My horse was a 7 year old wild mustang that was caught when he was 2 ½. His whole herd was caught by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), but they couldn’t catch him. So, the BLM called a guy named White Snake. Took him 3 days, but he caught him. He trained him and fed him Necco wafers as treats, which is how he got his name. Except everyone got confused, so it just became Echo. He was a spirited horse, which is why I got him. His spirit, however, still didn’t compare to Ray’s, even if he was a true wild mustang. Maybe it’s because he didn’t truly belong to anyone except the land which he wasn’t allowed to roam free anymore. But he was treated well and fed well at this ranch, so I suppose he was one of the lucky ones.
Since we were in the foothills of the mountains at sunset, this was a walking trail; didn’t want to disturb those rattlers in the brush and around the cactus. So, we rode around the trails just listening to the clip clop of the horse shoes on the stone path and our guide.
Our guide, let me just tell you, was amazing. Ian was a Cowboy with the theory of “keep our feed bills high and our vet bills low.” He was a ‘horseshoer’ who never stayed in one spot for more than one year. He had some incredible stories of him and his buddy running with wild mustangs in Nevada. He also told a lot of bullshit stories that the other tourists were eating up.
Right at sunset we stopped on the ridge and watched the sun go down under the mountains. The sky turned a cotton-candy pink and it was gone. The trip home was pretty quiet. I think everyone just wanted to savor the experience.
I got off Echo, gave him a carrot, a pat and said goodbye.