The Wild Horses of Osoyoos and Oliver
Most of us will go our whole lives without seeing a herd of wild horses. They seem like something belonging more in a John Wayne western movie than a scene from modern day life. So imagine my surprise, while lounging on our patio last summer, when I saw wild horses trotting along the peninsula to get a drink from the lake, not more than 100 metres away from me. Turns out that peninsula is one of their favorite spots and being lakefront, we had a front row seat. The following afternoon, as my son and I were floating on the lake, they returned, and we paddled furiously over to get a closer look as some of them slept shaded by the trees and others frolicked at the shore. I keep a lookout for them now and I’m usually rewarded by at least one siting per visit, if not by down on the peninsula then running through the arid, sagebrush dotted hills or blocking the winding road to the Beach House!
As it happens, wild horses have been part of this area for a very long time and there are hundreds roaming free. Opinions vary on their origins. Some say they are feral horses whose ancestors were domesticated horses that escaped or were released into the wild while others say they are truly wild. Regardless, I hope on your next visit you too see these majestic creatures and be careful on the road leading to the Beach House Osoyoos – you don’t know what might be around the next corner!
A few fun facts about horses:
- Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time
- Horses will not lie down simultaneously because at least one will act as a look-out to alert its companions of potential dangers
- Horses have 16 muscles in each ear, allowing them to rotate their ears 180 degrees
- Most of the time, wherever a horse’s ear is pointing is where the horse is looking with the eye on the same side. If the ears are pointing in different directions, the horse is looking at two different things at the same time
- Horses drink at least 95 litres of water a day (more in hotter climates)
- Horses produce approximately 38 litres of saliva a day
- Wild horses generally gather in groups of 3 to 20 animals. A stallion (mature male) leads the group, which consists of mares (females) and young foals. When young males become colts, at around two years of age, the stallion drives them away. The colts then roam with other young males until they can gather their own band of females
If all this horse talk has you itching to go riding, there are stables here that offer short rides through mountain trails or full day excursions passing through Canada’s only desert and stopping in a canyon with underground waterfalls. Check it out on your next Osoyoos vacation.
For the ultimate in Osoyoos Vacation Rentals, book your next stay at the Beach House Osoyoos, where the beach is your backyard. Our new 3-bedroom cottage puts your group right at the edge of Osoyoos Lake on the private 500′ sandy swim beach of The Cottages on Osoyoos Lake Resort.