Christina Gorski one of two Second Chance winners for the Halfway Give Away.
|Second Chance Giveaway Painting|
The subject horse is a gelding owned and ridden by Christina's daughter. He is domesticated however, Christina forgot to send me his name with the photo. She emailed me that although he isn't a mustang he has about as much fire in him as many mustangs on some days! His breed is Pintabian (minimum 99% Arabian blood with a Tobiano coat pattern). Christina's daughter won him in an essay contest a couple years ago. She rides him or does groundwork with him pretty much every day; English, Western or no tack at all. She also rides him as part of the Woodhaven Wranglers, a competitive equestrian drill team.
Ive included the horse she wanted painted as her prize in the Mustang A Day Challenge because I thought it a great opportunity to share with folks the fact that wild mustangs are not the only horses that run on the range.
On occasion these domestics are bread by wild stallions and the resulting offspring can be a bit costly and inconvenient for the rancher. In those cases horses that stray onto private land from public land can become a nuisance when the stallions infiltrate the Ranch herds. Domestic horses are not only on the range because they have strayed they are also sometimes there as a result of right of lease from the state or federal land management entities.
This means that a Rancher or Ranch can lease adjoining public land in the form of grazing rights. Generally grazing rights allow for a rancher's stock to be on the public land for a contracted amount of time. Meaning domestic animals can be pastured there for a time sometimes no more than 3 to 6 months. This is especially important to the economy of ranchers when the land in question can only sustain one horse or cow per 100 to 1,000 acres per animal.
Many times it is impossible to tell wild horses from domestics unless they are branded with either a freeze or hot brand. Branding of Domestics makes it easier to tell them from wild horses and provides a way to get them home to their owners.
When the BLM rounds up specific herds they manage from time to time domestic horses that have strayed on to public land are seperated out of the wild herds. A brand inspector is present and will try to locate the origin of the horse. If it is a local stray there is usually a list of reported horses and the owners can come and claim their horses. If the horse has been found to be abandonded and goes unclaimed the unclaimed horses are in some cases offered to who ever will pay for them. Since these unclaimed domestic horses are not covered under the Wild Horse Act they are not offered the same protection as mustangs.
It is very important if a person has a horse that is lost or strays into public land to report the animal to the local BLM office. If it is found that the owner abandoned it there there can be heavy fines. And in some locations cruelty charges will be filed against the owner of record.
Wild Horse Watchers and photographers are very helpful in reuniting lost horses with their owners.
Just this past spring Horse Watchers spotted a domestic running loose on the Sand Wash Basin HMA, near Craig Colorago. The horse was wearing a blue halter and had a visable freeze brand. The Horse Watchers and photographers reported seeing the horse several times, giving approximate locations on the different days as it migreated with the wild herds. This way the owners, who had reported the horse missing to the local BLM office, could retrieve it. The Horse Watchers also posted a photo of the animal and its location on the Sand Wash Basin Club page on Facebook. The local media to the HMA picked up the information and ran a special story on the horse.
Private/public interest groups connected with different HMAs provide a valuable tool in helping when issues like this arise regarding domestic animals.
Congratulations to Christina for winning the Mustang A Day Challenge Second Chance drawing.