We have sad news this evening. Cayenne, a beautiful Salt River roan filly was found down and unable to get up. We want to thank the public for calling our hotline, to which we always respond immediately. (480) 868-9301
When we arrived, Cayenne’s heart rate was extremely high, she was sweating, moaning and and having awful spasms. These are all symptoms of extreme pain. To help her, we immediately administered pain medication and calming medication and then we gave her some time.
Sadly it did not help like it does in less severe cases, so we knew it was bad. Our veteranarian concluded she was suffering with a twisted colon and she was also septic. (This is all assessed and concluded in the field)
She was humanely euthanized this evening and went peacefully. Run forever free sweet wild girl!!
Torsion — or twisting — of the large colon is one of the most painful and serious forms of colic in horses. Even when there is prompt surgical intervention to untwist the colon, it can still be fatal. Usually horses do not live past 24 hours with this condition.
One of the factors that can cause this condition is an accumulation of gasses. In her case, Cayenne may have ate a fatal amount of a toxic type of mustardweed that is growing everywhere in the Tonto National Forest at the moment. It is often the young inexperienced horses, who eat the wrong weeds. The colder weather may also have played a factor, and we hope we do not see any other cases. If you see a downed wild horse, please always call our hotline.
Cayenne was born in April 2019 out of dam Pepper and sire Hardy. Her family band and her mother stayed with her the entire time, but they let us try to help her. The bonds these horses have with eachother are heartwarming. However in times of loss it is heartbreaking to see how sad the family is and how hard they are trying to understand.
We love and care about each and every Salt River wild horse. We watch and document them from the time they are born until the time they die. It is always difficult when we loose one. But we also remember that they lived a beautiful wild life.
There will be hundreds of condolences and sweet comments under this post, because our followers care a lot. There will also be one or two comments with hurtful opinions, because there always are. “If they are wild, then you should not treat them like pets”. “They do not need human intervention”. “They’ve survived for hundreds of years without mankind.” Well we don’t want to hear it today.
We are in charge of managing these wild horses under contract with the AZDA and we are going to do it humanely. This herd has a limited area where they are allowed to live and they have to deal with a set of difficult man-made circumstances. It is unfortunate, but there may not be a real “wild” anymore. They are lucky enough to still be free.
This little wild filly suffered exactly the same as a loved domestic horse in a barn, with the same condition. There is no difference.
The word “wild” does not mean just let them suffer.
We have fought long and hard to be able to manage them humanely and we are happy that because of us, she suffered significantly less than she would have.
In our neck of the woods, that is important. She was a beloved Salt River wild horse. Rest in peace sweetheart.
Many thanks to the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) and the Maricopa County Sherriffs office (MCSO.)
All of us at SRWHMG.