For the Love of Cloud - March 2012. By Sandy M.
For five years now, as I walk the open fields around my neighborhood with my dog Buddy, I have come to know and respect a beautiful band of wild horses. When I first saw them, there were only four - the stallion I named Carl, and three mares; Virginia, a beautiful creamy white, Goldie, a soft golden color, and Kaylee, a shiny brown coat. I named them after my sisters’ and my middle names. What gentle giants these horses are, so graceful, and unique, each has its own markings and personality, and one thing in common – they need each other, they are a family. As the years pass and they come and go around our neighborhood, their family grows – first a pure white little girl we called Cloud, then two more followed, Cheddar and Motzerella. Cloud and her sisters move gently across the fields, white, golden, fuzzy, and graceful. The babies grew into beautiful mares and we got to know them well. Motz is the friendliest, I can pet and kiss her; she is my jewel. But Cloud stays close to her mother, always. As time passed, the band grew to 12 free roaming horses. They are easy to spot, Virginia, Cloud, Claudine, and Paloma, all white mares. Kaylee had the first male born to the band, Charlie. After a few years, Motz and Cheddar left the family to start families of their own. These horses know when it’s time for a daughter or son to leave their family. Cheddar is now pregnant. We haven’t seen Motz in awhile but take solace knowing that she is running free with her new family.
This band is very special to me and my heart races for joy when I see them return to the fields around my neighborhood as fall closes in. But this fall something was different. The band had taken to moving into the neighborhood, grazing in yards, walking the streets. Doom fell upon me, I knew it was only a matter of time, and no matter what we did, we couldn’t keep them out, keep them safe in the fields and on the hillsides. They soon found their way into Curti Ranch and within a few days, were on the busy and congested Veterans Parkway. Early morning on December 7th, I received a call from a friend saying a horse was down on Veterans. I called Mona, my friend, mentor, and passionate horse advocate and we made our way there, and cried. It was Cloud, our precious white, gently beauty. A fire truck out on an emergency call tried to swerved and miss the 12 horses in the band but couldn’t avoid Cloud. She was killed instantly. The fire crew felt terrible and I lay on Cloud and cried. Virginia kept going over to her, wondering why, I suppose, she wasn’t getting up. We herded the band back up to the hillside and hoped they would stay there.
However, 2 days later, the remaining band was caught by the NV Dept of Agriculture in a horse trap just off of Veterans Parkway and taken away – no more to roam the slopes around our backyards. They were taken to a holding facility, micro chipped, and the stallion was gelded. The Let ‘Em Run Foundation, under Lacy J. Dalton, and several other horse advocate groups, worked with the Department of Agriculture to ensure these, and several other horses recently picked up, could be purchased and turned over to a sanctuary where they will be cared for throughout their remaining years. The Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund approved the allocation of just over $1,300 to go towards the costs incurred to facilitate this purchase involving a total of 13 horses. Today, Cloud’s family lives in a beautiful sanctuary south of Reno. For now, they are safe. But the future of our wild horses is in our hands. We must give these beautiful creatures a voice and safe home forever. Thank you for continuing to support our organization so that we can put our best efforts towards helping the wild ones.
All donations to our 501 (c) 3 are greatly appreciated. Your tax deductible check should be made out to HV Wild Horse Protection Fund and mailed to:
H V Wild Horse Protection Fund
PO Box 20052
Reno, NV 89515
We’d like to thank all our very generous donors for all the support and encouragement we receive throughout the year. As we’ve already mentioned, the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to ensuring the safety, protection, and preservation of the wild horses that make their home in the Virginia Range, in and around Reno, Nevada. We consider ourselves very fortunate to watch over these beautiful, gentle creatures – our historic Virginia Range wild horses.