Nokota Horse, North Dakota, People of North Dakota, Somewhere

Snow and food

Not the best of pics, but this is a recent supplemental feeding of over 120 mares in a pasture during a snowstorm. You can get an idea of how hard the snow was coming down if you can see the limited visibility in the pics.

That’s Frank back there.  Doing what he has been doing for decades. Taking care of the Nokotas. No matter what mother nature throws at him.

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Nokota Horse, North Dakota, People of North Dakota, Somewhere

Da News

KXMB Channel 12 television reporters Mike Chaussee and Alicia Ewin interviewed Frank Kuntz today.

Frank is telling the Nokota horse’s story,  and calling for the return of the Nokotas to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park here in North Dakota. You see that is where Frank and his brother Leo got the original Nokotas from.

The National Park Service for many many decades tried to exterminate Wild Horses from the Parks. Yes, seriously ! No joke !

Over the years due to public pressure their policies have changed towards better.  But this is not before they allowed certain ranchers to introduce other breeds to influence the herds currently in the park. Such as a Shire and an Arabian. Now why would you do that ? Doesn’t make sense to me for any reason.

So Frank and Leo Kuntz started buying up horses over thirty years ago that were specific to what is now the Nokota of breed of horse. You see these horses have been documented as having a direct lineage to belonging to Sitting Bull’s Band the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux. Do you know their story?

They fought against intrusion from the likes of Custer, and other so called way over glorified “Indian Fighters.” Well the Hunkpapa were one band of many who lost. They lost their way of living, their homes, their culture and especially their horses.

You take away their horses and you take away their ability to wage war, to hunt, to migrate, and especially their ability to flee from those who made them live on reservations to “Civilize” them.

So I , yes me, the writer of these words has to be convinced that the original extermination practices of horses in the National Park Service did not go hand in hand with the attempt to exterminate any culture that fought for their freedom in the Northern Plains. Good luck convincing me any different. History does show the truth.

And we as Americans learn from mistakes in our past and we correct them. We do ! My nation has a conscience that makes thing better ! I know it does ! It is one of the things I love about where I am standing.

I support Frank Kuntz’s call to return the Nokotas to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Remember these are my thoughts and reasoning, For me it is simply the right thing to do.

But I challenge you to allow Frank to be the voice for the horses he has spent everyday taking care of. Listen to his reasons. They are much more diverse and knowledgeable than mine.

It is worth the time to listen.

Click the link and check ’em, check ’em out !

Here it is !  Nokota Horse

 

Ps:  The word Nokota is trademarked by the Nokota Horse Conservancy

 

 

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North Dakota, People of North Dakota, Somewhere

Nokota Horses and Sandhill Cranes

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Last August after only about a week and a half of living in Linton, North Dakota I came accross the Emmons County Chamber of Commerce booklet. I was at work in the Bayside Resort and brought it back to my tent to read about the area where Zeusy and I stopped our Missouri river trip.

In the booklet was the Nokota Horse Conservancy. An organization founded by Horsemen Leo and Frank Kunz to preserve horses whose bloodline shoot right back to the horses once ridden by the great horsemen of the Northern Plains.

I researched by Google and came across the website of the Conservancy. I became more interested and put a mental post-it note on top of the others to go and check it out first hand.

Three days later a gentlemen walked into the Bayside Resort.

I was helping serve drinks and as what usually happens other patrons said hello to local now known to me as “Frank”

I walked outside and noticed Franks’ truck had a magnetic sign on it for the Nokota Horse Conservancy.

I walked back in and told Frank I was interested in seeing the horses and maybe photographing them.

Introductions were made and I realized I had just met one of the founders of the Conservancy. Frank Kunz.

I told Frank of how I landed in North Dakota. He did a double take when I told him how I did it. I guess coming to North Dakota via a canoe is just not as frequent as it was in the 18th and 19th Centuries. It really hasn’t been for a very long time.

I went back to my duties and about an hour later Frank offered me a place to stay in exchange for working at the Conservancy.

Frank said ” I am not sure why I am asking you, I just met you.”

I am not sure why, but I had a good feeling so I agreed to such an amazing offer.

Many things came up including an almost month long return to St. Louis to try and help my dying father pass on peacefully and comfortably.

I returned to North Dakota and was fortunate enough to have my friends Sammi, Sean, and their awesome kids Kole, Blaine, and Julia, and dog Blaze put me and Zeusy up for awhile until I was ready to work with the Conservancy.

In no time I moved onto the Conservancy and Frank patiently took the time to train me to take care of the horses. It was fast because Frank was leaving to tour with the Nokotas on the East Coast to promote his life long work.

This included a roundup of 49 horses to move to a Winter pasture. And several hours moving one pile of manure to another pile of manure until I was comfortable enough on a Bobcat to learn how to feed the horses with it.

Well the day came for Frank to leave and as the Sun was rising we were back at it. Cleaning the horse trailer and so on.

Frank left to clean up and I later heard a very distinctive bird call. I looked up and saw about 300 Sandhill Cranes moving South for the Winter.

Then I started thinking how the horses had been moved to pasture, how Frank was taking 10 horses to their new Pennsylvania homes, and how migration was in motion for the Sandhill Cranes.

It seemed everyone was moving somewhere on such a beautiful North Dakota day and I wished for everyones and everythings safe travels.

Then I realized that for the first time since the Spring that Zeusy and I were not traveling anywhere.At least for the Winter. Seemed strange and out of character.

It has also made me grateful for all I have seen and done in the last several months. Especially being able to work for Frank Kunz and the horses he and his brother Leo saved.

They are descendants of the horses of the great horsemen of the Northern plains. The Hunkpapa Lakota herd of Sitting Bull’s band. Surrendered at Ft. Buford, Dakota Territory in 1881.

Holy crap ! Now that is amazing !
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Don’t stop here!  Click the link for more!

http://www.nokotahorse.org/cms/the-nokota-horse/nokota-history-in-brief.html

“Right Zeusy? ”

Zeusy says “Yes! “

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People of North Dakota, Somewhere

A friend indeed!

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My friend who has been so kind and helpful sent me a text saying she needed me to go to feed and water her dog and five puppies, feed the cat, and water her horses.

She, her hubby and kids have been friends in deed.  No way I was not going to do this or anything else they need.

And such a tough request eh.? Play with Lucky the dog and her pups. As well as water Junior and Magic.

I think they found the right guy for the job!

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People of North Dakota, Somewhere

Bismarck, North Dakota

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I was fortunate enough to accompany my friend and co-worker Sammie to Bismarck, North Dakota. Sammie also had her three children with her Kole,  Blaine, and the ever cute Julia. All three are super happy fun kids who know their way around a good laugh!  They also had me figured out pretty quick.

She had errands to run and I needed to get warmer clothing because Fall and Winter come much earlier than the latitude I have been living in.

Off we went with the first few stops being McDonalds, and a few thrift stores. Goodwill being the place where I found what I needed with the great help of Blaine and Cole.

Shortly there after we were inside the North Dakota Heritage Center. The State Museum of North Dakota close to North Dakota’s Capitol building.

Sectioned off in different galleries was North Dakota”s fascinating history.

The first gallery we entered was it’s ancient past. Skeletons of a T-Rex and Triceratops dominated the impressive displays that included giant Sea Turtles, to anciet Bison and Saber-Toothed Cats. There was also many interactive ways of gaining knowledge.

The Next gallery was the history of Native Americans here in North Dakota. Un-believably packed with artifacts showing the history of the ever important peoples who made this region home.

In certain tribes your are allowed to carry certain items memorializing your horse if killed in battle. This one was for.a horse killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Aka Custers last stand.

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With the end of our time winding down we walked directly to a tractor simulator that Blaine so badly wanted to show me. All three siblings took turns driving the heavy equipment used in making the World’s food.

Shortly after I had another display of history in the making. The history of a North Dakota farm changing with those who live there. We went to a farm Sammie and her husband were leasing. All three kids super happy about being around their animals. In a flash Blaine and Julia had red wagon full of super cute puppys that they pulled from a barn to show me. There were seven and Julia held on to her favorite one giving it much love and affection that only  a sweet five year old could give.

Cole soon was.showing his favorite duck he adores and was.an awesome big brother grabbing Julia’s Abbey so I could see her favorite chicken. Julia adores her chicken and her pretty little eyes shine on full power when she speaks of her Abbey.

I always said kids and dogs are a perfect combination but now I know for sure it is kids and ducks, kids and chickens as well as anything I can imagine combining a kid with!

Thanks for a great day all of you!

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