A Mustang Family

Mustangs form tight family bonds when living in the wild. Some Mustangs live in the same family herd their entire lives!

Notice the light tan Mustang in the middle of the above image. This is Magic and she is one of our very first wild Mustangs. Mary adopted her in 2012, and later discovered these images of Magic in the wild with her family herd, taken by wild horse photographer John Wheland. This discovery birthed the start of a grand adventure and love story that would result in a total of seven Mustangs, all from this same family herd in Oregon, being reunited all the way across the country in our Mustang Sanctuary.

<– This image is of Magic (buckskin, center) in her wild homeland of the South Steens Mountain in Oregon. To the left is her mother, Issa. (Issa is still living wild and free in Oregon as of today!) Magic is 2 years old in the photo and was rounded up soon after this picture was taken.


In the image to the right you can see Magic’s mom and dad! Issa, is her mom, pictured to the left. Magic’s dad is Paco, the golden palomino, pictured in the center and Magic is walking up behind them. How Magical to have these images!


In the below image, you can see a black and white pinto filly to the far right. She is named Gabriela by the wild mustang photographers. This filly’s mother is Issa (who is the bay, center, looking straight at camera) and her father is Paco (golden palomino to the left) … So, are you following this with me? This black and white pinto, Gabriela, is a FULL sister to Magic!

We followed Gabriela, Issa and Paco over the years through the lens of the wild horse photographers. Gabriela grew up to be a gorgeous mare and foaled multiple babies in the wild. She also stayed with her mother, Issa, even after another stallion took over their herd and Paco was forced off on his own to become an elderly bachelor stallion. (life in the wild is not always easy)

The image to the left is a few years later and you can see Gabriela is now full grown, but still with Issa, her mother.





To the right is Gabriela with one of her foals! What a beautiful baby!


(images by wild horse photographer Terry Smith)



In 2016 the BLM decided it was time to gather some of the Mustangs from this South Steens, Oregon herd. There had not been a gather in this area since the one Magic came in on, years ago. Gabriela was gathered, but after she was branded and vaccinated, she was one of the Mustangs the BLM decided to turn back out onto the range, so she stayed free!

But these two snow white Mustang mares (below) had also been gathered and they really caught our eye. These two were also from this same land as Magic and Gabriela and they were deeply bonded together. All the wild horse photographers images showed these two side by side all the time. The BLM officials even thought one of these mares might be blind and perhaps she followed the other mare closely for safety. (image by Mustang Meg)

When these two were put up for adoption we just knew we must adopt them both and ensure that they could stay together – forever. Below is a photo of these two mares at the BLM holding facility.

It was speculated that they could be in foal and so it was necessary that we take off immediately to bring these two home. We loaded up in Grace, the RV, and took off on a cross country trek from NC to OR and back, to adopt and bring these girls home. It was such a grand adventure that we created a documentary about it! You can view the trailer below … and download/stream the movie instantly if you wish …

After we got these two wild ones home they did both give birth within months. The wildest thing is, their babies are identical, just like the moms are! Both babies are buttermilk buckskin/roan colts. Their father is Mateo a huge bay roan stallion that still lives free in Oregon. (pictured left, image by Mustang Meg)

Below is a family picture with the white mama Mustangs (Omega & Unity) on each side and their matching baby boys (IAM & Helix) playing together. It is over the top Magic to witness this herd all together.

The following year, after we adopted these two, another gather was conducted on the South Steens Oregon mountain and this time Gabriela was rounded up again, but this time she went up for adoption along with the rest.

And this time she had a new little one on her side! A brand new filly with markings just like her mom’s and just like her grandmom’s Issa and just like her Aunt and Gabriela’s sister – Magic!

<– image by Beverly Shaffer

Of course we had to adopt them both, they are family!

Gabriela and her filly are currently in a special pasture space with Magic. Mary is spending quality time helping Gabriela and the filly learn that humans are here to help and do not need to be feared. Once they are ready, they will join the big herd here on the Mustang Sanctuary. They are quite spectacular indeed.