Horse News

Convicted Wild Mustang Murderer Jason Meduna Gets Off Easy


The “Details” on Meduna’s Sentence

Just one of dozens of wild horses starved to death by Jason Meduna

The former owner of the 3-Strikes Ranch in Morrill County has been sentenced to a prison term of 40 months to ten years for criminal neglect of animals.

Morrill County District Court Judge Leo Dobrovolny handed down the sentence Tuesday afternoon in Bridgeport.

In January, 43-year-old Jason Meduna had been found guilty of 145 counts of cruel neglect of an animal resulting in death or injury.

The jury had deliberated for five-and-a-half hours.

Of the 145 counts, 31 of the horses were dead and the rest were either sick or injured.

Meduna apologized to the court and accepted responsibility for his actions, stating that the loss of the animals cost him his ranch and livelihood. Meduna said it was a mistake that would haunt him the rest of his life, with one of his mistakes being he rescued horses he never should have allowed on his ranch.

However, Morrill County Attorney Jean Rhodes told the judge that Meduna had purposely deceived people for his own benefit at the expense of the animals, subjected his neighbors to false allegations claiming they poisoned the horses, and conducted criminal acts by doing nothing to save the starving animals.

Meduna’s attorney, Chad Wythers of Lincoln, argued that Meduna may have been stupid, made mistakes, and exercised bad judgment, but did not commit criminal acts. Wythers stated that there was a big difference between negligence and deliberating hurting horses.

Wythers added that sending Meduna to prison would accomplish nothing, stating, “Nothing in prison will make Mr. Meduna a smarter horse guy”

During sentencing, Judge Dobrovolny stated that it was obvious to him that Meduna had not accepted responsibility that he had committed a criminal act by allow the horses to starve. The judge stated that Meduna chose not to act when the horses got sick, and that overall, the bottom line was how Meduna reacted.

Dobrovolny added that animals on western Nebraska ranches are not free to fend for themselves and that each animal had to be cared for by Meduna, and he failed in that duty.

Dobrovolny divided the sentencing into two categories, for the animals that died and for those that were sick and injured. Of the 31 felony counts charged on the animals that had died, the judge sentenced Meduna to 20 to 60 months on each count, and then ordered the 31 counts to be served concurrent (or altogether) with one another. On the remaining 114 felony counts concerning animals that were sick or injured, the judge also sentenced Meduna to 20 to 60 months on each count, with the 114 counts to be served concurrent.

Dobrovolny then ordered the two 20 to 60 month sentences to be served consecutive to one another, totaling the 40 to 120 month sentence.

Under Nebraska law, Meduna will be eligible for parole in 20 months.

The judge also ordered Meduna to pay court costs of $3,813.64, and told him he could not reside with any animal for 30 years.

Meduna’s attorney stated that case will be appealed, and was granted an appeal bond hearing set for March 9.

Over 200 animals were removed from the ranch in April, 2009, by the local Sheriff’s Department and awarded to the care and custody of the Texas based Equine Protection Agency, Habitat for Horses.  The surviving horses were taken to the Morrill County Fairgrounds in Bridgeport were they were provided food and medical care.  Habitat for Horses, Front Range Rescue, the HSUS and many local volunteers helped in re-homing the starving mustangs for rehabilitation.

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36 replies »

  1. Excuse me, but Meduna claims he “lost” his ranch. I thought it was leased.

    Anyone know?

    The judge is wrong in not mentioning the “enablers” like BLM and for not fining Meduna something for the costs of the seizure and rehabs. Meduna didn’t wreak all this havoc all by his little, ol’ mustang man self.


  2. Does this mean that Meduna will be out of prison while the case is being appealed?
    Could the agencies and individuals pursue a civil lawsuit for the costs of the seizure and rehabs? Just wondering–


  3. If animal cruelty charges can’t stick, why not nail him for fraud? He FRAUDULENTLY asked for money to line his own pockets with under the guise of being “for the horses”. (Sounds like someone else I know – Carol Paselk of Hopkins County Texas). Surely FRAUD can be nailed with more jail time if nothing else. People like him are a danger to society. What’s next? Ripping off senior citizens of their meager incomes to line his pockets in his next ventures? Once a scammer….


    • Sheri-if you don’t know the facts of both sides of the case for Carol Paselk, you should not be slandering her name. The internet is a great place for people to tell untruths and get their 15 minutes of fame. The deputy sheriff perjured himself in this case and will be punished. The ‘rescue’ groups are the one’s trying to line their pockets with great bloodlines of horses stolen from that ranch.


      • Amy you obviously don’t know the whole story……..ask Carol how she scammed hundreds of artists with the intent of lining her pockets all in the name of rescue while she was starving her own horses. He deception goes a lot deeper than what cam e out in her measly little trial. The woman is nuts and a real loser. If you believe her garbage then you belong there with her.


      • To Sheri, Amy, Pam, and anyone else who knows or has heard about Carol Paselk. My name is Heather. I am very curious as to how you know her and what you know of her. I have regretfully gotten involved in her case and am trying to find the truth about her and her “Glory of Horses” deal. Thank you for your time. Please email me at


  4. Had the BLM allocated any of their budget for follow up, this atrocity could have been prevented or atleast minimized. All it would take is one on-site visit to monitor the health and safety of adopted horses. This may be impossible for all adoptions, but for those who adopt a lot, it must become mandatory. The BLM is complicit in this.


  5. Sheri :If animal cruelty charges can’t stick, why not nail him for fraud? He FRAUDULENTLY asked for money to line his own pockets with under the guise of being “for the horses”. (Sounds like someone else I know – Carol Paselk of Hopkins County Texas). Surely FRAUD can be nailed with more jail time if nothing else. People like him are a danger to society. What’s next? Ripping off senior citizens of their meager incomes to line his pockets in his next ventures? Once a scammer….

    That’s my question.


  6. I am confused, where does he come up with 31 dead, I was under the impression that there were closer to 70? Maybe I need to go back and re-read all the facts?

    I definitely agree that the points of fraud for the money he took from people to maintain these horses needed to be addressed. Also why was he not made to pay the costs that were incurred to rehabilitate these horses too??? There are still lots of questions. If he does appeal is there any way that these charges can be brought into the mix and thus leaving him in a worse position than he already is, although he literally has gotten away with murder!!!


    • He has to prove that he is entitled to an appeal-he just can’t ask for a do over..he has to base an appeal on a specific point of law..I believe they would have to file another case aginst him for fraud..If he won on appeal-they could come back with a fraud case..It can be the most difficult to prove..because you have to absolutely prove intent..and you might know it..but its hard to prove..he will claim…stupidity, not fraud..and hard to argue with that point….


  7. I think if he was going to be charged with fraud, it should of went with the animal death and abuse charges. Someone would have to make a complaint.
    What gets me is stupidity? that sob watched those horses for months starve to death, His wife is a dope too? he better do his time. I wonder if it would help sending before and after pictures to the Judge. Jean Rhodes has some. Everytime I see that poor baby, and I know we all feel the same.


  8. Sheri 2/25/10: Sad but true he has ripped off a senior citizen – one that i know of his Grandmother – pretty low isn’t it. He is a waste of oxygen and so is his useless wife.


  9. I’m appalled!! There were almost 150 horses found dead, I think 149 to be exact. I arrived at the ranch on April 22, a day before it was seized be the county and helped the HSUS to relocate the 209 mustangs that survived to Bridgeport NE. I had three horses at his ranch over that winter ..and Thank God! that all three survived. Their road to recovery wasn’t easy, and incredibly traumatic, both for the horses and myself. They are now healthy and safe, but just beginning to trust.

    I feel the courts have let all! these animals down incredibly, as well as their owners. The only light I can see in his sentence is his restriction from living with another animal for the next 30 years.


