DSC_9857a-sA group of weanling colts.

A lot of you know that these horses were rounded up in September from the West Douglas HA in northwestern Colorado. They are currently being held at the BLM facility in Canon City, CO. They have been processed and are now available for adoption.

I’m sharing a few pictures here – there are more in albums posted on my website: http://www.nickolesphotography.com/f401126130

I am still working on tag numbers (listed below each image) and those will be updated as they can be identified. Not all will have visible tag numbers, but the Pen numbers listed in the galleries are correct. PLEASE SHARE in hopes that some of these horses will find good, caring, forever homes.

Information and links:

These horses are located in Canon City, Colorado. I am not the contact person for specific information. Numbers and links are listed below.

When contacting BLM, you may use any of the photos on my website (they are downloadable) to help with identification for horses that do not have a visible tag number.

Galleries can be shared anywhere including Facebook via the share button options at the top right of the website page.

These horses are being networked – there is no guarantee that a horse pictured will still be available (but please check!). The next adoption day event is planned for January 8th, 2016. Adopters will need to have approved applications and consent to search forms submitted at least 3 days prior to the adoption.

Information about the upcoming adoption day, future dates, how to find out more about individual horses or to download adoption applications and consent to search forms can be found at the links below:

https://www.coloradoci.com The adoption applications and the consent to search form is under the Wild Horse Program, information tab.

For information on adoption requirements, go to:
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram.html

Adoption form:
https://www.coloradoci.com/bin-pdf/4442/BLM_4710-010.pdf

Consent to Search form:
https://www.coloradoci.com/serviceproviders/whip/index.html?consentSearch

Through the Canon City BLM office, the first 150 miles of shipping is FREE! There is a group shipping option to Grand Junction for 6 or more adopted horses. Contact the BLM office directly for specifics. 719-269-8511 or email: sleonard@blm.gov

DSC_0027a-sWeanling fillies.

DSC_9279a-sGeldings.

DSC_9797-sMares with foals.

This was our first visit to the West Douglas HMA. I heard there were around 90 horses left there and the plan was to zero them out entirely in October. I wanted to see them before they were gone. Seems our wild horse trips were becoming more and more about missions to document and then say goodbye to the beautiful animals we observed due to impending roundups.

I’d contacted the BLM Range Specialist in Meeker about how to find this group of horses. Had she not given me directions and a general location (we still got turned around and ended up on a narrow and somewhat cliffy road somehow-UGH), I am certain we would never have found them. Even after having finally discovered an area with some horse sign, we only managed to find two groups of horses – just nine in total (one I didn’t manage to get a picture of).

As we approached the top of Texas Mountain without a single sighting, finally, there on the corner of a turn was a group of three horses. Our first West Douglas horses. Two mares and a stallion and I think they were pretty surprised to see us. I can’t imagine that they see many people – not where we found them.

Click on the image for a larger/sharper view.

West Douglas mare and stallion

At first I thought the stallion was missing his left eye, but once I was able to blow up his images, I saw that it was there, just kind of set back. It looked like he may have been kicked or something on that side of his face. Obviously, a tough fella.

And the little mare was so cute – so small (probably young) and curious.

Such a inquisitive, sweet face

The other mare was definitely not as curious. She was a nervous horse. Not interested at all in hanging around while I took pictures. She was agitated and went back and forth before taking off for good, taking the other two horses with her.

We continued up the road and came upon more horse sign. Stud piles mean there are wild horses in the vicinity!

We drove some more and I got out and hiked. Nothing. We didn’t see or hear any horses.

Almost at the top of Texas Mountain

There were good sized horse trails, just no horses.

Stud pile and horse trail

I followed the horse trail out to this burn area

I could see a lot of area and it was pretty up there, but still no horses

We hit the end of any road we could follow (there was a tiny trail, but we decided against it), so we turned around and started to backtrack. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash. A horse, but you could barely see her. Had she not had the bright white blaze, we might have driven right by. And there was a little one beside her too.

I got out to see if I could get any closer, but none of these horses were particulary interested in us either. I watched them follow a path that ran right along the edge of the mountain. I grabbed these really quick shots as they passed by.

The band stallion

Look closely at this boy’s chest. That was quite a wound he had there and yet, he appears to be fine and healthy and strong enough to maintain a family band. The Mustangs are miraculous healers.

Pretty mare

Hi little one

I didn't figure out the gender on this one, but to me, he looks kinda studly. Maybe he's a younger stud still hanging with the band until the big guy decides to kick him out

After these guys disappeared over the side, we never saw another horse even though we continued to drive around the mountain and look for quite a while. It wasn’t what I’d hoped for, but at least I knew that these few would always be remembered in my photos. They’re not just numbers or “excess horses.” They’re individuals with families and histories. I just wish I could follow one through its lifetime without losing it to a roundup.

There is a lot more pressure of late for the BLM to end the roundups until a more humane and scientifically based management plan can be studied and implemented. I hope everyone’s efforts will bring about a moratorium in time to save these horses and all the others slated for removal this year. Thanks to all of you that continue to fight for our wild ones.

(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction or downloading permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images. To share, click on the blog entry title. The permanent link will be displayed in your browser’s address bar. Copy this address to share.)

Some good news for a Colorado herd of wild horses: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/20295785/detail.html

http://thesoulofahorse.com/blog/federal-court-slaps-the-blm-says-mustang-removal-illegal/

I never understood the reasons claimed to zero out this herd (and of course wrote a letter in protest along with many other folks). I’ve been to the area 3 times and only seen horses (and only a small group of 3 at that) on one of those trips. The other trips consisted of alot of horse “sign,” but no horses. I’m going to happily put this HMA back on my list of areas and horses to photograph. Many thanks to those who participated in the efforts to get this reprieve for the Colorado horses. (And thanks to Deanne Stillman for sending the news link and to Joe Camp for his excellent story of what transpired).

East Douglas-Piceance Creek family, 2006.

East Douglas-Piceance Creek family, 2006.

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East Douglas-Piceance Creek stallion

East Douglas-Piceance Creek stallion

This little mare was so pretty. I hope she found a wonderful home during this adoption event. There was alot of interest in her.

East Douglas-Piceance Creek mare at BLM adoption. Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Golden, CO May, 2008

East Douglas-Piceance Creek mare at BLM adoption. Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Golden, CO May, 2008

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