Friday, April 29, 2011

Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands Challenge Painting #99

The Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands
"Peregrine"
9 by 6 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
The Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands is a herd of feral ponies, mostly of Shetland pony descent, employed to live upon the Forestry Service and State Park lands surrounding Mt Rogers in Virginia.

One of the people who are documenting these feral ponies is Amy Flood, a professional photographer, who has love and passion for the ponies as well as professionalism in documenting their habitat, their behavior and their lives. She also sees first hand how some interactions with humans can be detrimental to the wild ponies. Feeding them "treats" can sometimes spell desaster for the ponies. 

Peregrine a few days old and the first time
Amy saw him. Photo by Amy Flood.
Used by permission.

Today Amy talks about Peregrine. In her own words:
"Peregrine was the first colt born in 2011. His dam is Eowyn and his sire is Pippin. I first photographed him during a ferocious spring snowstorm. In 2009, Eowyn had a blue-eyed colt, but did not foal in 2010.

Thus far, Eowyn has been doing a fairly good job of keeping him away from hikers/visitors, for which I am grateful. Unfortunately a lot of people ignore the rules and feed the ponies - even horse people don't seem to realize how damaging it can be. As long as he remains shy around people he won't be consume anything that will make him sick! :) "



Peregrine is growing daily under the watchful eye
of his mom Eowyn. Photo by Amy Flood.
Used by permissioin

To read more about these ponies  and their history  you can read the the Mustang A Day Challenge News blog with additional links to the Grayson Highlands State Park  http://mustangadaychallengenews.blogspot.com/ 

and follow Amy's visits and photography on her blog http://graysonhighlandsponies.com/

 
For more information on the Grayson Highlands State Park Pony Auction The Wilburn Ridge Pony Association holds an auction at 2:00 PM on the Saturday following the 4th full week in September. The auction is part of the Grayson Highlands Fall Fest. All auctioned ponies have passed veterinary examination and testing, and the proceeds from their purchase goes toward sustaining the pony herd and local charities. For further information call: 276-579-7092 or go to

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands Challenge Painting #98


"Hurricane"
9 by 6 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

The Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands is a herd of feral ponies, mostly of Shetland pony descent, employed to live upon the Forestry Service and State Park lands surrounding Mt Rogers in Virginia.

One of the people who are documenting these feral ponies is Amy Flood, a professional photographer, who has love and passion for the ponies as well as professionalism in documenting their habitat, their behavior and their lives.

Today Amy talks about Hurricane. In her own words: "

Hurricane with HoneyBear
Photograhy by Amy Flood. Use by Permission
Hurricane
"His sire is Tornado. He and his step daddy, Gideon, are particularly close...I see them playing together frequently. Hurricane is also fast friends with Eminem and HoneyBear (Ocelot's yearling pinto filly).

Hurrricane in the Hawthorn
Photo by Amy Flood. Used by permission.
Hurricane has a mischievous streak - he is always into some sort of trouble. He will take any excuse to stampede across the balds, bucking and kicking up his heels. Somewhat possessive of his dam, he is quick to express his jealousy whenever another pony pays her attention.
 Interestingly enough, Lady left Gideon in fall of 2010 and returned to Tornado's band briefly while in estrus(heat). "
"Hurricane"
Photo by Amy Flood.
This photo and reference photography used by permission.
To read more about these ponies  and their history  you can read the the Mustang A Day Challenge News blog with additional links to the Grayson Highlands State Park  http://mustangadaychallengenews.blogspot.com/ 
and follow Amy's visits and photography on her blog http://graysonhighlandsponies.com/

For more information on the Grayson Highlands State Park Pony Auction The Wilburn Ridge Pony Association holds an auction at 2:00 PM on the Saturday following the 4th full week in September. The auction is part of the Grayson Highlands Fall Fest. All auctioned ponies have passed veterinary examination and testing, and the proceeds from their purchase goes toward sustaining the pony herd and local charities. For further information call:
276-579-7092 or go to 
Contact Information
Primary Contact: Grayson Highlands State Park
Phone: 276-579-7092
829 Grayson Highland Lane
Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363

Email: GraysonHighlands@dcr.virginia.gov
Web Address: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/gra.shtml


Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands Challenge Painting #97

  The Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands is a herd of feral ponies, mostly of Shetland pony descent, employed to live upon the Forestry Service and State Park lands surrounding Mt Rogers in Virginia.
"Freedom"
9 by 12 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
One of the people who are documenting these feral ponies is Amy Flood, a professional photographer, who has love and passion for the ponies as well as professionalism in documenting their habitat, their behavior and their lives. This documentation includes  the impact of how frequent visitors to the park affects the herd behavior and dynamics.  Today 's painting is of the lead mare Amy calls " Freedom"
As do many who document of wild animals, she names them and keeps a running record of her sightings of them.  The names are for her purposes. When the  ponies are collected from the Highlands by The management organization, The Wilburn Ridge Pony Association and are auctioned, the high bid adopters have final say on their new pony's forever name.