    • Amanda thank you for all you done…fate put you there in them hills to get this monster put away…a year gone by already…hard to imagine….anyway God bless you my friend.
      Jim Weber


  10. i have been bringing up this concern in relation to the warehousing of mustangs on facilities like this..The BLM has shown a lack over oversight, as well as foresight on these matters..and will be sending most of the 40+ wild horses to facilities just like this…scam operations…with federally owned horses there…BLM should have sued in federal court, where it would have been a federal offense…more time for the crime. Did the BLM join the lawsuit as a plaintiff?


  11. The Judge needs to remember what is burned in my brain, ghosts, starvation, death, WHY!.

    I have been documenting the 26 survivors that came to Lifesavers in CA.
    I am now the proud owner of 3 of these beauties who went through months of rehab. See three now happy healthy, and click the link to see them then.
    This monster and all that keep him in jail need to remember to never forget. I see it everyday I look into the eyes of the three I have.

    Rachael Waller


  12. Maybe we need to send him reminders by mail while he languishes in jail at our expense in the form of letters and pictures of what he is in there for. Or would that be considered harassment? Just so that he knows we will still be here when he gets out. If it is not hell in jail for him then maybe we can make it hell for him when he gets out.

    Rachel it is great to see the improvement in your 3. I am looking forward to seeing the results of Pam’s next visit to her two. They are all looking awesome.


  13. Thanks for the link….I actually laughed at his face. Yet, thought of the faces of my three then and now, like I said, it will always be burned into my brain and it should be in his.

    Yes, my three are doing great and I am honored to share their world. They are very special babies, Pam’s seem to be doing great as well…thank goodness for all the kind people who dropped everything to see these surviving babies find a good life. What a blessing for sure.



  14. Well it’s exactly a year since I went out there to feed horses that some idiot neglected…4 weeks ago the mare I kept from this wreck delivered the last foal from this herd…His names is Shelby’s Sunny Surprise.
    I still have no regrets from helping out at this wreck…I see those grimacing skulls, those agonized skeletons and will never forget what jason and his wife did to these horses.
    I am still disappointed that people have not come forward as of yet, that abandoned their horses and allowed us to relocate these animals…what really bothers me is some of those idiots probably went out, bought more horses, put them out on a ranch just like this and now those horses are waiting for us to come get them.
    You all keep harping about the fraud and deceit that went on, yet none of you have brought up charges to that effect…it seems like you just expect Morrill County Nebraska to still be the only responsible party…
    Everyone wants to shove the blame onto the BLM, that isn’t even an intelligent accusation…don’t forget Jason took the horses and had the BLM convinced he was training and selling horses…the BLM is not responsible for inspection… jason Meduna was responsible for everything that happened…except for one small aspect of that statement…”You gutless people who left horses out there without checking up on them and to those of you who owned horses and never came forward or offered to help, I have this to say as my final declaration….” You will be held accountable someday for your abandonment of the horses “WE” had to save…

    I sincerely believe with all my heart that the wild horse is the most neglected animal on the earth…He holds that title for one reason…a lot of people want to see him saved, only they want to do it in such a way that they don’t think any intervention or management is called for… all the bunny huggers see this animal as the icon of the West, yet very few have a clue how or what it takes for a horse to survive…your “wild” horses need controlled, culled and managed…till that happens 90% of you ought to be chrged with neglect.

    Finally…you people owe so much to Amanda Davis on this travesty…someone should have a plaque made for her in appreciation of what she accomplished during this ordeal….Amanda, Steve and Christy, my prayers all go out to you, you truly know the value of the horse… I was just there guys, but I am so very glad I was able to be….
    Your friend


    • Dear Mr. Weber,

      I sincerely thank you for all your assistance and saving of the horses left in such neglect is heroic. However I am so truly sorry for you that the experience of your good deeds has left you so angry and bitter to lash out at other people who are just doing the best they can under their own personal situations and circumstances. It is normal to spread blame when under such distress, especially when meduna got such a light sentence, and I hope you can come to terms with your placement of that blame.

