The Tehachapi Mountain horse is a compact but solidly built horse – generally ranging in height from 14 – 15 hands. They are Always Black or near black. They have very limited white markings – some low socks are seen and small stars or snips. The mane and tail are full and thick. The legs are sturdy with tough hooves. Their heads are cobby, sometimes slightly convex, reminiscent of a Lipizzaner – which indicates some old Spanish blood. The current theory is that these horses also carry a large dose of Morgan – there were Morgan breeders in the area many years ago. But basically, their origin is unknown.
About 100 of these horses roam wild in the hills above Tehachapi. They primarily reside on land owned by the California Portland Cement company – in the Oak Creek Canyon Ranch range. To keep the herd healthy and not over graze the land, the herd is maintained – both with supplement feeding and through a program of gelding and adoption. In an effort to promote the versatility and availability of these horses, the Vaquero Trainers Challenge was conceived. And that is how I wound up owning a wild horse.
These horses are available for adoption. The fees are very small – currently they are accepting just $55 for mares or colts, $100 for the geldings (to offset the vet fees) because they need to thin the population as there is very limited forage. Anyone who is interested in adopting one of these horses, needs to contact Steve and Diana Palmer at 661-771-2014 or 661-333-0745. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is also possible to support the herd with donations to help buy hay for the winter. So if you can’t adopt, why not sponsor a wild horse for the winter? And finally, SMALL groups can come in to see the herd and take photographs in exchange for a donation of cash or bales of hay. Again, contact Diana Palmer. You can Not imagine how beautiful it is back in oak creek seeing these gorgeous horses grazing and enjoying a totally natural life.
I am offering an Oak Creek Special training rate. I will provide up to 3 months training for an adopted TMH for just $400 a month – this will include the horses board and lessons for the new owner. I feel so strongly about these horses already and KNOW they are easy to train and deserve great homes. So, if starting from scratch seems like too much, get one with a little head start. Or consider coming to the auction and buy one in October. IF anyone wants to adopt, I will be back in the Oak Creek range for gelding day and I can bring a couple other horses home after Corey gets gelded.
So, if you are sad you are not part of the Vaqueros Heritage trainers challenge, sign up late, or just adopt one of these incredible horses.