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.