Hotah, meaning strong in Lakota, is a beautiful palomino pinto stallion (now gelded) who was born wild and free on the Red Desert Complex, Wyoming in 2014. In the fall of 2020, the Bureau of Land Management completed the removal of 1799 horses from the Herd Management Area that was their home.

Hotah was captured at Arapaho Creek, also known as “the donut hole” which used to be recognized as a Herd Area but after the completion of the roundup in 2020, Arapaho Creek is no longer a recognized HMA. The Red Desert Complex encompasses 753,000 acres and has very harsh climate with rugged terrain. The horses are very diverse in color, type and size.

Hotah lived with his brother Misun and mother Bella along with the rest of their band and alongside the larger herd. As the brothers matured, Misun developed his own harem and still allowed Hotah to remain on the periphery! After their capture Hotah was separated from his family and sent to government corrals to await adoption.

Thanks to his guardian angels, two photographers, (Meg Frederick and Angelique Rea), who had followed him and his family band on the range, RTF was able to adopt Hotah and he arrived at Return to Freedom’s Sanctuary on July 4th 2021 with another gelded stallion, Ares, who he also knew from the range.

RTF was able to send the photographers to the holding corrals in search of his family. In August of 2021, we were able to find and adopt his best friend, Greyson, who stood by him and protected him when Hotah was caught up in a fence on the range and starving to death. They will all be reunited at Return to Freedom’s sanctuary along with his mother Bella, brother Misun and Misun’s harem band!

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Photograpy by Angelique Rea

More Pictures of Hotah