Equine Rescue

For the Love of Wild Horses

Part I of a Series by R.T. Fitch ~ author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Three Old Cowboys, a Pitcher of Tea and a Half Baked Idea

Jerry Finch with Harley and R.T. Fitch, Pele voices opinion of the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch

After the whirlwind events of the past several days we are going to step back for a moment and publish a series of articles that reflect upon the sequence of recent events that has brought us to where we are today.  It’s a story of love, trust, faith and vision.  Today we start with installment one:

The Inception

Way back in 2009 a rather amazing event occurred; a force and a power was molded into action and its influence has already touched the lives of many horses.  Let me take you back:

Picture a quaint BBQ house, in southeast Texas, brimming with the smell of BBQ and the pungent odor of burning mesquite.  It’s a busy place, filled to capacity with happy Texans enjoying the local culinary delight.  Off over in a dark corner 3 gray haired old men huddle over their table savoring their BBQ and washing it down with unsweetened iced Tea.  They were deep in a discussion and true to their rustic Texas surroundings they were talking about horses.  Obviously they felt great passion over the topic as they appeared to be speaking in loud tones between mouthfuls of pulled pork and ribs. (or maybe they were hard of hearing)

“I am sick and tired of reading all of the BS in the mainstream media over horse slaughter” roared Jerry.

Steve said, “Then why don’t you do something about it.”

“As if you don’t think we have over the past 10 plus years?” added R.T.

“If you have you haven’t been very effective”, chuckled Steve.

Steven Long ~ Editor/Publisher "Horseback Magazine" photo by R.T. Fitch

“What we need is to be able to respond quickly and to the point” Jerry stated, “A task force that is not only out front of the issues but also able to respond to inaccuracies and garbage quickly before the misinformation has even had a chance to set in with the public.”

“I’m good with that but we should not just limit ourselves to the slaughter issue as there are a lot of other equine related problems floating around in the mist out there,“ R.T. piped in, “There is the entire wild horse thing with the BLM doing its best to eradicate our western national icon from our public lands, Steve would you pass the Tabasco, please.”

“Sure, and there are a variety of cruelty and legal issues that need challenging and addressing.”

“I am liking where this is going as I have spent the better part of my adult life rescuing those who have been abused, neglected and fall outs from the current court system.  If we could correct the problems on the front end perhaps the flood of horses into the  gates of Habitat for Horses might slow down to just a gallop.” Jerry confessed.

“True,” said Steve, “But you aren’t going to be able to do that with your 501c3, to litigate and lobby you would need to form a 501c4.”

“Let’s do it.” said R.T. as he raised his hand in the air, knocking his hat off the end of the table.

“Yeah, let’s do it.” agreed Jerry.

“Then blinking do it and quit talking about,” said Steve while sipping his ice tea.

Jerry asked, “What will we call it?”

“How about ‘The Old Cowboy’s Drinking Club and Horse Rescue?” hollered R.T.

Dead silence.

“Better yet,“ said Steve as he looked over his glasses at R.T. ”define who is going to do what to get your show on the road.”

“I’ll get the paperwork ready,” said Jerry, “Been there, done that, have the saddle sores to prove it.  No big deal.”

“I’ll run it as you don’t have the time, old man”, R.T. winked at Jerry, “You’ve got your hands full with HfH and you don’t need another burden.”

Prolonged pause.

“And what are you going to do, Steve?” Jerry asked.

Steve let out a big ‘harrumph’ and said, “Run my magazine and tell you guys how you are screwing up.”

All three laughed, shook hands, parted ways and “Habitat for Horses Advisory Council” was born.

Tomorrow: A Whisper to the Soul

32 replies »

  1. Thank you for all you do. Somedays it feels like Sisyphus, rolling that boulder up the hill daily… but the more of us on your side, the more chance that things will change.


  2. On the Mustang:

    The most beautiful, the most spirited and the most inspiring creature ever to print foot on the grasses of America.

    J. Frank Dobie


  3. A thousand mile journey begins with the first step. No bird soars to high if he soars with his own wings. You are all an inspiration, reaching for the high apples first, when you could have gotten the low ones. Thanks for everything.
    “Big shots are little shots who just keep on shooting !”


  4. Tip my hat to the “Three Mustang Muskateers”! It is good to know that there are some good men out there with a WARM HEART, and TRUE GRIT to make a difference for the Wild ones, and to all of the horses!!!!


  5. WE NEED YOU 3 OLD TEXAS MEN TO DO SOMETHING now TO SAVE OUR WILD MUSTANGS. i have been in equine rescue longer than you 3 old texas men.I started saving horses when i was 14 years old in the great commonwealth of massachusetts.Enough praddling on about Texas BBQ I dont eat meat. I rescue horses.Do something for our american horses and wild mustangs and burros now. We want ACTION, NOT stories about 3 ole Texas men.Also PLEASE STOP showing your obvious fAVORTISM FOR CERTAIN NEW RESCUE GROUPS.THIS IS GETTING OLD LIKE THE 3 OLD TEXAS MEN.WE WANT TO SAVE OUR AMERICAN HORSES NOT LISTEN TO TEXAS MEAT EATING MEN WHO OBVIOUSLY FAVOR CERTAIN RESCUE GROUPS AND CERTAIN PEOPLE OVER OTHERS.You really need to do a background check on some of your listed avorites.Jerry God blss you Glad to see you are doing better.STOP EATING MEAT AND GET TO WORK.ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. UNTILL ALL AMERICAN HORSES ARE SAFE FROM SLAUGHTER.


    • Kathleen, it appears that you missed all of the recent news about what we ARE doing to save our American horses…check out both sides of this article and you may want to modify your comments.

      Moderation, compassion and understanding buys a lot of mileage. And we are tolerant of those who have different tastes and lifestyles than our own so please do not condemn those whose diet may be different than yours.

      The issues, here, is the horses and if want to write a series of articles that lead up to what we are currently doing to save the wild horses then I will bloody well do so and most assuredly do not appreciate your screaming on this blog.


    • becoming vegan ain’t gonna save the horses, sunshine. all you’re doing is making us all (vegans AND horse lovers, of which i am BOTH) look like a bunch of effin’ lunatics. & really? who gives a crap about when you started rescuing horses? we all have to start sometime. honor the work that everyone else is doing, no matter how big or how small their efforts are. & besides….& in all these years you’ve supposedly been rescuing horses, what the hell have you been doing? why haven’t YOU stopped horse slaughter? why are you barking at these guys to do it? stop posting crap like this everywhere & get off your own d#@%!d ass & do something to end horse slaughter.


  6. Thanks R.T., but the fame is undeserved. Kat’s vegan intolerance of us meat eaters typifies why much of the animal activist world is held up to ridicule. When President Obama swatted a fly it stood many in that world on their heads. You do no service to horses when you denigrate human carnivores for doing something that comes naturally, namely, Texans eating the very best barbecue on the planet. I’m unapologetic about my love of brisket, sausage, and grilled steaks. So are my many cattlemen and rodeo friends who are anti-slaughter, anti “gather,” and support animal welfare with their pocketbooks and volunteerism. Vegan radicals will almost certainly drive this resource away. But this meat eater will hang in there and do solid journalism for the benefit of the truth and our horses.


    • Thank you, Steven. I have worried for years that the radicals are doing more harm than good. The fact that the BLM and Sue Wallis try to tag US as “animal rights activists” and “extremists” that are working for the complete ending of animal ag is an example of what I mean.


    • I’ll give that a second resounding AMEN. All advocates have to work TOGETHER and respect that each person has the right to their own choices (what they eat, who they support, how they live, how they worship). This is how you build a strong force, not by sniping at others who don’t meet your every criteria as a perfect person. If the world were filled with perfectly matched cut out clones of some “ideal” it would be a boring and, dare I say, horrifying place to live.

      This country, of all others, places high value on INDIVIDUALISM. We all have a right to be ourselves AND the right to NOT be attacked for that.

      Just keep those wise words of motherly wisdom in mind when you feel the need to blurt out negative nabs at others who you should be supporting when you’re working for the same cause: “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.”


  7. I appreciate every and any action for the horses. Whether it be on a larger scale or one person signing a petition or choosing to educate themselves. I don’t care if they are sinner or saint as long as they do whatever it is that they choose to do for the horses. We all do the best we can given the constraints of the other numerous pulls on our lives. It is interesting to read about the formation and the direction of the OCDC&HR or as it was less colorfully renamed, the Habitat for Horses Advisory Council


  8. OK, You all are wonderful people, all working “together” for the SAME wonderful cause, especially, R.T., for keeping us updated & informed. We should not be yelling at eachother, or telling one another how we should act, feel, or think. We are ALL in this together, for the same reason, we love horses (&burros!), whether wild or domestic. At this point, I don’t think it matters, or is even relevant, as to whether someone eats meat or not, that is a personal choice. I realize that demand for meat, especially beef, plays a huge part in the demise of OUR wild American mustangs, but, we need to keep working together & stay on the same page. Maybe, more educating & public awareness would help the horses, that would be all of us spreading the truth. For an example, I’ll use my own uncle, who until recently, lived in Texas, now in Georgia. He visited yesterday, &, even though I love him, he was “brainwashed” by the media (CNN is who he mentioned), into thinking it was the right thing to do, rounding up wild horses, because they’re eating too much & destroying the range!!!! He honestly thought our government & the BLM were doing something good! That is, until I said, “Don’t get me started!” I think I may have swayed his opinion, just by telling him the truth, & giving him facts that he was totally unaware of. There are still ALOT of people who need to know, so, like I said, we need to all stay on the same page & keep spreading the truth! R.T., you ROCK!