      I will take this opportunity to shed some hope to you and other readers and correct what I feel are some incorrect impressions from just one of those you seem to hold in such distain.

      1. The term bunny hugger. Ok, I accept that. I have actually owned real live bunnies either in a farm scenario as food and pet or has house pets my entire 62 years of life. Though I know you meant it as a completely derogative statement, I am complemented.
      2. YOU make a plague for the people if you feel a plague is why they did what they did? There are millions of heroes every day in all walks of life that do what they do because for no other reason than it is the right thing to do and they are able to do it. I consider you one of those. WE all thank you and them every day in our own way. I am not complimented that you assume and imply otherwise.
      3. I don’t know where you get the idea that all “bunny huggers” think that wild horses need no management. There may be a few. But of what I read every day, most everyone that you indict is forthcoming to the need for population control. I read however, that everyone does indict the cruel methods currently being used based on faulty science. A BLM wild horse expert testified before Congress prior to the Calico event that the range was bountiful and could hold even more horses. And footage of the horses entering the chutes showed few, if any malnourished horses, even the fellow who owns the holding site stated such. I have joined thousands asking for a moratorium – that means just time to sort things out – that does not mean forever. There are people with tremendous credentials and firsthand experience that have offered, on their own time and at their own expense, real doable alternatives over and over again to a deaf and neglectful BLM.
      4. Bringing up charges regarding fraud and deceit – again, your research is lacking. There are several ongoing lawsuits and there will continue to be so until those truly accountable either are men and women strong and brave enough to stand up and change their mistakes or are removed and replaced with others who should be truly in charge of what you call controlling, culling, and managing wild horses for the horses benefit, for the scientifically based and long term benefit of the ecology.
      5. On one hand you condemn everyone except BLM, yet at the same time admit that BLM acted in exactly the same way as all the others who had horses in holding at medunas. How do you know for certain that people PAYING money from their pockets to meduna did not come forward once they determined what had occurred and how do you know each situation. Please send us links to this information. BLM was paying meduna to hold these horses as I suspect someone was paying for every other horse that was not a BLM horse. This is an interesting topic and one that you obviously feel strongly about that you might want to investigate further and bring to our attention. How many were BLM horses and how many were other borders horses? And where are those others? These are good questions. I choose to spend my time gaining new advocates to work on forward solutions to current wild horse concerns.
      6. And you are breeding horses when thousands are sent to slaughter every month? If you want another horse adopt. Stop slaughter = stop breeding. I know all that you would say about this; because I hear it all constantly from breeders both in the animal business and back yard family types, of all types of companion and sport animals. Yet, YET, millions are still discarded every year. I simply ask that everyone adopt instead of breed.
      7. Stress. I don’t even need to know a thing about horses on this subject, nor do I need to believe Dr. Nock. I only need to know common physiology. And I don’t need firsthand experience, though I do have some. I only need to go as far as any local marathon and talk to the runners, bikers, whatever exertive sport it might be. Running like these horses did without adequate calories and water intake, whether self imposed or not, is deadly. It is great that the horses rescued from meduna all faired so well – probably because you all would accept nothing less. However, marathon runners will tell you that they can feel the weight falling off of them by the minute if they don’t take proper care. I have had my own personal experience with misdiagnosed medically induced metabolic syndrome and came near liver and kidney failure, and had to force myself to eat and drink and still lost over a pound a day (oh, if only I had kept that off!). And I had a cat one time that suffered from same after a series of convulsions. It is true whether you believe so or not.

      Anyway, best wishes to you.


