$10 Million in Grants being Awarded by the BLM to Study Sterilization of Wild Horses



by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

When I was at the August Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting in Riverton, Wyoming, I listened to the BLM present its plan for awarding ten million dollars in grants to study sterilization of wild horses.  They plan to announce in January which proposals will be accepted, and award 1 million dollars to each proposal. The Advisory Board Members and BLM staff lamented that birth control doesn’t work so they need to keep studying – while also laughing about “well, we KNOW sterilization works!”

This is actually completely untrue, about birth control not working.  There have been 30 years of studies proving that Native PZP, the one year drug used on mares does in fact work.  Currently, Native PZP is being used very effectively to control populations of horses in the Pryor Mountains of Montana and in the McCullough Peaks Herd.  The goal for the local BLM office and the groups working with them in both these areas is no more roundups.  Manage the wild horses on the range where they belong.  Do not add to the ridiculous number of 50,000+ wild horses in holding facilities and feed lots, but control the numbers in a way that will sustain numbers needed for maintaining genetic viability, be reversible, and is humane.  It is also important not to use PZP on small herds that are way below the numbers necessary for maintaining genetic viability, like herds that have an AML of 40, 50 or 60 horses.

There is a terrific video by Dr. Alan Rutberg, PhD of Tufts University at the 2014 American Equine Summit in his aptly named talk called “Embracing Failure: Why the BLM will not use Fertility Control” http://www.equineadvocates.org/video.php?recordID=45

The bottom line is that it is hard.  BLM does not want to use birth control because it takes time, money and resources.  They would far rather pursue a permanent solution, sterilization, even if it is dangerous and cruel.

The studies that are being considered include gelding, chemical sterilization, chemical vasectomies, and spaying of mares.  These inhumane, dangerous procedures would be done in the field.

All of these studies on the sterilization of stallions make no sense – unless you sterilize ALL the stallions in the herd, you are not doing an effective job at controlling the population because 1 stallion can breed and impregnate many mares.  Instead, using birth control on the mares is what needs to be done.

Consider the Sand Wash Basin Herd in Colorado.  Wendy Reynolds, the Field Manager of the Little Snake Field Office in Colorado has applied for a study of chemical vasectomies of stallions:


This is despite the fact that currently the BLM is currently using PZP-22 on the wild horses of Sand Wash Basin.

This ten million dollars should be spent in funding birth control programs using Native PZP on the range, studies of wild horses on the range, and range improvements.

If the BLM begins sterilizing horses on the range, this will be the beginning of their final solution for our wild horses – a solution that will bring about the zeroing out of our wild herds.

Related articles:



Wild Horses – Photographing the Wyoming Checkerboard Horses in Canon City

SOURCE:  wildhoofbeats.com

by Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation


The beautiful boys 1-4 years old in pen 3 were curious about us

As many of you know, it was quite a process obtaining permission to photograph the wild horses rounded up last month in Wyoming’s Checkerboard Areas who are now in Canon City Short Term Holding at the prison facility.  However, on Monday, no one could have been more helpful and accommodating than Fran Ackley and Brian Hardin, who spent 4 1/2 hours with us, taking us to every pen, and making sure we could get good angles, tag numbers, and good views of the horses.  They want these horses to go to good homes.


Fran Ackley was an excellent guide

I did my best to photograph as many horses as possible and have their tag numbers visible for people interested in adopting them.  I did not photograph every horse – some were behind other horses, and the sheer number was overwhelming.

You are welcome to download and use the photos for identification purposes and to send to Lona Kossnar, but please respect my copyright and do not use them for anything else without my permission.  You are also welcomed and encouraged to share these with anyone who is interested in adopting a horse or horses.


Beautiful young mares 1-4 years old in pen 21


I have broken the photos down into age groups.

First are the foals and weanlings in this link:


Images 1-5 in pen 13A, images 6-57 are in the two adjoining weanling pens, 36C and 36D, images 146-149 are in pen 23.

Then the young mares, ages 1-4 in this link:


Images 59-93 are in pen 21, images 94-100 are in pen “No Man’s Land”, images 101-125 are in pen 22 and images 126-145 are in pen 25.

Then the young stallions, (soon to be gelded) ages 1-4 in this link:


Images 150-155 are in pen 8B, images 156-225 are in pens 3 and F, images 226-246 are in pen G.

The older mares, ages 5 and up are here:


Images 339-387 are in pen 26, images 388-441 are in pen 18. You may notice hip brands on some of these mares – this is because they were treated with birth control, PZP either in December of 2013 and/or October of 2010.

The older stallions, 5 and up:


Images 247-313 and 327-338 are in pens 19b and 19C, images 314-327 are in pen 9.

14CarolWalkerCanonCity-332                14CarolWalkerCanonCity-432

2 of the older stallions                                                      Older mares


Two stunning weanlings, a dun 9135 and a grulla 9133 in pen 36C


You can use the neck tag numbers on the horses for identification purposes.

