Monday, May 14, 2018

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary 2018

Twenty seven years is a long time, and the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary has changed a lot in the years since my last visit. Instead of driving into an old homestead, Carol and I were welcomed onto the property via a well-signed driveway...
that ran alongside a big pasture full of horses. 
There is  now an appropriately rustic...
visitor center and gift shop...
where guests can sign up for a guided bus tour.
Because we visited the Sanctuary on a cold, windy day in the off season, Carol and I were part of a very small tour. Instead of using the school bus, we were able to fit into a van. I got the shotgun seat, which made me really happy.
Our tour started with a long, pass by the pasture alongside the driveway. Our guide pointed out several horses of interest, including Bronze Warrior, an Appaloosa from Wyoming.
Then it was up the hill to Fort Overlook. 
We got out of the van and took in the view. 
The Sanctuary has been used by several by several movies studios for shooting Western genre films, such as Hidalgo and Into the Wild. These buildings are part of an 1870's Fort Robinson set.
That was interesting, but I really wanted to see some horses close up! 
Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long. We got back in the van, and there they were! 
They noticed us, too.
A few of them came right over to the van...
and demanded attention.
Our driver opened the van doors... 
and allowed us to exit the vehicle. 
This was pretty much the best thing ever. 
No really...
I could have stayed there all day!
Eventually, however, we had to get back in the van so we could visit other groups of horses. 
Some were near.
Others were far.
I enjoyed them all. 
This particular group of horses was on a hillside when we drove by.
 A few of them started to make their way down the hill. 
 Then they were all coming down the hill.
They crossed...
in front of us... 
and went to the river. 
They waded and drank, 
then scrambled up over the banks... 
and crossed in front of us again, 
this time at a gallop. 
Then it was back up the hill to where they'd been when we arrived. 
Thank you so much for doing that, Mustangs. It was amazing. 
Our tour ended with the Spanish Mustang herd.
This was an exceptionally attractive group of horses... 
and we were allowed to get out of the van here, as well. 
Twenty seven years is a long time, The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary has changed a lot in the years since my last visit, but its essence remains the same. It was magical then, and it's magical now. I hope I don't have to wait another twenty seven years until my next visit.

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