The Wild Mustangs of the Little Book Cliffs Range

By
Real Estate Agent with Real Estate Showcase Photography

 

The Wild Mustangs of the Little Book Cliffs Range

Wild and free, thundering hooves pounding across the plains, billowing dust in their wake. They are the epitome of what we think of when we consider the wide open spaces of the old west, and we are drawn to their romance and mystery. Known as 'mustangs', the English version of  the Spanish word 'mesteno' which means wild or stray, the wild horses of the West are descendants of the horses of the Spanish, the American Indians, and the settlers. At the turn of the twentieth century their numbers were estimated to be about 2 million. Currently that number is estimated to be about 30,000. The Bureau of Land Management has the responsibility for managing these herds.

It is my understanding that there are about 40 wild horse sanctuaries being managed by the BLM,  of that number there are 3 that are protected as 'treasured herds', and one of those is the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Herd in Garfield County, Colorado. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit their 39,000 acre home where the Friends of the Mustangs, a volunteer organization, is a valuable help to the BLM in managing and protecting these magnificent animals. Here the 100 or so mustangs are strong and healthy, and while every few years there is a round-up and horses are adopted out to manage the size of the herd, they are guaranteed their right to this home.

My day with the mustangs went beyond my wildest dreams.

Wild Mustangs of the Little Book Cliffs Range, Colorado Copyright 2011 DBoucher-Photography.com

Wild Mustangs of the Little Book Cliffs Range, Colorado Copyright 2011 DBoucher-Photography.com

Wild Mustangs of the Little Book Cliffs Range, Colorado Copyright 2011 DBoucher-Photography.com

Wild Mustangs of the Little Book Cliffs Range, Colorado Copyright 2011 DBoucher-Photography.com

Wild Mustangs of the Little Book Cliffs Range, Colorado Copyright 2011 DBoucher-Photography.com

Wild Mustangs of the Little Book Cliffs Range, Colorado Copyright 2011 DBoucher-Photography.com

The presence of the three of us didn't bother them. At one point, a band of 4 young stallions came within 4 or 5 feet of me as I was sitting quietly on the ground taking photos.  They were just curious, so I kept clicking...


 Our task is to widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature ~ Albert Einstein

 

 

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Rainmaker
508,457
Mary Douglas
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
United Country Ponderosa Realty

Hi Debi, they are certainly beautiful and strong creatures to see and I love your photos, especially the last one.    I'm ambivalent about the BLM's methods of rounding up the horses and "managing" something that is supposed to be wild but  when there is not enough range land in the areas that have been designated for them- there doesn't seem to be many choices. They are so majestic and spark imagination of riding bareback across the land as fast as the wind.

November 06, 2011 08:52 AM
Rainmaker
996,044
Karen Anne Stone
Fort Worth Real Estate
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

Mary... I guess I would be fearful that without an entity like the Bureau of Land Management... these horses might be seen as a "saleable commodity" rather than a treasure to be protected.  Sure, they would be best if they were totally "free"... but I fear poachers... rustlers... rounding them up, somehow herding them into a horse trailer, and off they would go. 

There are all kinds of people out there who may not marvel at these beautiful creatures like we do.

November 06, 2011 09:08 AM
Rainmaker
250,197
Debi Boucher
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours
Real Estate Showcase Photography

Hi everyone. I am happy to see a discussion here about the ways and means of wild horse managment. Mary is referring to the helicopters used by the BLM to round up the horses - often called 'gathers'. It is an incredibly frightening experience for the horses, and is often dangerous and sometimes fatal for them. At LBC, they tell me their pilot is as considerate as is possible under the circumstances. They are also beginning to use birth control on the mares, the medicine administered by dart gun, and it appears to be successful. Doing so eliminates the need for gathers every 3 or 4 years. Another raging critisicsm of the BLM is that most ranges are shared by cattle, grazing rights are very cheap for cattlemen, and the water rights are often privately owned - again by cattlemen. There are some 35,000 head of horses gathered off the range, being held in pens across the west awaiting their fate - probably slaughter houses as there not enough people to adopt them. Each of these animals costs the tax payer upwards of 2500 dollars per year to house in these miserable pens, and the dollars collected from the cattlemen for grazing leases do not come close to covering these expenses.  Do the math. This in spite of the fact that there is a woman with a vision, the willingness and the means to alleviate this problem. Her solution has largely been ignored by the head of the BLM. So there are some that say that the BLM has too much money, and cutting their budget would force them to work with the people who would find more humane and sensible methods of wild horse managment. For more information, visit "Saving America's Mustangs". To donate to the "Friends of the Mustangs"LBC herd, please visit their site. These folks work tirelessly to keep an eye on the herd. For the purpose of keeping track, they photograph and name each horse and record it's mare and sire at birth, someone from the group goes out at least once a week to check on them, check on their water supply, and report to the BLM any that are in trouble. And do all that they do in a strictly volunteer capacity. They are to be commended for their dedication to the horses at LBC. Not all herds have such champions for their cause. The LBC herd is in beautiful shape, healthy and strong as you see in my images, but I understand this is not the case everywhere. The SAM site will keep you apprised of legislation re the mustangs, give you an easy way to contact your representatives, and let you know how your elected representatives are voting. If you can help, please do so!

