June 10, 2011

A couple of weekends ago, Tom and I made a trip to the Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA to spend a couple of days with the wild horses. We were fortunate that our new rancher friend Mike was available to take us hiking and share some of his knowledge of the area with us while we were there. More about those adventures to follow.

If you remember from a previous post, (https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/piceance-creek-hma-3-2011-day-2/) two young wild horses had wandered off the range and onto Mike’s property that he decided to adopt. So of course we had to stop by and see how they were doing since the last time we had seen them.

Click on the images for larger/sharper views…

The young stud colt is filling out nicely on all that new grass.

Well, and the little mare looked pretty round too. I told Tom I thought she looked pregnant.

Well, last week, I was back at Piceance briefly with a friend (a stop on our way to Sand Wash Basin) and I wanted to show him Mike’s horses. We looked all over the pasture, but didn’t spot them. I figured we had just missed seeing them somehow and off we went to Sand Wash Basin.

A couple of nights ago, I received a call from Mike’s wife. She asked me if I was near my computer because she “had a surprise” for me. I hurried home, turned on my computer, found her e-mail and couldn’t quit smiling at her news. Below is what she sent me. πŸ™‚

The little mare had indeed been pregnant - what a cutie! A filly. πŸ™‚

The mare and foal were moved to their ranch which is why we hadn’t seen her in the pasture.

What a sweet, sweet face.

I just LOVE surprises… πŸ™‚

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23 Responses to ““Surprise!””

  1. Brandi Turner Says:

    Pam what a wonderful story. They are truly beautiful and wishes and surprises are the best things in life. Thank you for sharing your world with those who can not get there, without your pictures people would not see the beauty of the horses. Thank you for including me in your travels.

  2. pnickoles Says:

    I love sharing these kinds of stories Brandi. πŸ™‚

  3. celeste Says:

    Aww! That truly is a wonderful surprise!! Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Gerri Kier Says:

    Fantastic story with a beautiful surprise gift ending! Loved this!! Thanks for sharing Pam.

  5. John Stoj Says:

    Looks real nice for these horses… Wonderful set!!!

  6. Shelva Wood Says:

    O How my heart is singing!!!!!! She indeed was pregnant, baby is just so beautiful… Thanks again for sharing.

  7. Lyn McCormicK Says:

    Very nice! Wonderful happy ending story !

  8. Lethie Says:

    What a Happy Ending….. So Glad all came out ok. Thanks, for the surprise.

  9. Joanne Says:

    Great story and surprise!! Not being from the West your stories are so wonderful and educating! I have never heard of wild horses wandering off the range on to a farm but perhaps this happens more often then anyone knows. And to have a little surprise on top of it. Maybe they will call her Surprise, or Bonus, or just plain Lucky. Thank you for bringing your photos and stories to all of us.

  10. Thank you for this bittersweet report, Pam. Bittersweet because where is the young stud? I know it’s not up to us, but could you get an update on Daddyboy? If it was just the two of them, he’s pretty lonesome right about now. Wondering if they have a plan. Now you’re wild; now you’re not… I lost Freedom’s daughter to a mountain lion, so I can understand wanting to bring Momma and daughter in, and these good people might just be winging it a day at a time. Just wondering where the stud falls into the plan.

  11. Barara Joseph Says:

    WOW, Pam she’s a spiting emage of my Qurab gilding!
    She’s a beauty & love the little one. What sweet shots.

  12. Jim Westin Says:

    WOW…is that ever awesome…..they are both BEAUTIFUL…..nice surprise.

  13. Honor Hannon Says:

    Elyse, Thank you for viewing this lovely event thru the horses eyes. Of course he must be lonely and mama horse must want to bring baby back to their mini herd. So sorry to hear about Freedom’s daughter. I know that must hurt. Its a fine line between wanting them to be free and wishing them to be safe.
    Be well and continue your good work.

  14. Odakota Roberts Says:

    What a great surprise!

  15. Karen McLain Says:

    What a wonderful surprise! I remember reading about these two that had wondered a bit. What a sweet face indeed:)

  16. Puller Lanigan Says:

    Great story and I love ‘Surprise’!!! I have to admit, I was a little surprised at the mare being brought in with her foal. Is it because Mike plans to retain the baby as a stock horse? Maybe get mama a PZP shot so he’s not overrun with foals and let her back out with her ‘man’? I wasn’t so worried about the stud, as I felt he is probably in the vicinity (I hope). But wondered about the change in diet for mom and how she was adjusting to confinement away from her male partner (although she looks very relaxed). However he corralled her, his methods should be implemented maybe by BLM…less stressful.

  17. Puller Lanigan Says:

    Baby looks like she’s got daddy’s face.

  18. darcy Says:

    awwwww, what a wonderful cute little girl, so nice of the rancher & his wife to let them stay there :). I am just loving your blog Pam, thank you for sharing your surprise with us.

  19. Roxy Says:

    Precious – absolutley precious!

    Tell Mike and his family they have joined my list of heros.

  20. pnickoles Says:

    So nice to share a happy horsey story with you all. Thanks for your thoughts and comments. πŸ™‚

  21. pnickoles Says:

    Joanne – several of the HMA’s don’t have complete fencing, or gates are left open, etc. so, yes unfortunately, horses sometimes wander from the boundaries. Lucky for these two, they ended up on a place where the folks appreciate the wild ones.

  22. pnickoles Says:

    Mike plans to work with the young stud as well as the little mare (and her foal). No worries. After talking with Mike at length, I believe he’s gentle with them, takes his time and “gets” the wild horses. These are not his first wild ones. And, it’s such a better ending for these horses than ending up at Canon City with so many others waiting/needing to be adopted.

  23. Maggie Frazier Says:

    How great that their “story” has a good ending.
    Beautiful animals – like so many.
    Just watched “Plight of the Dartmoor Ponies” this morning – so much of what they were saying sounds the same as our mustangs.
    I think they are down to 1500 ponies (wild) now from a much greater number. But they have an organization that is promoting them. Funny, the same arguments that we use here. Would be educational viewing for the people who put down the mustangs. If they would listen.
    Thanks Pam
    Wonderful pictures

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