Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wild Horses: Update on the Cremello Colts

On Saturday I went to visit my two cremello colts at Rich Scott's place in Byers, CO. I had waited for the weather to clear, as we have been having a very cold and snowy/rainy spring. Just an hour before I arrived, there was another downpour, but as I pulled up next to their large pen, the sun began to come out.

There were puddles everywhere. I walked slowly up to the pen, and Claro walked toward me, clearly the leader and the more adventurous of the two. He is the lighter colt, with one blue and one dark eye. He is also much dirtier than Cremosso - I remember that in the wild he loved to roll in the mud.

As I spent time there, he led the way for his brother Cremosso and blocked him and moved him around. Both colts looked much more relaxed than when I had last seen them at Steve Mantle's place. Rich told me that the two have begun to get more curious about people coming into their pen to feed them and clean their pen, and apparently they roughhouse together at mealtime.

I was very happy to see them relaxed and socializing with the horse next door to them. After about a half an hour, Rich, who was on a 4 year old colt he was riding for Marty Marten, said he would ride into their pen and just move them around a little.

It was so interesting to me to watch them track the horse and Rich, and move their feet to face him. He walked slowly and took care not to corner them and to encourage them to move themselves to face him.

After a few minutes, they remained closer to Rich and the horse as they went by, and Rich decided to quit.

After he left their pen, they were so relaxed that they fell asleep!

They have come a long way since the roundup. Next week Rich will start working with them to get them good to handle, so he can trim their feet, lead them on the halter, and other helpful things. I will be visiting and watching over the next month so that I can learn how best to work with them.

Next month, on June 14 the BLM will be having a public workshop in Denver, with an opportunity for the public to make comments on the Ken Salazar's plan for the wild horses. The next day, June 15 will be the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting, with public comments at 3pm. I encourage you to come and make your voice heard, and if you cannot come, you can submit comments by June 7:
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  1. They are both beautiful Carol!! So glad you got to visit with them.

  2. The colts look wonderful!

    Thank you for the update.


  3. BEAUTIFUL HORSES! Am very anxious to follow their story! Great photos! Thanks!

  4. Carol, I am a to the end supporter of our wild horses. Have a large band on my ranch in Nevada. These cremello colts, blue eyes/pink flesh surrounding their eyes...all indicators of lethal white syndrome, and all to common in wild horse herds, i.e. line breeding way to close!

    This is an example where effective management could prevent or lessen the likelihood of this type of genetic defect. This is a subject we all need to consider. The BLM is not doing an effective job, but once the BLM is out of the picture we have to find a means of managing which is.

    The absence or near absence of predators that in times past thinned the horse herds is part of the problem. In the absence of predation we need to contemplate how genetic anomalies like this can be lessened!

    It's a difficult subject, no matter how difficult we need to find a solution. It is good the ground swell of support for the wild horse herds is growing. However the majority of these folks are not horsemen, veterinary professionals, reserchers in veterinary science & equine genetics....etc. to find answers.

    Scott Cooper

  5. It's great that you can help these little guys in their time of need. I live in Alaska, so I help by writing legislators. Hope there is a big turn out in Denver on June 14 and 15.

  6. They are just fantastic, Carol, and so are your pictures. I will really be looking forward to updates - with pictures! - of their progress.

    I hadn't heard about lethal white syndrome in Mustangs. These horses are Cremello rather than white.

    Are Cremellos carriers in Mustangs? I bring this up because my palomino Morgan's sire is a homozygous Cremello Morgan. Very rare in the Morgan breed, but not carriers of any genetic defects.