The Force of the Horse

The Bureau of Land Management – Wild Horse Specialists?

by Simone Netherlands

How does the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) call themselves wild horse specialists?

When BLM roundups go bad

When BLM roundups go bad

What might they be basing this definition on, on the fact that they have been chasing wild horses for a long time? Does doing something the wrong way for a long time make one an automatic specialist?

Natural horsemanship people everywhere who’ve ever witnessed BLM staffers at work with wild horses, know beyond a shadow of a doubt, how ridiculously un-knowledgeable the BLM “horsemen” truly are. Even bystanders at BLM adoptions, not fully trained in the principals of natural horse man ship wonder why the men flail their flags so furiously and send the horses into scattered frenzies. They constantly look like they are trying to break some kind of time record, and they refuse to take 5 or 10 more minutes longer to make the situation half way bearable for the horses. The BLM staffers know frightfully little about horses, about horse behavior and about how to communicate with them.

It is actually rather easy for a natural horsemanship trained person to maneuver a wild horse, because they are not spoiled by human signals yet. The horse can be motivated to move in any direction by the way the trainer looks at the horse, the way he/she moves towards or away from that horse and the way their shoulders are angled in relation to where the horses body is positioned. Horses are masters of perception and they respond accordingly and very predicatively. Without any prior training of the horse, a completely wild horse can be gentled in a round pen in approximately one to two hours, it fails only in 1 out of 500 horses. Through simple principals of reward by release, the completely wild horse is easily persuaded to trust the trainer upon which time fear miraculously dissipates.

penned_sick

Contrarily, the BLM guys, they treat the wild horses as if they were cows. They mis- communicate with the frightened horses, by waiving their flags around, unknowingly positioning their bodies in completely opposite ways of where they want the horse to go. The horses of course end up going in the direction that they understand the humans body language is telling them, which is a direction unbeknownst to the BLM staffer. The BLM staffer is therefore confused as to why that horse is going into the fence instead of where he wants it to go, and feels like he has to waive his whipstick more furiously in order to make the horses understand.

A true horse specialist, would know without a doubt when a horse is about to loose its cool. The tell tale signs are easy to recognize. But because the BLM staffers do not recognize these signs or do not want to, they push the horses far passed the limits of what their minds can take and this is why there are many situations of which the outcome is, horses trampling other horses, jumping fences, climbing out of chutes, hurting themselves etc.

To be perfectly fair to the BLM, if you have not studied horse behavior, and have not become a specialist on horse body language, it is a difficult thing to do, and people just do not know this instinctively.

Knowing fully well that this will fall on incredibly deaf ears just the same as the requests to cease and desist all wild horse gathers, I still feel compelled to share my humble, natural horsemanship opinion with you, that either the BLM should be required to hire natural horsemanship people only, or every BLM staffer needs to spend 5 weeks on natural horsemanship ranch mandatorily, before they ever get to flail a Wal-mart bag whipstick at a wild horse.

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58 replies »

  1. BLM has rigorous schools of which I have attended(Certified Federal Surveyors – training program).None for equines , the obvious priority is the land. Bureau of Equine Management does not exist. We have GIS (Geographic information Systems) LIN (Land information Systems)BIM(Building information management).
    Keep going RT , I just got your book and see we are reborn in same salt waters in Hawaii.Coach June at SMU is too. Write on.
    ROAM act senate version could require education and training.Also a compliance board for performance.

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    • Hi RJ,
      That is a very interesting little fact that you informed us of. That might come in handy some day. They have schools for everything except for horses.
      What is or was your involvment with the BLM?
      Kind regards,
      Simone Netherlands.

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  2. Totally agree, RT and RJ. To anyone who knows anything about horses, it’s shockingly obvious that the BLM “specialists” don’t know @@#&*! about communicating with horses.

    I think the idea of forcing the BLM to hire REAL horse specialists to handle the horses is super, RT. But, ya know, I doubt if sending the existing BLM guys to school for 5 weeks or 50 weeks would make much difference. Communicating with horses is something you have to WANT to do – not WANT to be paid; WANT to communicate with a horse! – or you can never really be successful. These knot heads don’t really care about the horses and the horses certainly know it, so why would any self respecting horse want to communicate with them? Ewwwww!

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    • Hi Suzanne,
      I agree, hiring a natural horseman ship contractor for round ups and maintenance would be ideal, and who could really argue with that? In any profession, you need diplomas and certificates etc. Unfortunately, knowing the BLM its not very likely to happen. The second best option would be to educate the staffers. I think its a great idea to add either of those requirements to the ROAM act. Its just plain reasonable.
      Kind regards,
      Simone Netherlands (I wrote this particular piece)

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  3. These pictures say everything. These “specialists” are self-named. Some of Carol Walker’s photos have captured their ineptitude as well. Keep trying to pass ROAM. Keep calling…keep calling every political representative we have to try to stop this.

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  4. I don’t even think I would want these guys herding cows either! At the September BLM Advisory Meeting in Arlington, VA, a horse trainer spoke up about how the BLM handling made it difficult at first to work with the horses that were adopted. It took me quite a while to find a farrier for my mustang mare, who is now 20+ but finding a young man who works quietly and efficiently around her made all the difference in the world. I just saw photos of the BLM horses that are put in cattle tables that turn the horses on their sides to trim their hooves. No wonder these older horses could never be adopted with this kind of treatment.

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  5. Excellent POV, RT, and one which we have not been focused on much at all. Sure the other atrocities and phenomenally dreadful management decisions are good distractions but this should be addressed at well. I think RJ’s note indicating complete lack of training for working with horses could be one more pressure point to hit in earnest. Really, how can any agency declare themselves expert on a topic they know nothing about and further do not seek professional training on? We already knew it but something is really putrid and rotten in Denmark….

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  6. Yes RT, This is what is happening Right Now. Out there in corrals where horses are coming in all afraid of a helicopter. This is where the BAD starts. The roundups must be stopped.

    There is a woman, Patricia, in New Mexico, attempting to gentle wild horses for adoption. The horses are coming in a band or two at a time and have been bait trapped. (Would a knowledgeable person please explain the bait traps?) But she has to fight to have ‘her’ horses left to her and not handled by anyone else. Her goal is to get a horse adopted and the new owner to be able to halter and lead that horse to begin their relationship. She even has new adopters coming in to help gentle their Jicarilla, little brown horses. They are from Forest Service lands adjacent to the Jicarilla Apache Reservation. She has a blog under Mustang Camp online. For her, a horse that may go to holding is one she has failed. She describes these previously uncaught horses’ ordeal as “Being kidnapped by aliens and taken away in an alien groundship (stock trailer).” There are people out there who love horses and have evolved with the newer training methods and Mustangs have been received this training successfully. It would, one day, be ideal for the Wild Horse and Burro Program to be run and carried out by compassionate horse professionals. For now, because it is not, we must Stop the Roundups, and then we can work to change the whole program. The sooner the better. mar

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  7. Kathleen, That BLM has its choice mustang trainers come in to ‘demonstrate’ methods to a group of adopters after the horses have been traumatized and penned for weeks does not say a lot for even for those trainers. mar

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  8. Gosh I remember when I went to Chincoteague years back. Natural horsemanship?, til I heard of Monty Roberts–I had no idea that such a thing existed. The point I wanted to make about Chincoteague is this. We were out on Assateague with the ponies right there, it was really hard to keep your hands to yourself! if you know what I mean… . Anyway I did meet this band stallion. His forelock was halfway down to his nose and he could hardly see through all that hair. I showed him my camera, and told him I just wanted to take pics of his beautiful family. No response. No nips, no warning, no flattening of ears. But when I met up with the lead mare—no. Her ears went FLAT back against her head. I just backed off.

    I suppose if I went back to horses I would have a trainer that knew Paraelli and how to help me be a better horsewoman. What I do know is that I wouldn’t do it the way the BLM shows.

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  9. Simone,

    Thanks for your great writing.

    Your quote:

    “Knowing fully well that this will fall on incredibly deaf ears just the same as the requests to cease and desist all wild horse gathers”

    Perfect summary. MOST of (not all) the BLM agents, the contractors, the government wranglers and hired hands are purposefully choosing to be deaf, dumb and blind. They make a conscious choice to be greedy & self absorbed humans wanting to remain ignorant and unwilling to be educated. Those who do want the best for the Mustangs and burros are shunned and drove off the job in a big hurry.

    Their lack of ability, loose ethics and empty hearts are shown time and time again. Last week a mare dropped dead at the North Dakota auction from shock and fright. DROPPED DEAD!

    If the BLM thumbs their nose at federal and state laws laid down to have a qualified vet and independent humane observers on site, how could we hope for such a wonderful witness to roundups as a certified natural horseman or woman?

    The only way to end this nightmare of Mustang and Burro extinction is to clean house in the Department of Interior. This would take an act from President Obama. WE must keep after our Senators and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. I am still making calls daily. ROAM Act (S.1579) and bill #S. 727 cannot get buried or shuffled off the xyz file. There is also H.R. #305 that must be addressed NOW!

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  10. R.T.:

    As you and many posting inferr, if the BLM was interested in truly managing the mustangs and burros, they wouldn’t roundup, handle and warehouse these noble servants of Man the way they have and currently are. Which leads to only one conclusion, they aren’t managing; they are exterminating. The only thing they want is the equids GONE. If some die in the process, all the better; just one less mouth to feed. Sad but true. And until they (DOI) get rid of that politico cow hand, Salazar, the wildlife in the US will continue to be mismanaged. I never had any optimism in his nomination in the first place.

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  11. Could not be said better.
    How do we fight this. Well it comes down to only two options. fight like it matters with force against force, fist against fist or lets get some money behind us and get all of the wild horse groups together and collect a $100.00 a year donation from every person that wants to help and use that money to build ourselves into the next NRA or Christine right. ITs time to stop talking and acting like the BLM or any body in charge of our wild horses cares what we say and go head to head with them.legally or otherwise, we are not being taken seriously nor being listened to. Foget the middle states they are cattle/sheeep driven and useless in this fight get the west coast and east coast states to back us and we can win something.

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    • Jeff:

      Whoa there. I understand your fervancy & absolutely believe your spirit is in the right place. But there are MANY of us ‘doing’ (as you said) but use these social forums to keep other current on events. Many of us are plain working folks doing the best we can with giving of our money, time and other resources to pull the Mustang, Burro and equine slaughter issues towards productive goals. I constantly adjust my focus. It was a hard decision for me to go to the Washington rally & the meeting with my Senator that same day. I have been laid off for 6 months now. However, I knew I had not just spent all my years being an equine advocate to give up now!

      It is such a hard and fine line. Politically we need a lobbyist (or whatever is most appropriate) and then millions of dollars to support the lobbyist. This takes time that America’s horses don’t have right now. To salvage Mustang, Burros bloodlines & keep horses from slaughter, I need to support those organizations that are adopting, buying or rescuing large units of Mustangs, Burros, horses in feedlots, with kill buyers, neglected domestic equines, etc. I wish I could live & work on a ranch like the Kuntz’s Nakota Conservancy! I would be the happiest girl on the planet for the rest of my life.

      Exactly ONE year ago, Madeleine Pickens spoke before Congress on behalf of the 33,000 head of Mustangs and Burros in BLM long term prison pens to keep them from slaughter – oops, I mean ‘humane euthanasia’. Betcha Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens have lobbyist working hard to get Ken Salazar’s horse sanctuary plan pushed through enough at least to get a green light on her ecotourist horse park. All those herds will be NON-REPRODUCING and exploited. On the other hand, it will mean that many less head going to slaughter, allowed to live out their days until a natural death & give the public a chance to see a live Mustang (just not a wild one). Madeleine does have a big, gentle heart. If we could get her billions into the fight to keep Mustangs and Burros wild & free, to kill the Burns Amendment, to make the Roam Act a law and to pass bill #S.727 – wooohoo! We’d be sitting pretty.

      Please consider what just happened with the BLM plan to send 1,500 geldings to Ennis, Montana. It is a clear indication of how well received any other Mustang & Burro sanctuaries will be in eastern or midwest states. The people will fight and complain for thousands of reasons. Farmers, developers, DOT, wildlife environmental groups, etc. Just think how big the horse racing industry is. Who owns Kentucky’s tracks? The Arabs do. The UAE. SAME folks shooing Mustangs (the nuisances) out so they can mine uranium from the mountains of the west. Do you think they will let Mustangs, those SOB’s of the range, anywhere near their million dollar babies? Then there are the race tracks of PA owned by foreign & domestic interest. Also there are big Morgan farms in Virginia, the Chinoteague ponies, the wild horses of the Carolinas. Bless their beautiful hearts. Those citizens in those places have all they want or need.

      Consider that the proposed horse sanctuaries by Ken Salazar(completely untrustworthy anti-horse, ex-Colorado cattle man) are nothing more than a shell game. He is appeasing the public and throwing a useless bone to the activists. He is most likely 99% sure the horse pranks – I mean parks – won’t work. Then he can come back to us & the world saying “I tried to help your Mustangs and Burros. Now America has spoken & doesn’t want the excess. So, off to slaugher they go! Ha ha! I win.” And you can surely bet yer boots that Wallis, Reid, Schweitzer, Cattoor and Cook are all standing behind Salazar wringing their hands in anticipation and drooling uncontrollably over the millions that will be made.

      Just my opinion here. How do we fight? Stay on point. All of us back in reality land continue to ask & demand answers for “What about the 54 million acres of public land given to Mustang and Burro preservation in 1971?????? When is the Burns Act going to be revoked? What about the ROAM Act? What did the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources do with that bill when they setup their 2010 calendar on 09/29/09? XYZ file? When are we going to get an accurate & independent party count of Mustangs and Burros in BLM long term holding pens? Who’s watching the borders at night for horses being trucked out to slaughter?”

      We are living in such vastly different times than Wild Horse Annie or Mr. Smith goes to Washington. Our country is ‘owned’ by foreign interests because of the tremendous national debt. Check with IRS reports on how much of American has already been sold off. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a conspiracy theory freak or anti-America. It’s just a fact. Everyone knows our economy is bankrupt. Look what just happened to California this year! Our federal government answers to more than soley ‘The people of these United States’.

      Maybe I am all wrong. Then the joke is on me, Jane Q. Public. Time will tell.

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    • Jeff, there are many roads to an end. Everyone must find thier place. I think your idea is excellent and hopefully you will find a group to rally with you and can take this on for the “long run”.

      As I am still hopefull that there will be a “long run”, keep piling on those ideas, it is one good idea at a time, one little (or big) tipping point at a time. As Craig Downer said in his interview “maybe its you, maybe its me”.

      I’m still thinking of “Wild Horse Grannies”, some of us are at that age, but were the children who wrote all those letters back in Wild Horse Annie days. A club, not exclusively to women (R.T.), wearing maybe white hats and a vest, sitting in booths in front of Petsmart, Rodeos, Fairs, etc. Taking this story to school kids. A bunch of women who, to support their zest for life, do nothing but wear red hats and have tea can get on Oprah.

      I personally don’t want to be another NRA or Christian Right, but if that is anyones sense of what is needed, go for it! Only caution, radical groups tend to dwindle, with few exceptions. Or give the cause the wrong face, such as off shoots from Green Peace, Peta. If only these horses were 2 miles off shore we could get “Horse Wars” (have you seen “Whale Wars”? The Captain says you have not lived until you accept a cause to die for!).

      Others will need to do todays fight to get today’s job done. Of course if you have time, you can work on several ideas at a time.

      Morgan, I agree with everything you have said, except that I don’t believe these are “conspiracy theories”. I believe these threats are REAL. Keep up your ernest enthusiasm and fight! You inspire us.

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      • Roxy,

        Thanks for your nice words Roxy. Means a lot to me.

        I just meant to say I wasn’t a whack job seething away in a cave somewhere inventing ways of inciting public panic & anti-American hate mongering. Instead I just stated the cold hard facts even the IRS will support. We each then have to choose. Do we allow the facts to force us into hiding within bomb shelters? Choose blissful ignorance & carry on? Or, take up the peaceful protest keeping in mind the battle will need intense courage, determination and strength from a powerful God who still owns this planet & all creation thereof.

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  12. Morgan Williams (and others):
    Foreign interests are not the demise of the mustang/burro or American horse. I respectfully disagree, although you spend great time and eloquence on the issue. The problem is international economies, lack of moral judgement and follow-through checking of the same. There is a lack of morality. There is a lack of right and wrong via “I know better than you” mindset. And no, the Middle East patrons of racing do not own KY (pretty close though). I will conceed that they control the success and demise (to a point) of that same industry. I don’t believe they want it’s failure. At the same time, they choose to want to control it. However, that is not the problem facing unwanted horses or mustangs in it’s totality (they don’t eat it (Muslims, after all). The problem is inefficiences of government, disjointed and separate jurisdictions and money. My belief is the vast majority of livestock on current and former mustang territories go to exports…not the American consumer.

    And yes, until we unite (with those relinqushing some power)…the horses/burros (domestic or wild) are screwed. Because, after all…the proslaughter are organized, funded and most of all, in charge NOW.

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    • D.Masters,

      You are certainly right about the lack of morality. Perfecto.

      Unfortunately the pro-equine slaughter groups are organized by people we should NOT have to fight, if we lived in a world that made sense. Their names sound so pretty and horse loving. They get all their finances from their branch of the mega-profit horse industry which is really a front for horse explotation. Then use the money to fund greedy, heartless human interests.

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  13. Yet, The American Public is more diverse than all this. There is a sea change. The press is reporting and more people are very keen on protection that will be there when needed. The undercurrents and the BLM are like broken records but their misdeeds are drawing listeners, readers and writers to respond. People are now waiting for more information. When this will be won is more the question than; has it been or will it be? We want every thing now, for the horses and burros being captured and removed and added to the waiting who are pawns and sacrificial lambs. This is where the tension comes in and the struggle is keenest. BLM stonewalls us and throws its weight around, but wins no new favor anywhere. On the other hand, we have built a base that continues to grow because it has reason and direction and the promise of protection for animals that are a part of our imagination. mar

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  14. I WAS one of the American public ignorant about the mismanagement of our wild horses. I am no longer ignorant and will be silent no more. Beyond just the animal abuse inflicted on the Mustangs by the BLM, is the lack of compassion these people feel. I know Madeleine Pickens’ plan is not perfect, but wouldn’t some of the horses languishing in BLM prisons be better off? These so called tourist parks in the east could have some educational benefit, and the horses that have been in holding for years may not be equipped to deal with freedom, even if release should ever become an option. If we can get a moratorium on the currently scheduled round ups, slowly the captive horse population would decrease in federal pens. Please don’t hate me for putting this out there. I know others are thinking the same thing, there are just not many options for dealing with 33,000+ horses. ohiokathy

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    • OhioKathy,

      So glad you are getting educated and choosing to be silent no more!

      NO one is going to hate you. I characterize most of the equine activists I know as something like a big Greek, Italian or Polish family. We get REALLY loud (and obnoxious sometimes) but we care for each other and are fighting a common cause. My stepfather was from a 100% pureblood, hardcore Polish family. God rest his soul. Even my horse in the family lived up to his Polish name & the Polish way of life. Zimney Ognen. Coal & fire.

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      • OhioKathy, Sorry if I “let you have it”, not my intent, I’ve asked lots of questions here too, and I appreciate just point by point answers, so I may have been too blunt – apologies.

        If the government, as you have said, continues the current behavior and the horses do end up in “wild” animal parks (still just zoos to me) – you need to understand what you have described in Ohio IS NOT what the Salazar plan describes in any way, shape or form. The Salazar plan is CLEAR – non-reproducing, separating males from females, no family units.

        This Salazar Plan is an attempt to cut us off at the pass. We must somehow get Obama to see that. We must get ROAM passed!

        Opps I see Morgan already answered this, but I’ve alrady typed it. Happy to continue discussion with you and glad you are here to ask us these tuff questions.

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    • OhioKathy, Excellent questions. I am also new to this issue, this is what I have come to believe in the last 6 months, just my 2 cents =

      Could they re adapt? They already did that 500 to 200 years ago. So yes!

      Would they be better off in parks? Lets call it what it is – ZOO (prison). Some zoos for gelded stallions, some zoos for mares.

      These zoos are preferable to slaughter? Perhaps, but that’s about it. The real issue is why aren’t they being returned to the land they are the rightful inhabitants of, that is already owned and paid for by our tax dollars – why spend another $90 million?

      The educational benefit? The horses will not be wild, will not be in “wild families” – this will fail. It would be a false education, a false representation of “wild horses in the wild”. Even if thousands of people attend it will be a failure because of the false education they will receive. I have boycotted zoos and marine parks long ago!

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      • Roxy- Everybody agrees they should be free, the way the government is behaving it just doesn’t seem likely. Horses are resilient creatures, and surely could learn to survive in the wild again. There is a “wild” animal park in Ohio that does their best to leave the animals as wild as they can. Family units are apparent and babies are born and raised with little intervention from humans. I wonder if places like these could absorb some of the horses born in holding facilities? Leaving them to live their entire lives in hot dirty corrals is unbearable. I’d rather have a little bit of freedom than none at all. Ok let me have it. 😉

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      • You are right about getting the Mustangs and Burros out of BLM holding pens. However, if the proposed horse parks become reality, they will be filled non-reproducing herds.

        1st things 1st too. No one has an accurate count of how many Mustangs and Burros are REALLY in BLM holding prison pens. BLM is refusing transparency.

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  15. Ok, so once again, I’m going against my “learn to play well together”, “how to win friends and influence people”, “not all BLM folks are bad – its the leadership”, “maybe I should go to work for them and infuence them (fat chance now)” but here goes –

    They know exaclty what they are doing. They cannot blame their leadership. They don’t live in a bubble and only come out to do gathers. They don’t need to go to training – you can watch “gentling” and all these things on YouTube and TV! My God, Ken McNabb is one of them, he is at the gathers, he seems to be a spokesperson and advisor – he doesn’t know how a wild horse should be treated? GET REAL! They must be sociopaths at least.

    Otherwise, we are saying the Nazis aren’t responsibile for Hitlers idea to eradicate Jews, Witnesses, Gypsies, etc. Or, the Manson girls aren’t responsible for thier murders, Charlie told them to do it? Or judges who send kids to private prisons for kickbacks aren’t responsible for their actions.

    Some people have quit BLM because they refused to become evil, or become part of evil. I suspect some are living in hell at work, they know its wrong, but need a job, or maybe think they can make a difference – my heart goes out to those few. The rest, a few, that have a heart are self deluding themselves.

    It is such a little thing we ask for the wild horses and for ourselves to know they are free on the range. It is only cruelty, perhaps spite, that cannot see that.

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  16. Excellent points, RT! Now we also need wild horse ecologist training to shape up the rightful homes and the suitable viable populations of these animals in the wild and obviate so many of these grossly cruel and unnecessary roundups!

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    • craig, do these courses/programs already exist? if so, where??? if they are being taught in colleges, what would it take to get them entered as part of BLM training? i know you’ve been with the BLM before, so i figure you have a pretty good idea of the ins & outs of getting this implemented.

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  17. Craig, there is a student, Beth on Wild Horses/Cattle and the… page. Also on that page is a commeter name Jeri Dubrowski, I think that is her last name. Both of them could benefit greatly from a reply from you. You stay on point, and are, the most knowldegable and have the credentials to back you up.

    As jo bunny indicates, it would be important for us to be able to direct people to Universities and Colleges where research has been done on wild ecology and wild biology, and where training can be obtained, not just for BLM.

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  18. All I know from following this equicide is that the BLM has been cited repeatedly by government audits and inspections, the agency drags it’s feet on FOIA and with all the letter writing to the White House has brought no effective change, much less a moratorium until these findings (GAO, etc) are addressed and a sound scientific plan put in place. For God Sake, the WH doesn’t even send a thank you for your email/letter robo letter.

    Isn’t it interesting that these animals are either starving (which begs the question, why do they need to be removed based on numbers [of which, no citizen can find a scientific formula for]…shouldn’t there be fewer????) and, it’s OK for them to live in the mid-West/East, just not where they currently (and historically) have lived. If they are problematic where they are now, how is it that they will not continue to be problems in another location? Why is this land, with so few numbers just so damned important?!?!

    As to the “horse experts” and college/university, choose your states carefully. If it is a heavy beef/lamb/pork/poultry state….GOOD LUCK! And I’m getting fed up with state and local entities managing wild horse/burro herds. These animals are Federal property. Why do they get to play?…I don’t care where the horse/burro wanders/migrates. These are MY, OUR ANIMALS! NOT NEVADA’S…they are wiping them out!

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    • D. Masters:

      You have a LOT of fire! I can also see your frustration. I was talking to an legislative aide in Senator Mary Landrieu’s (LA)(202-224-8852) office and also to Makendra in The Cloud Foundation’s (719-633-3842) office today. It is agreed that we need to combine everyone’s focus (like Jeff Hudson also says above in his comment) and fight the battle in a prioritized manner.

      From the Animal Welfare Institute’s website: http://www.awionline.org Chris Heyde
      202-337-2332

      Ask for 3 things:
      1) moratorium on all roundups (12,000+ horses and burros being rounded up this Oct-next Sept) at a cost of over $30 million.

      2) An Independent Census is needed to determine true #’s of horses left in the wild and the real condition of their rangelands and the # of horses that land can sustain- and how many privately-owned livestock are in that herd management area?

      3) Further investigations of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro program are
      needed now- this agency is managing wild horses and burros to
      extinction and it is costing the American taxpayer millions. The
      WH&B Act of 1971 is not being followed. These are our horses and
      burros on our public lands.

      I put in a call to AWI and will hope to talk with them on Monday. How do we round up all the activists and advocates and get calls or letters going to the right person(s) who can make the moratorium a reality NOW? Before the Calico Mt range in Nevada is picked clean by BLM and Cook or Cattoor?

      Senator Landrieu’s office says they just about have enough facts together to call the BLM for a halt on roundups but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue public awareness and support. Congressman Raul Grijvala sent a dynamic letter to Secretary Bob Abbey too. The letter went unheeded and unresponsed to.

      The American Public needs to understand they are being lied to by officials paid by public taxpayer dollars. The issue is not just about some wild horses and burros the BLM is saving from stavation. It’s about public lands and National Parks that will be DESTROYED by mining, oil collection and cattle grazing. It’s about OUR country being sold off lot by lot to foreign interests because our National debt that is beyond out-of-control to places like China and Saudi Arabi. It’s about American natural resources, wildlife and it’s habitat becoming extinct forever. No return. Finite’. Game over. Finally, the public needs to fully understand that ‘my little American pony’ is being sold, brutally shipped to slaughter and used for dinner in Asia and Europe.

      I am reaching out to local talk radio stations asking them to give Ginger Kathren’s a live interview (by telephone).

      Personally, I don’t believe re-educating the current DOI or BLM adminstration is going to do good fast enough to save the Mustangs & Burros in pens, or what’s left of them free roaming. It’s a great idea to mandate training when the current employees are gone and the new ones come in – or those already working who are willling to retrain.

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      • Margo- I have tried to get (I know, I know) Glenn Beck to recognize our efforts. Out of control spending and waste by the government is a big priority to him, and he has a big mouth and he does get loads of attention at FOX. I agree, with you. Educating BLM employees is never going to happen as long as the pigs who are in control are still employed by the BLM . Sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This is our country, we need to take it back and the horses we rode in on!

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      • I realize some of things I just said may be disrespectful to Simone, Craig, R.T. or other bloggers. Please forgive me if I did offend.

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      • Morgan, thank you – I need these simple directions, these 3 items are in the mail! I am stil new to this and so often the reports and comments bring out so much information I lose site of the point, of staying focused.

        I have had the same question, how do we all pull together into something strategic? Your doing great things for us!

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  19. D. Masters, A moratorium is so we Can have time to put information together while we still have wild horses and burros on their ranges. Studies would be done Under the moratorium while the present law would be reviewed and a new one made with Sound management. mar

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  20. Because of the reckless and disrespectful action by BLM via the Act of 1971, albeit with the Burns Amendment tacked on there is no doubt in my mind that the ferocious excelleration of round-ups in the face of so few remaining mustangs/burros (5 million in the 1800’s, 2 million in 1900 and less than 30-37K roaming remaining in 2009) makes no logical sense and that the horses/burros are not a significant “problem”, but strictly agenda and special interest driven. The situation is that the state/local and Federal governments are exterminating these animals in a subversive, covert, insidious process all along playing the “process” game, of which the process is never fully revealed, published or inclusive. Meetings/hearings are prefunctory with limited debate and the decision and contracts for removal already lined up. The White House has refused to acknowledge the situation which I believe is basically symptomatic of the malaise, incest and special interest that is continually pitting American against American and selling this country out on many issues. I wouldn’t spend one minute communicating with Salazap or Abbey. I would with Obama and Emmanuel and my local reps at the Fed level. They are not allowed to ignore us. That they do, does not make it right. This is something they must daily be reminded of. I’m so frustrated, I’m thinking of sending a pony to the White House and sending letters to Michele, Sasha and Milea.

    The equine welfare and responsible owner community must unite under an organization like EWA; this includes Ms. Pickens, HSUS (never happen), AWI, et al. They must put aside “I know better”, “I want to be in charge” ‘tudes if they really care about the equids. HSUS, AWI and some other orgs don’t persue with the tenacity that is needed to immediately lobby, legislate and monitor same for the horses. I’m not saying they are bad; I’m saying they suffer from “not invented here/I’m not in charge” syndrome. And it contributes to the massacre of these and many other animals.

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    • Sorry – I don’t know who AWI is – Animal Wellfare something. Or EWA. Please advise.

      Mustang Jack and I have discussed this very thing – how do we put aside our egos to do what you are proposing? Please give us more ideas.

      I’ll put out my idea again – “Wild Horse Granies” (Coaltion, Club, someting like that). The little girls who wrote all those letters for the original Wild Horse Annie campaign are now about grannie age. And add an identity – perhaps white hats and vests. It would only take a handful to start, then chapters in all major metro areas. Take a program to the schools. Ride in parades (perhaps in a donated white Mustang convertable). Have fund raisers to continue the effort, contriubte to legal fees such as The Freedom Fund. Sit in booths at fairs, rodeos, petsmart, everywhere and anywhere, etc. (Best Friends Sanctuary already has video training on how to handle unpleasant or challenging people). Get high school kids to do car washes and raise money, let them “adopt a wild mustang” (in name only of course) – send them a picture. Again, if a bunch of women who just wear Red Hats and Purple dresses can get national attention and end up on Oprah and all the major shows – think what this could do.

      Need simple Mission and Vision (“to support the original intent of the 1971 Act” “to maintain our American Wild Horses in the wild, including natural predation, in their rightful public range lands” – something like that).

      Simple list of myths and facts.

      List of “members” (that list can include their web pages where they can say whatever else they want, just not as a position of this organization).

      Decide on dues, and go from there.

      But I don’t know where or how to start. I could get together with a group in Phoenix Metro area. Otherwise this will take computer group skills beyond my ability. I know I don’t have the start up money. I’ve been secretary to some organizations in past, but I just did what I was told – “go to the corporation commission and do this, go here do that” etc – and if I did learn anything – it was too many years ago. But anyone else, take this away from me – PLEASE – if it suits you, I’ll join! I’ll volunteer for this local chapter!

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    • The “responsible owner community” may be concerned that animal welfare organizations such as P.E.T.A., Friends of Animals, the H.S.U.S. and the AWI are not true allies.

      The perception–accurate or not–that the welfare groups believe animals are “better dead than domesticated” may present a significant barrier to responsible horse and burro owners/guardians and animal welfare advocates uniting to save wild horses and burros.

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  21. p.s. We have to play them at their own game. How? Good nonprofit attorney’s that can get a moratorium and litigate BLM into the stupidity oblivion that they so justly deserve….that takes money. Not impossible.

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    • D. Masters, You sound very savy about these things – glad to have your input.

      Yes, we are all donating what we can to The Cloud Foundation (TCF) Freedom Fund. They are partnered with Animal Law Coalition and other attorneys already, who have done really good work.

      Whatever ideas you may have please go the TCF comments page and send them on, Makendra seems to read them all, somehow. Or call and talk to her or Christine.

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  22. Morgan- Passion is an asset. The key thing you said was “proposed” plan. These parks are in the planning stages, perhaps not all herds will be sterile. Obviously many horses in prison are already gelded but there may be room for ‘natural’ reproduction. Just throwing ideas out there. Sorry Roxy. If the adoptions sites are open to the public can’t anybody get in to start counting? Doing the math on the figures the BLM is providing regarding populations in holding and on the range, is this where their estimated numbers come from? I tried to find some info on the web about Obama’s visit to the BLM horse facility, but had no luck.

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    • Keep those ideas coming! We’ll get further with back and forth ideas.

      Not sure what you are asking about counting, but this is what I know: The adoption sites only have the horses from current gathers. A few do get around to other adoptions if BLM feels they are adoptable until 3 strikes. Then they go to holding. Its the 33,000 in holding that BLM is not accounting for – have not responded with demands for witnesses to go to see them, as far as I know (waiting every day for a report on that). I’ll leave you to read Mustang Jack and all the others about “counting wild horses”. From what I can tell it seems to be a shell game, whatch this hand not that hand, with an answer to suit thier positon on any given day.

      Yes, what is Obamas offical position? I think we have only news reports – so what can you believe from them? I’m hoping he is still studying the issues – I must hope so. If he falls for that visit and the “Plan” I feel he is not as intuitive as I once thought. Anyone out there know any more?

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      • Thanks for the intel. Let me see if I’m following you. The adoption sites only have horses from recent gathers, these sites would be the internment camps. Here the experts at the BLM evaluate the detainees for adoptability. The ‘pretty ones’ may get a stay of execution. The others are sent to “holding” or concentration camps. This is ultimately where most will end up. Sounds like the final solution to me.

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    • BLM does re-enter horses (I don’t know how they decide which ones) into adoption up to 3 times, and as I understand it, they move them around from adoption site to adoption site until that 3 strikes point. Older horses at adoption, again as I understand it, will always be first timers from recent gathers, they are not there for adoption, they are there for sale – one chance, then off to holding.

      That is what tears at our hearts, that these old horses who have only known freedom their whole lives, are torn away from their families. The older horses should be left alone, their days are already numbered. It is just cruel to do this to them. There is also the need for them in the band. Chaos does seem to start to occur when these older horses are taken, as they have the elder knowldege and take on such a dicipline and leadeship role in the wild herd. Just a shame all the way around. You can watch the tapes of Conquistadore “before” in the Cloud shows, and “after” in the holding pen and truck and see how depressed he becomes. In my opinion, at this time anyway, these are the only horses that should be chemically or surgicaly altered for birth control, then only as a last resort, and then only after cougar hunting has ceased and natural balance does not seem to be working (whihc it willwork of course – but then the chemical makers of the birth control don’t want that known – hurts their busness and profits). I welcome debate on this issue – but I’ll be gone for a couple of weeks.

      Another point I’d like to hear back about. In the last Cloud show, Cloud allowed another stallion to mate one of his mares. Is this rare? I’ll tell you what occured to me – most of his mares have been given birth control. He is mating them constantly but no foals. Does he think (or whatever you call horse sense) he is sterile? If you wouldn’t mind persuing this – I think lots of us would like to know about this apparently strange occurance.

      Something else I found of interst, you may also, as you research you will find a proposal for someone to do “Little Fuzzy Brown Mustangs”, and childrens book. Similar to the Big Black Dog sydrome, and companion book, I am told. I do know about the Big Black Dog syndrome, but not about the book.

      Black dogs, specifically big black dogs, are the most turned in and the highest unadoptable rate, resulting in the highest euthanasia rate.

      The “Little Fuzzy Brown Mustangs” comment was geared toward raising awareness of what wonderful trail and pack animals and wonderful family animals these are, and how beutiful they become under care. They are the most unadopted of the wild horses just becasue they don’t look so cute in the pens, thier shaggy coats do not show well and look dirty, etc. etc. (so again, I am at a loss as to why anyone thinks people will be running to pay to see them standing around grazing in “preseves, wild animal parks, zoos, ANYWHERE”).

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      • Roxy,

        I believe Ginger showed the breeding of Cloud’s daughter Firestorm to another bachelor stallion Santa Fe to debunk the BLM myth of inbreeding between family members. Cloud chased all stallions away when they came calling for Firestorm while in season. Cloud only stood back, choosing to allow Santa Fe’s genetics in the Cloud band. Then Firestorm produced Image, the grandson of Sitka & Cloud.

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  23. Roxy – I remember Marilyn Wargo & I were talking about the little brown horses and what good horses they were — surefooted, willing, etc. The “ugly duckling” syndrome with them proving to be such good riding horses after all, and again like you said the black dog syndrome where people can’t see their facial features as clearly, they are not adopted as readily at the shelters. . .

    P.S. Has anyone noticed anything odd about your email notifications from WordPress lately?? I think they “snapped.” lol

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  24. the BLM needs to be done away with,between the wild cats and weather,the horse bands are pretty well regulated on their own,they certainly don’t need BLM with their mean and inhumane treatment.yes you could see the hurt and depression on Conquistador and all the horses that the BLM rounds up,plus some are lame,or crippled where they are put down because of it.I truly do not understand how people can be that cruel and hateful to one of Gods wonderful and beautiful creations.God made his own way of regulated the animals,thats why he made preditors and prey animals,birds ,fish and etc.It is not for man to come in as dumb as a rock BLM to come in and destroy horses and etc.just because they think they need to.God knows what they’re doing,SHAME ON THEM FOR TRYING TO PLAY GOD<AS THEY"RE NOT!!

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  25. I’m writing the Senators and the President Obama and anyone I can think of that can stop the BLM of their destroying the magnificent beautiful wild horses,Cloud and all the bands of wild horses.The Blm is cruel and inhumane in their rounding up the horses with helicopters,and the guys on horses back spooking them with their white flags they wave around and scare them to death,making them try to scale the sides of the pens and hurt themselves.And their Judas horse needs to be kidnapped and turned free.I’m surprised those horses turn against the wild horses,and lead them in the pens like they do.the Indians treated the wild horses better then the group they call BLM.Some how some way these wonderful wild horses need to be saved and turned lose those that are penned up to run free as God intended them to.all of them need to be returned to their home ranges and left alone.God will take care of them,they certainly don’t need the BLM.The BLM needs to be brought up on charges for all that they have done to these wild horses that are part of our HISTORY.they were in wars,they carried the mail (pony express)they made it possible for settlers to build this U.S.A.,and they were quite useful for the native Americans the Indians.

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  26. oops the return button on accident on last comment.
    WE MUST MAKE CHANGES HOW WE LOOK AT AND TREAT OUR WILD EQUINE THEY ARE A NATURAL RESCOURCE THAT BELONGS TO ALL USA TAXPAYERS AND FURTURE TAX PAYERS
    WE NEED TO BRING THEM CLOSER TO US NOT HOLD THEM IN SOME HORRIBLE PEN FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVING DAYS. WE GAVE THEM THE MOST UNDESIRABLE PLACE IN THE USA TO LIVE BACK IN 1971 WHY IS THE BLM STILL CONDUCING ILLEGAL ROUND UPS TODAY. EVERYONE OF THEM SHOULD BE THROWN IN JAIL THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. THESES HORSES BELONG TO ALL OF US WE PAY THE MONEY TO HAVE THEM MISMANAGE AND THEN THEY OUR SENT TO SLAUGHTER.
    STOP NEW PRO SLAUGHTER LAWS GOING ON NOW ASAP BE ON ALERT IN ID, FL, MT, KY, CA, SD, ND, IL, AND MANY MORE GO TO animallawcollistion.com for pro slaughter bills in your state GET INVOLVED STOP THEM NOW
    BRING BACK OUR WILD HORSES SO WE CAN ENJOY THEM. GIVE THE HORSES A PLACE IN THE USA. AND IN OUR COMMUNITIES. ITS UP TO US TO GIVE THEM A VOICE.
    1900 MUSTANGS ARE ON THEIR WAY TO NEBRASKA TWO BE SHOVED INTO A SMALL DIRTY CELL WITH THE REST OF THE 30,00O MUSTANGS PREVIOUSLY ROUNDED UP. ARE WE GOING TO FIGHT OR OUR WE GOING TO LET THEM TAKE THEM, WE NEED TO FIGHT TO GET THE STALLION FREEDOM BACK HIS BAND THE BLM STOLED FROM HIM.
    IN A FEW YEARS AFTER COMPLAINING AND WASTING OUR TAXPAYERS MONEY THEY WILL THEN AGAIN ILLEGALLY SEND THEM ACROSS THE CANADIAN AND MEXICAN BOARDERS TO HAVE THEM SLAUGHTERED. (THIS IS AFTER WE PAID FOR THEM TO BE MANAGED. USAS PEOPLE PAY FOR THE ROUND UPS AND FEEDING OF THE 34,000 HORSES AT 3000+ A PIECE.
    THEN THE BLM TURNS AROUND AND SELLS THEM OUT AT A 100 BUCKS A PIECE. IS IT JUST ME OR IS THEIR SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. WHOSE MAKING THE REST OF THE MONEY ON THE HORSES SINCE HORSE MEET BRINGS PREMIUM PRICES IN OTHER COUNTRIES 60.00 DOLLARS A POUND. SOMEONE WAS HAS GOLD FILLED POCKETS. HAPPENING.

