Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, with an update on the Wyoming wild horse checkerboard court case and the captive wild horses, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 3/4/15)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , March 4, 2015

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

Listen Live (Here)!

This is a 1 hour show.  Call in with questions during the 2nd half hour.  

Call in # (917) 388-4520

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Our guest is Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and a plaintiff on the recent lawsuit attempting to stop the BLM from removing over 800 wild horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, and Great Divide Basin in Wyoming.  Carol was an observer at the roundups, and will give you an update on the court case, and on the wild horses that are now in captivity. Carol’s website is http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/ and you can see her photography of wild horses at http://www.livingimagescjw.com/

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Tonight’s radio show will be co-hosted by R.T. & Terry Fitch, Founders (and Pres. & Treasurer) and Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation Continue reading

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet

Submitted by Grandma Gregg ~ words by Edward Abbey

“‘Feel Good Sunday’ and it is time for us to ‘feel good’ about ourselves and what we do; so Grandma Gregg’s submittable for today strikes home in more ways than one.  Take a deep breath, please, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.” ~ R.T.


A recently traumatized wild horse reaching out to R.T. Fitch at BLM's Palomino Valley holding facility ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A recently traumatized wild horse reaching out to R.T. Fitch at BLM’s Palomino Valley holding facility ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Devoted though we must be to the conservation cause, I do not believe that any of us should give it all of our time or effort or heart. Give what you can, but do not burn yourselves out — or break your hearts. Let us save at least half of our lives for the enjoyment of this wonderful world which still exists. Leave your dens, abandon your cars and walk out into the great mountains, the deserts, the forests, the seashores. Those treasures still belong to all of us. Enjoy them to the full, stretch your legs, expand your lungs, enliven your hearts — and we will outlive the greedy swine who want to destroy it all in the name of what they call GROWTH.

God bless America — let’s save some of it.

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet!” 

― Edward Abbey

Wild Burros on Brink of Extinction in America! Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (1/7/15)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_Logo

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen Live Here!

Call in # 917-388-4520

We have a new 1 hour format.  Please call in after the first half hour with questions.

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

_____________________________________________

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Tonight’s guest is Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Marjorie is also the Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (home of TMR Rescue) and founder of Wild Burro Protection League.

America’s wild burros are running out of time.  Their numbers are so few that they are dangerously close to extinction, but the Bureau of Land Management continues to remove them from public lands.

Tonight’s radio show will be co-hosted by R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and Terry Fitch, Treasurer of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and award winning photographer.

Horseback May Issue

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2014 SFTHH in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 660,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 28 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Yuletide Moment of Introspection

A Christmas reflection by R.T. Fitch ~ pres/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

It just doesn’t get any better than this!

Pele, Bart and Harley ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Pele, Bart and Harley ~ photo by Terry Fitch

It is a special Christmas for me this year, simply put; I am home.  Due to my rotational, international schedule my paying job finds me on the other side of the world every other holiday season and this year the calendar rolled the dice in my favor so I find myself home at “Laughing Horse Ranch”.

But with the familiarity of home comes a rush of holiday memories that can be both good and some of them bad; not that Christmas causes the passing of loved ones or other tragedies but the holiday acts as a bookmark in time that leaves tags of emotions in one’s heart to remember at a later date.  When my head fills with these thoughts it’s always good to walk among the horses, listen to their breathing, their chewing and inhale the sweet smell of their essence, I did just that last night, during their Christmas eve feeding.

While in their stalls for supper I went to each one and stroked them, barehanded, so that they could feel the warmth from my heart and as I petted their special coats I attempted to shut down my mind, turn off the chaos and listen to the sounds that have taught me so much in the past.  I deliberately imploded and was not disappointed.

It occurred to me that I had so very much to be thankful for and that I am rich in so very many ways.  In the buzz of the modern world it is easy for the basic lessons of life to be clouded over, covered up and ignored as we scurry about, day to day, in an effort to get done what we think we are supposed to get done.  The horses cut through the nonsense pretty quickly and with great precision.

I realized that regardless of my age I possess great health and agility.  I take no medication, liquids excluded, and have never been healthier, walked further and lifted more than I can right now.  The receding hairline aside, I am thankful for this singular and bountiful blessing.

We are blessed with work, a job, a living that provides for my marriage partner of almost 20 years and for the critters.  No one goes hungry nor does anyone want for what is needed and/or required.  For that we are all thankful.

But as I went from stall to stall I became aware of the warmth that comes from being surrounded by good and loving friends of which I am lucky enough to have several, not many, but enough to make my spirit rise and it is not just on the personal level but on the level of equine advocacy that speaks to my soul so strongly.

The individual members of our Board of Directors at Wild Horse Freedom Federation are some of the most professional and sincere people I have ever worked with; Terry, Debbie, Dawn, Carol and Marjorie.  Also included would be our extended advocate family which includes, but is not limited to, Vicki, John, Simone, Ginger, Paula, Ann, Linda, Jerry, Daryl, Julie, Kathy, Lisa, Stephanie and many, many more.  I could feel the horses almost purr as those names rushed across my mind.

As I let the boys out of their stalls and they walked down the barn’s center aisle and out into the cool Christmas eve night I felt a gentle glow in thinking that horses would soon not be crossing our state’s border to be murdered and butchered in Mexico for human dinner plates in the EU, the chapter of that book was closing.  And with that comes the knowledge and expectation that the same will happen for our Northern border and American horses will be forever free of the terror and treachery of predatory horse slaughter.

I joined the horses down in the lower pasture where they were partaking of several flakes of quality hay for dessert, it was going to be cool last night and their inner furnaces needed a little bit of fuel.

As they munched with half lidded eyes in the cool dark evening my mind swam over to contemplate the fate of their wild cousins and the thought almost pulled a dark veil over the moment but the horses prevailed, there is hope.

Those great folks that I have been working with at Wild Horse Freedom Federation have a plan and unlike me who wants to rush right into things and make them happen now, they know how to work a plan and stay the course for the proper results to be acquired.  They have a plan and they give me hope.

It is now Christmas morning and I reflect upon the thoughts I shared with my equine companions last night and can truly say that I am blessed beyond all possible expectations with the gifts of health, friendship, family and love.  The gift of good looks may come next year but I am not holding my breath as the main ingredients of life are rich and fulfilled with the horses helping and guiding our spirits to further elevate our souls in the service of speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.

A very special and blessed Christmas to each and everyone of you and to your family and friends, both two and four legged.

Keep the faith, enjoy this day and thank YOU for being here, at SFTHH; day in and day out you give all of us, collectively, hope, companionship and direction.

Have a very, very, Merry Christmas.

R.T. Fitch

An Equine Christmas Story: “We Were There”

An excerpt from R.T. Fitch’s book ~ Straight from the Horse’s Heart: A Spiritual Ride through Love, Loss and Hope

“Today is the last ‘Feel Good Sunday’ before Christmas 2014; a magical day indeed, and for me the day bears great significance as I am home and will remain here over the holidays as it has been several years since we have experienced such a luxury.  With that said, I have resumed my duties of making dinner for the boys in the barn and feel the warmth that their souls and spirits bring to our lives.  Being that I am still suffering jet lag I have not sat and contemplated their essence but still they have managed to brush a few cobwebs away from my aging brain.  And today, we share with you a story that I wrote some years ago after spending a special evening in our former barn with the same souls, with some sadly departed, that bring us joy today.  You can take this tale with a grain of salt or you may kindly grant me a little bit of literary license but none the less, our equine companions have a story to tell if only we will slow down and shut up long enough to listen.  Enjoy this day my most special and valued friends.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.


Pele, Bart and Harley ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Pele, Bart and Harley ~ photo by Terry Fitch

It was like any other evening feeding of the horses, yet it was not; or not quite, as something was different.  The air was crisp and cool as Christmas was only a week away in South Louisiana, but the feeling had little to do with temperature or barometric pressure.  There was an electric buzz in the air; the feeling of white noise just outside the audible range of the human ear.  There was something tangible and moving in the barn that night.

