Bowie is part of our Brislawn herd and is the son of Storm and Esperanza. Bowie’s mother, Esperanza, was part of 30 Spanish mustangs that arrived at our Lompoc sanctuary in December 2018. The group came from the Cayuse Ranch, founded in 1916 by Wyoming homesteader Bob Brislawn. For decades, the ranch near Oshoto, Wyo., was home to some of the original bloodlines of the horses brought to the Americas by early Spanish explorers. When the ranch was sold in 2017, the Brislawns quietly put a call for help. Several groups, including RTF, stepped up to provide homes for 150 mustangs. These early Colonial Spanish horses represent the foundation of the vanishing bloodlines that define the American mustang.
Born the day after St. Patrick’s Day, Bowie already feels like RTF’s little good-luck-charm. He’s certainly a precocious little fella with a wildly mischievous heart. He’s a bit more rambunctious than his older half-brother Eros, who prefers to patiently take in his surroundings.
We can’t wait to watch Bowie grow and witness his budding personality come out more and more every day!
At RTF’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary, we use the fertility control vaccine PZP to maintain our population of horses. There are other management techniques we could use to keep our population from growing (geld all studs or keep mares and stallions separate). Because we wish to offer educational opportunities with regard to natural herd behavior and social interactions, maintain natural family bands as well as model minimally intrusive in-the-wild management that can and is being implemented on the range as an alternative to capture and removals, proven safe and humane contraception was selected to achieve this goal at the sanctuary.
The immunocontraceptive vaccine we have used for over 20 years, is highly effective, but not 100% effective. This is due to the normal variations present in physiological responses to vaccines, and it means that every once in a while, we do get a “breakthrough” birth — like Bowie! Foals truly revitalize the herd and everyone in the herd participates in their socialization!
There are very few opportunities for the public and even professional horsemen and women to actually observe a stallion raising his offspring!