Flagstaff

I have been following Northern Arizona Animal Search and Rescue and Gray Mountain Horse Hero’s on Facebook for a while. NAASR is an amazing group who has posted about looking for a lost dog in rugged country for weeks (the dog was found!), rescuing over 40 Blue Heeler puppies (who were left to die) ranging in age from new born to a few weeks old, and finding fosters and homes for many other animals.

During winter months wild horses on the Navajo Reservation stay in the mountains. In the summer they come down to the flat land. Sadly, water is in desperate need for humans and animals on this reservation. Gray Mountain Horse Hero volunteers take 100’s of gallons of water every day to remote troughs and also take hay to help feed the wild horses.

On May 13 I fell in love with an 11 month old Basque Shephard on NAASR’S Facebook page. He had a horrific back story but was now thriving with his foster family. I kept thinking, if he is still available when I go on vacation, I’m going to go get him. Finally, a few weeks before my vacation I wrote to Teresa, at NAASR, and said if Beau was still available on June 23, I would like to meet him. Sure enough, it was meant to be, Beau was available all I had to do was go get him. He loves people and animals, especially cats. He is calm, well-behaved AND housebroken!

A friend came with me and she adopted one of the 40 Blue Heeler puppies!

But the story gets even better. We asked to visit the Gray Mountain horses. Teresa was wonderful and said she would take us. The next day, I emptied the back of my SUV, put the seats down, laid down a tarp, filled the back with two big bales of hay and took off to the Navajo Reservation. While standing with a volunteer filling a trough, we saw 4 horses and a foal at a nearby trough. Four horses walked off leaving the foal behind, whinnying the most hear-breaking song you’ve ever heard.

Teresa told us a few weeks before, men had come on horseback, rounded up one of the herds and had taken them away in a trailer,,,,leaving behind several newborn and weeks old foals to die. She thought this foal was one of those. She called several volunteers and within 30 minutes 9 more people showed up to help catch this baby. This a pretty long story, so the short version is after 2 hours of us walking/running on foot and herding with my SUV, one of the women was able to rope him. We had to be very careful not to have the colt run much because of his poor condition and the heat.

He was taken to a ranch where 2 other orphans are being treated. Four week old “Emmett” had coyote bites on his neck and abscessed horse bites on his body. He was given electrolytes with a syringe and goats milk in a bottle. The vet dressed his wounds and said his hind legs were very week. Now, two weeks later, he is drinking a gallon of goats milk a day, eating Foal Starter (a grain), one of his back legs is stronger and the other is still getting better.  

Altogether, 7 foals have been found alive, gut-wrenchingly sad, some were not so lucky.

And the wild horse herds? We saw one herd of about 15 horses galloping across the land, heads up, manes and tails flying. One of the best days of my life.

STEP-BY-STEP ​ADVENTURES