Photo doumentors, like Amy, will often join up and share information on the herds they watch so there is not duplication in documentation, but rather they verify each other's sightings and anticdotes.  Management organizations will also keep their information and sometimes share names ages and other information with the horse or herd watchers in order to better manage the horses or in this case ponies  in their care. 

Freedom Standing in the snow surrounded
 by  the thorny hawthorn she and her herd
are employed to graze.
Photo by Amy Flood. Used by permission.

The Sand Wash Basin Wild Horse Club is one such group. They are loosely associated horsemen and women, who are together in their common cause of preserving and documenting the Sand Wash Basin HMA Wild Horses. As of this writing there are a number of photographers that share information, confirm sightings and share educational information with the Larger group through their facebook page. The Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Club has over 2400 people on facebook that follow the horses.
On Amy Flood's Facebook page for the Grayson Highland Ponies there are over 800 fans who watch  her documenting efforts and the lives of the ponies. And the numbers are growing.
There is one basic difference between the feral ponies of  Grayson Highlands and the Mustangs on public lands. Mustangs are considered nothing more than mutt horses or ferals by some, because through the years more and more highly bred horses have been abandonded to run with them. Yet after 500 years mustangs and Colonial mustangs( on the east coast)  are truly wild and share common gene markers of the spanish iberian horses.

Freedom and her foal Elam. This photo
and reference photos for the panting
were provided by Amy Flood
and used bypermission.

Basicly, as wild horses, no one holds title to them until they are adopted  through what ever managing entity offers them for sale.  Wild horses and burros in the United States are also protected by Federal law, as a National Living Treasure of our country's history. The Highland Ponies, on the other hand, have been specifically allowed to go wild; however, they are owned and are employed for a specific job. 
Their is no doubt that the presense of these wild ponies on the Grayson Highlands enriches the lives of every visitor when they come to participate in park activities.
About the Mare Freedom. In Amy's Words:

"I was formally introduced to Freedom on May 25th 2010 - the day she gave birth to a little long-legged colt we called "Elam". Over the next few months, we watched as Elam grew, and thrived in his small family band. His sire, Cortez was an excellent band stallion - attentive and protective. Freedom was the lead mare, dictating where they grazed and roamed.

But in September of 2010, things changed. Not just Elam, but also Cortez were both gathered and sold at auction. In the absence of a band stallion, Freedom suddenly became the sole leader. "

Freedom (foreground) In the high country of The Grayson Highlands State Park
 in Virginia. The state park and the adjacent National Forrest are open
year around for pony watching and a number of other open air activities.
Photo by Amy Flood. Used by permssion.

To read more about these ponies  and their history  you can read the the Mustang A Day Challeng News blog with addtional links to the Grayson Highlands State Park  http://mustangadaychallengenews.blogspot.com/ and follow Amy's visits and photography on her blog http://graysonhighlandsponies.com/

For more information on the Grayson Highlands State Park Pony AuctionThe Wilburn Ridge Pony Association holds an auction at 2:00 PM on the Saturday following the 4th full week in September. The auction is part of the Grayson Highlands Fall Fest. All auctioned ponies have passed veterinary examination and testing, and the proceeds from their purchase goes toward sustaining the pony herd and local charities. For further information call:

Contact Information
Primary Contact: Grayson Highlands State Park
Phone: 276-579-7092
829 Grayson Highland Lane
Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363

Email: GraysonHighlands@dcr.virginia.gov
Web Address: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/gra.shtml
Blogger's Note: Wild Horses (and ponies)  do not actually have names in the wild. Those that observe and document them do so because it makes it easier to keep track of them. When a wild horse is adopted the new owner is free to name that horse any name they wish. The exception is that some wild herds managed by non-profits do keep registration to track the horses  through out their lifetime. BLM horses are given a number which is humanely freeze branded on their neck. Once the horses are titled they are no longer tracked. However the brands are useful in making sure that the horse is titled and discovering or confirming which state the horse was born in.  Updated 2/24/2014

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Going for a Spin" with Robert and Watson Challenge Painting #96

Robert and Watson "Going for a Spin" 
Training for the Ft Collins Mustang Makeover
"Going For A Spin"
Robert Carlson and Watson
8 by 10 inch watercolor
by Linda L MarinArtist
Today’s painting features Robert and Watson and is based on a wonderful photo by Amy Spivey of Lightning Bug Creek Photography of Robert literally taking Watson for his first spin. What starts out as a warm up exercise to help the horse soften to turn in both directions will eventually  be able to work into a reining spin.
Taking a Mustang through the stages of training can be one adventure after another on a good day. But try  keeping to your training schedule when you are threatened with a tornado, hail and more severe weather than you can imagine and the treat of raging brush fires all in the same week.
Madeleine and Tango crossing the bridge.
The Last few weeks have been a steady  introduction of new things  and  consistent repetition  of  what the mustangs  Watson (Robert Carlson) And Tango ( Madeleine LeClerc) have learned.  Besides introducing the horses to all sorts of obstacles one would find on the trail, both horses have been trailered to different locations to be ridden in doors, outdoors , with strange horses and through strange obstacles and at one location through a stock tank.
Robert and Watson loping in full saddle and
cowboy halter.
The most dramatic location training session was when Robert was  riding Watson at a lope as a threatening storm loomed up. Through the high winds, a churning sky, and sirens, Robert rode Watson until Watson was calm and the two could end on a positive note.  This was probably not  what Robert had originally planned for this location training session, but it was definitely an opportunity to build more into to the partnership. Every opportunity must be taken to help the horse reach that level that requires a wild horse to trust the human  and build confidence in all situations.
To read a more detailed account of all the training activities of the  Madeline and Robert  log into facebook and  follow their daily updates on their Fort  Collins Makeover blog  page.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/2011-CO-Mustang-Makeover-with-RM-Performance/119433394800806
To see more of Amy Spivey’s wonderful Photography check in to her facebook page  for Lightning Creek Photography: http://www.facebook.com/pages/2011-CO-Mustang-Makeover-with-RM-Performance/119433394800806#!/LBCPhotography
 Photographs provided by Lightning Bug Creek Photography. Used by permission.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands Challenge Painting #95

  The Wild Ponies of Grayson Highlands is a herd of feral ponies, mostly of Shetland pony descent, employed to live upon the Forestry Service and State Park lands surrounding Mt Rogers in Virginia.

Smokey
6 by 9 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

The herd is maintained to 120 ponies. They are chosen for their heartiness, their ability to thrive in mountain heights above 4,500 feet and to keep the native thorny hawthorn in check.  The ponies are managed by a local citizen group called the Wilburn Ridge Pony Association. Select ponies are rounded up in early September and vetted for adoption auction during the Grayson Highland Fall Fest.

Smokey showing off his long silver tresses.
Photo by Amy Flood. Used by permission

As most of the wild horses in the United States are of Spanish mustang descent and are from stock of North and Central American Colonial history, the Grayson Highland's Ponies are neither horses, nor are they of Spanish or Iberian colonial stock. However, they were specifically chosen for their short legged hearty demeanor and their ability to fulfil the job requirements of keeping the hawthorn in check while doing practically no damage to the environment. 

One of the people who are documenting these feral ponies is Amy Flood, a professional photographer, who has love and passion for the ponies as well as professionalism in documenting their habitat, their behavior and their lives. This documentation includes  the impact of how frequent visitors to the park affects the herd behavior and dynamics.
In Amy's Words:

Smokey showing off his silver dapples.
This photo and reference photography provided
by Amy Flood and used by perission.
"Smokey
Smokey is one of the most recognizable stallions, with his silver dappling and thick flowing mane & tail. He and his band roam the balds just above the parking lot at Massie Gap, and so are among the most photographed ponies on the mountain. Currently his band consists of his faithful lead mare River, as well as Rocket, Galaxy, EvaSince and Rocket & River's yearling fillies - Flicka & Brook. I cannot be certain of his age, but my guess is he is one of the older stallions on the mountain (perhaps 10-15 yrs?).


Flicka and Smokey
Photo by Amy Flood
Used by permission.
He and Flicka have a particularly interesting relationship. Flicka is actually Pippin's daughter (and the spitting image of the pinto stallion), but was born into Smokey's band. Flicka adores her stepdaddy and is constantly seeking his attention. Smokey is not one of the more affectionate stallions on the mountain - he can oftentimes appear very aloof. At times he can be quite impatient with Flicka, but over time I have noticed him softening towards her. At the risk of sounding anthropomorphic, I would say it seems she has cracked his tough exterior and holds a special place in his heart. :) "

To read more about these ponies  and their history  you can read the the Mustang A Day Challeng News blog with addtional links to the Grayson Highlands State Park  http://mustangadaychallengenews.blogspot.com/ and follow Amy's visits and photography on her blog http://graysonhighlandsponies.com/

For more information on the Grayson Highlands State Park Pony AuctionThe Wilburn Ridge Pony Association holds an auction at 2:00 PM on the Saturday following the 4th full week in September. The auction is part of the Grayson Highlands Fall Fest. All auctioned ponies have passed veterinary examination and testing, and the proceeds from their purchase goes toward sustaining the pony herd and local charities. For further information call: 276-773-3111 or go to http://www.graysonfallfestival.org/.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Alder Hill Farm’s Branson Rescue: Part 3 “The Redemption”: Painting #94

"Spirit"
So far the two trips to remove the three horses near Branson, Missouri had been filled with twists and turns and a great amount of frustration. Three wily horses, tame enough to receive affection and food, but smart enough to evade the best professional attempts at capture them, were beginning to tax the resources of The Alder Hill Farm Team. 
"Spirit"
9 by6 Watercolor
By LindaLMartinArtist

The Alder Hill Team had followed the three horses to a property  in various stages of neglect but in which the owners of the three horses were discovered. They lived in the house trailer on the property.

The revelation that the owners were still active in the lives of the horses put everything into a different perspective. Upon meeting the owners and surveying the situation it was decided that instead of a long drawn out court battle to seize the animals; it would be better for Alder Hill Farm to simply purchase the Animals. This would take the horses out of their immediate situation and prevent a lengthy and expensive legal battle. The owner was agreeable and said she would take $100 a piece for the three of them.
It is not the policy of Alder Hill Rescue to purchase horses. However,  in this case the condition and safety of the horses made it imperative that the animals be removed quickly and with as less additional financial impact as possible before the horses or a person was injured.
During the course of the visit Scott’s suspicion that the horses were mustangs was confirmed. The owner’s had adopted a mare and stallion from the BLM many years ago. The two original mustangs had passed away but these three were full brothers and sister from those two adopted Mustangs.  The oldest  stallion was 10 years old and named Prancer. The most dominant stallion was 8 years old, named Spirit. The filly was a 3 year old and named Honey.

Now the race was on, not only to raise the funds to remove the horses from their dangerous situation but also to prevent the filly from being bred by one of her brothers.
Alder Hill Farm Rescue with its policy of transparency kept a running documentation going on their Facebook page and on the pages of the Rescue team members. Nearly the total amount of money to purchase the mustangs and make additional return trips to capture them was raised by the time the team when back to capture the first two.
Keep in mind that the three had never been handled. They didn’t have even the most basic of training. In fact they had been treated as pet dogs not as horses from the time they were born. There was no documentation of vet care and their pasture with its long neglected fences was filled with old appliances, farm equipment and what the Alder Hill team described as simply trash.
The impression is, that the dominant stallion, left to his own devices and filled with generations of intelligent independent mustangs in his heritage, pretty much took things into his own charge and took care of his family in the best horse fashion he could.
On appointed day the Alder Hill Farm Rescue Crew brought their capture set up to capture and remove the first two horses.Once Alder Hill paid them $300.00 for the horses the owners waved all rights of ownership.   and very shortly had the two submissive horses haltered and an hour later loaded the first into the horse trailer. This being their first horse trailer ride, it was amazingly uneventful and the two horses did very well. Plus Alder Hill already had a request for adoption for the submissive stallion, Prancer.
Tonight's painting is of "Spirit" the Dominant Stallion.
The removal of the two submissive horses left the dominant stallion, Spirit, alone on the farm.  Without his herd, he was considerably less excitable than on the previous trips. On the day the Alder Hill team went back to get Spirit, the owner put horse treats on the top step of the house trailer and he stood there calmly munching on them ,while one of the volunteers slipped the halter on Spirit. With the help of the owner Spirit was caught in good order, loaded into the trailer and transferred to Alder Hill Farm. Over all the Alder Hill Rescue team made 4 trips to the Branson Location.
Update. Both Spirit and Prancer have now been gelded. Applications are being accepted now for Spirit’s adoption. Potential owners will be carefully screened.  Prancer’s adoption is in the process. Honey will spend another year at the farm growing up and being a horse, then after training she will be offered for adoption as well.
Alder Hill Farm Rescue is a 501c3 Non Profit in the state of Missouri that rescues horses of every breed and every color. To see how you can adopt an Alder Hill horse or donate to the ongoing work or sanctuary of the Alder Hill Mustangs please go to www.AlderHillFarm.org

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Alder Hill Farm’s Branson Rescue Mission: Part 2 “ Bringing In The Big Guns” Painting #93

Prancer
Alder Hill was  under the gun in capturing the three “abandoned” horses. Already land owners local to the abandonded development  had offered to shoot the horses before they became a nusance or ran out on to the highway were they could become a traffic hazard. All three of the horses were athletic as well as in very good condition coming out of the winter.  
"Prancer"
9 by 6 inchWatercolor
SOLD
by LindaLMartinArtist
Because of the limited access  to the property it was understood that the horses would have to be led out to the trailer because the trailer couldn’t be brought in. There was also no way to bring in  a remote corral to contain the horses. After consulting with the Sheriff’s department and local animal control it was decided that the dominate stallion would need to be darted. Then they could slip a halter on him and either pony him out using a trained horse or lead him out with several people holding lead lines so they could get him into the trailer.
When the day arrived one of the Alder Hill supporters trained in  guns and affiliated with the local sheriff’s office and the animal control officer  came out for additional support. In addition the team barrowed two ATV’s to  help  in getting the team to the remote location.
Again the horses would allow the team members to get with in feeding and petting distance but would not allow them to put the halters on them. The horses also seemed a bit nervous and kept close to the forested hill.
There was no way to get a clean shot. After several hours of give and take and never being able to get the horses out into the clear, suddenly the horses ran into the woods and up the hill.  Several team members followed after them.
On the other side of the hill they made a discovery. There before them lay neglected farm on the other side of a downed fence. There was all sorts of trash in the field. All along the fence line were posted signs warning that anyone coming over the property line would be trespassing and would be prosecuted. Farther down the hill was a barn.  There in the barn yard looking very much at home were the three horses.
Even though the Police had been trying to find the owners of the horses for months obviously the owners of the horses didn’t even know they were gone. The team Needed to  regroup yet again. This whole adventure was taking a toll in manpower and fuel due to travel. And for a non-profit in a time of economic hardship with 100 horses already to care for, The Alder Hill Farm Rescue team needed to determine what the best course of action would be.
They gathered up their equipment and paid a visit to the house trailer on the property to see what they could find out about the horses.
Tomorrow night: “The Redemption”
Today’s Painting is the Branson Stallion, named Prancer. Once separated from the dominant stallion , even though he had never before worn a halter nor ridden in a horse trailer, after about an hour of training The Alder Hill Rescue Team, headed by their horseman Scott Litherland, led him into the trailer. Because he had no fear of people or bad prior training, in fact no training at all, according to Leslie, one of Alder Hill’s founders, the He did really well even in the confinement of the trailer. Upon arriving at Alder Hill he was placed in the stallion paddock with another stallion  until the remaining stallion could be captured.
To read more about Alder Hill Farm go to www.alderhillfarm.org  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this painting go to Alder Hill Farm.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Lean On Me" Tango and Madeleine ~ Challenge Painting #92

 Fort Collins Makeover Horse Tango and Madeleine LeClerc:

At this point in the training both Madeleine LeClerc and Robert Carlson are consistent and repetitive, adding a little more activity to the horse to give it confidence and build a connection.  Every thing is serious work, but it is also fun for the horses. There is lots of affection and encouragement. Already they have both ridden their horses, led them through an obstacle course, ramped up their grooming by teaching them to pick up feet and yield their feet. And Both horses have had their first bath. These are just a few of the daily activities the two trainers from R&M Performance Horses have accomplished with their Fort Collins Colorado Makeover Horses.


