Last week I headed to Adobe Town, but this time I was visiting the area below the Checkerboard, which is a solid block of public land. The horses in this area were not in jeopardy of being rounded up during the roundup last fall, but unfortunately for the horses there are no barriers to keep them from migrating into and out of the Checkerboard area. I was hoping to see many of the horses I regularly see when I visit the area, and especially my adopted mustang Mica’s father, who is normally in this area.
The first family band I saw was a beautiful buckskin stallion with two roan mares, and they were very curious, and continued to go back and forth in front of me. My favorite encounters with the Adobe Town horses, who tend to be much more skittish than wild horses in any of the other herds I visit, is when their curiosity overrides their fear, and they come close and check me out. The gorgeous, flashy strawberry roan mare was especially curious.
The stallion kept protectively going between me and his mares, and finally they moved away, and I continued on my journey.
I saw a very familiar horse, an old grey stallion with a limp, whose scarred coat is a testament to battles fought. He was all alone, but there were other families in the area. Despite his age he was still in good condition coming out of winter with leaner forage.
I also saw another familiar stallion all alone, in front of the endless gas pads outside of Wamsutter. When I had last seen him he had a family, but was now alone.
Two days later I was in another part of Adobe Town at dawn, and in the distance could see horses running. As I came closer, I realized it was a group of three rowdy bachelor stallions, who are always entertaining when they play. As they moved further and further away, I kept driving around the corner, and saw a very colorful family run by and cross the road.
The bad stallion was a flashy grey with two blue eyes, a combination I have not seen before, and he was chasing another stallion who was dogging his family. Younger stallions will often follow an established family band and “dog” the stallion, waiting for an opportunity to run in and steal a mare, or possibly the whole family.
The youngsters in this family were interested in approaching me to see what I was, but one of the mares got after her yearling colt because she thought he was getting too close. There was a beautiful bay roan mare with two blue eyes who looked very pregnant, and also a strawberry roan pinto mare who I thought I recognized as having been rounded up in 2010. She must have been released, or this was a look alike offspring. She had a beautiful young foal by her side with a bald face. The foal was curious as well, so I enjoyed spending time with this family.
Later in the morning I came across another family with what looked like a very new foal, maybe a day old, and his beautiful stallion and mare. As the foal settled down for a nap, I headed back out of the area.
I was very happy to see that there were still horses in the area. Adobe Town is about 500,000 acres, and of that, only 40,000 acres are in a Checkerboard of public and private lands, and therefore subject to being rounded up and removed.
For more information about the Checkerboard Area, the Roundup and the Lawsuit: