When I was visiting the Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Area in Wyoming outside Rock Springs, I was astonished when I met for the first time a tiny new cremello colored foal that was also a curly! Delighted was not a strong enough word. This little one’s coat was so thick he almost looked like a little lamb.
There is a population of wild curly horses in two herds in Wyoming and in Nevada, but they are quite rare in the wild. They carry a specific gene that causes the horse’s mane, tail and coat to curl. They are known to be mellow in disposition, and their coats are hypoallergenic.
This little family has a fiery stallion protector named Rowan, and the curly sooty buckskin mare Cassidy, and her foal is Julian. There is also a cremello mare with a dark foal, and a sorrel mare with a sorrel foal. Rowan is lighter in build than many of the big Salt Wells Creek stallions but he holds his own and keeps his family together and safe.
I enjoyed watching this family in June and then in August. When I returned in February in winter, I was delighted to see them, and felt very lucky to have found them. Salt Wells Creek is an area that is over 1 million acres, and much of the area is completely inaccessible in winter. They were in an area where the snow had been swept off by the wind.
I could feel that a storm was moving in. I was lucky to see them with three other families, resting in the late afternoon. As you can see, despite the cold and snow in winter, these horses thrive in their home on public lands.
The curly coats get even thicker in the winter, which is so interesting to see!
These wild horses belong in Salt Wells Creek, their home on our public lands.
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