Mustangs 4 Us
Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge
Because Sheldon is not administered by the BLM, it is not in the adopt-a-horse business, and has no facilities or budget for holding, processing, and adopting out wild horses & burros on a large scale. So originally they worked with concerned individuals as well as a range of non-profit rescue organizations, to process and place the captured animals.
Sheldon has 3 main "home ranges" and the horses at each differ from the others. One is dominated by spectacular pinto patterns, another is mostly solid colors, and the third has cremes (palomino, buckskin) and duns.
Photos: Lesley Neuman
Above: Scenes from the 2004 gather, thanks to Lesley Neuman
Sheldon burros adopted by Chris Berkov & Sarah Bulgatz and their son, Max
|Cynthia Noel writes:|
I have a stallion we bought (they sold the horses thru the Fish & Wildlife Agency--not BLM) from the Sheldon National Forrest herd--he was a 3 yr old when we got him and was wild. He is now my baby! I am attaching some pics of him. He likes to stand with his chin on the fence and doze (see pic). And he LOVES to take a bite out of the feed bucket while you hold it for him. Of course scratching (any area), holding grass or hay for him to eat is ALWAYS acceptable. He jumped the fence twice and made a big escape all the way around the barn and back to his stall door! I don't think it ever occurred to him to run away. He was very easy to gentle and SO smart. I was supposed to get 8 more paint mares from his herd--but things fell through with the deal. My stallion's name is Mountain Moonlight (aka Pretty Boy).
I wish I had a whole pasture full just like him! We had originally picked out another B&W stud--but he was older and we were kind of worried about if we could handle him--so got Moonlight instead. Compared to the other one Moonlight is "tiny"--the other one was probably 17-18 hands--a big tall boy! Moonlight is not a little fella by any means.
Marla had sent me some pics of babies out of some of the mares from that same gather--attached is one of the baby pics (I am not sure who owns the mare--but the baby is beautiful).
ALL of the horses I saw from that gather
- Cynthia Noel
Belle Bundy's "Apache Clouds"
Fran Steffans on Piaso, adopted as a 9-year-old stud
Little Traveler & Flora Steffans
Laureen Sutton & Gabe
Girls with Lesley Neuman's "Sheldon"
Flora Steffans and John Wayne, an orphan that she raised
Lesley Neuman's adopted Sheldon colt, appropriately named Sheldon, now all grown up
A Cautionary word from Paula Carr, adoption agent, to potential Sheldon adopters: Please understand that you will be dealing with VERY wild horses (just rounded up) and you must have the facilities and resources to care for them. PLAN AHEAD!
The USFWS has not, at this time, a system of compliance checks, etc. to make sure adopters are doing a good job. But that doesn't mean you don't need to do exactly the same things you would if you were adopting from BLM. BLM regulations are there for a reason - make sure you have BLM-spec facilities ( 6 Ft. High pipe panel pen that can be entered directly from you trailer, etc.) You can't come to that realization AFTER you have them.
Understand, too, that freshly-gathered horses are much wilder than the ones you usually get at BLM adoptions. Those horses have already spent some time, usually months, in captivity, have been fed and watered by humans, run through chutes, given shots and blood tests, loaded and unloaded into trucks and trailers, etc, all of which takes some of the edge off their wildness by the time you adopt them. They are still quite wild, but nothing like a freshly gathered horse! BE PREPARED!
Beautiful back country in the Sheldon refuge
June 2006 wild horse gather at Catnip Lake
One of many lakes in the Sheldon
Burro mother and foal
Entering the Sheldon Refuge by the back entrance. Can you find the coyote?
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since June 17, 2006