You can lead a horse to the water, but not if there isn't any available.
That’s the problem facing the Bureau of Land Management as it works to supply water to wild horses roaming south of Rangely.
The area where those horses live is closed to the public in hopes of protecting them from further stress.
The BLM is taking emergency action to keep a group of about 50 wild horses from dying as they search for something to drink.
Extreme drought conditions have left herds in the Texas Mountain area with little to no natural water.
For the last couple of weeks, officials have been bringing water to the area, putting it into 800 gallon troughs, and piping it down to areas where the horses used to find water.
The hope is for the horses to adapt to the supplemental water source.
BLM horse specialist, Jerome Fox, says, “We don't have a time line on how long we will do it, but we will do it as long as it’s necessary to keep the horses healthy.”
The BLM is monitoring the animals and evaluating different ways to save them, including an emergency gather.
If that option is chosen, the wild horses would be removed from the range and put into the BLM’s adoption program.
The organization has filed documents in federal court to conduct this type of gathering, but current lawsuits are preventing that from happening yet.
Those opposed believe the BLM is using the drought as an excuse to get rid of the horses.