  15. I am not breeding horses, the mare I saved had a colt, probably the last colt from this herd. jason had 47 stallions and wasn’t supposed to have any…the mare was bred at the ranch while jason was in control of them. She carried the colt 11 months.
    I do not know of any current on going fraud charges being brought up to meduna…I could be wrong, but I am in contact with the CA ..this proves my point that people are just going to let it slide…the CA couldn’t bring up any further charges because no one came forward.
    The BLM did not pay Meduna to take horses…also the BLm does not have jurisdiction to inspect facilities…they work on the honor system…they trust the adoptors of horses to know right from wrong…Meduna had them convinced he was training and selling horses off…
    I am mad that people who owned some of the horses abandoned them once we gained control of the animals…of the 6 animals I took 4 were older horses that had been worked previously before coming to Meduna… Since the wreck I adopted 5 of those horses out…
    Meduna was no trainer, people thought he was, he had a lot of people thinking he was the “horse whisperer incarnate”.
    We knew there were people who sent horses to Meduna that never came forward…there were records of where these animals came from with the BLM, they knew who adopted the horses from their facilities prior to meduna receiving some of them.
    I do apologize for seeming a bit angry… yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of my involvement with these horses and it was just a blue day for me.
    This thing has touched me in ways I will never fathom.
    It angers me when i read on other sights that people think the BLM is the one to hold accountable on this atrocity, and that is just not the truth!
    I think someone should of checked this criminal episode out before 100 horses died…it wasn’t up to the BLM to launch the investigation, it was up to the local law enforcement…it just took too long to play out…( a note worth attention is that the BLM was the first one to bring charges up against the Medunas on questions of ownership and neglect…)…
    Did jason just get a slap on the wrist?…yeah I think so…and I understand why now!…
    We took the horses…he signed them over to Jerry and we took them…in retrospect if we had taken the horses elsewhere and let the county take care of them, eventually jason would have had to pay for that care…can you imagine what it would have cost him for a years care on 211 horses?
    There is a bill currently in front of the Nebraska Legislature granting the counties of this state to hold such evidence as these horses and collecting the monies owed for their care…if it goes forward we will have gained a foothold in prosecuting these cases….
    I probably would get involved again if the need arose on a case like this in the future…we gained a lot of information from this fiasco and hopefully the next wreck would benefit from our involvement.
    I think I got involved way over my head in this and took on more responsibilities than I should have…someone else should have secured the transportation…someone else should have secured the facilities… I wish I hadn’t drove through the piles of dead horses or rounded up the loose ones… I thought I’d killed a few horses when we watched them collapse from the exertion of the roundup…the horses that collapsed all recovered and we got them all in… I wish I hadn’t found a colt standing over its dead mother, who had died the night before…I wish there would have been another way to bring that colt in, than leading it in through the hills with my arms wrapped around its neck…I made a promise to a lady that if we found her horse I’d put my hands on him and make sure she got him back…later on I was accused of stealing the horse in the first place by some fat guy who hadn’t been on the sight….I kept worrying we had left horses out there…someone else should have furnished the loader and other equipment…someone else should have made sure the site was cleaned up and put back in repair when we were done…someone else should have collected the bills…and someone else should have made sure they were paid…someone else should also have been responsible for the left over hay and material that was left . I should have left well before the last day and I shouldn’t have been the last guy standing wondering what the hell just happened at the end of 24 days…
    I am not passing the buck, nor am i pushing the blame on to another person or group, I’m just saying I shouldn’t have been responsible for so many things…it was all just a little mind numbing…
    24 days is too long to be wading in worms, and horse manure…24 days around a bunch of starving horses is just more than this ole cowboy could have handled…
    I didn’t testify at the trial, but I was supposed to be there for 5 days during the damned thing… just in case…
    DO i regret this damned thing…in certain ways I do…I know now that I wouldn’t get so involved and that I would delegate jobs and not shackle one guy with so much involvement…
    HSUS did step up to the plate and the organization once they took over relieved a lot of stress…
    jerry finch had a lot to do…and he was amazing in all this…I think he was wore out in the end also…
    I ran on adrenaline for 24 days and on the last day, when everyone left…and I was left there loading out hay and securing the facility I lost it for a while…the crash was pretty hard on me…
    I see the dead horses to this day…I see those hollow sockets and the grimacing teeth of a lot of nice animals left to rot on a sand hill… I know this animal of a human being went to sleep at night knowing horses were dying not 100 feet from his bedroom window and he never so much as raised a hand or chambered a round in a gun to ease their suffering…just days before we had arrived the area was hit with a blizzard…horses went down and pawed haloes in the sand in their last feeble struggles of survival…we found one such horse still alive…laying on the ground with not a mouthful of grass within reach…I wanted to use the sherriffs gun and put the poor thing out of his misery, but we had to wait for a vet to do it… I felt kind of helpless…
    I watched Amanda Davis and my daughter, a sheriff and the county attorney shed a few tears for that horse when we finally put him down…I cried too…then we all watched the necropsy… all of us came away from that ordeal with one thought…Meduna should have hung for this…
    I let this thing burn a hole in my mind…and it has bothered me to the ninth degree… I’m just strting to let this all go…I’ve held back to long


