Monday, December 13, 2010

Free Mustang Calendar & Beautiful Gets Wild! (er)

Do you want a free Mustang calendar? It's very easy to be placed in a drawing for one--just go to TJ Holmes' site, Spring Creek Basin Weblog, and vote on the calendar cover and you'll be placed in a drawing for it. Your odds of winning are very good.

TJ and I have been corresponding about her calendar and PZP--the wildlife contraceptive--and I can tell you, she is one of the most down-to-earth Mustang lovers I've ever met. She sees all sides of the story. She doesn't have an axe to grind. She just wants to discover, and do, what is best for America's wild horses. I respect her, and what she's learned following the Spring Creek herd and documenting their every move, very, very much. I do have a few questions for her that I would like to ask in a Q and A format as a follow up to my PZP post--look for it in a couple of days--if she's willing.

Of all the links she gave me, I do think you'd learn the most by going to this one and watching the video of the talk given by Jay Kirkpatrick. He is the foremost expert on PZP. The other excellent link is Matt Dillon's blog, director of Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center. Pryor Wild blog Most of your questions about PZP will be answered there.

Now, for an update on Beautiful Girl, my own Spanish Mustang from Beatty's Butte. She's wild!

The temps had dropped, the food was good and plentiful--then, the weather changed. With the warmer weather came more energy, and I had on my hands (yesterday) a wild horse.

I was trying to get her out of her stall and lead her out to pasture, but instead what I got was a bucking, rearing, kicking rodeo queen. I like to choose my battles wisely, so I just closed her stall right back up. My husband and I had to clean around her--first, locking her in the barn, then locking her in the run.

Today, a different story altogether. When I went out to get her, she was a calm, sweet horse again.(No, she's not bipolar, she's just a horse.) She led around the property well--through mud, over ice, around berms--into the turnout. I led her around the turnout to give her a feel for the footing, but during our walk, Riagan, the puppy, decided to kick it up and run circles around us.


I bet you can guess what happened. The rodeo was back in full force, but this time it was happening on the end of the lunge line. So, I directed her to a spot where the footing was good and let her run several controlled circles both ways until she stood, snorted, and calmed down.

And, there she was again, my sweet Beautiful Girl.

I can't speak highly enough of the philosophy I've adopted in my older age (middle age--cough, cough)--choose your battles wisely. A horse can be so different one day to the next, I just don't think there's any common sense in forcing ourselves on them on those rare days they're "off," especially if you don't have to be anywhere to do anything that day. Yesterday, I looked at the conditions of the road to get to the turnout, and I looked at Beautiful's wildness, and I said to myself, this will have to be saved for a better day--simple and safe.

On another note, just when I got my Kindle what did I turn around and do?

I ordered two books for myself for Christmas today--both used--one out of print. The first was written by Jay Kirkpatrick (yes, the same Jay Kirkpatrick who is the expert on PZP!! links above) and is called, Into The Wind, Wild Horses of North America. This book sells new for $193.84, but I got a very good used copy for under $10.00.

The second, is Spanish Mustangs in the Great American West: Return of the Horse. I couldn't believe how much the front cover looks like Beautiful.

She's wild, and she's pretty!


  1. Hm, wait a minute now. Something's not jiving here. Wasn't that Kindle supposed to be wrapped by your husband and put under the tree? Linda? Are you sneaking an early Christmas gift ;)

  2. No, no, no--it's safe. lol. I haven't touched the Kindle yet. This is the perfect example of where the Kindle hits the road, so to speak. These Mustang books are full of pictures--some books will just always be better in real life.

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  4. From TJ:

    Basically yes - as far as the cost. I forgot about the cost of the adjuvant to mix the PZP, but it's very low cost, I think about $18 for the little "vial," which gives you about 18 mixes, so about $1 a dose. I like to tell people "less than $30 per mare."

    I very much hope BLM will approve our proposal ... and then, yes, I hope they will allow me to help choose which mares - given that I know them best. My vague plan (until it's approved, when it will become very specific) is that, first of all, all the mares released at the end of the roundup will be given the primer (this is likely to be no more than five mares, if the same happens in 2011 as in 2007), then the mares not rounded up will be darted with primer in the field. After that, BLM will need to determine how many mares of the total to dart based on what management goals they have (I think/hope this will result in an updated Herd Management Area Management Plan (ours is from 1984, I think)). Boosters will be given to those mares in the spring. First priorities for mares to be darted will be young mares - 2-4 - and older mares. Basically, make sure the young mares are healthy to start having babies and the older mares get a break. I think the best thing to do is plan each year which mares get darted and not leave it to chance.

    I don't know whether Madeleine Pickens has addressed this issue ... But I do know PZP is being used in several private wild horse sanctuaries. I think MP is talking about taking geldings from holding, so unless that changes, she wouldn't need to administer PZP. One thing that bothers me with the Pickens plan is that those horses would NOT be in natural wild-horse dynamic families. I'm not sure how she plans to address that, either.

  5. Anyone who has not been lucky enough to be around horses during weather changes, really cannot understand the dynamics; and wild horses are even more energized because we humans haven't bred it out of them. I LOVE to watch them and just accept that as part of horsedom. I think you are very wise to choose your battles; we've had to learn to do that and life has gotten much better.

  6. Juanita--what you say is music to my ears. it.

    Yes, Beautiful's wildness is not like anything my others do. She goes full out wild-child! I love to watch her, and I wouldn't want her to change for the world. In fact, I'm sure I could not change her even if I wanted to. I've learned her ways and I know it's all about feeling good. She wasn't on a lead at the time--she was free in her stall and run. If she'd been on a lead, I would have circled her like today, but yesterday it was icier than today, and I didn't want her to hurt herself.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.