I did not pick up on it at first.  Terry, my wife, was off having an early Christmas with her family in Florida, which means that the barn chores and the feeding of all our four-legged children rests upon me when I return home from my office in the evening.  And, at this time of year, it is already dark.  It’s a matter of rushing home, putting the vehicle up for the night, greeting and playing with Kenny, the white German Shepherd who is so excited to see you that he bounces three feet high, dashing into the house to turn on lights, checking messages, changing clothes, feeding the cat; then back outside to dribble the bouncing dog; and into the barn to cook dinner for the equine boys.   Oops, I missed that while in the house I might fix an industrial strength Wrangler Iced Tea to take out to the barn with me, not a requirement, but a nice reward for all the running around.

I scurried into the tack room, flipped on all of the lights and turned up the radio as Christmas music was the order of the day.  As I carefully measured varied degrees of hoof supplement and rice bran with their normal pelletized feed, the thought crossed my mind that my parents, especially my mother, never had the opportunity to see our equine kids nor experience this very special side to our otherwise very busy lives.  I paused from humming along with the radio and reflected on what a tremendous loss that was.  I resumed mixing and humming with a small pang of sadness in my heart.

I went from stall to stall filling up the appropriate feed bins with the proper amount of food.  Each time I exited a stall and went back to the tack room I asked Kenny how he was doing; he sat so attentively out in the driveway.  This simply inquiry would start the bouncing, again.  I’ll never figure out how a 100 lb dog could bounce so high and he made me laugh.  I was just about finished with the mix of the last meal when the traditional and expected three measured knocks came to the back door.  Terry and I have learned to keep the back “horse” door closed until ready to let the horses in as it is such a pleasure to hear those three distinct and perfectly timed and executed knocks.

We know who it is and he does such a good job at it.  It’s Ethan.  He is the King of Knocking, the Guardian of the Food Gate, and the funniest of them all at feeding time. ,

I hollered back through the closed doors that I was hurrying and would be right with him.  With that, I dumped the last bucket of feed in Apache’s stall, walked to the back, and carefully cracked the sliding doors.  Who was standing with his head pressed to the middle of the doors, Ethan, as always.

“Are you ready?” I asked and a part of me picked up on a gentle nod and smile.

The doors were slid open, the breezy gate was swung out and, as they do every night, they came in the barn in perfect order to eat the dinner that I had labored over in preparation for them.

First came Ethan, then Harley followed by Apache and bringing up the rear is the biggest, the youngest and the most fearful, Bart.  He feels more comfortable when they are all tucked away in their stalls with their doors closed so that no one can stick their head out and attempt to bite him as he walks down the aisle.  He actually stops and looks into each one of their stalls and you can almost hear him say, “Ha, Ha, you can’t get me now”.  Hopefully, one day, he will grow up.

Immediately the barn was full of the sound of relaxed munching and filled with the sweet odor of horses and feed.  I looked back at Kenny who only bounced two feet instead of three feet off the pavement hoping that I might sit down and enjoy this moment.  I went into the tack room to pull out a chair and sit in the center aisle of the barn to commune with the horses. My Brazilian hammock, however, caught my eye.

“Ah ha” I cried and snatched up the hammock with one hand while I grabbed the “tea” in the other.  This could be good!

Two quick slips of “S” hooks into the installed tie rings on to opposing stalls and I had the hammock swinging across the center aisle in a heartbeat.  Kenny lay down, as I eased into the hammock, because he knew that this could be awhile.  I sat down with my back propped up and began to swing while singing along with the Christmas music from the radio.

It did not take long to realize that my singing was not appreciated.  Bart began to pound on the stall wall with his right front hoof and Apache quit eating to urinate, on the clean shavings in the stall, in protest of my singing.  I actually was not too offended by Bart’s signal to quit but for Apache to pee in his stall was pushing the envelope a little too far.  I felt rather hurt so I just shut up, set my drink down on the aisle floor and listened to the sounds of the horses mixed with the sound of Christmas.

