On our way to Cody for a Christmas shopping excursion yesterday, we were delighted to see a large band of wild horses hanging out close to the highway.
These mustangs are part of the Bureau of Land Management’s McCullough Peaks herd, about 168 animals that range over 109,814 acres. The BLM does a good job of managing the area; even though it’s been a drought year, the horses are in fairly good shape. Where he works, Hubby sometimes sees wild horses from the Pryor Mountains. He reports that those animals are smaller and in poorer condition.
Better feed supply is not the only reason that the McCullough Peaks horses are bigger; the herd has a definite draft horse influence. Genetic testing points to Percheron breed markers, along with a lesser input of Spanish breed markers. The herd’s genetic diversity is partially explained by the Friends of a Legacy (FOAL), a wild horse advocacy organization:
“At least one McCullough Peaks horse tested as a descendant of horses owned by the Royal Family in England, probably a relative of the horses they gave to Buffalo Bill when he toured England with his show the Wild West….Ranchers, in the “before fences” era, would allow their horses to graze with the Mustangs over the winter months.” (http://friendsofalegacy.org/?page_id=132)
Christmas shopping, eating out, and seeing wild horses up close, all in one day—life is good!
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life….” –PSALM 23:6