Madeleine and Tango. In this photo Madeleine is
getting on and off Tango on the wrong side.
 Generally the proper side to mount is the left side.
 However, in an emergency or in the case of
someone who is unable to use their left foot
 to mount, it is helpful that the horse be trained
 to mount from both sides.
 One very important thing in the training of any horse is teaching it to feel comfortable receiving weight.  The horse should be quietly unconcerned and attentive to its handler whether that weight is just someone leaning on its neck, standing on its back, leaning across the saddle, or mounting on either side.  Really good trainers teach the horse how to accept weight very early on in the training. Not just the weight of someone sitting on their backs but weight that shifts, weight that pushes, weight that drags and weight that pulls. All of these aspects of training not only keep the horse safe  for those riders a little on the clumsy side, it also prepares the horse for all sorts of opportunities to partner with its rider on the trail,  in unexpected  pleasure riding activities and in work.


Robert  and Watson working
on mounting and dismounting.
 This painting "Lean on Me" shows Madeleine leaning with her arm on the saddle with the reins on either side. This is the first step to mounting alone. Through this exercise she stands with one foot in the stirrup, then actually sits in the saddle, then dismounts. Then repeats, sometimes getting on and off on the wrong side. Sometimes she standing with one foot in the stirrup, so that Tango becomes use to having someone high above him. 

You can follow Madeleine LeClerc's and Robert Carlson's  weekly training updates and more amazing photographs provided by Lightning Bug Creek Photography documenting the training of their  Fort Collin's Makeover Horses Tango and Watson on their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/2011-CO-Mustang-Makeover-with-RM-Performance/119433394800806

Prints of this painting are availalbe for sale begining Wednesday of this week on http://www.fineartamerica.com/  Search LindaLMartinArtist

Reference Photography for this painting were provided by Lightning Bug Creek Photography and used by permission.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Alder Hill Farm’s Branson Rescue Mission: Part 1 “What Have We Here!” Paniting #91

When Alder Hill Farm Rescue received a phone call in March from the Sheriff’s office about three abandoned horses near Branson, Missouri they didn’t know what they would find. The Sherriff’s department had received a call that there had been three horses running loose all winter in an old abandoned development site.  The several hundred acre site was remote, with dirt roads that were partially washed out from snow melt and several streams that had to be forded to find the horses.
"Honey"
6 by 9 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
The concern was that the horses presented a safety hazard to motorists on a busy highway that bordered the extensive undeveloped site because there was no fence along the highway.



 When the Rescue team finally found the three horses the first thing they discovered was full blown complex herd dynamics not generally found in domestic horses. In fact Alder Hill Farm’s head horseman, Scott Litherland couldn’t believe how the one dominant horse looked like the old Kiger Mustang he used to have.

Scott Litherland gets close enough to pet the
young stallon. But is unable to put the halter on him

The Alder Hill Farm Rescue Team walked into the situation, understanding that the land owners who had reported the horses, had been feeding the horses hay during the unusually snowy and harsh winter.   The Alder Hill Farm Rescue Team was really expecting the horses to be tame enough to halter.
The next discovery was that the two male horses were full stallions. They were able to get the horses to take sweet feed from their hands, and even pet them; however, every time they tried to halter the most friendly, a young mare, the dominant stallion would herd her away.  After several hours of trying to capture them the Alder Hill Rescue team realized that they had to have another plan of attack in order to capture the horses.
 “Bringing in the Big Guns” Part two of Alder Hill Farm’s Branson Rescue Mission On Wednesday.

The Dominant Stallion driving Honey away so Scott can not put a halter on her.
Today’s Painting is the Branson Filly, named Honey. Once separated from the dominant stallion , even though she had never before worn a halter nor ridden in a horse trailer, after about an hour of training The Alder Hill Rescue Team, headed by their horseman Scott Litherland, led her into the trailer. Because she had no fear of people or bad prior training, in fact no training at all, according to Leslie, one of Alder Hill’s founders, the filly did really well even in the confinement of the trailer.
To read more about Alder Hill Farm go to www.alderhillfarm.org  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this painting go to Alder Hill Farm.


