Saylor Creek Herd

By Kimerlee Curyl,

June, 2010, Saylor Creek, Idaho.  

I visited the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area in June 2010. A roundup was performed shortly after I left this area due to fire.  What I remember of the Saylor Creek herd was beautiful, extremely Spanish-looking and very skittish horses.  Not uncommon for a true wild horse at all. However, the horses’ unwillingness to accept my presence after a number of attempts combined with the heat of the day and coming within inches of stepping on a baby rattlesnake, prompted me to leave much earlier than expected.  

The horses were found in a large valley. Above this area was a much traveled-upon parking space.  I observed many shod horse prints and the tracks of trucks and trailers, along with empty gun shells and beer cans.  I was sad to realize the likely possibility that the Saylor Creek horses were regularly harassed by people who knew of their existence.

The HMA also had the largest cattle population I have seen amongst all my travels. The horses’ source of water was filled with hundreds of cattle, moms, babies and even a few bulls. The ground was hard as concrete from the constant grazing, lounging and little movement from the cattle. I watched as horses made their usual migratory trek to and away from the water, while the cattle were really just content to stay put. Upon entering this area, there was a sign, frequently seen in many wild horse areas, warning people to stay away and not harass the horses. Under this sign was a little baby cow resting, while his mother stood alongside the sign.  The irony of this situation was not lost on me.

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