Welcome to the blog by Marylu Weber

This blog contains dozens of posts and photos of the wild, feral horses from the park and some of the people involved with them. These horses are owned by the park and not managed by the BLM. To see most of the photos, scroll to the bottom of this page. To find earlier posts of interest go to Blog Archive on the right and follow this guide:

For some of the history of the horses and people involved:

Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Tom Tescher's Story
The Boicourts
The Roundup

The Sale

For some of the special horses' stories:
Fire's Story
Whisper's Story
Our Boys Come Home
Dancing with a Wild Horse
Whit's Story

The Dance Continues
Training Update

More Dancing with Hawk
More Training for Hawk
Bashful, the Steps of His Life

Post of Interest:
Four Stallion Fight
Hazards, Did I Mention Hazards?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The new printed Field Guide to the Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is now available online from Blurb.  This new Guide has photos of ALL the horses in the park as of November, 2015.  Individual photos of each horse were submitted by photographers from as far away as Germany.  We thank each and every person who submitted the photos.  The Guide is set up so that the horses are the easiest to find and identify by color and gender.  Along with name, year of birth, color, and facial markings, their usual summer range is listed.  In the back of the guide is a list of horses by band, a quick find list by alphabet and a map of the park showing popular horse hangouts.  We hope you will enjoy the guide.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

North Dakota Badlands Horse is excited to announce the launch of our new web page.  Check it out at                  ndbh.org

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The story of Grace and her new horse, Lassen, in her own words

Photo by Rachel Abraham

Yesterday was a very exciting day at my house! I bought my first horse....and not just any horse.... Here is the story: Backtrack to when my older sister Rachel was 12 years old, she sold her llama and a few goats to buy a young mare that was rounded up in 2009 from the North Dakota Badlands. Rachel named her Autumn. Autumn was tamed by a man in Minnesota that also had several other horses for sale. Rachel was planning on buying a Nokota named Wokini. But, this young filly kept following Rachel around. Rachel turned around to see who kept following her and she and Autumn bonded. Rachel bought Autumn and finished out her training. Rachel is now 16. Rachel began yearly treks to the North Dakota Badlands, home of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the wild horses, when Rachel was 13. All of Rachel's wild horse photos are taken there. The horses in TRNP are closely watched as they are part of a birth control study. Autumn's parents are Stormy x Cocoa, who have been together a long time. If horses married, these two would be married. They had Autumn in 2009. She is a beautiful bay roan. The next foal they had is Juniper, who is a solid like her sire. The next foal they had was Heritage, who disappeared. And the next foal they had was this spring. The birth control study team named her Lassen and she is identical to Autumn, with the addition of a little white star. I am now 13 years old and I have been talking and talking about training my own horse just like my sister did. Then out of nowhere my mom gets a call that Lassen has been selected for removal from the park and is now in the holding facility. These horses were once removed in large roundups via helicopter, but they are now rounded up a few at a time using low-stress techniques. Rachel and I were ecstatic! Imagine sisters both owning sister horses that look alike and training them. What is the probability of such a thing? The horses are full sisters born in the wild. Anything could have happened between 2009 when Autumn was born and 2015 when Lassen was born. These are wild horses - either one of them could have died, or Stormy could have been stolen by another stallion, or the baby could have died like their baby did last year. I have been saving my money for this very moment. I have saved my allowance and earnings from goats I have sold. Last night, there was an online auction to approved buyers and I bought Lassen!!! I will now be taming and training my very own wild horse. Rachel will be there right alongside me teaching me the skills I will need. Sisters and sisters. To follow these horses in the wild, like the FB page, "North Dakota Badlands Horse". They will be gathering up a few more next week for removal. You, too, can own your own wild horse!! Praise God for this awesome experience that has already begun! Thank you! Grace Abraham

Photo by Jamie Baldanza Claps

Thursday, May 14, 2015

“Preliminary Results with GonaCon Immunocontraceptive Vaccine in Wild Horses at Theodore Roosevelt National Park Shows Promising Results” 

