Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

Hi all,
 Holy cow what crazy weather we have been getting. Most days start out sunny by afternoon the clouds roll in and rain and hail follows. The other day a tornado touched down about 25 miles from us. Tornadoes are rare in the hills. The car port has had a couple light hail tests already and we are thankful to have put it up.

 Wendy and I took a drive up to Sylvan Lake the other day planning to fish and hike a little. Wendy doesn't fish but likes to sit and work on pine needle baskets or cross stitching. After not being able to catch anything for a bit we decided to walk around the lake. Just as we got about 1/4 of the way a big  dark cloud came and turned us back. Sure enough rain and small hail again.
  One perk for volunteers and workers in the Black Hills area is a VIP pass, this gets you discounts at area attractions. Last year we used ours to the total of more than $500. While we did many things we still have some new things we want to do.
 So today with the weather forecast calling for a good day we headed to the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. We invited another volunteer couple who reside in our campground to join us.
 Jim and Betty work Fri.-Sun. checking park passes throughout the park.
 The Sanctuary is located south of Hot Springs and a good hours drive from Custer. They offer an assortment of tours to choose. Ours VIP pass entitled us to a two hour guided bus tour. ($50. value per person).
 The story of the sanctuary centers around Dayton O. Hyde who in 1986 after encounter with some sad looking horses in a cattle yard felt the need to do something to save them. He ended up working with the director of the BLM and created the Institute of Range and Mustang (or I.R.A.M.) a nonprofit organization. The sanctuary encompasses 14,000 acres of beautiful South Dakota country along the Cheyenne River. There is also  a deep canyon that is pretty much left for the horses.
 We were lucky to have a small group of only eight, so we got to take the small bus.
 We learned a lot on the tour seeing a great sampling of the more than 750 horses that are free roaming in the sanctuary.
 They are divided into three groups 1) the Curly Mustangs a horse with a woolly type hair. They have long curly hair in winter and shed it in summer. 2) the Choctaw Ponies are a rare breed thought to be of Spanish ancestry. They are a hardy breed with stamina like no others. 3) the American Mustangs the results of much crossbreeding such as Draft horses, Thoroughbreds, and Indian Ponies to name a few. The most numerous there are approximately 30,000 wild mustangs on public land. 
 A photographers dream shoot I will let the pics do the rest of the talking.



  1. Such great perks working in the Custer area. Love the pictures of the horses.

  2. Just found out this week we might come up to Custer in October instead of Florida like we originally planned. I was looking at the Blue Bell campground and noticed someone had posted the loop wasn't the best for bigger rvs to maneuver. We've got a 37 ft fifth wheel and Wayne drives the big bucket trucks for the utility company. Think we'd have any problem getting in the loop and into one of those 40 foot sites? The other campgrounds in CSP appear to be closed in October, would love to stay in the park but of course will stay at a private campground if it's too tight!