    • James, we are honored that you picked here to both vent and to let go…it is ok, you truly have held back for a long time.

      You are amongst friends.

      Thank you for all you did and be at peace.



  16. I cannot blame the BLM for one thing that is happening to your horses out in the wild…I refuse too…I worked with the BLM people at this wreck and all of them showed nothing but kindness towards the surviving animals…I get kind of mad when people tell me they are killing horses…I know that if any are dying it isn’t because the BLM wants them too…
    I feel strongly that the wild horse needs help…but there is a faction out there that wants us to just let these animals run free and never intervene…there are scientific studies that prove the pros and cons to intervention…there is a lot of heresay as to what the mustang can eat or what they are immune too….and that is just what it is…these are horses…they eat, sleep and crap just like a domestic horse…the biggest difference is in their heart, their stature…and their unique capabilities to survive…they are just a little smarter than most peanut pushing domestic animals….they do require a different mindset when working with them…and they are just plane unique to watch… i swear to the saints that this new colt just floats above the ground as if suspended on the wings of angels and he only touches the ground to dance once in a while…
    I submit that I am touched to some degree by your Mustangs…
    I also think it is the public who is to blame for the plight of the horse…
    Our president hasn’t bothered to address our concerns and he just seems hell bent on taking our freedoms of choice away one frugal act at a time…I wish I could help the horse out that has to live on the public domain…but the powers that be just don’t see the problem…they don’t know how to fix what’s broke…and they don’t care…
    We ought to be sitting down with Obama and saying we are fed up with how he has handled this thing… if he can’t take care of the thousands of horses entrusted to him, how can he take care of the millions of people who are relying upon his leadership?
    yeah in my own mind this is just too numbing….


    • Yes, it is numbing. I want go give up every day, sometimes wish I had never selected that PBS Cloud DVD in the first place as the task is so daunting. However, I have no choice any longer. I must sign all the petitions to Obama, I must join all the drives to conatct Congress and the White House. I must roam the You Tubes looking for opportunities to educate and to add numbers to our fight. Craig Downer said in one of his videos, as close as I recall, “the change will come from maybe you, maybe me”. Maybe someone that isn’t yet on board – that is all am am able to do right now – search for more advocates. You have already done so much. I am sorry that I am so jaded against BLM as an orgnaization.


  17. A year ago it kind of all started for me…I had no intention of caring for a bunch of hay burning horses…
    Today is also my 36 wedding anniversary…today I’m home remembering the horses…last year I was with them…today they are scattered far and wide across this country…are they safe?….is their another monster like him hurting one of these horses today?…there better not be!

    I’ll probably never know where all the pretty horses have gone…but for 24 days they were very much a part of me…today I feel those horses….IF animals go to heaven when they die…if the master grants last wishes to a dying man…I hope I meet up with them horses…I miss em today like you can’t imagine…
    I apologize for taking the space here.


