Gateway Gazette

WHOAS: Winter??

 

Our two new boys are progressing quite quickly in their gentling process, slowly learning to trust the humans.  This is Cheyenne and he is quite a curious boy.  He comes up to the fence to sniff at new comers to the WHOAS facility and has quickly learned to be led about.  Even some gentle rubbing of his face is now okay with him.

Comanche too is coming along but is somewhat more timid than his buddy. Despite being a little more cautious, he shows great promise and will do extremely well when he finds his human to bond with. Maybe that’s you? Both these two boys have yet to be gelded.

This is Cascade and he has progressed a long ways. His buddy, Chico has been adopted and we continue to work with him so he will be ready to go to a new home soon.

December’s weather is so dramatically different from the cold and snow of early November. With the warm temperatures, wind and sun, a lot of areas are free of snow allowing the horses to forage easily. Our palomino boy here has certainly grown up. We were worried about him because we had been unable to locate him and his herd for the longest time.

His stallion has picked up another mare who has a foal beside her. The lead mare is as spooky as always so it is wonderful to actually see them.

In the valleys where there is still lots of grass, the snow is a little bit deeper and the horses can paw through it easily. This beautiful mare that we have been following since she was a foal, is pregnant and is in excellent condition. Well look forward to seeing her foal in the spring.

Always present, surveying wild horse country, are the beautiful bald eagles. In native culture they are the ones that soar closest to the Great Spirit who oversees all.

Here our buddy, Socks, and his herd has found one of those exposed areas. As you can see, “Flyer”, his colt from this year, is doing well. With this warm weather, comes ice. All roadways and trails back in the bush are sheets of ice and very dangerous. This can cause difficulty for the horses to roam about.

Unfortunately we have found a mare who tried to get over a gate leading into some property who slipped and became entangled. She did not survive. This appears to be a very freak accident and our hearts were torn when we found her. We hope her spirit is running free. Life is tough on our Alberta wild horses and they face many dangers and obstacles in their fight for survival.

As we travelled cautiously this week, we found this yearling enjoying the sunshine and some green grass in this opening.

Two of this year’s foals came out to join him and soak up the warmth of the day. Because of the warm temperatures, all the horses we have come across so far are looking so good and healthy. Each day of warm temperatures makes their ability to survive the hardships of winter that much easier.

This big stallion is snoozing peacefully standing guard over his herd. A pleasant end to our day keeping track of your Alberta wild horses.

About WHOAS

The Wild Horses of Alberta Society (WHOAS) was formed as a nonprofit society in 2002 after public outcry over the destruction of several wild horses that lived in the foothills and mountains of the Eastern slopes of Alberta. For the past 13 years WHOAS has been working on solutions for wild horse population management and has always felt that the Alberta wild horses require proper management and protection.

The wild horses only protection now is under the Stray Animal Act which at the minimum gives them some protection as it is against the law to shoot or hunt them or to snare them to capture them. However, under the auspices of the Minister of the Department of the Environment and Parks, an annual capture season can be declared and wild horses can be captured and removed from this environment by licensed horse trappers.

WHOAS has always believed there is a better way to manage the wild horse populations in a more humane and civilized manner. WHOAS is part of the government’s Feral Horse Advisory Committee (FHAC) and is the only nonprofit, volunteer member advocating on behalf of the wild horses who have no voice.

WHOAS has secured land adjacent to the forestry and has set up our rescue/handling facility so that we can continue to work to rescue and rehabilitate wild horses that have been found injured or abandoned.  We have an established adoption program and provide education and training on the gentling and handling of these wild animals.

The Wild Horses of Alberta Society is a charitable organization that relies on your donations. Our Charitable Registration Number is 86431 5288 RR0001. Help Alberta’s wild horses to continue to thrive with your support. Donate now!

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