The American Mustang has always been a symbol of freedom and wildness the ultimate renegade. Mustangs are close-knit herd animals who treasure their families above all else and the close bonds. They form a crucial both for their emotional and physical survival. They’re gentle and loving.
These strong and powerful stallions can fight to the death to protect their mares. Wild horses have lived in the American romantic mythology for centuries but each horse is a unique and sentiment individual with their own history.
This is the story of one stallion Goliath and his family. Goliath is a 25-year-old Mustang from salt wells creek Wyoming over the years. He had many mares but his one constant companion was Red lady his lead mare in the love of his life. Goliath would do anything for her including fight fierce battles with other stallions to keep her. He became an iconic wild horse of Wyoming and in the many pictures of Goliath and his family.
Then one day everything changed the BLM(the bureau of land management) came to round up nearly 2,000 wild horses to clear this area for livestock who graze the same public lands. The BLM use helicopter to chase the horses into traps these roundups can last for hours and the horses are run for miles before they are finally captured exhausted often injured and sometimes even killed.
The Mustangs who survived have lost their freedom forever within hours of their captures the families are torn apart stallions from mares babies from their mothers that day is the last time they will ever see each other again. Heartbroken scared and defeated these horses are shipped to facilities around the west most of them to spend a lifetime in captivity a once walled and free horse now stands in a crowded steel corral never to run again.
Sky dog sanctuary(wild horse and burro rescue center) first heard about Goliath when he was rounded up in the fall of 2017. "We were devastated that an iconic stallion who lived free for so many years had been captured. Goliath was taken to a BLM holding facility where he was branded on his hip and neck and then gelded separated from his loving family with no hope ever seeing them again. He was captive with hundreds of other horses destined to spend a lifetime in a dirt pen".
Goliath in appeared on the BLM internet adoption and sky dog sanctuary became determined that Goliath would not live out his life in a small space confined and domesticated this noble horse represented everything about the importance of keeping Mustangs wild and free. Sky dog sanctuary wanted to give him back his freedom.
Sky dog did a fundraiser for Goliath and the response was overwhelming hundreds of people stood up to support him and asked to bring a life to a sanctuary that is a similar to the wild land he roamed while free Goliath seemed to move every single person who read about him and each one of them was compelled to take an action towards helping him .
Then something even more miraculous happened. A wonderful woman in Colorado who had two months earlier adopted Red lady Goliaths lead mare reached out to say that she too wanted to reunite them and after woman statement sky dog went there to pick the Red lady up and bring her to our 9,000-acre sanctuary in Oregon.
It was as if she knew that there were greener pastures ahead because she immediately hopped on the trailer to begin her new life after weeks of waiting and praying sky dog won the bid for Goliath and traveled to the BLM Corral’s in Utah to collect him loaded and was on his way traveling across the country to a new home far away from the one he knew in Wyoming and the Corrals .
He had been penned in for months and the next morning the trailer carrying Goliath pulled through the gates of sky sanctuary he left out of the trailer and took off running up the hill. Turning wants to let out a mighty snort before taking off into the distance as far away from people as he could get. It was a thing of beauty to watch him running free once again when we opened the gates of the barn where the Red lady had been and she trotted out into the snow unaware that her mate was sniffing the air and turning around to look into the distance. In one long beautiful endless gallop across a snowy pasture Goliath ran towards all that he loved cherished and cared for Red lady glided towards him when she saw him coming to her tail and nose high proud and in awe and the first thing Goliath did when he reached here he touched his nose to her belly which was starting to swell with their last fall. He knows the belly twice before greeting her then they turned and took off running into the woods above them.
If there was ever any doubt about the bonds these horses make they were gone and now a month later Red lady has given birth to their final fall together this final fall conceived before the brutal roundup and born out of so much love compassion is thriving taught how to be a wild horse by his parents who run free once more to see a band of horses run and feel the ground beneath your shake is an experience and a privilege .
we should cherish and protect for generations. We need wild horses free its important to know that somewhere over the distant mountains and away from our crowded cities, there is something of beauty and spirit that is one with the earth. It's important for us to know the wild horses are there even if we never actually see them. As long as the lost mustangs are running free somewhere out there our imaginations can run free with them and for a moment our spirits will be free all.