Obama’s BLM Wild Horse Harvesting Machine Continues at Full Throttle in Nevada

Eye witness report by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

A Few Moments in the Day of a Wild Horse Stampede Observer

A last cry for his family ~ photo by Terry Fitch

The day goes something like this: we hear the distant sound of helicopter rotors.  Across the valley we see a small cloud of dust as a family band of wild horses runs to escape an overhead helicopter.  The cold, frozen wind roars in our ears as we watch the seven horses run one way and then another trying to escape the noise of the pursuing chopper.

Dozens tick by and watch the small group of horses grow larger as the run for their lives.  They disappear behind a bluff but we can still see the chopper hovering over their position.  But one lone head breaks over the bluff running for his life while the chopper stays on the bulk of the herd.  The escapee stops on top of the bluff, turns to his family and screams but no one can hear him over the roar of the deadly chopper blades.  He turns, runs and then calls again.  Frantic, he runs towards us but behind the lurking trap.  Down across the gully floor then up on top of our observation bluff.  He turns, looks at us, cries and runs away towards the trees as the chopper stalks his family.

Wet in below freezing temps with family destroyed ~ photo by Terry Fitch

We continue to watch the chopper move towards the mouth of the gully, unable to see the remnants of the family beneath him.  Once near the entrance to the gully we see the chopper twist and dive, it attacks to the left and then dive bombs to the right out of site as another ridge blocks our view.  We see three horses break over the edge of the ridge and head to the south, the chopper lunges like a combat aircraft and attempts to cut them off, they are having none of it.  Lost, the inexperienced pilot turns off to the north and repeatedly dives at the remaining unseen horses.  Moment’s later three lathered horses appear in the mean holding pen as we cannot see the approach to ugly trap or even the trap itself.  One tries to climb the fencing, they all scream.

The horses are met with plastic bags tied to short whips and are beaten into the end of the holding cell.  An open slat trailer is backed up to the pen.  The screaming horses are smacked in the face until they are caught in a small area only a few feet wide behind the trailer.  Over and over again they are hit, they lurch forward and they fall and trample each other while the contractors converge on our side of the pen to obstruct our view and camera lenses.

A final, failed break for freedom ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Loud bangs and the sound of hooves on unmated slippery floors echoes across the gully and the trailer is quickly pulled away down a dusty, rough back road for 45 minutes then an hour trip down the high way at 70 mph for more cruel handling at processing an hour down the road.  The ambient temperature is 28 degress, the wind is blowing 30 miles an hour, standing still the wind chill is below zero, the horses are wet.

Meanwhile, the survivors are scattered, terrified, lost, soaked and exhausted yet still running for their lives.  Then we hear the sound of a helicopter across the valley and the destruction of yet another family begins.  The cycle of terror continues all day, and day after day after day.

The wild horses of the Antelope Complex in Nevada are no more, they are finished.

54 comments on “Obama’s BLM Wild Horse Harvesting Machine Continues at Full Throttle in Nevada

  1. Disgusting, called all reps in congress yesterday. Obama’s line impossible to get through to.
    Bless you all for your efforts.
    A book gift from a friend called Straight From the Horse’s Heart made me realize that kindred souls do indeed walk the earth. Thank you R.T. And carry on.

  2. Looks like animal abuse to me, a felony. A citizen arrest may be legal but the liability can be great. However the law provides for a law authority to make arrests such as the SPCA. Or maybe we need to form our own police authority to stop this.

      • We will stop this Because we are committed and and Believe we can… You got a crystal ball, SWH??? I don’t. Stop sniping at me and get your heart back in this and if you and the rest of us can believe we can end this I am sure we will!! You want to throw a wrench in the works by acting like we are failing??? Is that a defeatist attitude?? Please do not aim it at me! We are not failing. I know we we have been making progress. Why don’t you see that??? mar

      • By a SHOW OF “THE FORCE OF THE HORSE” in Phoenix, Arizona on March 10-11!!! Candlelight vigils in front of TV stations on Thursday, a show of The Force of The Horse on Friday at the place the BLM is holding their meeting for “comments” – RT can be the voice inside, the goal is to have the others that are driving or flying in outside with decorated trailers, posters, hand outs, and telling people what their tax dollars are going for! I’m so touched and amazed by the people who have said to me, “I can’t really afford this … BUT I WILL BE THERE!” Me, too!! Even if you can’t make it there in person, hold this rally in your thoughts and prayers and we’ll know you are with us! Blessed Be!

        “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.” Margaret Mead

  3. What is wrong with these people? They don’t think this is cruelty to animals.Well it is. This has to be stopped!!!!!!!!!!!
    These horses are meant to be free. It’s their land. Let them be. It makes me so bad to think it’s our own Government doing this and said it’s okay. It’s not okay.
    BLM would you please crawl back under the rock you all came from. Stop killing the wild horses.

  4. Coming to you live, first band of 7 just brought in. 19 degrees, little wind, full sun. The BLM is allowing the media (Terry, Laura and I) a little closer, one at a time. We sent Laura up forward.

  5. Oh, RT, my heart goes out to you, this must be so difficult to watch without blowing up at someone. Please know we are all behind you 100% and will continue to fight until the last horse is gone or we stop this madness.


    All – If you really care about saving America’s wild horses & burros, there are two things you can do right now to help them:1) Deliver lobby packets to your Senators and Congress members who are in their home state offices this week, 2/22/11-2/25/11, & meet with their staff in person. A link has been set up for you to download 14 documents that can be printed out & put into a pocket folder for your meetings/delivery. These same materials were distributed to key Congress committees in Washington DC last week by a National WH&B Advocate Team. The following message must be pounded home by constituents: Defund the Roundups & Removals of America’s Wild Horses & Burros through the Appropriations Process for FY11 & FY12. The lobby packet substantiates this request. Go to http://tinyurl.com/4evvefn for the packet documents.Congress members will only take action on behalf of America’s WH&B if they hear from large numbers of their constituents. If petitions can be signed by registered voters with their printed names, addresses & signatures supporting this effort and delivered with the packets, all the better. Just show the roundup video (link at the bottom of Document 1) to get supporters to sign on to the cause.Follow up phone calls, emails & faxes with the same message need to be made after this week to your reps who will be back in DC through 3/18/11. Enlist other supporters in your state to do the same.2) Please attend the National WH&B Advisory Board Meeting to be held in Phoenix, AZ, on Thursday & Friday, 3/10/11-3/11/11, and join in the large demonstration and rally that is being planned during this event on Friday 3/11/11 from 12pm until 4pm. All national WH&B advocacy organizations are standing together in a call for Action for all who care about animal rights to be at this demonstration. The time is now if you have ever wanted to make a difference for America’s wild horses and burros. Please come and support this effort and please rally your friends to do the same. Demand that the unnecessary and cruel roundups, removals & warehousing of America’s herds & the waste of taxpayer dollars be stopped now!

  7. 09:15 horse tried to jump panels, was hung up for some time. Wranglers roped neck and dragged him into pen. Release him with the rope with others. Moments later five more run into pen with massive fight ensuing…all horses have now been removed from pen in slat trailers. Cameras are fully engaged.

  8. Dive bombing horses? Is this pilot for real? Has anyone met him and can tell us if he really is okay in the head?

    Bute laden minds–its time to re-investigate yourselves and get your faces out of your rear ends. Unfreaking believable.


    Please keep FAXING. Clog the fax machines at the local and DC offices of your Representatives. This program needs a serious investigation. BLM personnel have the responsibility to manage these animals in a humane fashion. Fracturing family bands and running pregnant mares in wind gusts over 33 mph that were so frigid spectators (including BLM) had to repeatedly return to vehicles. An abundance of heavily pregnant mares is a listed reason to halt a roundup.

    The contractor continues to run horses into a trap with a 90 degree panel angle creating a safety hazard that can and has created fatal consequence… BLM has been told and it has not been addressed.

  10. I enlarged your photo of the horse that escaped the chopper, at least for now, and he is so similar to my own horse in color, powerful conformation, right on to the blaze on his face, that this just rips my heart out with empathy for him, his band and all the others that are being so cruelly treated. Standing alone on that wind swept ridge, screaming in anger and frustration against the flying beast chasing his family, trying with all his heart and strength to get them to run back to him was just as effective in gaining their freedom as our attempts to get the ears of the BLM or our representatives who could stop all this has been. Nothing has changed and the unspeakable, unforgivable, destruction continues unabated. Thank all of you for all your efforts and deep concerns.
    May the Great Spirit bless your intentions to engage in “sane dialog” regarding this BLM/contractor insanity in Phoenix.

  11. We are calling Congress….to fire the BLM and return our wild horses/burros right now, to their rightful place, freedom.

    Blessings in strength and protection round you, Laura and all here fighting to bring in freedom for our wild horses/burros

  12. The sad part is I am sure most of these horses will get pneumonia or some form of respiratory issue due to being ran at such temperatures. I don’t understand how BLM can get away with making these horses sick.

    I have called my reps/senators/congressmen asked for more then just halting the round ups, I have asked for Ken Salazar to be resigned. I doubt I will be contacted back by any of my reps, I just hope this makes politicians realize we as American Citizens care about how our tax money is spent and we care about our icons.

    I also have started to be criticized by other americans. I have been told that the photos and videos taken by equine orgs are edited to look like abuse happens. I am unsure if anyone else is being harassed about this, but I have been.

    I just want to thank R.T and all of the people video taping and taking photos of these horses, with out you all these actions would continue unnoticed and probably would be worse. I hope you all can stay warm and keep up the good fight!

    • My husband is on another forum has to do with tractors and someone their brought up OT horse slaughter, and these country bumkins thought it was a good idea to bring it back to the US, because people could not take care of their horses in this economy. I wrote and explained to them that here in the west our rescues will help people and that other horses will be delt with HUMANLY. And if they wanted to know the truth about horse slaughter they should go to- straight from the horses heart- where they could get some good information. and alot of people hear in colorado are moving to small acreages as a friend of mine did, her neighbor has horses (older fellow) and I asked him about horse slaughter-these are my words because I can’t use his-when he needs to get rid of a horse he can call the vet and have the horse put down and hauled away cost $450.00 or call this guy in town he will come and get them for free. I can say it only got worse from there we both left unhappy. Most people I know, have no idea this is even going on as I didn’t several months ago. But I travel with only like minded people, have no use for the other half. Like I tell my self I travel my own path and even that can change from day to day, and never let what other people think change that, because deap down you will know whats right.

  13. Wild equine GENOCIDE…nothing more, nothing less!

    Mr. Obama…that hopey, changey thing you preached was nothing more than ANOTHER in a series of campaigner LIES!!!!!! Take your pregmatic approach and stick it where the sun don’t shine….ever!

    It is going to look great on you resume that you and your administration wiped out the American Wild Equine.

    • Apologiz for the spelling…when you insult someone you should also spell correctly.

      Should have read “pragmatic” and “your resume”.

      Thank God for the witnesses.

  14. Three more were just added tO the trailer where they hid the horse that was hung up. We do not know his condition as he, along with others have been locked in that trailer for over an hour. The trailer has left wit approx. 12 horses.

  15. I called and left a message for Bruce. His VM says he is out of the office, but I bet thats because he is onsite at the gather for the week? In any event I left a longish message, indicating that the American Public is watching and is very concerned about the abuse of these horses, highlighting the pregnant mares and also the hot and lathered horses being run too far and then slammed into trailers soaking wet. I doubt he will call back.
    But please everyone leave a message anyway. If he finds 100 messages saying the same thing it might give him pause.

    The WH&B specialist has the ability to call this roundup based on number of heavily pregnant mares. Bruce Thompson, 775-753-0286 is the person who can stop this roundup immediately, he has the authority as well as his job to assure the safety of these federally protected wild horses. The buck stops at Bruce Thompson’s feet on this one. (Dean Bolstad’s number is 775-861-6611)

    • From Maureen at GRH:

      The WH&B specialist has the ability to call this roundup based on number of heavily pregnant mares. Bruce Thompson, 775-753-0286 is the person who can stop this roundup immediately, he has the authority as well as his job to assure the safety of these federally protected wild horses. The buck stops at Bruce Thompson’s feet on this one. (Dean Bolstad’s number is 775-861-6611)

      Bruce is not answering and you can leave a message to stop the roundup because of the pregnant mares. Tell him to call you back anyway! mar

  16. The trap at this location is coming down but before doing so the just HAD to try for a family of three and botched it. Now a lone stallion screams on the range for his lost mare and baby.

  17. Your description of the wranglers beating the horses in the face with plastics bags absolutely boils my blood. This is one of the main reasons these horses have such problems in adoption. They are so head shy. It took almost 90 days of training before the first trainer could get my mustang mare to accept a halter and free lunge. If you can’t control the head, you can’t control the horse. Man oh man. They put problems into horses who would not have them otherwise. In the meantime, she willingly stood under a shade tree while I grromed her without being tied—but the sight of a rope. One she began to heal nutritionally, she wanted none of it.

    If horses had to be culled, why not bait trap them, and gently acclimate them to human beings. These wranglers are terrifying these horses, so it takes months, if not years to undo the damage. God help the poor horses who never find a human with the patience and the resources to give them a second chance.

      • My girl is a long way from halter training and may never be. She is so paranoid of humans. I can’t blame her. She came from Owyhee hma, the roundup that got no observation, even though the Federal Judge ordered it! See the video of Laura, Elyse and Deniz, trying to do observation, blocked by physical presence of BLM and local sheriff. What the hell did they need to hide?

        My girl, she is going to live out her life in a beautiful sanctuary in Northern California on 5 thousand acres…. for her, peace again at last. I am so happy for her.

    • I don’t know why they don’t do more passive trapping – I have never seen a good excuse not to, except that it is too much WORK for BLM staff. They might actually have to learn something about the species they are charged with protecting.

      The thing is, there would be universities and advocacy groups that would be EXTREMELY happy to help with passive trap activities if the BLM would just allow it.


      • They hear this from us all the time.. we are capable of creating programs to help and it would enhance the experience and the understanding of what wild horses are about. BLM is a machine and they have no interest in partnering even when they are saying it
        and Abbey just said it again! but then on the other hand you have these violent clashes with the contractors on the horses… Partnering?? It is only a word Abbey mouths. mar

  18. Just called Bruce, left VM. I forward all of this to Abbey, with messages re: my outrage as a taxpayer paying for this brutality. I don’t comprehend what drives these people to destroy something so beautiful, but that they derive pleasure/gratification/adrenaline rush from the pain they are causing is undeniable. The trap is not set-up that way by mistake or inexperience. It is deliberate to cause more pain and terror for these horses.
    There are moments when I despair of this ever ending, but I remind Mr. Abbey everyday, we are NOT going away. They are bullies of the worst kind, and we must stand strong against them. These horses deserve all we can do, however insignificant we think it is.

  19. They are getting millions of dollars and they all have jobs, we have to rid of the BLM. We need to get the government OUT of manageing our lands. Where in the constitution does it say that the government has to manage our land or any of our animals. If this is how they manage the land, I would just as soon no one managed the land, leave it as GOD INTENDED IT. If they quit trying to manage every thing to death (horses, wolves, coyotes, lions) nature will take care of her own.

  20. Spoke to this man this morning:
    Elko, NV
    Wells Field Office
    Field Manager: Bryan Fuell
    (775) 753-0210

    Nice man, but has drunk a lot of BLM kool-aid. He said he’s been doing this 20 years and I said that is a big part of the problem within the BLM. Also said we are getting misinformation from blogs and asked him how would he know if I even read blogs. I expressed my dismay at horses being run (he said trotted) and then loaded immediately onto the truck without their sweat being allowed to evaporate, or their respiration and body temps to regulate, not to mention the terror. He told me that the most humane thing to do was to load them as quickly as possible and get them moving to short term holding. That this was best for them. I asked him for the study backing this up and… crickets. Also, said the pilot is a good distance away from the horses at ALL times except at the gather pen entrance, and I said photos suggest otherwise, with the pilot on top of the horses. Upshot, he thinks everything is fine, nothing will change, so said I’ll have to keep telling Congress and the President. BTW, asked him how many horses were on the HMA to begin with before the round up and he could not give me a definitive answer. He just said there are a lot of horses out there. How’s that for science? And they are afraid of the internet and blogs. So keep spreading the word. Please post images on your Congresspeople’s Facebook pages if you can.


    The WH&B specialist has the ability to call this roundup based on number of heavily pregnant mares. Bruce Thompson, 775-753-0286 is the person who can stop this roundup immediately, he has the authority as well as his job to assure the safety of these federally protected wild horses. The buck stops at Bruce Thompson’s feet on this one. (Dean Bolstad’s number is 775-861-6611)

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