mustang take top honors against the quarter horses and paints. Mojo's freeze brand was covered by his mane, therefore he was judged honestly and fairly. Returning to the same arena a few days later in the 4-H Show, he came away with third place ribbon, still an honor considering his competition and this time by a different judge.
Wild horse/mustangs are a hearty strong breed. They have learned to endure in tough times and come out usually on top in amazing condition. Many endurance competitors choose mustangs for their strong stamina and willingness to keep going.
Before the days of social media there were those who spent endless hours showing support and concern for the wild horses. I worked alongside a BLM employee who would ride the range at Sand Wash, checking water holes, mending fences and finding horses that may be in need of a life making decision. She rode a 16 hand Sand Wash gelding who could go for hours and then some. Together, we put on school assemblies to educate our young people on the wild horses.
This ranger helped to form the beautiful herd we are witness to today in Sand Wash. During a roundup horses were culled out leaving horses of color and conformation to be returned to the range improving on the gene pool. I appreciate the passion she held for Sand Wash.
We personally seen more than 20 freeze branded horses go through our corrals. I was weak when it came to coming home with only one. We went to Piceance looking for a specific filly that I had in mind and sure enough we found her and three more to bring home. I told you I was weak. Those Piceance weanlings gave me a lot of joy.
Life changed and eventually we slowly let go of all our horses. I took up a new hobby: photography. Once again going to Sand Wash struck a new passion with me. Social media had come on the scene and now these beautiful creatures had names and family identifications.
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Today, there are new advocates looking out for the best interest of the Sand Wash wild ones. Working with the BLM they volunteer their time and travel miles to document and organize events to make Sand Wash a safer place. We meet up to gather wire, metal and other debris left by others not so thoughtful. Currently, there is a plan underway to do fence repairs to keep the horses within the HMA boundaries. There are those who volunteer their time to do birth control measures by darting mares. These are not young people, either, but middle aged or older women who spend nights in the field. The process is demanding. Sand Wash Advocate Team oversees this project and the volunteers pay for their own training.
Next time you take a drive to enjoy the beauty of Sand Wash, I hope you will consider those who have gone before who also had a love and passion for our wild ones.
Patti Mosbey is a regular visitor to Sand Wash Basin. Photographing and documenting the daily lives of the Sand Wash Herd is her passion. For more of her photos and adventures find her Facebook page: 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 her passion. For more of her photos and adventures find her Facebook page: 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 her passion. For more of her photos and adventures find her Facebook page: Sand Wash Adventures.