BRINGING THE HERD HOME
It all started with Ian. From the beginning of his life, he was singled out as being a very special stallion. He rose to the rank of a family band stallion, proud and protective of his dynasty. In his teens, when his band was chased by a reckless snowmobiler who trespassed on their private preserve, he was chased into a barbed wire fence, resulting in severe lacerations and other serious injuries. To save him, he was separated from his band and moved to a protected area where he could heal. At this point, his caregivers realized he was blind. His wounds healed but he was unable to return to his family.
Gradually several more blind stallions were discovered among the Gila band and were moved to join him in the protected area of the preserve. And he was their leader.
Eventually, the South Dakota mustang preserve was forced to close, requiring the relocation of nearly 900 wild Mustangs, including Ian and his band of six other blind Gila stallions.
Because of Ian and his remarkable story of leadership and loyalty, his caregivers were compelled to find a home for him and his special needs group. But they realized they may be considered unadoptable and at risk—who would take seven blind wild stallions? Their devotion and love for him and his band inspired This Old Horse to offer sanctuary to them. And so it was that Ian led his band of brothers to safe harbor. When they arrived, Ian was very ill. As the seven stallions settled in, found their way in their new location, he got weaker, thinner and after a month, laid down and let go. This magnificent band stallion had brought his ‘family’ home. His work was done.