Salt Wells’ ‘Lil Firecracker

October 26, 2010

We called this young stud colt from Salt Wells “Firecracker” because we found him on July 4th, he was so full of himself and because of his strawberry roan coloring. Not a name, just a reference to a particular horse that made an impression on us.

He seemed pretty young to be off on his own. I wondered where the rest of his family was, but there were no other horses around. He was out there alone. Well, except for his “buddy” the t-post. Both times we came upon him, he made a bee-line for the t-post where he seemed to find some sort of comfort. There were tons of little hoof tracks around the the base where he had continually circled it. I think it was because of this perceived loneliness that we spent quite a bit of time with him.

Windblown tail!

What a sweet face – I really fell for this youngster. If he’s rounded up this month, I hope he finds a wonderful home and if he’s lucky enough to remain free, I look forward to following him as he matures. I bet he’s going to be something.

Such an alert boy

Snorting at Tom who is out walking in the other direction

I hope he found another bachelor or two to hang out with. It’s hard to picture the young ones (any of them) out there without companions. Stay safe ‘Lil Firecracker. We really hope we’ll see you again next year…

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51 Responses to “Salt Wells’ ‘Lil Firecracker”

  1. Janet Ferguson Says:

    An amazing series of photos of this strikingly colored young colt.

    What beauty is in our world!

  2. Kathleen TMH Says:

    Oh my! What a lovely thing he is! So sad he was alone and I sure hope he isn’t rounded up. Thank you for sharing the world of the wild ones with us ๐Ÿ™‚ KW

  3. Linda H Says:

    What a handsome little guy! Thanks for sharing and what a great story–I’m with you, I hope he finds some friends and survives the roundup.

  4. Bev Lowe Says:

    Simply breathtaking photos!! He did look a little young to be by himself tho. Hope he finds a bachelor buddy soon…

  5. Barbara Warner Says:

    I pray he stays free and also that he doesn’t get hurt on that t-post. He is gorgeous and his genes are needed. I hope he finds his family and that they haven’t been rounded up.

  6. pnickoles Says:

    Thanks Janet – I just loved his unique color and his “attitude.”

  7. Forest Horse Says:

    Stay free handsome guy.

  8. pnickoles Says:

    It’s my privilege to share these remarkable horses with you Kathleen. I will do my best to find out what happens to him after the roundup.

  9. pnickoles Says:

    A real little stunner who’s hopefully found some buddies. Thanks Linda. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. pnickoles Says:

    Thanks Bev – I have no idea why he was alone at that age. There were two out there about that age…alone. I kept hoping they’d find each other. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Jim Westin Says:

    WOW…what an awesome creature….sure glad you guys got a chance to meet. How lucky you happened to have a camera with you. Luck favors the prepared.

  12. pnickoles Says:

    Thanks Jim – so lucky to have that camera with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I love this, Pam. So touching, and he’s exquisite, and so is your work, as always. I love your observations about his relationship to his post. So touching, and so right on.

  14. pnickoles Says:

    So good to hear from you Elyse. Thanks for your kind words and all the work you do on behalf of our wild ones. Hope you’re doing well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Mar Wargo Says:

    This activity reminds me of a young sorrel stallion Laura and I came on this last memorial Day Weekend on the Colorado, Utah border. He was alone and all hepped up and looking about as if he was waiting for someone. We had just seen horse sign at a water hole a few miles away. The road from Utah to Colorado went through the Bonanza HA and by the electrical plant which was just south of the road we were on and in view of this stallion. He was very riveted to this spot along the road. He had behaved as if seeing us was no big deal and he was going to stay where he was. He moved about in an excited way yet wanted to stay along the road. Maybe your handsome guy had a date with a band he knows? That is what it seemed with the sorrel. Horses move about a range at regular times during a season and bachelors may be waiting for favorites to appear. mar

  16. sandra longley Says:

    My guess would be he had been driven from his band not long ago, maybe a new stallion took over that was intolerant..i say not long ago as my guess this is the area he was in when driven off and waiting there for them to return, as he is used to being led by the lead mare and not making decisions on his own..on the other hand his salvation during the roundup-might be that he is alone and not worth the time spent to roundup one up..he does need a companion or 2 to help him thru the is difficult for singles to make it, especially the young.

  17. Angie Says:

    Magnificent! Oh, wow!…please do keep us posted on this boy if you can!

  18. billie welty Says:

    I would love to give him a home. just so he could live his life in peace. and not be alone or scared any longer.

  19. Michelle Says:

    He is stunning! Looks to be less than two. His knuckles are still large for the rest of him and he is very much in that out of proportion growth spurt stage.

    It is very odd that he is alone, unless he was driven out by a new stallion. Sad.

  20. Kathy Says:

    I think he is learning to be alone for some reason. Maybe you will find out next year. I, too, hope he finds some friends for the winter and avoids a roundup. He is a beautiful adolescent. Thanks for the great pictures and story.

  21. Kay Neeley Says:

    As always, your photography is stunning and your observations regarding his fascination with the t-post makes his story come to life. I pray that he is spared in the roundup. Stay free Firecracker!

