Stories from the Heart of a Mustang
Quiet But Strong
Don’t pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. ~ Bruce Lee
She is one of the smaller Sulphur Mustangs at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. That’s what you might first notice about her. And her coloring is primarily black; not unusual for a Sulphur, but she is unique to the Sulphur group at the Sanctuary. Her name is Miss Sulphur and her life has not been easy.
In 2015, at the age of 12, a pregnant Miss Sulphur was rounded-up by the Bureau of Land Management from the only home she had known. The round-up process, which can include chasing the wild horses with a helicopter into a trap chute, is incredibly stressful for even the strongest of horses. For a pregnant mare, it can be devastating.
Miss Sulphur was adopted and had a filly. She was very thin, undoubtedly from the impact of the round-up while pregnant and lack of pregnancy care prior to her adoption.
For reasons we may never understand, the BLM removed Miss Sulphur and two other adult mustangs from the adopter’s care. The filly stayed with the adopter. Mother and child were separated for life.
The Wild Horse Rescue Center, in Florida, was able to buy Miss Sulphur from the BLM for $25 and deliver her directly to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, where she joined other newly arrived Sulphurs. She has become a companion to Arturo, a strong and majestic Sulphur gelding. In his presence, she can relax in the sunshine and trust that she is safe, without fear of helicopters. One might wonder if she ever dreams of the filly she was forced to leave behind, perhaps wishing for her daughter’s freedom.
In the coming months, Miss Sulphur, Arturo, Courage, and Merle will be asked to move into a small pasture of their own. This will become an opportunity for them to build a stronger bond before they are released into the expansive pasture that is home to the Spanish Mustang herd at the Sanctuary. Her companionship with Arturo will undoubtedly be challenged. But don’t count this mare out…she is quietly strong herself…and very capable of thriving…not just surviving.
Your support makes this all possible! It helps to make certain that hay is available when winter weather limits the forage the ground can produce. It helps fill the water troughs when the rain stops. It ensures that there are qualified people here to monitor the health of the herds. It guarantees the freedom of the horses to live their days in peace, without fear of round-ups and the loss of family. Make your donation today to support Miss Sulphur and all the horses that have found refuge here at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.
Mustang Fact: Spanish horses brought to the New World were suspended on the decks of ships in big canvas slings that supported their bellies. Only half the horses lived through the ocean voyages, but these survivors are the predecessors of those that remain today.