This statement was released May 14, 2015 by Dr. Dan Baker, of Colorado State University, to North Dakota Badlands Horse (NDBH), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit which advocates for and promotes the free roaming horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP).  NDBH has a Partnership Agreement with TRNP to assist in low stress captures and placement to pre-approved homes of those removed 

Dr. Baker added the following:
“Researchers from Colorado State University, in collaboration with resource managers at Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP), North Dakota began a research investigation in 2009 to evaluate the effects of an immunocontraceptive vaccine, known as GonaCon, on reproduction and side-effects in free-ranging horses. Initial results indicated that while the vaccine was safe for pregnant females and developing fetus and had no adverse effects on social behaviors, it was only about 50% effective in reducing foaling rates over a two – year period. This is not nearly effective enough to manage the growth rate of most populations of free-ranging wild horses.
In an attempt to improve the effectiveness of this contraceptive, researchers re-immunized previously vaccinated mares at a scheduled roundup at TR in 2013. Results of preliminary foaling rates of treated mares in 2015 are remarkable and encouraging. To date (edited to read-September 1 2015), not a single mare that was re-vaccinated with GonaCon in 2013 has delivered a foal this season whereas almost 70% (17/25) of untreated mares have already done so. It’s still too early to confirm infertility in these mares but if these results persist for the duration of this breeding season and beyond, researchers will need to address the question of how long does GonaCon suppress fertility in TR horses and are there any long-term side-effects of this vaccine treatment. Unfortunately, long-term funding for this research has not been forthcoming and researchers are seeking financial support from government agencies and private foundations to continue this important and promising effort.”    Dan L. Baker, PhD, Affiliate Faculty, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory, Colorado State University

Blake McCann, Wildlife Biologist, Theodore Roosevelt National Park stated that “these preliminary results are very promising.  It is hoped that this research will continue to be funded so that all aspects of GonaCon as a potential horse population management tool may be understood. The park will issue a news release on the study at the conclusion of the 2015 foaling season, when definitive results have been obtained.” 

Three NDBH Board of Directors have been Field Technicians with this project.  NDBH is honored to be a part of this groundbreaking research.  
Funding has been found to
continue this important research in the coming years.  It is imperative that those who are responsible for wild horse herds throughout the country and the world, have more effective and safer tools to use in keeping populations manageable.

Marylu Weber, NDBH President

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NDBH Adoption Qualification POLICY and RECOMMENDATIONS


·         The North Dakota Badlands Horse (NDBH) goal is to place wild horses from TRNP in a safe environment where they will be gentled and trained, not lost to slaughter. 
·         NDBH does not endorse breeding of these horses because of the availability of other high quality horses coming out of the park in the future.
·         Proceeds from sales of North Dakota Badlands Horses are used in accordance with and to further the Partnership Agreement with TRNP and NDBH for the welfare of the wild horses.
·         The base fee is $350.  This fee will include Coggins testing, health certificate, brand inspection, DNA testing to support ongoing research, and possibly other costs such as worming. The cost of castration will be added onto the base fee of a stallion. (If a stallion has not already been castrated, $200 will be added to its base fee to be refunded with proof of castration from a Veterinarian.)  Also included in the base fee is a Certificate of Registration (with ancestral DNA report if available), which will be granted once requirements are met. 
·         REQUIREMENTS: horse must be gentled enough to be caught, haltered, and led, and in good condition as shown in photos or video.  Digital photos or video are preferred showing horse being caught, haltered, and led.   For registration, 3 digital photos (each side of the horse and the full face, showing all markings) must be submitted along with the horse’s registered name and owner’s name and address.
·         Adoption of a NDBH will be by the highest bid received on Facebook, or by telephone (someone will represent callers) during the prescribed time announced for bidding on Facebook.  Horses will be shown by video on Facebook.  Qualified adopters will be informed of the time of an auction by Facebook or email.
·         To bid on a horse, qualified adopter must be pre-qualified before the day of the auction.  NDBH application must have been submitted and reviewed by the NDBH Adoption Qualification Team.
·         No personal checks will be accepted; acceptable methods of payment are: cash, Money Orders, and Cashier’s Checks.
·         Horses can be loaded only after funds are received in full by NDBH.   (Location to be announced.)   Arrangements must be made with NDBH if horse is not picked up within 7 days.
·         These horses were born wild. Therefore, neither NDBH nor TRNP will be held responsible for any issues of temperament, soundness, health, fitness, or level of training of the horse, nor for any injury or damage to persons or property caused by the horses.  
·         If the adopter cannot achieve gentling of the horse or for any reason wishes to sell or give it away, it MUST be to a good home and NDBH must have name, address, email, and phone number of the new owner.  NDBH will do our best to help find a new adopter who would have the facility and experience to gentle the horse.
·         If all quality of life is lost due to age, disease, or injury, humane euthanasia and proper disposal are REQUIRED.  These horses may not be sold for slaughter.
  • Adopters must provide their own vehicles or make private arrangements.
  • Standard covered stock trailers and horse trailers large enough for 4 or more horses are generally acceptable, contingent on final approval prior to loading.
  • NO 1-HORSE TRAILERS. Two horse trailers are not allowed unless they are a stock type, with no internal dividers. Animals will ride loose and must have enough space to turn around.
  • Lengthwise and slant-load dividers must be removed.  Drop ramp doors are not recommended.
All activities pursuant to or in association with North Dakota Badlands Horse shall be conducted without discrimination on grounds of race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, disabilities, religion, age, or sex, as well as in compliance with the requirements of any applicable Federal laws, regulations, or policies prohibiting such discrimination.
However, North Dakota Badlands Horse will reserves the right to disqualify anyone based on knowledge of animal welfare issues with that potential adopter.

For success with a NDBH it is recommended that the adopter:
·         Have extensive experience in working with horses.
·         Have some experience in gentling wild horses or young domestic horses that have not yet been gentled.
·         If the adopter is inexperienced, it is highly recommended that he/she work closely with an experienced trainer in gentling a wild horse.

·         No wild horses, particularly stallions, should be turned out in ordinary wire fenced enclosures.
·         It is best to have two horses kept together or keep the new horse penned near others that he/she can see.
·         The first pen for a wild horse should be at least 400 sq ft., but not too large (60,000 sq ft would be pretty large to be able to easily move the horse/horses into a training pen.)
·         It is best to have a smaller round pen connected to the pen for gentling.
·         The pen should have a shelter with a roof and at least 2 sides protecting the horse from the wind.  Any metal walls must be lined with wood to prevent serious injury.  Thick trees would substitute for one side of the shelter if they stop the wind.
·         Fences should be no less than 5 ½ ft. high for horses 12 months and under and no less than 6 ft. for those older than 12 months.
·         Fences should be of sturdy wood or metal construction with no more than 1 ft. between rails.  Steel mesh may be used if openings are no more than 3 inches.  
·         No sharp edges, protruding nails or screws, etc. should be inside this structure where horse could be cut.
·         No wire should be used to confine the horse until it is gentle, castrated, and easy to catch, then only well maintained wire fences would be acceptable.
·         Once the horse is gentle it should have more space to run and move.  Stalling is not recommended for these horses but can be used if turnout is often and large enough for the horse to run.  These horses are good jumpers so be aware of that even after gentling.

·         Fresh grass and clean grass hay is recommended.  These horses are not used to rich feeds.  Small amounts of grain based feed are OK when the horse is growing and if it is very active, but avoid too much grain.
·         Always have plenty of fresh water available year round.
·         Supplements are OK but not necessary if the horse has plenty of good clean grass hay.

·         Castration is highly recommended on all stallions.  Talk to your Vet. about the proper time.
·         Vaccinating for rabies is recommended as soon as possible.
·         Use other vaccinations as recommended by your Vet. or your situation
·         Worm with feed as soon as you can get the horse to eat small amounts of feed unless the horse has been wormed at the time of capture.  Oral wormers are recommended as needed once the horse is gentle.
·         As soon as you can handle feet have the hooves trimmed.  It often works well to have the farrier trim hooves when a stallion is under sedation for castration.
·         Have your Vet. or Equine Dentist check teeth as soon as you can handle the horse’s head.  This also works well when a stallion is castrated.  Pull wolf teeth at this time.
·         It is wise to have a young horse’s teeth checked often to prevent dental issues.

·         Gentling should be done slowly and patiently.
·         Excessive running in a round pen or on a lunge line is damaging to young legs.
·         Keep training periods short but often with young horses.
·         Do not tie a young horse solid as it can cause damage, injury, or even death.
·         Seek the help of a good natural trainer or learn from DVDs and videos from respected, experienced trainers if you are unsure about the gentling process.
·         Under saddle training is not recommended until the horse is at least 3 years old, although teaching acceptance of a saddle and weight in the saddle is acceptable at younger ages.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

NORTH DAKOTA BADLANDS HORSE is looking for potential buyers for the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Periodic removals are deemed necessary by the park to keep the delicate balance between large ungulates
( bison, elk, horses, deer, and pronghorn) and native vegetation, but park staff wants to avoid large roundups and removal of large numbers of horses.  Therefore Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) and North Dakota Badlands Horse (NDBH) have entered into a Partnership agreement in which NDBH volunteers will help in small captures of horses and will be responsible for finding good homes for culled horses.  Since neither TRNP nor NDBH want horses to be vulnerable to slaughter buyers, we have developed a process of qualifying potential buyers.  Wild horses from TRNP may ONLY be purchased by pre-qualified buyers, so, if you are interested in possibly purchasing one of these wonderful horses, give us your name, address, email, and phone # by emailing:
or by private message on:

Don't miss out and don't forget to tell your friends about this exciting opportunity to own a part of history !

Photo by Deb Lee Carson Photography

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The North Dakota Badlands Horse Registry is proud and honored to announce the signing of an agreement between Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the North Dakota Badlands Horse Registry. The entire Board of Directors wish to extend our gratitude to the entire TRNP park staff and in particular Wendy Ross-Acting Superintendent, Bill Whitworth-Resource Manager and Blake McCann-Wildlife Biologist. Please read the National Park Service Release below for more information.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Enters Partnership with North Dakota Badlands Horse Registry

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Date: March 10, 2015
Contact: Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
Contact: Bill Whitworth, 701-623-4466
MEDORA, ND: Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the North Dakota Badlands Horse Registry (NDBH) have signed a partnership agreement to facilitate transfer of excess feral horses from park lands in the South Unit to private ownership. The park maintains horses as an "historic demonstration herd" for visitor enjoyment, but these horses must be actively managed to avoid overgrazing and resource damage.

In recent years, the park has conducted helicopter based, large-scale roundups every four to five years. Surplus animals were then sold off-site through traditional sale barns. Roundups were expensive and labor intensive. The agreement provides a less expensive and safer management alternative using low-stress handling techniques and transferring them directly into private ownership.

NDBH is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that promotes, advocates for, and registers horses removed from the park. Under the agreement, NDBH will develop a program to identify willing recipients who can provide long-term homes for the horses. Through direct sale, sealed bid, or auction, NDBH will assist park management in transferring horses to private owners. Proceeds will be used solely for covering costs incurred by NDBH and the park for the placement of animals. The agreement can be renewed after five years and does not preclude the concurrent development of other partnerships.

The park has long recognized the benefit of cooperators in its mission to conserve natural and cultural resources. Successful partnership agreements have been developed for managing elk, bighorn sheep, bison, wildland fire, historic preservation, water quality, invasive weeds, and native plant seed production.

"This partnership will provide an innovative solution to the long-standing safety and expense problem posed by horse roundup operations," said Acting Superintendent Wendy Ross. "We look forward to improving management techniques, conducting research, and enhancing public relations in cooperation with the North Dakota Badlands Horse Registry."