  22. Barara Says:

    wow, he is identicle to a couple of my foals except he doesn’t have a blazed face! I’ll pray hard for him

  23. tam Says:


  24. Otherlyn Says:

    God Bless, and keep little FIRECRACKER safe from harm. Please set angels all around him. Thank you, Father God, for allowing us this glimpse of Your precious magnificent creation.

    YOUR FOB Fren, O

  25. Shelley Says:

    Beautiful colt. Thanks for sharing. Please keep us posted should you find, where he belongs, wild and free.

  26. Shelley Says:

    Not sure what happened. Part of my comment got erased. Please keep us posted should you find he was captured during the round-up. If he does get captured I’m sure he will find a wonderful home!

  27. TJ Says:

    That’s one good-looking youngster with an appropriate moniker! I hope he’s still out there, and I hope we get to see more of him through your lens! Beautiful series!

  28. puller9 Says:

    He looks very similar to a mare that I visited at the BLM auction this past weekend. She was lucky and was adopted by Jean Albert Renault, purportedly a filmaker who is completing a documentary on mustangs due out in May 2011. She was one of the lucky ones. Of 36 beautiful horses, only 7 were adopted.

  29. what a truely gorgeous fella i feel sad he is all alone and so young i prey he survives the round up! he was born to roam FREE..thankyou for sharing such wicked pictures with us, i live in the uk and thats a wonderful sight to see horses running free. stay safe lil firecracker love emma xxx

  30. Charles Christenson Says:



    What a unique & beautiful guy!! God truly blesses us with their beauty!! Thanks for capturing it Pam!! Sending out the white light to him to stay safe!!

  32. Karen Says:

    A little Firecracker indeed! What a sweet face and lovely color. I hope he catches up with some other bachelors or small band to hang out with. Great series of shots Pam, thanks for sharing them.

  33. Janet Carabello Says:

    Another “wow”….both subject and photos are stunning. Firecracker is very appropriate name for him! Wonder where he will end up and how he will fare.

  34. kim Zamudio Says:

    What a cutie! So nice to see. Thanks Pam

  35. Margaret Says:

    Pam I have a feeling this is a redundant question but is there anyway we can talk BLM into releasing him? He is so beautiful that I would think they’d want him to pass on whatever magical genes he has.

  36. courtney loflin Says:

    What a handsome beauty – it is hard to imagine him being alone. I hope he finds some friends.

  37. courtney loflin Says:

    He is a handsome beauty – it is hard to imagine him alone – I hope he finds some friends

  38. Great photos Pam. He is really handsome and, at least to me, quite unusual in coloring and pattern. I am used to darker roans I guess, but I really like this one!

  39. arlene orlando Says:

    He has such a nobleness , coming right at you !!! I pray that he will be safe, and find a companion also…… What fabulous photos Pam……… Thank you for sharing , the lil Firecracker……… Be safe Little One………..

  40. Barbara Warner Says:

    That’s a shame no more than 7 were adopted. Many that are end up going to slaughter however.
    The roundups have increased to the point that few will be left free. It is a national tragedy.
    Stay free, Firecracker, and God bless all of our wild horses and advocates.

  41. Cynthia Eliason Says:

    I think this color is called “varnish roan” and is part of the appaloosa genetics. He is a beauty, I wish him well.

  42. Melissa Says:

    I have a mare who is exactly the same…..she has a skinny apple tree trunk that is her “safe place” little does she know, we can still see her when she’s behind it!

  43. pnickoles Says:

    Oh wow! I’m a bit behind on replying to comments! Thank you everyone for taking the time to write.

    A bit of an update on Firecracker from another photographer. She saw him about a week ago in the company of another young stallion in a basin with many other horses, so he is no longer alone! I have passed his photos along to a BLM representative at the roundup site in hopes that I can find out what happens to him during/after the roundup.

  44. Barbara Warner Says:

    That was a bad idea IMO to pass any information about him or any of our wild horses to the BLM. All they want to do is wipe them out completewly. I pray this horses and his friends don’t get put thr. the torture of a roundup. They all need to stay free.

  45. pnickoles Says:

    Barbara – there are a couple crippled and young horses that are hopefully going to be picked up before the roundup in their particular area so they don’t break down. (There is a roundup in this HMA going on right now). Of course it’s a Catch-22 situation, and the crippled horses may be euthanized, but I think that’s a better fate than being forced to run in their condition. There are people interested in Firecracker if he makes it through the roundup (now that he’s not alone, he will probably face the helicopter). I’d like to be able to keep tabs on him should he lose his freedom so that he might be one of the lucky ones and find a good home.

  46. Lyn McCormick Says:

    Hi Pam, This is a magnificent horse! Do you know what his status is after the roundup?

  47. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Lyn – this roundup is just beginning. I hope to know something after its conclusion.

  48. Beautiful photos… any round up right now is a sad thing…

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central

  49. […] like another stud colt we observed at this HMA, (Firecracker) Pocket seemed young to be all alone. Maybe he was just craving a little company. I continued to […]

  50. […] is young “Firecracker” from the Salt Wells […]

  51. Jody Says:

    He looks part Arabian, the way he holds his tail and the mark on his hind quarter looks like what they call โ€œ The Blood of Egyptโ€

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