By Deb Sutherland, Volunteer
(March 2, 2021) There were over a hundred wild horses in the canyon the day Harriet (aka Little April Showers) was born on April 1, 2013. The Virginia Range was dotted with the colors of pintos, blue and red roans, bays, blacks, grays, buckskins! Even the black and white stallion, Canyon Phantom, was there with his pinto and roan family. There was a newborn pinto resting in the sage that caught my eye.
Nearby her dam, we called Starlite (AKA Withers), stood guard over her. As I looked closer, I saw the little pinto baby that captured my heart. Her sire was standing close by, making sure his family was safe. We called him Handyman because he had what looked like a white handprint on his left hip.
It was raining softly that day, so I called the tiny foal, Little April Showers and I took many pictures of her and her family. I visited them often in the canyon. I watched them drink from the spring on hot summer days. Starlite and Handyman would always cuddle April Showers. After drinking from the spring Handyman would take his family to cool off under the shade of the pinion pine trees. After about a year I didn’t see them in the canyon anymore, they seemed to have disappeared. I thought they must have moved onto a new grazing place.
Last spring while I was out on the range photographing a band of wild horses, I noticed a beautiful pinto mare who looked familiar. A friend of mine, Ellen, compared pictures from a story I had written and noticed that the mare now named Harriet, was indeed Little April Showers all grown up! She lives with Ozzy, her stallion, and has two of the cutest daughters, Peg and Sue. Both her daughters look so much like Harriet when she was young.
I asked Cathy Cottrill, the one who documents the horses in that area, where Harriet and her new family band was. Cathy explained that they just showed up in the valley a while back, along with the Dickens band, who she had fun documenting. I am very happy to see Harriet again! I’m getting to know her new family which has been a great experience. Changes in family bands happen so quickly and Peg has already gone to live with the stallion, Apache along with Shaggy’s ex-mare Sissy, and her daughter Sunflower. I am so glad I will be able to spend time with Harriet again, but I will always wonder where she and her dam Starlite (AKA Withers) lived all those years that I couldn’t find them.