The music stirred emotions from seasons long past:  seasons of happiness, hope, disappointment and most recently, pain.  But I am the Captain of my ship and I had no intention to sail into dark and murky waters this night.  I simply wanted to let go and feel the companionship of my friends around me.  That’s when I heard the buzz.

At first I thought that the radio was slipping off from its frequency but the music was still there, clearly playing.  The buzz was overriding the music; the “white noise” was multidimensional and not strictly coming from the tack room.  I did not make a serious attempt to think about it as the sounds and smells were like candy to my senses and the buzz was only the canvas that the painting of the moment was applied to.  I relaxed.

I closed my eyes and continued to rock back and forth.  There was a feeling of warmth in the barn, while all of those equine souls were inside eating and enjoying.  The buzz, on the other hand, continued to grow.  In the beginning it really was not something that I was paying much attention to but now I attempted to tune into where it was coming from and what it was.  I continued to rock.  I could still hear the horses and the music but now the buzz was growing in volume.  As I continued to mentally identify its source, it was becoming ever more evident that the sound, itself, was coming from within.  It was coming from inside of my head and not related to anything outside of myself.  I was aware that I was humming “Away in the Manger”, along with the radio but it was becoming evident that the white noise was music also.  In that music there were whispers, words, phrases and thoughts being conveyed.  Without knowing it I gave in to the music from within and opened up to the whispers and words.  There were many voices with varied depths and pitches although different they all blended together in song and, it was soul stirring.  I listened and listened and listened until I finally made out the words that were being sung to me.  It came as abruptly and as clearly to me as if a sonic boom had just resonated throughout the barn.  In thousands of voices, from deep within my soul, the words being sung in perfect harmony were “We were there!”

I stopped rocking and the singing stopped; there was total silence.  My eyes popped open and I was looking straight up.  Once they focused I could see two small sparrows in the barn’s rafters looking straight down at me.  They were looking directly at me with calm assuredness.  The radio was silent, only my breathing could be heard.  I sat up and looked at the stalls; all of the horses were looking directly at me, calmly, with their heads bowed.  I then gazed out across the moonlit pasture and could see the little donkey and her herd of cows staring directly into the lighted barn.  Not one of them was moving.  I quickly swung around and looked out the other door for Kenny; he was laying calmly with his head between his paws and his big brown eyes starring right at me.

I went to stand and in the silence the words came again, “We were there!”  I froze.

“We were there that night”, the collective voices continued.

“Wait, what, who?” I started to ask.

“Just listen and absorb.  Do not ask, we will tell.” the voice said.  “We were there in the stable, that night.  All of us in one shape or form.  We were there long before human shepherds and nobles came to see.  We were there to see him take his first breath.  We were there.”

“It is important, at this time, for you to know that we were the selected witnesses, the guardians and the companions of the Son of the Light.  You need to understand that we are closer to the source of goodness and purity than all mankind.  You need to know that your fight for our lives is a just and noble one.  All of you humans who guard and protect us walk in a very special light.  You have now been there too; now you know and now you must continue the fight”, the voice ended.

“Wait!  What do you mean I was there too?” I called.  I stood up and turned around because I did not know who I was talking to.  I looked at the horses, the dog, the birds, the donkey, and the cattle.  ”What do you mean?”

Reality had yet to come to me as I stared into the horses’ eyes.

Again, the voice returned, “You were there, too.  When you opened your eyes, just a few moments ago, what did you see first?” it asked.

I stammered for a second and came up with, “The birds; the birds in the barn’s rafters.”

The voice asked, “What did you see next?”

“Well, I saw the horses looking at me from their stalls, the donkey, the cows and Kenny the bouncing dog, all looking at me.”

“Yes”, the voice said, “And what were the first impressions in the life of the Gifted One when he first opened up his eyes in that stable long, long, long ago”?

“I would imagine that when he first opened his eyes, lying in a manager, he saw the rafters in the barn ceiling with the birds looking down…” I stopped talking so quickly that I almost bit my tongue.  There was a warm sensation washing over me and it was more than just the tie-in and realization of what had just occurred.

