A few weeks ago, my friend and WOMA Founder, Deb Ferns, asked me to meet her near Ashland, Oregon, to see wild horses. Deb has never disappointed when it comes to new adventures, and I knew this one was going to be spectacular! My daughter, her friend, and I headed to Ashland. The five-hour drive was breathtaking. From beautiful full lakes to snowcapped mountains, it was just the beginning.
I am not excited about being off the grid and have no sense of direction. I am the worst person to take in the wilderness and expect to survive! Although I was confident this was going to be great, meeting Deb at a gas station in the middle of nowhere to go further into the middle of nowhere with two young teens did not seem like a good idea. The five minutes seemed like a Lifetime Movie. I was relieved to see Deb! Between her gators and my walking boot, we made quite the team!
As we approached the house on a hill where Bill and Michelle live, we saw three horses in the front yard. Bill explained that the three friends hang out by their house for treats and head rubs. They take care of over a hundred horses and are looking forward to more horses joining their herd. Bill and Michelle run a non-profit called Wild Horse Fire Brigade. The horses they save from slaughter are released back into the wild. They thrive in the wilderness areas rich with forage and water and can get high on the mountain tops to maintain grass and brush before it becomes wildfire fuel. Bill and Michelle have a heart for horses and preventing wildfires. This is not only their passion but their life.
After spending the day around wild horses, their babies, and a goat that thinks he is part of the wild horse herd, I was quickly overwhelmed with the idea of anyone wanting to hurt these beautiful animals. Looking into a horse, Garfield’s eyes, it was as if he saw the depths of my soul and healed a piece that was broken. It was an amazing experience. Wild horses have never been on my radar until recently when Deb because the Wild Horse Fire Brigade President. They explained that wild horses are rounded up, captured, and kept in pens. They are either sold or sent to other countries for slaughter. It is heartbreaking to know these beautiful animals could be extinct during my lifetime. I encourage getting involved in helping wild horses thrive.
Here are some horse fun facts:
Mares are pregnant at 11 months and 11 days.
Horses communicate through vocals, body language, facial expressions, ears, tail, and posture.
Horses reseed as they eat because they only have one stomach.
Horses are herbivores.
Wild horses look cleaner than most domesticated horses I have seen.
Wild horses don’t have to get their hooves trimmed. Climbing mountains keep them maintained.
Horses mow grass with their teeth instead of pulling it out by the roots like cows.
If you would like more information on the work Bill and Michelle are doing, please go to their website at WildHorseFireBrigade.org.