Across the valley from our ranch, lies Sheep Mountain, stretching up the south side of the Shoshone River. Above the breaking cliffs near the top, once mountain sheep roamed, but growing up it was known more for the herds of wild horses.
Every year a group of ranchers who held hunting trips would take a ride up to the top and try to round-up as many horses as possible herd them into make-shift corrals, then work to train them enough to trail them down to the ranches, so they could use some for pack horses for the hunting trips, some for riding horses and those that were wild to the core were sold as bucking stock to the rode
One year during the round-up a wild mare escaped leaving her newborn colt behind. The question was, what to do with this little filly, who was only a few weeks old. They couldn't turn her loose-mama was long gone and the wild animals would surely get her. She was too young to make the difficult trip down the mountain. One of the cowboys, a compassionate man, picked up the little horse, put her in front of him in the saddle and brought her to the base camp, then loaded her into his vehicle and brought her home. He named her Sheila. Daddy, with Mom's help bottle fed her, she would wander into the summer kitchen, nuzzle for some lovin' and a carrot. I think she believed she was the family pet.
Horseman, that Daddy was, he laid down the law, she was not to be ridden until she was two years old. Ya right--us kids would play with her, crawl on her back, pretend we were Indians and she was our wild mustang, we would use a piece of string or our head scarves as reins.
When it was time to saddle break her, Daddy was amazed at what a gentle, smart animal she was--didn't even buck once! He said she was one of the best saddle horses that he even had. Sheila, born in the wild, raised with love.