Thursday, December 8, 2011

Challenge Painting #235 Favorite Horses of Sand Wash Basin: Buddy

Buddy, Stallion of Sand Wash Basin HMA

8 by 8 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
Sand Wash basin HMA in Colorado is approximately 160,000 acres. According to private sources 296 horse have been documented and identified as of December 1, 2011. According to U. S. Bureau of Land Management sources, the last census before the round up of 2008 was 411 wild horses.

It is nearly impossible for one person to see every horse on the range simply because of it size. Even with aerial estimates the numbers would not be accurate. However, since 2009 a growing number of photographers, loyal to the herd have begun continuous documentation of the herd whenever the weather will permit access to the HMA.

Enter Buddy.

 I have a growing fascination for this younger stallion; first, because somehow over the last two years no
one was able to catch him on camera. It is possible that he might have been running with one of the more elusive bands, whose images can only be captured with a long range lenses at a distance because of their shyness. Or perhaps he was hidden away in the vast basin in one of its Valleys far from the prying eyes of human visitors and leasing sheep herders.

The first documentation of him seems to have been sometime in late April or early May. Everyone  who has followed the herd over the last two years was waiting for the appearance of Tripod with great trepidation. Our mutual fear was that because of his injury he might not have made it through the winter.

Part of the Proceeds from the
sale of this painting will go to
Sally Wright for her continued
work in helping to document the
Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin
 And then one of the photographers said Tripod had been spotted. And with Tripod was a nameless black bachelor stallion that was very soon dubbed Buddy, because he had befriended Tripod.
The black stallion stayed close to Tripod while he adjusted to life without his parents and band. Early in the spring Tripod had been chased out of his band, so the story goes, because as a young stallion it was time to leave and strike out on his own. 

Multiple sightings of the Stallion with Tripod were recorded and shared with the Sand Wash Basins Wild horses group on Face book. With the knowledge that Buddy was on hand to look out after our little lame Tripod everyone was reassured.

As Tripod began to find his way the two spent less and less time together. Buddy was doing what young stallions do. He was looking for a mare and scrapping with the band stallions.

Then in June one photographer reported the gray stallion Snowman had been in a terrible fight and was badly injured. According to the photographers, Snowman was not moving around very well. Several photographers noticed when Buddy was around, he would check on the older stallion and seem to give him encouragement.

It was at that point that I figured out there was something unique and special about Buddy. He had a very nurturing spirit. He naturally looks after the weak and ill. If he can hold his own in battle to win mares then I think Buddy is going to make an awesome band stallion. I am enamored.

To find out more about the wild horses of Sand Wash Basin HMA “Like” their page on Facebook:  Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses