Elder Mustang Gets Second Chance at Life

Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Every day the staff at Montgomery Creek Ranch (MCR) receives requests to take in mustangs that people no longer want or can care for. Unfortunately, our sanctuary is operating at full capacity and so by and large these requests must be turned down. It’s heartbreaking that we can't save them all.

But every once in a while, a horse finds us.

Late this spring, MCR team member Rachel came across a post on Facebook of an elderly Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mustang at an infamous kill pen in Texas who would be shipping to Mexico for slaughter the very next day. The photo depicted a skinny, graying mustang with a very visible BLM brand standing tied to a post looking helpless.

Something about him spoke to us, and we knew we had to take him in. The decision was made that he would live at our smaller, satellite facility in Sonoma.

Before we had even met him, we named him Brownie.

His journey to MCR began with a month of quarantine in Texas and a trailer ride to California. Everyone who saw him or spent time with him commented on how sweet and gentle he was and how much he really liked to be with people. It was clear that Brownie had been loved by someone and we wondered how he could end up in such a sad situation.

Brownie’s BLM Brand. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Brownie’s BLM Brand. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

We deciphered his BLM freezemark — which is made up of alpha angle symbols — and have confirmed with the BLM that he was rounded up in Nevada as a young foal in 1993 which makes him 26 years old. He was adopted in 1993 by someone in El Cajon, CA and titled to that adopter in 1995. From 1995 until now, his story is a mystery.

Now that he has been with us for a month, we've learned a few things about him. He's very personable and likes to follow people around for pets and scratches. We discovered that Brownie has Cushing’s Disease — a dysfunction of the pituitary gland that results in hormonal imbalances, causing a variety of clinical signs not limited to muscle wasting, weight loss and inflammation of the feet. He will be on daily medication to help with ailments, help him gain weight and make him more comfortable as he grazes with his friends in the pasture for the rest of his life.

Brownie with MCR Founder, Ellie.  Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Brownie with MCR Founder, Ellie. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl