At one time there were a million wild horses in the country. Now we have about 17,000 with another 30,000 in “holding” areas, waiting for adoption. The bison, the wolf, and now the wild horses. I’m afraid we aren’t very good at sharing space.
I spent the weekend with a woman who uses all of her resources to feed the wild horses on her mesa. If she can keep them on the mesa, they won’t wander down to the farms and ranches below and be rounded up and taken to slaughter. Five years ago, there were 250 on this mesa. Now there are 150. She names them all, knows their families, knows when it’s time for the stallion to chase off the young males. These magnificent creatures would come right up to the truck because they know her, trust her, and, besides, she’s always generous with the hay in the back of the truck. I was thrilled to be introduced to Blue, Maggie, Ginger, Star, Napoleon, Boots, Cheyene. We never could find the Gray band or the Bachelor Boys. But I tried to remember the ones I did get to meet, who was in which family, whose son or daughter belonged to which mare. I was enchanted.
Enchanted. And sad.
It was the first day of Spring.
Beautiful. Crisp. Cold, but the trees sheltered us from the wind. It was a brand new experience for me. I had never snow-shoed before.
I wish I could tell you how I felt. Full. Yes, full is the best description. The majestic views of the snow-covered Rockies. The rhythm of the snowshoes slapping the path. The smiles and greetings from other hikers. The absolute joy of the woman flopping down in the meadow to form a snow angel. We were all kindergartners again, wide-eyed with wonder.
My spirit soared. We decided it was a good way to celebrate the Spring equinox. We vowed to come again next year.