A Wild Horse Named Rienzi

My wife’s wild horse Rienzi sprints from her corral to join the cows in the morning at our farm in Grays Chapel, North Carolina. Rienzi is a 28 year old wild Mustang mare my wife and I adopted from the BLM when she was a yearling. She came from near Lake Tahoe in California and is named for a famous horse ridden by Philip Sheridan during the Civil War (Sheridan had his Rienzi stuffed and placed on display at the Smithsonian Institute). Our Rienzi spends her days grazing with our cattle herd and her nights in her 100 year old stall originally built for mules (she comes in on her own every evening). She’s in excellent shape and very docile. She was trained to ride, but we don’t ride her anymore except for the occasional bareback jaunt by my son Devin. I think she really thinks she is a cow now; she is definitely a herd animal. Rienzi is lucky, but a lot of her cousins aren’t. Right now there are thousands of Mustangs in BLM holding pens, removed from government land. Some will be adopted, but it seems that many are to be sold for meat. Most of this removal is unnecessary and pushed by big western cattle interests. Several groups are pushing the government to stop these removals. Information on supporting wild horses and their preservation is available at http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/. Go there. Wild horses need your help.

(photographs copyright 2009 by Dan Routh)

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