Nobody's Horses: The Dramatic Rescue of the Wild Herd of White Sands

Nobody's Horses: The Dramatic Rescue of the Wild Herd of White Sands


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Nobody's Horses: The Dramatic Rescue of the Wild Herd of White Sands by Don Hoglund

Descended from the greatest horses of the American West, the wild horses living on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico were national treasures and living legends. But in 1994, after years of suffering through periodic droughts, food shortages, and all the dangers accompanying life on a military weapons–testing site, scores of horses suddenly died. And almost two thousand more were in such dire straits that they were unlikely to survive. Large-animal veterinarian Don Höglund was called in to organize and lead a team of dedicated cowboys, soldiers, and other professionals in removing the surviving horses and their offspring to safety.
Nobody’s Horses tells the dramatic story of these noble animals’ celebrated history, their defiant survival, and their incredible rescue. Amid the constant danger from unspent munitions on the ground and missile testing in the air, cowboys, Native Americans, and ranchers—all of whom cared deeply about the fate of the horses—clashed in a battle of wills. And, of course, there were the horses themselves—wild, extraordinarily powerful animals, not easily managed or moved, who would become known to their rescuers as fascinating, individual characters.
Filled with history and heroism, adventure and rivalry, and, ultimately, the alliances between horses and people, Nobody’s Horses will stir the emotions and imagination of horse lovers, humanitarians, and anyone who loves an uplifting tale of second chances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803218734
Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
Publication date: 09/01/2008
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Don Höglund is a doctor of veterinary medicine who has provided consultation and equine training services for the Pentagon, the Walt Disney Company, and many others. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Read an Excerpt


I was not ready for a surprise on the morning after our first capture of White Sands wild horses. The roundup had taken the better part of a day, plus three helicopters, six ATVs, and one dozen men, but we had corralled more than one hundred starving horses. It was supposed to get easier after that adrenaline-pumping ordeal. But when I returned to the corral, I found a surprise waiting for me on the other side of the gate: a tiny sorrel foal, just hours old, alone and bleating for his mother. Two-thirds legs, knock-kneed, and wide-eyed, he was deeply distressed.

As I approached, the baby turned his face and ears toward me, willing to ask even a two-legged stranger for help. His face was beautiful, delicate with a white blaze down his nose, and long eyelashes out of all proportion with the rest of his features. He mouthed his lips and gums in subordination as foals do and then quieted as I neared him.

I stepped inside the fence to examine him up close as he sniffed me curiously. By the look of his ruffed coat and the dried sweat caked on his sides, he'd probably searched through the night for his mother before coming to the barrier in desperation. Severely dehydrated, he stood still while I looked him over. His umbilical cord had broken off recently just an inch from his gaunt belly. I bent down and put my nose to his mouth, trying to discern if he had nursed at all before ending up here alone, but he did not smell of mare's milk, and he nuzzled my ear hopefully. I looked more closely at his eyes. They were opaque. The colt was blind.

I spread both arms wide, knelt down, and wrapped one arm around the abandoned baby's neck and the other around his rear, then lifted and carried him to a small, separate enclosure where he'd be safe from the frequent scuffles and commotion in the herd. I hurried to my veterinary truck to retrieve a bottle, a blanket, water, and a supply of mare's milk.

I'd planned to serve as a cowboy, a veterinarian, a leader, a laborer, and a negotiator on this job rescuing wild horses. Now, it appeared that I was going to be a nanny, too.

Copyright © 2006 by Don Höglund, DVM

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Outlaws Upon Outlaws
Chapter 2 - Standing Outside the Fire
Chapter 3 - Secrecy and Security
Chapter 4 - Little Road Block, Big Cottonwood Tree
Chapter 5 - Off to the Races
Chapter 6 - The Great Escape
Chapter 7 - Trust All Horses, But None Too Much
Chapter 8 - Liver-colored Survivor
Chapter 9 - Nowhere to Run
Chapter 10 - Nowhere to Hide
Chapter 11 - Rhodes Canyon Rescue
Chapter 12 - Little Midnight
Chapter 13 - The Royal Road
Chapter 14 - Oklahoma to the Rescue
Chapter 15 - The Stallions
Chapter 16 - A Wonderful Life with Horses
Afterword: Management of the Free-Roaming Horse
Afterword: Bittersweet Range

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Nobody's Horses: The Dramatic Rescue of the Wild Herd of White Sands 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived in Las Cruces and Alamogordo. What a great way to learn some history as a former resident and a current veterinary assistant.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very well written book that people of all ages in any country can enjoy. A decent, true story that I am glad was told by Dr. Don to the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nobody's Horses is a beautifully written, heartwarming story by a cowboy veterinarian dedicated to his Oath. You will feel as though you are there in the midst of American history, danger, excitement and range of emotions experienced by Dr. Hoglund as he sets forth to rescue these magnificent horses. Nobody's Horses is a fascinating tale about passion for horses, the West and their interwoven past, present and future. A real page-turner that keeps you riveted with interest every step of the way. Indeed, Nobody's Horses is a phenomenal story for everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
|Dust| <br> A huge dusty stallion with mossy green eyes, and a slightly darker mane. He is calm, assertive, and a great leader. Someday he would like a mate. Brother of Ace- <p> |Ace| <br> A large light bay stallion with pale green eyes. He is sometimes mean, but only for a good reason. In his old herd he was usually alone. Brother of Dust- <p> That's all stalkers.