Friday, January 6, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #246 Cinch of Spring Creek Basin HMA

This painting is a special memorial to the band stallion Cinch of Spring Creek Basin HMA in Colorado. During the regularly scheduled gather in the Autumn of 2011 Cinch perished. Finding himself trapped in a small enclosure he panicked and was fatally injured when he ran into a fence pannel.

One of the things that makes rounding up wild horses so controversial is that because they are wild and have no trust of man  and  no understanding of the temporary nature of  their close confinement. It is nearly impossible to predict which horses will cause injury to themselves because of the close proximity of the traps into which they are driven or how they will react to the close proximity to humans sometimes for the first time in their lives.

Humans who are not sensitive to the behavior of horses can cause the situation to become worse if they have little or no experience. A small innocent move preceived of as a threat by a  wild horse or a loud shout or agressive move by a handler can cause catostrophic results that in a domestic horse, desensitized to humans, would never repsond to. Untrained members of contractor teams or persons who have no sensitivity to the behavior of wild horses are unaware that sometimes it is their behavior not the horses that can cause a reactaion that will injure the horse. It is unfair to say that all injuries or fatalities in a round up situation are preventable but it is also unrealistic to expect anyone dealing with wild animals to not have the animals react as wild.

It takes a very knowledgeable person or staff to look after the needs of the wild animals and understand both the nature of the wild animal and the risks involved.  Yet because wild horses are so unpredictable there are some that say  it deliberately puts horses at risk to have round ups. There are others who fear for the horses if the populations are not limited on the ranges because of the amount of land it takes to sustain one horse if there is not sufficient grass or water to keep it from starving. I realize that we can not solve all the problems with wild horse management here on my blog, but I can make people aware that  ultimately what must be done is to look after the welfare of the horses in the least stressful, least invasive way while still allowing people to see them  in the wild and in some cases, own a piece of our living history that is the Wild American Mustang.

In the case of this particular horse, Cinch, there were many people who followed him and documented his life.It is especially devastating to loose such a vibrant life that inspired so many people. One such person is photographer Crystal Walker.  She spent time on the range at Spring Creek Basin in Colorado photographing and documenting  Cinch and the entire herd there. It was during her time there that she grew to love this special wild mustang horse. Crystal provided the  reference materials for this painting of Cinch. A portion of the proceeds from this painting and other collectible items will help Crystal continue her work documenting the remaining members of Cinch's herd and other wild horses around the Colorado herd management areas.

You can see Crystal's beautiful photography on her website:

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