    • Like I said you are caring. I see the horrors of the captive horses and hear their screams almost every night. It has become “almost every night” instead of “every night” and I was not even there. Your pain will slowly find a compartment to give you relief and will be replaced by knowing you did the right things you were presented with at the time. Sometimes events take over like a snowball, sounds like you were in the situation and will know your boundaries if ever again in that position. You certainly have done a wonderful thing.

      I will say, I was replying apples to oragnes, as my focus was more on wild horses. I do read often that there are many wonderful people in BLM. I have not seem them myself, I just see the terrified horses at their hands like you see medunas horses at his hands.

      Best wishes to you. Ranting accepted here. I myself have been known to do so on many occasion.


    • Well Jim, I can assure you that the dozen horses that came to us at Habitat for Horses are now all bedded down with fine and dandy adoptive homes. One of which you might recognize. Fellow member of our Board of Directors, Willie Nelson, adopted Voodoo and Itchy…here’s a shot of them and evidence of the magic that our mutual friend, Jerry Finch, can work on rehabilitating horses.



    • Hey James,
      I don’t know if you will even see this, but I belong to a group on FB of those of us to took in some of these horses. Many, many of them, including my little mare and the 4 my neighbor took, are loved and well cared for. I hope that gives you some peace….you did make a difference.


  18. Jim I bless you for the work you did and the caring and understanding you showed these horses who for too long had no one to stand up for them. I hope you never have to go through this again for the rest of your days. There are few that know what you endured and are enduring as the ghosts of these horses haunt you. As I read reports the generalized ghosts of the horses haunt me but you, unfortunately, have too many with faces. I am sorry.


  19. My name is Rachael Waller and I own 10 “hay burning horses” 3 are 3x survivors and yes JM should be held responsible just like Michael Vick. We knew of this kid years ago in the rodeo world and were shocked to hear of his self proclaimed status. Years later here we all are… still shaking our heads.
    I am also an award winning equine photographer, but a saver at heart. I am no newbie by any means Sir, but I can handle my own here in this mess JM left behind. I have been working with and photographing rescue horses for 30 years. We are an American Indian family, google my husband Rod Rondeaux, you will find the best Indian cowboy and wild horse advocate on the planet when you do. We are good people, we care, we support and care for animals in need. For over a 100 years we have dealt with the Gov. and their ill choices on our people. Today, we fight for wild horses who also have no real voice. I know there are others but here we are a small family who takes in the souls we can and love them with all of our hearts. We show their beauty to the world via photography and workshops with Native kids. We are not uneducated when it comes to the BLM we grew up with them running our wild herds away from us. We get it. We were there. Our ancestors trained the war ponies who fought Custer, we were there, we were there when NO one else cared to be there at an auction with $75 dollar horses (or less). Please understand, you are not the only one, and THIS is not the only herd. This is something that goes on EVERY SINGLE DAY, like a holocaust of blood shed.

    Vent all you want James, I vent too!
    I was there when Lifesavers hit the scene they purchased a ton of feed and took all they could on a trailer load to LA when the call came. My journey started officially on Mother’s Day and I thank you for caring during that important time for my 3 that I took in. I moved back to my ranch in West Texas so that they could have the life they deserved, free from harm, lots of food and love. NOW, they are rock stars in my neighborhood simply because they bring joy to so many just by driving by and because THEY MATTER.

    Feel good knowing that not only my 3 but the 26 that Jill Starr took are all happy and healthy horses. I am sure many others are the same. I hope they are.
    I also own “Baby Blue” the little colt that started it all (Jason claimed he was dead or poisoned at the vets) …and he is a joy, his name is now Lazarus as he rose from the dead to shine on us all. Like abused children we take it at a slow and loving pace, they are free here, free to live and be wild horses, but they all chose to be our friends, one day at a time which is how I honor them.
    So James, please know that I am grateful for the care that you and EVERYONE else gave them on that nightmare journey. There are MANY honors to hand out for me Jill Starr is a hero, I watched her pull a tiny small filly from one of the mares the day the arrived, I watch her feed a herd in need EVERYDAY without support. I named the filly Wild Flower, she is thriving today in beauty and light.

