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Mustangs of the American West in the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado.

Mustangs of the American West


 of the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, Colorado

These mustangs were along side the road and easy to spot.  Donna went with friends, Ona and Joan, who were game to try and photograph these wild horses.  Not knowing what to expect, they were very surprised to find so many horses in bands of three to over 20+.  Once they turned onto hwy 318, the horses were easy to spot.

This is your destination if you would like to see wild horses in their natural environment.   This trip was made in April and it being springtime, the horses were frolicking, playing and of course fighting.  Stay close to your vehicle as they are unpredictable.   You might want to take binoculars, camera,  and a full tank of gas.  The Friendly General Store in Maybell is a great place to stop for snacks before driving into the basin.  Picasso, Donna’s favorite, is a handsome, older stallion whose likeness was made into a Breyer Horse.  If you would like to purchase one of these photos, please contact Donna or check out the shop page.

This short bit of info is from the Craig Chamber of Commerce:

The Sand Wash Herd Management Area (HMA) is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and includes 154,940 acres of public land, 1,960 acres of private land, and 840 acres of state school section lands, for a total of 157,730 acres. Sand Wash Basin is surrounded by ridges and mesas.  There are no fences within the HMA, allowing horses to roam freely within the confines of the basin.

The horses within the HMA exhibit many different colors. Among the most common are grey and sorrel, although most colors and color patterns can be found, including buckskins, duns and paint. Genetic analysis indicates the highest similarity for the herd was to the Iberian derived Spanish breeds, followed by Gaited breeds, North American breeds and Arabian breeds.

The original population of horses with the HMA in 1971 was 65 head. The managed population range recommended is 163 to 363 horses. The existing horse population has been managed to the most current of these numbers through horse gathers in 1989, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2005. The herd had a population high of 455 head in 1998. The most recent aerial census conducted in May of 2007 showed a population of 281 adults and 34 foals for a total population of 315 head

Handsome Picasso

Mustangs of the American West in the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado.

Picasso was fighting with this Red horse, could be named Voodoo.  Picasso is nearing 30 years old and had large bands in the past.  Now he has one female, Spirit Dancer, but is regularly challenged by Voodoo.

Mustangs of the American West in the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado.
Mustangs of the American West in the Sand Wash Basin in Colorado.

There were a number of foals, but this one caught our attention with its one blue eye.

Below is an image gallery of Donna’s Favorite Mustang shots from the weekend.

Below is a slideshow of foal images.