Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New Blood- The Back Story of Shock Top and his Dam and Sire

Shock Top's Back Story along with the painting "New Blood"  Haze, Demi and Shock Top of Sand Wash Basin HMA

I love telling talking with mustang people and telling the stories of the horses as they relate them to me.

Find Prints of " New Blood" on Fine Art
The story of Shock Top is very interesting. Horses in the wild form bands. Meaning usually there is a stallion, a mare and their offspring. Bands tend to be very fluid especially when the Range becomes over crowded and there is not enough territory for the horses to stay spread out.   In the case of range stallion Davy G he had a mare a foal and one day a domestic horse the photographers named Demi showed up abandoned on the range.

No one knew where Demi came from or who abandoned her but it was very apparent that she was a beautiful well bred horse so the local BLM office put an add in the paper saying that she had been found. And that they were seeking someone to claim the mare. The only thing is that she was not branded. Thus there was no record anywhere of her or her owners.  Some suspected she simply escaped. Some thought maybe a family relocated from the east where there was not branding law. Others wondered if perhaps she had been stolen and because of her distinct markings they decided it was safer just to let her go on public land. 

There was no doubt that she was not wild as she willingly approached anyone and knew what apples were. A little known fact: Wild horses have no clue what domestic horse food is and they have to be taught to accept it. It has to be done slowly to not cause colic or ulcers.

Davy G quickly adopted Demi into his family with his older mare Yarrow.  All the time that Demi was with the small band she never came into foal. Then one day tragedy struck the small band.  The mighty stallion Davy G or Davy Greasewood was  mortally injured and had to be destroyed.

As often happens in the wild there is always a stallion waiting in the wings to take over when a band stallion is old, growing weak, or dies. Sometimes violent fighting occurs and the new stallion drives  the mares away. In the case of Davy G. The sorrel stallion Haze waited patiently until the mares were ready to leave and simply walked in and took over. The following year  Shock Top was born with his brilliant chestnut red and white splashes of color. 

A lot of people who do not know wild horses very well and only see them in movies or read about them in books do not understand that rarely do bands stay together for longer than 3 or 4 years. This helps preserve the diversity of the band and keeps them healthy.  It has other benefits as well because the older horses will teach the younger horses how to survive in the wild.

You can contact me directly about originals or commissions of your favorite horse of course and if I have a story about that horse and where he came from I will absolutely share it. To contact me directly email me at:

Reference photos for this painting came from John Wagner a frequent photographer of the Sand Wash Basin Herd in Colorado.