© 2018. Wild Heart Sanctuary, Park City, UT

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Wild Heart Sanctuary is the forever home for a small herd of wild Mustangs. Each horse was captured in roundups conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), some chased by helicopters for as many as 20 miles. The brand on their necks is a "badge of honor" representing their perseverance to survive traumatic roundups, deplorable captivity conditions and being marked for slaughter. They have not only survived, but have thrived! Read the Wild Heart story.

WILD HEART HERD
Kokopelli

Wind Walker (right) and Noble Moon, just six months old at the time, were members of the Sinbad herd in Price, UT that were chased by helicopter to a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holding area. During the roundup, Wind Walker suffered a broken jaw, saw her stallion mate killed and was nearly separated from filly Noble Moon.

 

Due to her injury, Wind Walker was marked for slaughter. Instead, Wind Walker and Noble Moon were rescued from the BLM and the vision for the Wild Heart Sanctuary was born. Today, Wind Walker is the lead mare of the Wild Heart herd and Noble Moon has grown to become a wise healer, welcoming all visitors with open, heart-centered love.

Wind Walker & Noble Moon

Kokopelli, a direct descendant of the Wild Spanish Mustangs, was rounded up in Nevada, adopted out by the BLM and then passed around to several owners. When he was finally rescued by the compassionate owner of a Pony Club, a national program teaching young girls to ride, he got out of the trailer, walked into the barn and collapsed. A veterinarian was called, declaring Kokopelli would not likely make it through the night. A few of the Pony Club girls laid by his side to comfort him in his final hours, petting him and telling him how much they loved him. By morning, he was healed from the power of little girl love and out in the pasture with the other horses. Later, he was gifted to the sanctuary.

 

Today, Kokopelli is the healthy, confident lead stallion at Wild Heart Sanctuary.

Durango

Durango was passed around to many owners, broken hard, ignored, and left alone in a small dirty corral. At one point his name was Atlas (carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders), but a strong inner voice told sanctuary founder Sonya that his real name was Durango. Unbelievably and unbeknownst to her, the name he had prior to Atlas was Durango!  

Durango had challenges finding his place among the other stallions, Kokopelli and Cinder, but has resolved his issues and is now the esteemed "Dr." Durango. Each morning he sniffs a selection of essential oils and decides which one is for the herd's highest good that day. He is even teaching newcomer Cody (a rescued border collie) some lessons on maintaining boundaries.

 

Cinder & Vashti

Cinder (left) and Vashti were stepping into a truck to take them to slaughter when someone saw their Mustang brands and brought them to Ching Farm Sanctuary. After recuperating, they were gifted to Wild Heart Sanctuary. Cinder is from the Southeastern Utah Flouride herd and Vashti is from the Colorado Pryor Mountain herd. The Pryor herd was featured in the 1995 documentary Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies and its sequel. Cloud was also the inspiration for the animated movie Spirit and may be Vashti's great great grandmother.

Cinder had a rough start at Wild Heart as stallions do what comes naturally--fight for status. Raised in captivity, he didn't know how to engage with the other stallions, but has now found his place in the herd. Vashti immediately became Noble Moon's apprentice, learning how to heart connect with humans.

Shakira & Brawnson

Shakira (left) and Brawson were orphaned at only a few months old--their mothers likely killed during the government roundup leading to their own captivity. Had they not been adopted from the Delta holding facility by Angel Elliott in September 2015, the chance of survival was slim.. After boarding them at other locations, Angel met Sonya and eventually Shakira and Brawnson found their forever home at Wild Heart Sanctuary during the summer of 2018. Shakira earned her name from BLM employees because she always shimmied through fence openings. Brawnson is brave and curious. Both endured serious physical illnesses, probably due to the tremendous stress and brutality experienced during the roundup, but found the will to recover and thrive.

 

Cautious to trust at first, they are now full-fledged members of the herd.