Mustangs 4 Us
Nevada's Virginia Range, or Comstock Horses

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VIRGINIA RANGE, or Comstock Horses are wild horses living in non-BLM land in the vicinity of Reno, Nevada. These horses are not protected by BLM wild horse protection laws. They live on the Comstock Range and the Virginia Highlands, just outside Reno, on private and County lands, that are very much in the path of suburban development. Because the horses are not protected by law, and are located in areas that are becoming increasingly populated, they pose a special challenge to the people who care about them.

The Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association (VRWPA - www.vrwpa.org ) works with the Nevada Department of Agriculture to help manage and preserve these local treasures, mistakenly labeled "estrays" but with roots going back as far as any mustang's! There are a few more groups who are also licensed to adopt them out (when they are caught for bothering someone's rosebushes or whatever). WHOA, headed by Dawn Lappin in Reno, is one. Mustang-Spirit, Lifesavers, and LRTC in California are two more, and of course, VRWPA.

FOR A HEART-WARMING STORY ABOUT A COMSTOCK ORPHAN, CLICK HERE

Willis Lamm has many pages of current (2007) photographs and commentary about the Comstock (Virginia Range) horses  CLICK HERE

I toured the Virginia Highlands area with Michael and some friends in August of 2003, and we saw three bands of wild horses. Here are their pictures.


BAND 1: Here's a band that included three buckskins. One of the buckskins was a large male - probably a two-year-old, since the band stallion was obviously the bay. This was a shy band - apparently somewhat low on the overall herd totem pole. They stayed on the edges of the valley, ready to retreat into the hills. They were thinner than the other two bands as well.

Band 2: The Stallion, "Mr. 4-Socks": This guy was an absolute knockout! His band was the largest of the three we saw, and also the healthiest-looking. They "owned" the main part of the valley floor, with the best forage (although NONE of the forage looked to me to have much food value!) This group was also the least shy - I was able to walk up to them pretty close.

Watering Hole: Before we saw the horses, we saw this watering hole - almost dry but recently used.

Band 3: This is part of the third band that we saw. Although they shared the valley floor with the big band, they were shy of people and did not allow close viewing.
 Here are some of the third band, along a gravel road

 

  
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADOPT A VIRGINIA RANGE HORSE:

Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue - California, and LRTC, Nevada both often rescue VR horses who are threatened with being sold to kill buyers.

The Carson City Prison Program also includes VR horses in their gentling program.

 
   
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