I could not speak and was about to sit back down when the voice added;

“Yes, you see now.  You have been there too.  We all have been there yet, few humans can remember.  This is our gift to you.  Carry the light and chase the darkness; we love all of you for what you do.”

Hearing those words, there was something else, I could not then nor can I now describe it.  Perhaps a sigh, perhaps it was a catch as if emotion had welled up but there was something there, not spoken, that touched me more than the words.

In a dreamlike state of numbness I began the process of releasing the horses from their stalls to their pasture; this is done in the exact reverse of the entry process.  I moved like a robot as the power of the words and the moment were still within me.  I opened up Ethan’s stall and he walked out and stood in the middle of the back door as he often does.

Harley was next.  I stood at his stall door and allowed my hand to move down his furry side as he calmly walked by me and out past Ethan.

Apache usually flattens his ears when he sees Ethan in the doorway and chases him out; but not tonight.  When I opened up his stall he calmly walked past us both without any notice.

Finally, Bart was freed to return to the beloved round bale and as he exited I asked him to stop and I gave him a hug.  He gently kissed my bald spot and headed out past Ethan.

I then turned my attention to Ethan; I stood next to him in the doorway and gazed out upon what he was viewing.  The donkey and cows had gone back to grazing in the moonlight and the neighbor’s horses were tucked away in their barn with their heads hanging out.  Our three were all drinking from the trough, together, and the sky was fantastic with the moon and stars.  It was picture postcard perfect.

As he stood next to me I put my hand on Ethan’s withers.  He turned to me and put his left nostril right against my heart which placed his left eye at the same level with mine.  I said, “Merry Christmas, my friend.”  He blinked, turned and then stepped out into the night.  As I watched that big Appaloosa butt dwindle from the light of the barn he stopped and turned.  Regardless of what anyone says, he had the biggest smile on his face that any horse could have.

I lowered my head, pulled my glasses off to wipe the tears off the lenses, closed the back door, walked past the still full glass of tea sitting on the floor under the hammock, turned off the lights, walked out of the barn and stood over Kenny who had still not budged.

“Want to go inside, boy?”, I asked.

He bounced five feet high this time and we happily dribbled each other up the driveway to the house like we were two ten year old kids headed for a game of basketball.

The moon cast shadows of us dancing on our way as the horses continued to hum in the pasture,

“We were there”.

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

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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.

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 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.

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Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s Debbie Coffey and R.T. Fitch on Wild Horse & Burro Radio, TONIGHT

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17th, 2014

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen Live (Here!)

Call in # 917-388-4520

This will be a short 1 hour show, you can call in with questions towards the end of the programming.

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

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photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Join us Wednesday evening for an update on our wild horses and burro’s.  Presented as an educational outreach by Wild Horse Freedom Federation.
Our guests tonight will be Wild Horse Freedom Federation Board members RT Fitch (Pres.), Carol Walker (Dir. Of Field Documentation) and Marjorie Farabee (Dir. Of Wild Burro Affairs) talking about the BLM roundups of wild horses in Wyoming, the endangered donkeys in Bonaire and the International Equine Conference.

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


To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585

LISTEN TO ARCHIVED RADIO SHOWS:

11/6/13 – John Holland, President of Equine Welfare Alliance discussing the latest in horse slaughter issues. Click HERE.

11/13/13 – Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (home of TMR Rescue) and founder of Wild Burro Protection League and Carl Mrozak, videographer (Eagle Eye Media). Click HERE.

11/20/13 – Simone Netherlands, founder of respect 4 horses, director & producer of the documentary “America’s Wild Horses.” Click HERE.

11/27/13 – R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation, talk about the Salt Wells & Adobe Town roundups. Click HERE.

12/4/13 – Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist, on Board of the Cloud Foundation, author of “The Wild Horse Conspiracy” (http://thewildhorseconspiracy.org/) and Robert Bauer, Wildlife Biologist, debunk the BLM’s “junk” science about wild horses and burros. Click HERE.

12/11/13 – Ginger Kathrens, the Founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. Click HERE.

