Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winter Turnout

Turnout is always a bittersweet day.  It's good for the horses to be turned out for the winter.  There's something about pretending to run free for a few months during the harshest part of winter that is just so good for the Mustangs' souls.  During the time they are out, they will be without humans to take care of them - they go back to their wild roots.  Mom and Bill hike in to see them every week or so, but other than a few treats, they don't take any food to the horses.  Foraging for food and water (don't worry, their pasture has three rivers crossing it) is completely on the horses.

This will be Eli's first winter as a wild horse since Compass caught him several years ago.  We've given him time to herd up with our herd and shortly, we'll be combining them with Ida's herd next month, so they'll be a healthy sized herd.  Safety in numbers and all that.  Last year, there was an issue with a mountain lion, so Ida brought them all down into her town pastures in early spring.  This year, the herd will be big enough (and without a mini - poor Tigger) that they shouldn't have any predator problems.

7 comments:

Funder said...

I love that video! What an excellent way for the horses to spend the winter. That's gotta be so good for them mentally.

I know you miss them though :(

Mrs Mom said...

They look like dream horses!! Love it!

The life of a ranch horse is so different from most every other horse. So cool to be able to learn about true mountain horses from you guys!

Linda said...

I'm a BIG believer in as much turnout as possible--for Mustangs and domestic. Ours run on only about 20 acres with round bales--but I have way less issues with them than when we stabled years ago. It's the way nature meant it.

GunDiva said...

It's true there seem to be fewer "issues" with the horses when they're "free" for the winter.

Most people are surprised that the horses are manageable when they come back, but once they're home, they're good dogs again :)

Tj and Mark said...

Such a different kind of country than we live in. The horses look happy like ours do when we turn them loose to run around the 3200 acres of the ranch for the winter. Ours are spoiled though for whenever they come back to our barn I feed them. It is usually every 3 days or so, depending on the weather.

GunDiva said...

I'm glad to hear we're not the only ones who give our horses the winter off. It seems we get a lot of strange looks when we talk about it.

Let's be honest - if we lived on the property they were turned out on, we'd be feeding them too :)

Momma Fargo said...

I'm missing them already! Run free Washoe...until we meet again. LOL :)