McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Adoption

April 15, 2010

Tom and I attended the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Adoption held in Powell, WY last weekend. I wondered how I’d feel about it since I had known some of these horses. Would they go to good homes? Would they be happy? Would the new owners understand just what it meant to care for and earn the trust of one of these remarkable animals taken from its wild home and family? There were many locals there who knew and cared about their wild horses – I was hopeful.

We browsed the pens full of youngsters and a few older horses. It seemed strange to be petting them, but I truly enjoyed the brief interactions.

Me with the little filly that a FOAL member adopted. She was just so sweet.

Crispy Cream and White Lightning

A Stewart Creek youngster - a little Shetland influence there.

As we walked around, we visited with some of the people I have met through my involvement with the wild horses who were also in attendance. My friend Tricia (Range/Wild Horse Specialist), the folks from FOAL (Friends of a Legacy – The McCullough Peaks Mustangs) Ada, Marshall, Bettye, Michaele and Susanne. Matt Dillon and his wife Kim from The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, Jen (and her husband Tom) from USGS who documents the McCullough Peaks herd and Steve, Nick and Bryan Mantle who gentle and train the Mustangs for adoption.

Ada and the FOAL booth. I purchased a new t-shirt and ball cap that Tom quickly claimed.

It was so inspiring to see the devotion these folks have for the horses. Susanne adopted a filly, Jen adopted a little colt (from her favorite Peaks stallion) and Michaele took home three more youngsters (including a Fifteen Mile filly) adding to the four Peaks mares she had previously adopted in February. The final tally? Twenty one of the twenty five horses available found homes that day. That’s a terrific showing. Sadly, Crispy Cream and White Lightning were not among the fortunate ones that were beginning new lives. They went back to the Mantle Ranch for training with the hope that they’ll be more adoptable with a little more time.

I believe this is a little filly Michaele took home:

Nick Mantle shows off a flashy 3 year-old Peaks gelding:

A video of the available McCullough Peaks foals from the Mantle Ranch:

Steve Mantle told me that people can adopt from the ranch anytime. You need to have an approved adoption application, but he can do the rest of the paper work there. They are currently picking out the colts that will be in their JUNE 26TH ADOPTION to be held at the Mantle Ranch, so those won’t be available, but all the others will be. There are about 10 or so of the Peaks 2 and 3 year-olds left. The ranch is located just outside of Wheatland, WY. Their website is:

Little Art, the colt from my “Photo Of The Week – 4/8/10” post is also among the horses available for adoption.

Future adopter - she was so cute with her obvious love for the Mustangs.

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10 Responses to “McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Adoption”

  1. cowgirlfirepony Says:

    Hopeful, is a good word Pam, thanks for all you do!

  2. Of course I am happy for those who will be with good folks and yet I am sad for every horse, old and young, who is still in the system. The Mantle Ranch gives many a better chance, like the Browning Ranch in Farmington who gentle and begin horses. For people who had mustangs at home and took more, thank you so much for bringing them home to others of their kind. Be kind first timers, be patient.

    Gentled mustangs have been acclimated to people in positive ways. When roundups are rushed and so many taken and non released, how do these individuals stand a chance in our world?

    Little Art, Crispy Creme and White Lightning don’t despair. I think someone will find you.

    Thanks Pam, this means so much to hear this and see them. mar

  3. i agree with Marilyn…i am hoping the folks will be good owners..yet..we need to leave more than we do now…to be free ..wild
    mary ann

  4. TJ Says:

    Pam, glad you had good folks around you during your visit and glad you got out to see some of the Peaks horses! Also glad so many of the horses found homes. I hope for good futures for all of them!

  5. Leslie Says:

    Pam and Tom-
    Thank goodness for folks like you. You two are some of the best advocates for the wild horses. I don’t have the stomach for this. I just want to cry- why can’t they remain free to live and roam. I do hope these horses get to live out their years in magical places- just like Hope and El Mariachi.

  6. pnickoles Says:

    It was a bittersweet day, and I wish every one of the horses had found a caring home, but all in all, I thought it went pretty well. And it was good to see everyone.

    Leslie – I wish I had an answer for you. And there are days I feel like it’s too overwhelming as well. However, a day on the range with the wild ones that are left is all it takes to get me back on track.

  7. pryorwild Says:

    Hey Pam,
    Thanks for putting together this awesome post! It was really nice getting to see you and Tom over there. Hope you can come on up again soon!

  8. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Matt – it was so good to see you and to meet Kim. We certainly hope we can get up again soon, but until then, at least we can follow the horses through your blog. Was very sorry to hear about Flicka, but nice to see some new babies on the mountain. Your Mom is right – the circle of life.

  9. Lynn Says:

    I have just returned to Ontario Canada from riding a week in Wyoming where I made a great friend named Ada. She invited my friend Mary and I to visit the 110 K acres of land where the wild horses live. It was the most amazing 4 hours of our lives. We counted over 80 horses in several herds. They all look very healthy and most of all vibrant. I would like to stay in contact with Ada and do not have her email address to send her a thank you note. If possible please forward me her contact information as she is a wonderful advocate for the cause. Truly sickening these horses can’t remain in their natural habitat. Best Regards

  10. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Lynn – I just got your comment and I’ve forwarded it to Ada. She’s a wonderful person and you’re right, she’s a very good friend of the Mustangs. Aren’t the McCullough Peaks horses incredible? You’re so fortunate to have been able to see them and with someone who knows them so well! Thanks for writing. 🙂

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