1/15/14 – Victoria McCullough, equestrian and CEO of Chesapeake Petroleum and John Holland, President of Equine Welfare Alliance, on stopping horse slaughter from being reinstated in the U.S. Click HERE.

1/29/14 – R.T. Fitch, John Holland and many others honor the life of wild horse advocate Garnet Pasquale, who dedicated her life to save the wild horses & burros, especially near her home in Nevada, with the Spring Mountain Alliance. Garnet’s dear friend, wild horse advocate and wildlife photographer Arlene Gawne, talks about Garnet, wild horses and the Spring Mountain Alliance. Click HERE.

2/5 – Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation and filmmaker James Kleinart (theamericanwildhorse.com). Click HERE.

2/26/14 – Barbara Clark, founder of Dreamcatcher Wild Horse & Burro Sanctuary in northern California talks about the sanctuary and natural behavior of wild horses and burros. Click HERE.

4/1/14 – Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on endangered (thought to be extinct) Bonaire (Dutch Antilles) donkeys. Carl Mrozak, videographer (Eagle Eye Media), and advocates Rona Aguilar, and her father, Al Catalfumo. Click HERE.

4/11/14 – Ginger Kathrens, the Founder and Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. Click HERE.

5/28/14 – R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, along with Ginger Kathrens, on his trip to the Pryors with Ginger to find Cloud. Click HERE.

7/15/14 – Karen Sussman, President of International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB), in South Dakota. Click HERE.

7/23/14 – Carol Walker, Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on the dire situation for wild horses in Wyoming. Click HERE.

7/30/14 – Milanne Rehor (Arkwild, Inc.) trying save the last Abaco Spanish Colonial wild mare (named “Nunki”) and her offspring in the Bahamas. Click HERE.

8/6/14 – Palomino Armstrong, founder of CHILLY PEPPER – MIRACLE MUSTANG, that specializes in caring for CRITICALLY ILL, NEO-NATAL, SICK AND/OR INJURED FOALS.  Listen HERE.

8/13/14 – Susan Wagner, President and co-founder of Equine Advocates, on investigations and the miserable lives of PMU mares (continually impregnated and turned into 4-legged drug machines to produce Premarin, PremPro and Premphase).  Click HERE.

8/20/14 – Vicki Tobin, Vice President of Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) and Daryl Smoliak, Board member of EWA.  Click HERE.

8/27/14 – Karen McCalpin, the Exec. Dir. of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Click HERE.

Part Two: Ginger, Quinn and a Cloud with a Silver Lining

by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“For me, I was in heaven and the Queen of the Wild Ones was sitting right beside me…”

GingeratWork“Feel Good Sunday” brings me full circle and back around to where we were last week when I wrote Part One of my week in the Pryor Mountains of Wyoming/Montana with Ginger Kathrens on our quest to find Cloud, dead or alive…and I need to stress that, it was not a happy-go-lucky excursion into LaLa Land to observe the ‘Yellowstone’ of wild horses, it was a trip of trepidation that, luckily, turned out for the best.

Again, the real story teller will be Ginger and due to the untimely passing of the stallion Shane of the Cloud Foundation’s Freedom Family her attention has been rightfully deviated.You can readaGinger’s tribute to Shane by clicking (HERE).

Cliff note version:

GingerWorking_1On our first day we searched for Cloud from where he was last seen on the desert floor all the way up to, almost, the crest of the mountains where we DID locate him and his family, late in the day, calmly grazing in a small valley. I CANNOT tell you how relieved we were…and for me, it was pretty much a dream come true and I will tell you why.

As Ginger and I sat and observed it occurred to me that I had really, truly, never seen our native wild horses in their pure natural state. I had only witnessed them being driven into traps by money crazed BLM helicopter contractors and had only experienced the trauma, stress and total depression of watching our Federal government intentionally destroy and ruin the freedom and family of these most magnificent icons of our country’s freedom and independence. I was stunned.

Gingerand Quinn_1Here we sat, on day one, calmly watching the interaction between not only Cloud’s family but the dozens of other wild horses that call the Pryors their home. For me, I was in heaven and the Queen of the Wild Ones was sitting right beside me, in the sunshine, in shirt sleeves with Quinn the Magic Irish Terrier. Life just does not get any better than that.

