COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME
When a friend invited me to what she billed as a “Wild Women, Wild Horses, Wild Fun” trip to Mustang Monument, a new eco-resort and sanctuary for endangered wild horses, I jumped at the opportunity. So did two-dozen other women, ranging in age from 20 to 80. All of us shared a passion for horses and the West.
The real reason for the giddy up in my step heading to Mustang Monument, in Wells Nevada, was to ride among the wild mustangs and learn about their history.
900 square miles of beautiful Nevada desert and dramatic mountain ranges is now home to these endangered mustang horses.
By establishing Mustang Monument, Madeleine Pickens (as seen below), philanthopist and ex-wife of billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens, achieved her goal to preserve natural habitat for America’s wild horses and share it with others. It’s been an upward battle. In 2008, the U.S. government considered euthanizing or selling 30,000 wild musstangs to slaighterhouses overseas, Pickens started Saving America’s Mustangs, the organization that raised the funding for Mustang Monument. In 2011 she struggled to close the last U.S. based horse slaughter house.
To see Mustangs in the wild, I rode on the back of horses, horse drawn carriages and ATV’s . Of the three, ATV’s was definately the way to go.
I heard the mustangs before I saw them, like the rumble of thunder announcing a lightening storm. Then I spotted the heard from my ATV, not surprisingly dubbed Mavereck, which can reach speeds of 70 miles and hour. We slammed forward in full pursuit of the horses catching up with the herd, for a time we traveled along side of them. Our attempt to cut them off at the pass failed and they were off in a cloud of dust.
Several ex-navy seals and cowboys or “Marlboro Men” to us, guided our group on horseback up mountains and through valleys. They taught us the art of roping, shooting bows and arrows, and guns. For this city slicker, the weekend at Mustang Monument was quickly turning into a fantasy about the Wild West.
After a three hour horseback ride past the remains of homesteader houses, wild horses and abandoned mines, we reached the mountain top where a patchwork of blankets awaited us along with a gourmet lunch.
Happy Hour cowboy style!
Now this is Glamping….Our luxury acomodations viewed from a distance.
Another fabulous lunch served al fresco.
Not a fan of roughing it in the wild, I was relieved to find that my tipi consisted of 300 feet of embellished living space, with plush leather chairs, hardwood floors and custom-made king size bed.
Even a place to hang my hat!
Sauntering over to the bar after a long day on the range to wet my whistle.
Evening entertainment! The Mercedes looks oddly out of place.
Also, Native American dancers in all their finery. I particularly like the colorful bird feathers in their headress.
May they roam forever free!