Trapping the Mesa Verde Mustangs is a digitally remastered video of Tim McGaffic and National Park employees trapping a band of horses in 2022. The gate was triggered early and three foals were separated from their mothers. Tim uses his exceptional stockmanship skills to save the day.
These clips, taken by the Park Service were watched and commented on in a voice-over by a group of older horsemen. Tim explains moment by moment what he did and why he did it. Whit Hibbard, John Saint Ryan, and I (Patricia) ask questions. This is not a video that most people will find entertaining or even comprehensible, but if you are interested in the contact zone between wild horses and humans, you may find it fascinating. I did. I’ve watched it at least 50 times.
This video was filmed at a moment in time when someone cared and knew enough to make things right. We have been saddened to learn that the agency is not currently (2023) using a policy of keeping bands together, but rather closing the gate on anything that walks in. This shattering of families places undue stress on the horses as they transition to captivity. A world in which little Red Mesa, barely 4 months old, would be separated from her mother and have to take care of herself over the record-setting harsh winter of 2022-23 is unthinkable. We know better, and we can do better.
If you just want the short version so you know what happens, here is the trailer for the video.