Photo Of The Week – 8/16/2017

August 17, 2017

The one and only “Handsome” from the Piceance-East Douglas HMA in Colorado. For several months, this older stallion managed to hold onto a new family. First it was one pregnant mare, then another little bay mare that I never got to see him with. Between trips to Piceance, his gray mare foaled and then there were three. Sadly, on my last trip out, after hiking out to a white spot on the range, I found him alone again. He wasn’t too beat up or limping any worse than normal. I was happy to see that, but of course, felt bad for the loss of his little family.

After spending a bit of time with him, I left Handsome, hiked back to the Jeep and we continued down the road. Not far from where Handsome had been keeping his family, I spotted them with their new stallion. It’s hard for me sometimes to see the changes, especially with my favorite stallion (which Handsome is). He’s lost several families over the years. I had hoped he’d have this one a little while longer than he did. And I wondered if it would be his last. He’s certainly a persistent fellow. He may yet surprise me. That’s my hope.

Handsome’s stolen band.

The new family band.

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12 Responses to “Photo Of The Week – 8/16/2017”


  1. We love these wild boys and it hurts to ser
    Them all alone. What happened to him?

  2. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Edson – he’s just an older stallion, no longer in his prime and unable to take on the younger, stronger stallions to get or keep a family. Nature’s way.

  3. Maggie Frazier Says:

    Got to be hard for you – knowing many of these horses for most of their lives & watching them – to see the old boys when they can no longer keep their families. Did see (on blogs & pictures)
    one or two who actually had an old mare or another old buddy who would stay with them. That gives me a little warmer feeling.

  4. Ginger Kathrens Says:

    Hi Pam; Thanks for your pictures and story. How old do you suppose Handsome is? And what is the latest with Piceance—are they still bent on a 200 horse removal? Any horses put in holding now could be killed if the plans of BLM and the right wingers in Utah have their way. Very scary! Cheers, Ginger Ginger Kathrens Executive Director The Cloud Foundation, Inc. 107 S 7th St. Colorado Springs, CO 80905 (719) 633-3842 ginger.kathrens@thecloudfoundation.org

    http://www.thecloudfoundation.org

    https://www.whbvresourcecenter.org/

  5. Lorie Says:

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures, I’m devastated to hear they are doing a round up there this fall. So sad and disturbing more horse’s lose there freedom.

  6. Mustangsrunwild Says:

    When I am set up and ready to adopt, it is always my hope to get an older stallion, a mare and one of his foals and let them live together. I know a couple that were able to do this in Arizona (forest service rdup) and have more joy watching and working with them as a family. And a great way to let the ole fella retire — to raise his last foal in peace.
    Not to anthropomorphize (only way people have to describe animal behavior) but I would think that an older stallion would rather have himself captured than one of his offspring. “Take me, let my prodigy have a go at living in the wild”.

  7. Mustangsrunwild Says:

    Do advocates and observers have a good idea of just how many horses are really on this HA? (We need an audubon type data collection center for all us citizen observations.)

  8. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Maggie – like I said, Handsome will seek out company from time to time. He’s not always a loner, but it is hard to see. I don’t like seeing any of them alone. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  9. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Ginger – Handsome is between 16-18 years old based on observations in 2006 and previous roundups where he was aged while in holding. Last I heard, the target number is around 100, off range horses. And yes, I worry a great deal about what will happen to them and all of our wild horses – in holding and otherwise.

  10. pnickoles Says:

    I is very hard Lorie. On the range management has been successful and I’d love to see it fairly implemented within this HMA.

  11. pnickoles Says:

    What a lovely idea Mustangsrunwild. I hope you get your opportunity. 🙂 The White River BLM office does aerial surveys/counts of these horses. Not entirely accurate of course. These HMA doesn’t have the amount of visitors as some of the others because many of the horses are hard to find/see. Therefore, they aren’t documented as well, but hopefully, that will change for the benefit of the horses.

  12. Andree Germany Says:

    My heart, you are amazing, wish you could see the wild horses we are fighting for her. Please if you get the chance, look us up. Thanks.


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