Mystic: The end of an era for an exceptional stallion
Animal Stories from

August 2011
[Ed. Note: Read more about wild horse roundups: Shady Tactics Surround BLM Roundup of Famous Kiger Mustangs, BLM Capture of Iconic Wild Horse Herd Sparks Controversy, First Major Wild Horse Roundup of Summer Proves Deadly.]

From Return to Freedom (RTF)

Captured during the 1998 total removal of all wild horses from the Hart Mountain Fish & Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, Mystic was one of the first band stallions to arrive at Return to Freedom.

Over the next decade, Mystic would enjoy roaming our hillsides with his large band of mares and offspring, carrying out his role as lead stallion. His power, leadership and beauty has inspired thousands of people to learn about and appreciate wild horses. 13 years have come and gone and Mystic has enjoyed these years with his family in the hills at Return to Freedom, never wavering in offering protection and guidance for his herd and young colts.

But life is not easy for aging band stallions. Challenged by younger stallions, they slowly lose their herd and are cast out to live a solitary life, or a life with other bachelor stallions. Here at RTF, they face the same challenges. Mystic is now 30 years old and can no longer keep his mares from younger, stronger stallions. In the wild, in a harsher climate, he most likely would have died this past winter. At the sanctuary we are able to provide senior horses some comfort as they become more compromised. Mystic was brought in from the hills and now receives more supplemental feeding and care. This is an extra expense for us, but it allows these noble seniors to enjoy their last years with comfort, health and well being.

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