By Deborah Sutherland, AWHC Volunteer
(Feb 15, 2023) Not all wild horse band changes happen by choice or are caused by nature, some happen due to tragic events and such was the case for the Raymond and Amos bands. What started their chain of events was the tragic night that Raymond was hit by a car and died. Raymond had two mares, Hiker and Saunter, and Saunter’s colt Rover who were then left wandering the range alone with no stallion in the dark of night.
When I went to check on them the next morning Raymond’s family was nowhere to be found and neither was the handsome buckskin, Amos. I saw that Amos’ mares and filly were also wandering the snow-covered range alone. At first, I thought the worst because I knew Amos wouldn’t just leave his band. As I watched Amos’ family, Ambika, and her fillies Amata and little Atri, they looked unharmed but I wondered where Amos was. I also noticed the absence of Amos’ newly acquired mare, Kaylie. I waited and watched a while.
Then finally the sight of the exhausted Amos came walking over the hill with Raymond’s family and this relieved my worries! Amos had gathered them up during the cold winter night and was bringing them back to where his mares and filly were grazing. I could tell that Amos was very tired when I watched him pause at the top of the hill and close his eyes for just a few moments before finishing his job of bringing Raymond’s family to join his band. After their brief rest they continued their journey where he introduced them to Ambika, Amata, and little Atri.
Amos then escorted his newly blended family to the top of a snowy ridge where they would be safe. When they reached the crest, Amos’ now larger family spread across the horizon with Amos in the middle as if to show that he was the connecting force that made these two groups into one band. Then they all faced in the direction where Raymond laid and their goodbye calls echoed across the canyon. The horizon displayed a new beginning for the Amos band. They were all safe and accounted for, all except for Kaylie.
A few days later I was relieved to watch Kaylie’s reunion back to Amos where she is now part of his new family, too. She was alone when she came walking back to the band and I noticed how Amata and Atri were especially happy to see her. It amazes me how wild horse families take care of each other even during tragic events. It was a rough but heartwarming beginning for the new Amos band.