Meet Guardian! (Rescued at the Bowie auction)

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Meet Guardian! (Rescued at the Bowie auction)

Meet Guardian! (Rescued at the Bowie auction)

This is the brother of Dauntless. He saw his dam (mother) his sire (father), and 2 band foals (half sisters) shot and die in front of him, as well as the lieutenant stallion of his band. Searching the Apache Forest, back in October of 2022 we found them all laying close together, massacred. (Our Pictures are on the Alpine massacre evidence page, but are highly graphic)

While under fire, he must have been running for his life, with the remaining members of his family. We were so happy to find at least half the band alive. While taking lots of pictures for ID that horrifying week, we whispered apologies to them, for mankind, and all the unjustified hatred and killing towards them. We wish they could know that there is so much love for them too. You’ve all shown that so clearly today.

But Guardian wasn’t old enough at the time to lead his band, so they were kindof lost and vulnerable. Then a gorgeous stallion appeared with them, a large pale Buckskin. He was highly alert, kept them all together, and stayed far away from people. The picture below, of the newly formed Hero’s band, was taken just a few days day after the massacre. Hero blew his nose at us, (possibly blaming us), and proceeded to turn them around, right after we took this picture. See Guardian to the right of Hero.

Sadly, even the massacre didn’t stop the Forest Service from continuing the removals, and a few months later, Hero and his band were caught in the traps of Jacob Roer and Jackie Hughes.

Then, with your help, we purchased them all in the online Rail Lazy H auction. Remember their Fundraiser? They are now happily running on 8000 acres at the @WildHorseRefuge in Colorado. Except for his sister Dauntless, who lives happily ever after, at the Aspen Lodge in Alpine, and she has since had a beautiful foal; Legacy, out of the deceased stallion Eric. (Fyi It is just $99 a night to stay at the Aspen Lodge in Alpine and visit Dauntless and Legacy and Hope.)

It bothered us of course, that Hero and Guardian, were not in that auction, but we found Guardian still wild and free, not long after. We asked Jackie about Hero and she swore she didn’t have him. (we have the text messages to prove it.) However, several weeks later, we positively identified Hero, at a ranch owned by a friend of Jackie’s!

So how might he have ended up there? We are still not clear if it’s legal or fine with the Forest Service, if Jackie just takes any horse she wants, without offering it in a public auction…and then also deny it, when asked.

Anyway, Guardian was still free in the forest, and we saw him protecting the two orphan babies and the palomino, who was shot in the jaw. ( they were the only 3 survivors of their band of 12. ) We of course asked Jackie if we could rescue the three of them…but that was a no, then a maybe, then no again. It often seemed like a deliberate cruel game with our emotions.

Sadly we have not seen Jaws or the babies since last year, which means they likely perished during the cold winter up in the high mountains. Guardian was seen a few more times, surviving and looking healthy, but we knew it wouldn’t be long until he would lose his freedom too.
Finding Guardian in the Bowie kill auction this weekend made our hearts plummet. He was treated so badly by mankind again and again, and there seemed to be no way to prevent this ultimate betrayal – his slaughter in Mexico.

BUT we have learned to never give up. We let you all know what was happening, we found rescue partners in ( @allseatedinabarn and @Redorchardanimalrescue ) and permanent sanctuary at @ReturntoFreedom. We are so thankful.

Even when things seem quite impossible, we always aim to beat the odds and you know we often do! Through the generosity and compassion of thousands of angels – that is all of you – and large organizations coming together, his fate was turned around. Guardian is forever safe!

He will now get to experience that there are wonderful people too in the world. He was bought in the auction by Jessica of Red Orchard Animal Rescue, and his costs will be covered from the total amount raised by All Seated in a Barn (ASIAB)

So you see, your generosity made a big difference. Every dollar counted and every person mattered and time was of the essence. This holiday season, we hope that each one of you may know that you make the world a better place.

Thank you to everyone who helped! We love our supporters so much! SRWHMG.

P.S. This story is not fiction, these are the things we document while monitoring and studying wild horses in the wild. They all have a story.

P.S2 In our posts we always say “we”, why? Because while it is usually Simone writing (without chat gpt), we are 100 volunteers. Sometimes it is one person documenting and sometimes it is a whole team. Some of us are in the Tonto National Forest and some of us in the Apache Sitgreaves national Forest. Some of us are helping horses cross the road, some of us are fixing fences, picking up poop after our rescues, etc.etc etc. All of us are covering different shifts; it is how we get so much done all at the same time.