Some notes about the horses – the 9000 numbers are from Great Divide Basin, the 7000 numbers are from Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town.  They do not list any horses as being from Adobe Town, but there are Adobe Town horses mixed in with the Salt Wells Creek horses.

These are NOT all the horses brought in during the Checkerboard Roundup.  The other 600+ are at Rock Springs Corrals.  They are not ready for adoption there yet.  There are also about 100 weanlings and yearlings and two year olds from Salt Wells Creek that went to Axtell, Utah’s wild burro facility.


There are no burros in Wyoming, Marjorie, but there are burros at Canon City! Ginger makes a few friends.

Several of us have photos posted of these horses out there, so there is no guarantee that a horse pictured will still be available.  I am not in charge of adoption, I am only the photographer.

The next adoption day event is November 21st (but you can call to adopt at anytime with an approved adoption application). Information about the event, how to find out more about individual horses or to download adoption forms can be found at these links:



Through the Canon City BLM office, the first 150 miles of shipping is FREE!  There are group shipping options as well for folks that are interested in the horses, but live a distance away.  Please contact the BLM office directly for specifics.

Lona Kossnar at (719) 269-8539, or email her at lkossnar@blm.gov

Please be kind to and patient with Lona – she will have LOTS of folks contacting her and I know she will do her very best to help all of you!

Pam Nickoles was also there photographing and you can view her images here:

(http://www.nickolesphotography.com/f106188461) entitled “Canon City BLM Checkerboard Horses”

And Amanda Wilder, who has images on her Facebook page with each horse identified by tag number:



The weather changed just as we were leaving – we had good timing!


NV Wild Horse Rescued from Sticky Situation

Source: Reno’s News 4

SPARKS, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — One wild horse found herself in a sticky – and smelly – situation on Tuesday.

According to Lyon County officials, wild horse advocates and the Lyon County Technical Large Animal Response Team responded Tuesday afternoon to a Virginia Range wild mare that found her way into the Truckee Meadows Waste Water Treatment Plant on Cleanwater Drive in Sparks.

The mare was found by facility personnel stranded in a waste water settling pond, which contains waste solids. She was apparently in the water for about four hours.

Two of the volunteers trained in both HazMat and large animal rescue were ready to don HazMat suits and go in the gooey material to secure the animal for extrication, when she gave a mighty try and managed to get her front hooves on solid ground. The volunteers were relieved to see the mare pull herself onto solid ground and avoided taking a murky swim.

The volunteers built a decontamination corral and gave the smelly horse a thorough decontamination wash down under the supervision of a facility manger before she was let loose to rejoin her companions.

Ironically, the horse entered the facility during a project in which the fencing was being upgraded to prevent such things as curious horses.

Shannon Windle of Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., Nov 12)



WEDNESDAY, Nov. 12, 2014

6:30 pm PST … 7:30 pm MST … 8:30 pm CST … 9:30 pm EST

Listen Live Here!

Call in # 917-388-4520

This will be a 1 hour show. Please call in with questions any time during the show.

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime.


Our guest tonight is Shannon Windle, President of the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund in Reno, Nevada.


Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund is an all-volunteer registered 501( c )3 non-profit organization to protect and preserve the Wild Horses that settle in the foothills surrounding Hidden Valley during the winter months.  For over 20 years, volunteers have monitored herd health, grazing availability, provided attention to sick and injured horses and foals, aided in state run adoption processes, and installed and mended fencing and cattle guards.  Other volunteers are involved in ensuring federal and state departments are working within the statutes that provide protection and care for the Wild Horses.

This group is currently trying to find adopters for Virginia Range Horses before the horses are sent to auction, where they could potentially be purchased by “kill buyers” and sent to slaughter.  Please visit the adoption link for Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund: www.wildhorseadoption.org

This radio show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, Vice-President & Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Continue reading

Wild Horses & Burros: A Lesson in Equine Perfection

Article by Pete Ramey ~ Forward by R.T. Fitch

“‘Feel Good Sunday’ brings us to a link that was submitted by our dear friend and contributor, Grandma Gregg.  This is an older story, 2005, but it’s message resonates in our hearts and souls perhaps even stronger today than it did when it was written in and in keeping with the ‘feel good’ of the day I will not beleaguer why that is so.  As I travel I did not have the time to make contact with Pete Ramey so as to obtain his permission to publish this story in it’s entirety so it is introduced, here, with links to his site to finish the rest of this very interesting tale.  But when it all comes down to it we are kindred spirits as like Pete, I share the emotion and enlightenment that is captured in the highlighted sentence below.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.

“…after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse”

Pete and Ivy Ramey

After all these years, my family and I made our first trip to see the wild horses of the western United States. My work has been dramatically influenced and inspired by the study of these horses and their hooves. The reason I waited so long to go there and see for myself, was I thought that by studying the works of others I had picked up most of the information I needed.

