On May 17, members of the Four Corners Back Country Horsemen came to Spring Creek Basin for their annual wild horse count. This was their 14th year!
This is an important, ongoing partnership between 4CBCH and BLM. In addition to counting mustangs in Spring Creek Basin and getting an idea of the makeup of bands, members traditionally complete a work project during the weekend. Previous projects have included fence maintenance, packing out old wire and weed surveys. The last couple of years, the Forest Service has sent a weed-spraying crew to the basin to spray some of the locations we’ve surveyed.
In years past, horseless members of the group would drive to the base of Round Top and hike to the summit, then use binoculars and spotting scopes to search for mustangs. Radio communication between horseback groups and the hikers would help with locations and identifications. Now, we have horseback folks and folks who take “horseless carriages” around the loop road in the basin to look for horses, completing projects on the way.
Again this year, we surveyed ponds for the presence of knapweed and musk thistle. Fortunately, we found little of either type of weed at all the locations we checked.
Between the riders and the drivers, we saw almost all the horses! And a few of the bands put on a show by being in close proximity to each other, which was great for everyone to see so many of our mustangs!
Pat (president of 4CBCH) and Frank Amthor were the weekend’s leaders, as usual, and as always, they hosted a wonderful event full of horses, stories of past mustang sightings and terrific food. A highlight this year was meeting a Spring Creek Basin mustang, Tipi (spelling?), adopted in 2005. He reminded me completely of Bruiser – minus the spots!
Lisa and her son, Travis, lead the way into the basin from the campsite off the Disappointment Road. Travis has attended most counts since he was 6 years old!
Eva and her Spring Creek Basin mustang, Tipi. (Yes, the gnats are out!)
Eva’s husband, Adrian, also rode a mustang, Reno. They recently adopted a third mustang. These are true mustang supporters!
Cathy is 4CBCH’s vice president; this was her first count. Her lovely mom, Millie, came from California and joined us to see mustangs from the vehicles.
This also was the first count for Cindy and her daughter.
Daughter Mikayla (sp?) and her little mare Sapphira made a great pair.
Lisa is a past 4CBCH president, and she has attended numerous counts – and has lots of great stories about the mustangs they’ve encountered!
As noted, Travis has been coming to Spring Creek Basin since he was 6. He’s now 20!
Bob is another past 4CBCH president who has ridden in the basin several times. He also has packed old wire out using his horses.
Kat is one of our NMA/CO board members, and this was her first count. It probably won’t be her last!
Thank you to all involved for your camaraderie and super enthusiasm for our Spring Creek Basin mustangs! We’ll see you next spring!