Makenzie, our youngest Salt River wild horse has arrived at the river with her band. They like to spend the bulk of their time in the northern mountains, but like all Salt River wild horses, they can go wherever they feel like in their 20,000 acre habitat, unencumbered by fences or gates, -with exception of their boundary fences and gates, which keep them safe from the roads.
(Their freedom of course is thanks to some novel cooperation agreements, a great Salt River horse Liaison, and many very hardworking volunteers)
The lower Salt River is a mighty popular place these days and naturally we are always concerned about their well-being, because that is our job. But with the many websites advertising the Salt River wild horses and tubing season opening this weekend, and some crazy Facebook pages spreading outrageously bad information, we do admit that we are growing some extra grey hairs, because there is so much going on.
While we have the wild horse population stabilized, the herds of humans are predicted to keep doubling every 5 years, because well, it’s fantastic recreation over here.
Our volunteers try their hardest to be everywhere at the same time, with surprising success, but we are going to need your help to spread our messages, because we are not authorized to dart the humans, not even the bad ones.
Stay a 50 ft distance from the Salt River wild horses at all times, -for their safety and yours.
That is the message, and we are very sorry to spoil all that fun, but that means; no you cannot ride them, no you cannot pet them, and no you cannot feed them. In fact, you can quite seriously get arrested for any of these things, because it is illegal to harass, chase, interfere or injure a Salt River wild horse.
We have found however, that to film an incident good enough for court, to find the person responsible, and record their license plate for prosecution, that’s proving to be very difficult.
But it’s not all bad news, 99% of visitors and regulars are very mindful and considerate. We are grateful for you! AZDA Salt River horse Liaison Makenzie, will be on the river keeping a watchful eye regularly and some day soon we will be authorized, (and are currently still saving up), for the placing of our really great metal signs. They will be expensive, but they will be worth it.
(Unfortunately we forgot to make a fundraiser for this purpose yesterday on “national help a horse day” because well we were just too busy helping horses.)
But you can still help us by turning your video on if you see something that is harassment or interfering. You can also help us by spreading these kinds of messages when you are on the river: For example: Kindly without yelling and with a smile on your face say: Hi how are you, aren’t they beautiful? Did you know they are protected wild horses? Could you please back up to maintain a 50 ft distance? Its for your own safety and theirs. Or, that way they can get out of the river. Thank you so much!
So NOT: “Hey Dumbledore back up, can’t you see the horse wants to get out of the river? Lol.
Thank you all so very much for spreading kindness, and for promoting understanding that this is their home and we are just the guests who should feel privileged to meet them.
If you need us, call our hotline (480) 868-9301.
Photos by SRWHMG Rick Blandford