Veterans Day is a good time to recognize the four-legged Soldiers and Marines – the K-9s and the horses that have gone into battle. Fortunately, some formerly wild mustangs in the U. S. Marine Corps have a peaceful mission. They, with their humans, form the Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard and are stabled at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif.
These palominos are all from BLM Herd Management Areas in Nevada and elsewhere. Some were tamed by prisoners. Many are trained by a local horseman. All of the Marines assigned to the MCG are trained to ride, to put on shoes, and to care for their equine charges. When you see them leading the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena every New Year’s Day, or catch them at a rodeo or small-town parade, you can see that the horses and humans are “proud to claim the title of United States Marines.”
The horses are given formal names after famous Marine battles, but are called by their nicknames: Aries, John, Norman. Unfortunately the plans I had to do an in-depth video with articles about the MCG and the mustangs themselves won’t happen. I am transferring to a new and better job in Oklahoma. New stories. New birds. New experiences.
Read about the horsemanship training the Marines receive:
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Photographs and videos of my favorite herd of wild horses – in Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area near Maybell, Colorado. Heather Robson, a New Zealander and member of the Sand Wash Advocate Team (SWAT), who keeps track of all the names and lineages from afar, has helped me with the names. I hope I put them with the right faces!
I will be leaving soon for another visit to the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, Colorado to watch my favorite herd of wild horses. I kinda got behind in my editing from the last visit in late June, so I’ll share what I’ve got before the next batch hits.
I spent an evening and a morning in late June in the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, Colorado watching the beautiful wild horses. I made three videos, and I have some stills yet to edit, so hold your horses (hee hee). In the meantime, enjoy these videos showing these gorgeous mustangs going about their morning, as well as the sunset from Lookout Mountain.
Text and photographs copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre
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Original hand-painted BW photographs for sale: Etsy
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Contact: cindy at cindymcintyre.com
The day’s last light cast a golden glow on the landscape and the horses of the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, Colorado. The palomino stallion had been grazing alone across the road for quite awhile, and now rejoins the herd. Is he the herd stallion? He initiated many enthusiastic interactions, as if he were saying “glad to see ya, buddy” or maybe “don’t forget who’s boss.” Read the rest of this entry »
This is part 3 of the Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin. I hope to know the names of these beautiful horses. Enjoy these portraits! Read the rest of this entry »
To continue the story from the previous post:
As the sun lowered in the clear sky, the horses became more animated. Smaller bands joined into a larger herd and some minor skirmishes broke out. Since I don’t know much about horse behavior, I will just be guessing, but it looked more like play than any real challenge. Read the rest of this entry »
I was very happy to discover that the Bureau of Land Management maintains four Herd Management Areas in Colorado to protect the feral horses – two of them fairly close to where I am currently living. I visited the Sand Wash Basin area, which is also on the way to the Gates of Lodore entrance to Dinosaur National Monument. Read the rest of this entry »