The topography and geological beauty of the mountains is breathtaking. Terry and I travel around the world to document and view horses in exotic environments. Outer Mongolia, Tibet and this year Tanzania on the African continent but I experienced more than one moment wondering why we travel so far when there is so much magnificence right in our own backyard…something that we may need to consider.

MeandQuinn_1Ginger, my new doggie buddy Quinn, and I ate lunch among the horses as the week progressed. Ginger kindly made us custom sandwiches and always found a band of horses for us to break bread with and I returned the favor by making dinner, by purchasing it at the only restaurant in Lovell, Wyoming in the evening. I think that Ginger got the short end of the stick.

I would like to share with you some parting moments as Ginger and I left Cloud and his family on the last day of our expedition in another installation, but in the meantime I am going to stop right here and simply state that I have seen the bright light, I have been to the mountain top and my soul is secure in knowing that we, meaning YOU and I, are on the right path and doing the right thing in attempting to secure the future safety and well-being of these beautiful and magnificent American wild horses and burros. It is our destiny to secure theirs.

Keep the faith, my friends.

R.T.

Part One: Friendship, Family and a Wild Horse Named Cloud

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A Week in the Pryor Mountains with Ginger Kathrens and Cloud: A Wild Horse Dream Come True

Cloud and FamilyIt is “Feel Good Sunday” and I ‘Feel’ like sharing several intimate and special wild horse moments with you supportive and loyal reader.

As most of you regular visitors are aware, I spent several days up atop the Pryor Mountains with Ginger Kathrens, in Wyoming/Montana, just 3 short weeks ago.

I am not going to beleaguer you with the details and the intimate encounters that both Ginger and I experienced, at this point, as she is in the process of wordsmithing an article that will be far beyond what I could do with my limited skills.

Instead; I would like to give you a boots-on-the-ground view from about 35,000 feet as to what the planning of the experience meant to a layman such as myself…as I am still attempting to catch my breath. (more details to follow)

First off, this was NOT a planned mission of photo taking or documentation.

In fact; it was not even on my calendar until Ginger left a bone chilling message on my cell phone as I was enroute to the U.S. from China.

Ginger detailed the fact that the good folks at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center had witnessed a horrendous battle between Cloud and another band stallion, Doc (I know that is not his BLM name but I am hanging with it out of respect for TCF) and that afterwards Cloud could not be found and his mares were with his attacker.

Obviously this alarmed the folks at the Cloud Foundation and to further raise the volume on their concern…Cloud was not to be seen thereafter.

Ginger called and gave me the facts, we had to go and look for Cloud.

It’s been a long time since I was as depressed as I was to travel to meet Ginger and search for Cloud…being a veteran of both Vietnam and the Gulf War I do not remember being as “down’ as I felt knowing that I would have to search for the remains of the one and only wild horse that has given a face and a voice to the plight of wild equines of North America…I could not let Ginger endure this alone. So I readily agreed to join her.

It was a bad several days prior to departure, Terry was deeply concerned about my attitude, but the night before I boarded that 787 Dreamliner to Denver Ginger called and said,

“I don’t know how this will affect your plans or way forward but Cloud was sighted today, injured, but alive.”

My only words, and Ginger will verify, were; “Let’s go lay our eyes on Cloud!”

And so the journey began, one that was initially an expedition of doom and depression only to metamorphose into one of elation and the celebration of new life.

There will be more to follow as I am humbled to have been able to spend days on end with the world’s leading authority on wild horse behavior, alone, amongst the horses that we all know and love thanks to her tenacity and dedication.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation fully endorses and is in total alignment with the efforts of the Cloud Foundation (along with EWA, Front Range Equine Rescue, Equine Advocates, Respect 4 Horses and HfH to name just a few legitimate organizations that are attempting to better the plight of our American equine be they domestic or wild) and we will continue to work together to further enhance and ensure the future well-being and safety of one of our most precious natural, national resources; the wild equines of the United States of American.

Keep the Faith…more to come.

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