I met some interesting characters on my trip to New Mexico. One of these was Dan the Mountain Man. He is contracted by the Forest Service to round up the mustangs. I know – roundups – bleck. This is one of the few mustangs ranges managed by the Forest Service and not the BLM. Hard to believe on this vast range that 100 mustangs have to be rounded up this year. Unfortunately these roundups are not going to end anytime soon. The GOOD NEWS is, the Jicarillla mustangs are captured without helicopters. The technique is called ‘bait removal’. For more information about this technique, this was news footage shot that was actually shot one week before I was. I wish it was still available because the way he does it is pretty darn incredible, and puts barely any stress on the horses. ( however the news article is.) These 3 buckskin mustangs had been caught using this technique but were being re-released because of their gorgeous coloring and conformation.
What a treat to get to witness mustangs being set free!
Dan the mountain man invited Lynne and myself along for the ride. We drove and drove…and drove along a winding dirt road, almost to the Colorado border. The only civilization we saw were the natural gas wells with assorted equipment and empty trucks. The workers had long since left for the weekend.
There were 2 stallions and a mare in the trailer. Dan wanted to release them separately so that the stallions would not fight over the mare.
The first one to go free was Lowball. (If you go to my Flickr page you will find out the reason why he was named that!
Dan fiddled with the trailer door, opened it up and out came this absolutely stunning horse. Off he went down the road, tail flying in the air. It was a sight to see.
Isn’t he a HUNK?!?
He trotted down the road for quite a bit and I snapped pictures. Then he stopped and turned around to look at us. Was he confused?
Or was he just saying goodbye?