Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wild Horses: The Tale of the Two Cremello Colts


Two weeks ago I was at Equine Affaire in Ohio, and that was the same weekend that the McCullough Peaks horses (along with a few from the nearby Fifteen Mile herd area) were up for adoption in Powell, WY. The roundup took place in October, but instead of having an adoption immediately afterward in the area, the horses were all shipped to the Rock Springs holding facility. The adoption was scheduled for April, and some horses were adopted at Rock Springs, a bunch were shipped to the Mantle Ranch so that the Mantles could work with the horses first, and some were adopted there.


Of course, during the weekend of the adoption I was thinking about two of my favorite horses that had been removed from the herd area during the roundup - the two cremello colts whom I had watched grow up since they were born in the summer of 2007. Both colts were in Indigo's band, a big grey stallion, and the first born was the darker of the two, with two blue eyes that look almost green to me. The BLM named him Crispy Cream.


His mother is a beautiful buckskin, and he was a very adventurous little guy, wading into the water hole one evening at sunset when a huge group of horses came down to drink.



Next born was the lighter of the two, an almost white colt with one blue eye and one dark eye, and the BLM named him White Lightning. His mother is a beautiful sorrel pinto.



That summer I remember being absolutely captivated by the antics of these two striking foals playing together. They and a bay filly and a bay pinto colt would romp and play for horses, and the filly would wrestle just as hard as the colts.


Over the last 2 1/2 years I always spent time and watched the two inseparable boys, and was amazed at how fuzzy their coats became in the winter.


Last fall before the roundup I was photographing them playing with each other and this years foal crop, and thinking that they would probably be kicked out of the band by Indigo next year, if they remained in the wild.



However, that was not to be. With the BLM planning to remove 100 horses from the area, the young horses were first in line to go. At the time, I was very sad to see them shipped off to Rock Springs, but as they are such striking colors, I felt sure that someone would adopt them.

After I returned home from Equine Affaire, I was very surprised to learn that neither colt had been adopted even though Steve Mantle brought them to the adoption. They and their pinto brother were the only horses not adopted. I wonder if the fact that they had not been worked with or handled contributed to this. I immediately called Steve and asked him what would happen to them. He said that he had some more horses coming in from Rock Springs and that he would probably not have time to work with them, and they would go in the online adoption. Of course, they would probably end up separated, and with the loss of the rest of their family and their home, I decided that they didn't need that loss as well. I had not planned to adopt a mustang - my travel schedule is full and I have been concentrating on helping keep horses in the wild. But these two called to me. So I got on the phone to find someone who could help me with the colts. Although I have owned domestic horses since I was 12 years old, I have never worked with a wild horse.

I found Rich Scott in Byers, CO who is a natural horsemanship trainer with experience working with mustangs and he was willing to help me, going to get them, take them in, and work with them on basic handling, haltering, all the things that we take for granted that we can do with our domestic horses.

I went with Rich and his wife Shannon up to the Mantle Ranch in Wheatland on Wednesday. It was a beautiful day after all the rain, and we looked at the two colts as they stood close together in a pen. They looked worried and moved back as we approached. The only contact they had had with humans so far has been traumatic - rounded up by helicopter, moved from pen to pen, being castrated, freeze branded, having their blood drawn, being given shots - but as of today this all ends, and they will be treated very well.


They loaded into the trailer easily, and were quiet on the trip. I renamed them on the way, as part of their new start - the lighter of the two is now Claro, spanish for light colored, and the darker is Cremosso, spanish for creamy. They have settled in well at Rich's place, and in July I am going to take them to my home where they will have 25 acres to call their home. And they will be together. That's my promise to them.
Wild Horses: The Tale of the Two Cremello ColtsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

38 comments:

  1. So happy for them and for you as I suspect you will in turn receive the gift that keeps on giving from them as well.

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  2. Way too cool photos. Wished I could have been there. Jan

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  3. Thanks for the update Carol! A happy ending to their removal and a new beginning for them and you!

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  4. Thank you so much for this beautiful story. Thank you for making your life available to them.

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  5. I am so glad you decided to take these two beautiful guys!!!! I know you will get endless joy from them and they will get the same from you. Thanks Carol, two more success stories and if they can't be in the wild there is no better place for them to be!

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  6. Thank you for taking them...I look forward to reading more about your journey together.
    Best,
    Kate and Titan - Sarasota, FL

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  7. The are so lucky to have you, hope they enjoy a lot of years together.

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  8. Wow, is all I can say. I'm so glad to hear that these two can remain together. Beautiful horses, so sad that they cannot continue to enjoy the McCullough Peaks area and experience their 'natural' life. Here's hoping they have the next best thing and live long happy lives as adopted horses!

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  9. How wonderful for them I sort of wish you could have taken the pinto too but I know there are limits. Thanks for what you have done your pictures are amazing!

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  10. This is such a good story on the two beautiful mustangs. Atleast I can say I know two that are safe. We had 15 saved that were left on the side of the road in Occachobee Fl. They are all rescued and waiting for forever homes. It is with a heavy heart that I am happy for their well being.It would have been even more joyful if our Gov't. could have done the right thing by them and left them in their home and cared properly for them.

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  11. While I'm sad they're off the range, I am so happy they're with you, Carol. I look forward to updates about them.

    Sonya
    aka Mustang Meg

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  12. Nancy RadebaughMay 1, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    Yea! I"m so excited for you. Please keep us updated. How cool that you and Deb both have your own living piece of our wild heritage now. Congrats!