I was first, and most influenced by the work of Jaime Jackson. He paved the way for an overwhelming number of us to learn how to forge healthy bare hooves and dramatically improve the health and performance of domestic horses. With this came the ability to unlock the mysteries of founder, navicular syndrome, white line disease, and hoof wall cracks. I later studied the wild horse research of Gene Ovnicek and Dr. Robert Bowker. I picked up more information from their work, and valuable confirmation of what I had already learned from Jaime.

So, I walked into wild horse country thinking that I was on a tourist trip; confirming what I already knew. I could not have been more blind. I could not have been more wrong. They were much, much more than I had ever imagined. What I write here, will probably sound very similar to what my predecessors have written. I don’t know if anyone’s words can get the point across to the world, but I have to try. I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away. I have worked on thousands of horses, all over the world. I spent six years of my life in the saddle from daylight till dark. I’ve had the privilege of working on some of the finest horses, for the finest horsemen in the world. Understand that after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse. I literally had no idea of their potential…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety

The BLM’s Whitewash of the Reveille Roundup

by Debbie Coffey    Copyright 2014      All Rights Reserved.

The BLM’s Tonopah Field Office in Nevada claimed there were 168 wild horses, and there was a “need” to do a roundup (and waste taxpayer dollars) since there were 30 wild horses over the Appropriate Management Level (AML).  But lets look closely at this slight of hand.

The BLM rounded up 120 wild horses, gave PZP fertility control to 50, which they were to return, but by removing 70, left only 98 wild horses on the Reveille HMA, making it a non viable herd.  (And, they gave PZP to 50 out of that 98!)

Now, lets look at the numbers of LIVESTOCK on the Reveille HMA:

(These livestock numbers are from the BLM's Rangeland Administration System)

(These livestock numbers are from the BLM’s Rangeland Administration System)

Click on image for enhanced view

The 105,474 acre Reveille HMA is WITHIN the Reveille GRAZING allotment, which is 650,250 acres.  There is only one permittee, and it is half owned by FALLINI and half owned by the H. FALLINI LIVING TRUST.  You can read an article about them HERE.
The BLM allows this grazing allotment to graze 2,440 cattle for 6 months out of the year (compared to 98 wild horses now) but was fretting about 30 wild horses over the AML?

Horses that graze on the Reveille Herd Management (HMA) area were some of “Wild Horse Annie’s” favorites, according to the BLM’s announcement of their scheduled roundup which started on Nov. 3.  The historical significance of this herd did not stop the BLM from rounding them up.

So when you now read about the adoptions or get sidetracked about the handling of the horses during the roundup, don’t forget the big picture of what really happened here.

Don’t forget that the BLM is reducing yet another wild horse herd population to a level that is no longer genetically viable.  Currently 70% of the wild horse herds in the United States are being “managed” by the BLM at a level below levels required  (150-200 reproducing wild horses) to maintain the genetic viability of the herd.

Don’t forget that the BLM is managing the wild horses and burros to extinction.

Don’t forget the BLM is doing little to reduce or suspend livestock grazing on public lands.

The BLM is duping the public and then trying to whitewash it with PR.


Ginger Kathrens on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., Nov. 5th)



WEDNESDAY, Nov. 5, 2014

6:00 pm PST … 7:00 pm MST … 8:00 pm CST … 9:00 pm EST

Listen Live (Here!)

Call in # 917-388-4520

This is a 2 hour show. Please call in with questions during the 2nd hour of the show.

The shows will be archived, so you can listen anytime.


Our guest is GINGER KATHRENS, the Founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation, who has been described as “the Jane Goodall of wild horses.”  Ginger will discuss saving all the Mustangs and wild burros in the West, and give us an update on Cloud and his family.

Ginger Kathrens is an Emmy Award-winning producer, cinematographer, writer and editor as well as an award-winning author.  Her documentary film-making trips have taken her to Africa, Asia, Europe, Central and South America and all over the U.S.


 Kathrens filmed and produced the acclaimed Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies and Cloud’s Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns for WNET’s Nature series on PBS, and Cloud: Challenge of The Stallions.  Five years in the making, it is Kathrens’ next chapter in the life of the charismatic wild stallion she has documented since his birth in May of 1995.  Her documentation of Cloud represents the only continuing chronicle of a wild animal from birth in our hemisphere.

Kathrens was the co-producer and cinematographer of the two-hour Discovery Channel special, Spirits of the Rainforest, which won two Emmy Awards including one for Best Documentary.  Additional projects for Discovery included The Ultimate Guide: Horses and The Ultimate Guide: Dogs.  Kathrens also wrote, edited, and produced over two dozen segments of the Wild America series for PBS, and has filmed for National Geographic, Animal Planet and the BBC.

This radio show is hosted by Debbie Coffey, Vice-President & Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

Co-hosting this week will be R.T. Fitch, President and Co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

Continue reading