    I call them all our 3 spirit horses, they bring us joy on a minute by minute basis. As I write this I can see them grazing peacefully out on the front pasture. My 8 year old Cheyenne Rondeaux has raised money and helped them all that she could. They have mountains and rolling hills to roam, fresh spring water and a fun pond to roll in. They are under the eye of nearly a 100 years of wild horse experienced folks. They are home and at peace now.

    So tonight, know that we are touched, moved, and blessed by their spirits. They have awakened us and we are forever grateful.

    As we say in our language. “AHO” thank you.

    All the best,
    Rachael Waller & Family
    Firelight South Ranch
    Far West Texas


  20. rachael:
    Aho to you also!
    I remember the horse blue…I loaded him with a few others…I’m glad your ponies are all doing well and thank you for the thank you…lol.
    It was an experience to say the least!
    I thank the creator a lot for this experience and I think the tears we have all shed over these horses have helped rekindle a new life and re-birth for these afflicted, noble beasts… I remember Blue’s story…how jason solicited funds for your horse’s necropsy…I have to wonder…why would there ever be the need to have a necropsy done on a live horse?…lol…Thank God Dr. Tom Furman could see through that charade… you own a true miracle there kiddo….by all accounts that frail little horse I remember should be dead….
    I have to own up to a really stupid mistake I almost made….
    I saved a 4 year old mare from this wreck…she gave birth almost 4 weeks ago to the last colt to be born from this wreck…I had a couple vets look at her and we all thought she had slunk the colt…I held off worming her just in case…
    I went out to feed the cows one day 4 weeks ago…and was cussing the neighbor out for buying such a skinny pony!…a few minutes later I realized the skinny pony was on my side of the fence!!!!
    I had palpated this mare’s udder the night before and was convinced she was barren…boy do I feel stupid…lol
    Anyway the colts name is “Shelby’s Sunny Surprise”…we’ll shorten it to “Sunny” when he’s old enough to ride… is there an Indian word for “sunny”….
    anyway thanks for sharing about your horses …I’m glad they are all safe…give “LAzarus” a pat on the right side of his rump for me and rub the base of his tail…that’s what I did after he loaded…maybe he’ll remember this ole cowboy!
    I get a chuckle out of a bumper sticker I saw the other day…
    It was a picture of a war bonnet…the caption underneath said in big blood red letters,,,,”Custer was Souixed”
    The Mustang and your people share the same heart I believe…you have both traveled too many trails washed in tears… I apologize for the way your nation has been treated by the white guy hell bent on land ownership!
    Your people and the horse have shared common ground for Centuries…You have both survived… You are both rich in heart and will power…


  21. On my ranch on The North Platte… the “Flat Water” to your people…I am going to erect a small slab of wood with the words “In memory of the 211 horse we walked off the killing fields and more importantly to the 100 and some who never made it out…April-May 2009.
    It has come to my attention that at one time there were over 300 horses at the 3 strikes fiasco…we walked out 205 from the ranch…by day 24 there were 211…


  22. Thank you Jim, and peace to your little baby “Sunny” -I have tears in my eyes over your sign if you have space put “Sunka Wakan Winagi” which means Spirit horses in Lakota, that is what we call them. Thank you from all who cared and prayed for this herd even if they weren’t there in person MANY were there in spirit. Here is a link to see Laz, you can follow their journey with me there. I hope you smile when you see this photo, he is happy and a sweet boy who loves to nicker just his own song when I walk out to greet them.

    Best to you Kola (friend)
    Rachael Waller (Rondeaux)
    & herd 🙂


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