Friday, April 15, 2011

"Tierra" of The Sand Wash Basin Challenge Painting #90

This pretty little bay pinto filly is named Tierra. She is with Centauro’s other mare Reyna.  Reyna lost her 2010 foal however her 2 year old filly still runs with the band.
"Tierra"
4.5 by 6 inch Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
If you would like to suggest a names for some of the yet un-named Sand Wash Basin Horses go to the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Page  on Facebook to make the connection with the rest of the club of Horse Watchers, herd documentors and photographers. You can link up to the  Sand Wash Basin Horses Wild Horses Page on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sand-Wash-Basin-Wild-Horses/101181969939406
The Club's purpose is to identify and track the behavior of the wild horses of the Sand Wash Basin and better help with management and adoption.  People who participate do it for the love of the horses and preservation of the horse's way of life. You can see more of  Nancy Roberts  wonderful photography of Sand Wash Basin and the surrounding country side on the Sand Wash Basin Horses Wild Horses blog: http://sandwashwildhorses.blogspot.com/ Nancy updates the blog several times a week as weather permits her to travel out to the Sand Wash Basin HMA near Craig, Colorado.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Josie's Black Foal of The Sand Wash Basin Challenge Painting #89

The First of the Sand Wash Basin 2011 babies has been spotted.

This pretty black filly foal is out of the beautiful sorrel mare named Josie. The foal has a white star on her forehead. This foal was spotted and photographed by Nancy Roberts on Sand Wash Basin on April 3rd.
Josie's Black Filly 5 by 7 inches watercolor
by Linda L Martin Artist
Josie is in, the gray stallion, Whiteout's Band. Josie's black foal was named by the, Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Club, to be "Cinder" in honor of the little black Piceance filly who passed away.

If you would like to suggest a names for some of the yet un-named Sand Wash Basin Horses go to the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Page to make the connection with the rest of the club of Horse Watchers, herd documentors and photographers. The Club's purpose is to identify and track the behavior of the wild horses of the Sand Wash Basin and better help with management and adoption.  People who participate do it for the love of the horses and preservation of their way of life.

Josie and her foal on the Sand Wash Basin HMA
Reference photo provided by Nancy Roberts
Used by permission
You can see more of  Nancy Roberts  wonderful photography of Sand Wash Basin and the Surrounding country side on the Sand Wash Basin Horses Wild Horses Page on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sand-Wash-Basin-Wild-Horses/101181969939406
 
This page was updated on 4/15/2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Can Wakan" of The Sand Wash Basin Challenge Painting #88

The First of the Sand Wash Basin 2011 babies has been spotted.

"Can Wakan"
5 by 7 inch watercolor
by Artist LindaLMartin
The newly named Can Wakan is the Filly in Corona's Band out of the pretty sorrel mare named Lona. She was spotted and photographed by John Wagner on Sand Wash Basin  this week. He and his daughter, Megan, named her Can Wakan which is Lakota for Sun Daner. 
Photo of  Can Wakan by John Wagner
Used By Permission
You can see more of John Wagner and Nancy Roberts  wonderful photography of Sand Wash Basin and the Surrounding country side on the Sand Wash Basin Horses Wild Horses Page on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sand-Wash-Basin-Wild-Horses/101181969939406

"Just A Bit" Watson and Robert Carlson Painting #87

"Just A Bit"
Watson and Robert Carlson
8 by 10 inch watercolor
by Linda L Martin

Robert leads Watson using the halter while
Watson becomes comfortable with the bit.
Photo provided by Lightning Bug Creek Photography
Used by permission
 First the Saddles and then the bits. This painting shows Robert Carlson's Ft Collins Makeover Horse getting used to wearing a bit. it will be sometime before Watson is ridden using reins on the bit. In the mean time Robert will do a series of bending and give and take exercises to prepare Watson for  the full use of the bit.  He is currently riding Watson using his cowboy halter.

Madeleine and Tango.
Getting used to wearing his bit.
Photo provided by LightningBugCreek Photography
Used by permission
 Madeleine LeClerc’s horse for Ft Collins also has been Named. His name is Tango.  Both Madeleine and Robert will continue working with their horses  for response and suppleness beginning first riding in the cowboy type halter and later and very gradually but consistently transferring control through a bit In the horse’s mouth.
You can follow the training of Watson and Tango on the  R&M Performance Horse page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/2011-CO-Mustang-Makeover-with-RM-Performance/119433394800806

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tarora of The Sand Wash Basin Challenge Painting #86

The First of the Sand Wash Basin 2011 babies has been spotted.

"Tarora"
4.5 by 6 inch Watercolor
by Artist Linda L Martin

The newly named Tarora is the colt of Sophia from Centuaro's Band. Sophia did not produce a foal in 2010.  Sofia has been documented with Centuauro for her third spring.


Sofia with her new born colt, Tarora.
Sofia has been documented with Centuauro for her
third spring. Reference photo by Nancy Roberts,
 used by permission