When recreating on the lower Salt River there’s a chance you might run into some wild horses, literally.
This week, the theme has been about harassment. The guy aggressively chasing a band of wild horses (with a foal) out of the river upset thousands and thousands of people so much so that it made the news. (The video, with over 3000 comments can be seen a few posts down.)
While that person clearly had bad intent, most people don’t. In this picture below, there is no harassment, just people who happened to float by; it is difficult to steer a watercraft in the current last minute.
But at the same time – with the increase of visitors since the rec areas have re-opened – the thousands of visitors daily present a real challenge for the wild horses, as you can see by these pictures taken in the last week.
Being wild horses, they can survive a lot, but the horses do need their watertime, both for hydration and for cooling, particularly during these extreme and insane temperatures of 112 degrees.
On weekdays when it’s not so busy, you can see the bands spending the entire afternoon standing and napping in the water. By cooling their legs, they are cooling their body temps, and they also take baths and splash each other, which makes for all those famous picture you see on our Advocates page. (Salt River Wild Horses – Advocates) The last few weekends however horses hardly got that chance.
When a new foal is born, the mares instinctively know that they need the cool water. They even teach the tiny babies how to swim on day one. Newborn foals are not good at regulating their body temperatures during their first few weeks, and their death rate can be extremely high during that vulnerable time.
There are not many foals this year, because of our successful birth control program, but we do have two brand new additional foals since yesterday, that we are actually a bit worried about with these temperatures. Their survival is going to depend on how much time they get to spend IN the water, to cool off.
So what we are trying to convey to as many people as possible is this; IF you see wild horses in the water, or near the water, please immediately start diverting your path, as to avoid them as much as possible. The foals are absolutely adorable, but please get as far away from them as you possibly can, in order to help them survive their crucial first few weeks and these crazy temperatures.
Please DO NOT: approach, pursue, follow or chase wild horses, either by watercraft, vehicle, bicycle, on horseback, on foot, with a drone or with dogs.
Please DO keep a 50 ft minimum distance from them at all times, even if they come your way. Also IF you see wild horses approach the water, please give them the right of way; they are very thirsty.
When you see a tiny foal, please help us keep them safe from harassment and from people getting too close. A great picture is just not worth their life.
So, stay cool and be cool to wild horses. They need the water just as much as we do.
No matter if you love them or not, the Salt River wild horses have a legal right to live here, and are just trying to adjust amidst the ever increasing number of visitors.
Please help us educate and spread this message. To help us protect these horses you can also donate towards our mission:
👉 Qebsite: https://saltriverwildhorsemanagementgroup.org/donate/
👉 Address: 4610 n. 68th str. #477, Scottsdale AZ 86251
👉 Paypal: SaltRiverHerd@respect4horses.com
Thank you so much. SRWHMG.