"Snow on snow" may last a couple days to a few months at the Sanctuary. More than a few inches sometimes means waiting to follow the tractor to visit the horses in their snowy living rooms. Regardless of its duration, a blanket of snow creates a white wonderland of frosted pines and dusted canyons.
excerpts from All the Wild Horses by Dayton O. Hyde ©2006
"The wild horses on the Black Hills sanctuary appear to enjoy the snow, taking great gulps from the drifts even when open water is available."
"Their hoofbeats are muffled by the snow, and they move slowly, saving their strength. They avoid steep hillsides these winter days, where a slip on hidden ice might send them tobogganing down the steeps..."
"Their coats are thick, so well insulated, in fact, that snow clings to their bodies without melting. Chunks of ice rattle on their fetlocks as they walk, and their iced-up tails can be tools of destruction."
"i can look across the cheyenne river at rocky hillsides that are nearly always bare of snow and are favorites of several groups of wild horses."
"Winter is a Time to save Energy, and the wild horses make no moves that are not necessary to their survival."
More than 2,000 tons of hay—at a cost of over $300,000—are needed to take care of the Sanctuary herds over the Winter.
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Photography by Rianna Schmidt