    I HAVE A DREAM. THIS IS WHAT I WROTE TO CBS CHANNEL 2 IN CARSON CITY AFTER THEY QUOTED ME IN THERE ARTICLE ON THE TRUTH RALLY IN CARSON.

    Feb 22, 2010

    To help Nevada and the USA from going bankrupt, this would be my dream.

    Stop President Obama from handing out 60 million dollars of our tax money that the BLM wants to spend on the harvesting our wild equine illegally and sending them to their deaths. . Reinstate the Annie act of 1971 permanently, Take the failed wild equine management away from the BLM due to conflict of interest. Lets give the wild equines back the land they were illegally taken from and put them on the endanger species list.
    Open a state and or national park for the wild equines in different locations in the USA, or add them to parks already exisiting, for Americas people to enjoy. There would be a museum for the wild equine on how they shaped the USA. There would be viewing area to see the wild horse’s running free. There would be a adoption center, a rescue center, volunteer center, onsite equine vetranarian, education center and research center, school of horsemanship. The center would have summer programs for inter-city kids and adults to stay and volunteer. There will be horse camping and trails, picnic areas, places to eat and lodge. as well as a full blown wild equine training and riding facility for all. Special needs therapeutic riding, recovering drug attacks, abused childeren, suicide survivors, recovering alcoholics, orphans, kids on drugs, sexually abused people, cancer patients, the list is endless. Billions of groups and organizations would benefit from these parks.

    Wild equines give people confidence, wild equines give stability, wild equines give people love, wild equines give people hope, wild equines give people faith, wild equines heel people, wild equines save lives. wild equines for the people. Wild equines ask for nothing in return.

    quote: Trace our present day’s strength to its source and you’ll find that man’s pathway to glory. is strewn with the bones of a horse.

    It was only less then 100 years ago that horses were mans everything, We owe them the opportunity of life.
    Thanks for reading my letter,
    Sincerely, Kimberly Miller

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  27. Kimberly you are absolutely right the wild horses should be respected and allowed to roam free all their lives and the mares should not be given PZP to sterilize them either,nor neuter the stallions.these magnificent beautiful animals deserve to live and roam free and raise their families,and have plenty of foals to keep the wild horses alive forever,so our grandchildrens,children and so on can see them and appreciate them,not by reading about them being extinct,we never want that to ever happen,God knows what the BLM is doing and I am sure he’s not happy with them destroying his beautiful creations.Horses and burro’s have been the back bone of this country,in the past the present and it will be in the future.we have to save them now.

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  28. we need to save our wild horses and burro’s now.Kimberlly you have dreams like I do,we need to make it a reality.I keep e-mailing our Senators and President Obama about our wild horses and about how we the tax-payers are tired of them paying BLM for the mismanagement of these beautiful horses.they need to get rid of the BLM (fire them)abolish the whole BLM and prosecute them all to the limit of the law for the cruel inhumane treatment that the heartless cruel BLM treats these magnificent animals,as they’re breaking the law with their illegal roundups,and the abuse treatment they do to the wild horses.The BLM needs to return the land they stole from the wild horses to let cattle and sheep graze on.The ranchers need to feed their cattle and sheep on their own land and leave the land alone that belongs to the wild horses and burro’s.I promised the wild horses and burro’s I would e-mail,call and do what I can to get the BLM and Obama to stop the mistreatment of the wild horses and to have them released back on the ranges where they were born and let them roam free forever and ever.And not inject the mares with that PZP and not neuter the stallions so they can multiply and live their lives as God so intended them to always FREE.Watching the video’s of Cloud and the wild horses in Montana by Ginger Kathren got me interested in the wild horses,I was blind to the factor of what was happening with our wild horses but I’m well aware now thanks to Ms.Ginger K.WE NEED TO KEEP ON,KEEP ON TILL WE GET THE JOB DONE AND OUR WILD HORSES AND BURRO’S ROAM FREE WITHOUT THE FEAR OF A ROUND-UP,AND BEING PENNED UP AND MISTREATED AND ABUSED.

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  29. has anyone heard an up date on Cloud and his family and all the Arrowhead bands??You know the idea of a riding acadamy or a horse and burro teaching facility,where city people and handicapped children and adults and the elderly citizens can visit and learn about the wild horses and burro’s and see them for themselves and not by looking in a book.you would have to make it as natural for the horses and burro’s as possible where its still like they’re in the wild.I am still working at getting our wild horses and burro’s free to roam the ranges as they were meant to be.I will keep e-mailing President Obama and my Senators and everybody that might help save our wild horses and burro’s.

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  30. So I am a college student, majoring in wildlife bio, and I was planning to go into the BLM as a specialist, and I agree we need to change the treatment of these horses. So my question is why dont we just get more horse lovers to get into the program?

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