Thursday, January 6, 2011

Davy Greasewood Band Stallion of Sand Wash Basin HMA Challenge Painting #20

Another of this weeks Bay Stallions of the Sand Wash Basin HMA of Colorado, Davy G or Davy Greasewood is a very typy mustang. His is very athletic and stocky in build. Besides his strong build and personality, Davy was named named for a forage and cover plant that grows  prevalently in the Sand Wash Basin: Greasewood.
"Davy Greasewood"
Band Stallion of  Sandwash Basin HMA
5 by 7 inches Oil on gessoed matte board
by Linda L Martin

Special Thanks to Photographer and Herd Watcher
John Wagner for the refrence photo of Davy G

There are so many paradoxes in how the HMA's are set up as public use venues. HMA's being horse management Areas of public land. I personally had never heard of greasewood before I began to follow the  Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses. So I did a little research. Greasewood is one of the plants that grows in these highland semi-desert areas from Colorado all the way into California and as far North as Canada and as far south as Arazona desert areas. According to some of my research Greasewood when ingested by sheep and cattle gives off a chemical, oxalate sodium or oxalate potassium, that can build up in the system and cause kidney failure. It is especially toxic to sheep.This to me was especially poignant when I discovered that the main competition that the Horses have for grazing at Sand Wash Basin have happens to be the sheep herds that lease the land for the winter months.
Greasewood Plants grow in
Semi desert areas and can
be from 3 to 4 feet tall as
predominatly a ground cover.
According to one source
this is a forge food as well

Greasewood is a succulent browse that will sometimes spread out and take over areas among the various desert grasses and sage brush, greasewood is one of the forage foods of the horses, deer and antelope that live there. I am not sure how the build up of greasewood chemicals affects other wildlife as there was no data on it that I have found yet.

 By the look of Davy G and his band of mares and foals from this the 2010 season, Their healthy appearance probably means there is plenty of a variety of foods to eat in this HMA.

Close up of  a Greasewood plant

According to the photos and reports of  horse watchers, there hasn't been any appearance of over grazing nor has there been an appearance of starvation of other wildlife. There was a brief period when water in the Sand Wash was a little difficult to come by in the Summer. However The BLM, I am told installed a solar driven pump and tank to allow wildlife to stay in the area instead of straying to water sources on private land.


  1. Linda, Davy is a beautiful choice and your rendering is lovely! Blessings! Jennifer

  2. Thank you both for your comments. Im so happy that you like my newest work. Its such a joy to hear your encouragements. =0)