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  13. Carol I have followed your blog for some time and have wept and got angry as the story has unfolded. I can only imagine how heart breaking and frustrating it must be for you to see these families you know intimately through your lens dispersed without a care. I knew by the second photo where this story was going and I just felt I had to congratulate you on your courage to follow your heart. These beautiful guys might not know right now how lucky they are but they'll come to see in you what you see in them. All the very best and I look forward to seeing their progress....through tear sodden tissues off course :))

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  14. I own a cremello quarter horse who is my spirit horse. They are very special and your story is heartwarming and the photos are just beautiful.

    I look foward to reading your's and their journey together.

    Marge

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  15. Carol, You are an Angel sent from GOD for these horses and I can't thank you enough for what you did for these boys and all of their family. I wish I could help more. I am so glad that you have both of them and they have a forever home! Thank you! Horses always have been and always will be my second love!

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  16. Blessings. Many, many blessings for all that you do for the wild ones, and particularly these two. Never, never let them out of your care or your heart, no matter what the circumstances.

    I speak from experience.
    May

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  17. It's amazing when we find our special animals and they find us at the same moment. As usual your wonderful pictures. Was looking through a bunch of horse photos and quickly realized I could always pick out your photos from the others--there's that certain essence that you capture that the others lacked. Will be looking forward to the story of your lives together, and of course more photos

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  18. Best story and best photos!!!!!
    It's just as well I don't live in the states else I'd have to own a LARGE property in order to accomodate many, many adoption mustangs!!!!!

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  19. Carol, I am so glad you adopted these brothers and have given them your promise. I am so sad that they are off the range, but glad that they will have a life of love! When I first started reading your story I was thinking "What? They can't be split up!" so I was going to check into them....let's just say my husband will be so glad to hear you got to them first! :-) I love the new names to.
    Hugs to you and the boys!

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  20. Beautiful, beautiful story and horses with a truly happy ending. You are remarkable as are
    your criters.

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  21. It is so wonderful to hear a good story and for these 2 to have a happy ending. Thanks to your big heart! I wish had acres and acres - I would adopt them all, horses, cats, dogs, burros, whatever! Keep up the watch and the good work - we will all continue sharing to keep it in the view of all

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  22. Thank you for the update. I wish you the best as you continue with them on this journey. There are so many stories like this, they need to be told.

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  23. So beautiful, Carol ~ The horses and the story. I read it and look at the pictures over and over.

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  24. What a wonderful story & a happy ending too!! They are marvelous!!

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  25. Wow...this made my day! Nothing better than a happy ending and not only is their life changing....yours will too. I have many domestic horses and have had several mustangs pass through my heart and have 1 now....there is something very different about them....I think they love harder and give more. Enjoy and what a May Day this is for all!

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  26. Good Luck with two of them, and keep the photo's coming. Your reward for the sacrifice's you have made will be great!

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  27. Beautiful photos and story. You listened to your heart, so wonderful.
    I am very comforted by this happy ending for them and you. So nice they will still be together and free in some sort of way. Not a bad plot of land to run on! Hope to read many more strong hearted stories like this one. : ) Thanks for sharing this!

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  28. thank you so very much Carol. You were meant to keep them in your life. They were waiting for you. I look forward to many years of updates.

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  29. Beautiful and heartwarming story! After reading the horrors of the roundups, it is such a wonderful thing to read that 2 brothers have gone to such a happy future together! I look forward to following the story!

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  30. KELLY MILITELLOMay 3, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    Carol,

    You have put my heart at peace. I saw that these two were not adopted and worried that they would be seperated. I had been following their story and was sad they were going to be rounded up. You are an angel..thank you so much for your compassion. Keep the pics coming..beautiful.

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  31. Thank you for what you do Carol. You are appreciated....

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  32. What a wonderful story about these two amazing and beautiful colts! I can't tell you how happy I was to read such a heartwarming story after only hearing about the horrors of what continues to happen in the roundups and those poor animals held in concentration camps. I look forward to further updates about these two! Congratulations and bless you!!

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  33. makes me sad blm has to geld all the young horses - what beautiful babies these two might have had

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  34. What the Good Lord has created you and them what a perfect wonder. God Bless..

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  35. Your story gives me chills. What a great ending. I hope that when you look in their eyes you get a peaceful joy for what you have done.

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  36. A wonderful post thank you so much. I read this on the night I brought home a little pony filly, cremello of course who was destined for dog meat.She is tucked up in her stable tonight with a lovely warm rug and a full tummy. We have already fallen for her blue eyed charms.
    I also have a cremello quarterhorse and my first horse 34 years ago was a cremello Brumby from far western Queensland Australia.
    You might have guessed I have a soft spot for cremellos. I will follow your posts with great interest and a happy heart. Bless you.
    Linden New South Wales Australia.

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  37. I am so happy & relieved to hear that the cremello boys have a loving home. When I saw them at the Powell adoption, my heart went out to them. In February I went down to Rock Springs and adopted four McCullough Peaks mares: Topa, Saint Patty, Niagra, and Corona. At the Powell adoption I learned that Caliente, Topa's daughter, was there and I wanted to reunite the two of them again. I also adopted Kit Kat and a yearling filly from 15-Mile HMA that I named Kismet. Corona has blessed us with a beautiful buckskin-colored paint colt named Tango. If I could return these horses back to the beautiful Wyoming ranges again I would in a heart-beat; but since I can't, I also will promise to give them a loving, peaceful home.

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