Foal # 4 Born to Washakie and Baja. Washakie is the 1994 daughter of Sitka and Shaman. Baja is the 1996 son of Tonapah and Looking Glass.
After witnessing the sad birth and death of the 3rd foal born this year (Hope Ryden), both Abbie and I were hoping to see another one with a happier ending.
For most of last week, we and our student guests were the only ones camping on the mountain. Each night Abbie, Beth (a return guest and friend of ours) and I would drive slowly around giving the herd a last look before we went to bed. On the night of the July 11, we saw Baja and his band. Washakie had not foaled. It is so hard to tell with her, as she has had a foal every year since she was 2 (she is now 23). She always looks so large and about ready to foal, but I have seen several years where she has given birth in the late summer and even the early fall.
The next day we spent hours with the bands, but did not see them, not really that usual, Baja is a wise 21-year-old stallion, and he has learned to stay away at times to in order to continue holding on to his band.
As we return to camp, BLM volunteer Don (what an amazing person, Don retired years ago and comes from Tennessee each summer to spend his time volunteering.) He doesn’t know the horses by name, but knows a lot of the history of the mountain and surrounding areas. He defiantly is a great presence on the mountain and I was happy to see him pull up at our camp. We talked for a few minutes. He had a young MCC worker (students) with him. It was her first time on the mountain. They had a break in the work they were doing down the mountain and Don decided to take her up to see the horses for the first time.
I happened to be at the truck when they returned. Don stopped and asked if I had seen the new foal! No, we had not!! I asked who had foaled, but he did not know. The young woman had a camera with her and showed me the first photo of this new little life. It was Washakie! They had no idea they were the first to see it. I can not discribe the joy that was in this young woman’s face when I told her she was and that she got to name it. Not only was it her first time on the range, but she had discovered a foal.
I was really happy for her. I have had my time to name foals, there are several on the range right now, and several have been removed. It was a special gift to be able to do it, but honestly, I am happy to pass that torch on to a younger generation. I saw that a simple thing of discovering a foal and being able to name it, could involve a younger generation to be involved, inspired and willing to stand up for them. That is what we need for this herd in order for it to carry on. A new set of eyes. As long as the name is not inappropriate, really, what does it matter what it is called? It is their joy and should be honored. Most people will look at the parents and go off that theme. But really, that hasn’t always happened, (the B’s had a theme of liquor of all things!! (Baily’s, Bacardi) ) and it has still been okay. We as humans need to learn to let go of power for the good of life and try see what can happen if we do.
I learned that she wanted to name the foal Ma’heo’o Reiki. She had put a lot of study and thought into it. The Mustang Center decided that the name would be Renegade.
Washakie is the 1994 daughter of Sitka and Shaman. Baja is the 1996 son of Tonapah and Looking Glass.
Washakie still had some after birth attached to her more than 24 hours after the birth. She did finally expel it and after almost a week, both mom and baby seem to be doing fine.
Foal # 5. A colt, born to Jacinta and Garay. Jacinta is the 2009 daughter born to Rosebud and most likely Tecumseh. Garay is the 2006 son of Mariposa and Conquistador.
I have said for several years, that I believe the new foal will appear to the person that is meant to see it first. And so it was that Abbie and I would be the first to see Jacinta’s foal in the early morning of July 17, 2017.
Abbie and I have spent many days studying the horses. We would sit for hours and make notes on their behavior. Every evening, we would drive just before dark and check to see how everyone was doing. We knew Jacinta was close, and noted that we did not see Garay and his band on Sunday the 16th. We had a feeling that Jacinta had either foaled or was close.
The mountain was unusually quiet. For the last week, we had spent many nights being the only ones camping. During the day there were the usual flurry of day-trippers, but they were gone by 5 pm, leaving us alone with the horses. I love that time and cherish the quiet of the mountain.
Our small group was the only one on the mountain the morning of the 17. I woke early as I always do and stepped out of my tent. There were several bands of horses around our campsite, making this one of the best cups of coffee I’d had this summer. Just sitting and enjoying the presence of these special beings.
Either Abbie or myself would step out and look down the road to see who else would be joining us in this constant parade. We were both out there when I thought I saw Jacinta in the distance. Was that a foal at her side! It was, and both Abbie and I were ecstatic.
Abbie has been hoping to discover a new foal, and I wanted desperately for her to experience it. I can’t describe the pure joy of seeing a new life for the first time and my joy became even bigger knowing that I was able to share this with Abbie and watch her discover her first foal.
They were taking their time, but it was clear that they were going to walk close by our camp. What an honor for these horses to feel that comfortable with us, that they would decide to parade by us.
Abbie had a well researched name picked out for this little one. Rue. Rue is a flower as is Jacinta. The name Rue also pays homage to Rosebud who is Jacinta’s mom and little Rue’s grandmother. I had texted the Center to let them know of the birth, and Abbie asked me to let them know of her name choice.
The Mustang Center has decided to name the foal Rio instead.
UPDATE: I just got a note from Abbie that the Center has recognized her as the official discover and have added the name Rue to the official record. Proud of you Abbie for keeping on this in a very positive manner. One small step towards a good change…