by Emily Baker
There's really no truer representation of "Outside the Ring" than wild mustangs. Since their peak in the United States, Mustangs' numbers have been dwindling due to land control measures by the United States government. Around the West there are many different protected land areas dedicated to the preservation of these amazing creatures.
Located just 90 minutes North of Denver in Byers, Colorado is the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary. Situated on 900 acres of land, Great Escape is currently home to a standing herd of around 22 mustangs, and then a handful of horses and wild burros for adoption.
I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this facility in a Living Social deal awhile back. They willingly offer tours of the property. On our tour, we got to visit with the horses and burros for sale, and then drive out into the massive open pasture where the herd lives and have lunch overlooking the animals. It turns out, they have become quite friendly and came over to say hi.
Prehistorically, horses existed in the Americas over 12,000 years ago but disappeared. They were reintroduced by Spanish conquistadors in the 15th century. With colonization and expansion of what would become the United States of America, the horse became the primary means of transportation. Inevitably, there were wild horses throughout the continent which reached their peak population in the 1800s. At this time, it was estimated that millions of Mustangs were roaming North America.
Consequentially, the US Government began to regulate the Mustangs leading nearly to the extinction of these incredible creatures. This of course, led to such heroes and heroines as Mustang Annie (a personal favorite of mine since I was a girl.) Eventually, this also led to the creation of Mustang sanctuaries around the country like Great Escape.
Places like Great Escape can only thrive with the help of generous donors. To schedule a tour or to donate to the cause visit their website here. Or, if you find yourself in search of a new equine friend, you can peruse their list of horses for sale. Either way, this organization is certainly deserving of support!