Debi

 

November 06, 2011 09:50 AM
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Todd Clark
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
Keller Williams Realty

I had no idea that herds of mustangs still even existed. I thought they died out with the old west, but how cool that were able to find them and get pictures. 

 

November 06, 2011 10:15 AM
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Paul Henderson
I always put my clients first in any transaction!
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Debi, I am always so glad to see one of your thought provoking an utterly beautiful Blog Posts. I subscribed to your Block Post when you are selling real estate and blogging daily. Now it's a treat to catch one of your pictorials ever so often... 

November 06, 2011 11:48 AM
Rainmaker
408,443
Gary Coles
Latin America Real Estate
Venture Realty International

Debi, Beautiful photos as always.  It's really great to see a post from you, I miss you when you don't post. I'm already looking forward to your next one.

November 06, 2011 01:12 PM
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Karen Kruschka
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
RE/MAX Real Estate Connections

DEbi  That would be a trip I would love to make.  BTW I gave you credit for teaching us the Orton effect in my latest blog

November 09, 2011 12:24 PM
Rainmaker
250,197
Debi Boucher
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours
Real Estate Showcase Photography

Thanks Todd, Paul, Gary & Karen and everyone else that had a look :) Glad you're enjoying the Orton Effect, Karen!

November 09, 2011 09:39 PM
Rainmaker
715,248
Debbie Walsh
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.928.8000
Keller Williams Realty

DEBI!!! MISS YOU!  Beautiful photos and thanks for sharing all of that information - wish there were more people taking care of these beautiful animals.

November 11, 2011 07:07 PM
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Karen Kruschka
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
RE/MAX Real Estate Connections

Debi  Arthur and I just dropped in to wish you a Joyous Holiday and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2012

December 13, 2011 08:18 AM
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Todd Clark
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
Keller Williams Realty

Just wanted to stop off and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year and thank you for being a part of this great network, that without we would have never connected. 

 

December 24, 2011 03:10 PM
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs
Retired Real Estate Broker, Maryland Blogger

 

Merry Christmas!

Your friends in Maryland, Roy and Dolores Kelley

 
Longwood Gardens IMG_2228

Photographs by Roy Kelley.  Canon PowerShot G11 camera.
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

 

December 25, 2011 09:56 AM
Rainmaker
1,443,316
Laura Cerrano
Authentic Feng Shui Expert
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island

Hey Debi this are beautiful photos :)

February 07, 2012 05:17 PM
Rainmaker
250,197
Debi Boucher
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours
Real Estate Showcase Photography

Thanks Laura! How are you? Hope all is well in your world!

February 09, 2012 12:18 AM
Rainmaker
939,104
Georgie Hunter
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers

Wow what beautiful creatures and great photos of them.  Very interesting about the politics of wild horses.... not something we hear much about over in Hawaii.  I wish I could adopt some, but the cost of shipping wouldn't make sense.  

 

March 20, 2012 02:23 PM
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Todd Clark
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
Keller Williams Realty

I was checking in since I still have you on my subscriber list as you still are one of my favorites and hoping everything is alright. 

August 29, 2012 11:34 PM
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Paul Henderson
I always put my clients first in any transaction!
RE/MAX Professionals.

I'm with Todd. We miss you Debi. We all understand the ebb and flow of adult life. I hope your life is good!

October 09, 2012 07:05 PM
Rainmaker
250,197
Debi Boucher
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours
Real Estate Showcase Photography

Hey Todd & Paul! Thanks for checking in! Yes, everything is good - really good! Am working full time and still writing and shooting for Colorado's AAA Encompass Magazine, so making as many trips to as many places in Colorado as possible - and having a really good time doing it :) Have some images in the Mountain Living Studio gallery in Manitou Springs - and believe it or not, I'm even selling them, WhooHoo!  I post a new image almost daily on Facebook, and see some familiar faces from AR there from time to time, and that is always fun. So I'm doing what I love, and loving what I do. Did break my leg this summer, but that's another story.... LOL

Hope everything is great for you as well.

Debi

October 09, 2012 07:31 PM
Rainmaker
107,367
Sun City Grand Homes & Real Estate Surprise Arizona Homes
Arizona Retirement Community real estate
Long Realty West Valley

Wow, wow wow!!!  Very impressive and really awesome of you to share these with all of us.  

November 17, 2012 08:17 AM
Rainmaker
1,344,563
Andrew Mooers
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker
MOOERS REALTY

Lot of horse play in this blog post. Neigh neigh, whinny whinny. Snort.

maine horses photo

January 27, 2013 08:12 AM
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Rainmaker
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Debi Boucher

"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours
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