      • Yes, I’m so punny! 🙂

        On a more serious note, I did notice the mantra “no natural predators” being used once again. Since these burros live in remote areas, not well suited to grazing livestock, why can’t predators be reintroduced?
        I truly wish I could adopt one of these little guys. They make wonderful pasture guards and faithful companions.


      • There are predators in many places and they have not been studied nor has their impact on wild burros or horses been studied. Remote areas have predators. They may get hunted more some years than others. Still other areas they are not touched. But they are there. mar


  9. Solidarity is a strong force binding together creatures in nature, such as horses. Same with loyalty. These are traits that only show to lack in humans. I am saddened to see the comments here shifting from the main idea of our mission to a debate of who eats what and when. This is not the place to bark out ulcer causing remarks nor act as bus driver telling people where to get off.
    With the constant force of these 3 TX men, their ideas and vision, we have been able to create momentum in our attempt to help our mustangs and burros. To admonish them is not deserved nor wanted on this blog. No one if perfect, and accusing and finding fault in cynical tones only reflects a constant state of dissatisfaction. We cannot make an imperfect world perfect. But we can learn to pull together, overcome differences, and instead of invalidating others and look for negative, we can remember what the focus is here: THE HORSES. So instead of nitpicking, go back to work and see today, what it is that you do to contribute to this mission. Stirring up the waters in other people’s lives is not appropriate here and recent attempts of such actions have greatly exhausted some of us. Let’s celebrate what was achieved so far. Manipulating situations, preaching diets, and provoking negative actions is not wanted on this blog, we are a group with one goal. We can only gain control and power by copying the same solidarity that the very ones we try to protect, have taught us all along. Amen.


    • For the love of wild horses we have literally given the shirts off our backs and not watched TV for over a year. Among other things we have just not had or done. The urgency of the work we are now doing cannot be stressed more pointedly. I am glad that you guys have done this and with a good steak on the barby. When we have a rough week here that is what we do, too. No eating out or going to theaters or even the festivals in town. Instead we have a great meal out back with the San Juan Mountains looking over us and the kitties running across the deck at our feet. There is great satisfaction in this. We know what we have given is needed and that we are safe. As long as we have this little bit of security in our little red tin shed, sitting here in a most beautiful meadow, we will fight this fight and not back down. We sacrifice what we can, and it has been considerable, but we try to have what we need and to appreciate it all the more for the comfort it gives. The wild ones are suffering and this does not leave our reality for a minute. Thanks to all of you who help with whatever you can give. Please keep helping and giving on this long, dusty road. mar


  10. I watched the video– and the narrator had a very soothing voice, and the words were well scripted, and it was very gentle, and the child was sweet in wanting to adopt one–after it went somewhere with BLM for a check-up (shudder)——— but the animals were removed from their land! Burros– you are included in the moratorium.


  11. A little birdie told me, some of what we are seeing happening now has been inspired by bold action on the part of grassrootshorse.com and I hope so because we are inspired as well.


  12. oh I hope that sounded right ! Kudos and respect to all. It does not seem to read as I intended. I meant, my win is your win,your win is my win, we share it all together for the sake of the positive outcome. I learn from you, and you learn from me as we take turns holding watch over all we hold dear. We have each others backs and we stand united.


  13. The Stallions in this battle are definitely KEEPERS. Their words inspire and their blogs keep the Truth from being hidden.


  14. Mar, thank you for posting this video. Talk about herd dynamics! You wouldn’t get to see that in a non-producing herd. I remember seeing it some time back and am so glad to get to see it again. The foal DID get reunited with its mother–the rest of the story was good.


    • Yes, this magical occurrence would never happen if it were not for the range that is these horses home and their ability to live free. This bay stallion accompanied this very young foal around the fence to an opening and brought the little one to the mother. That is a sense of responsibility and respect for ones’ own kind. Horses are amazing beings. mar


  15. Thanks so much for sharing. As I read the 9/30 blogs, I found myself curious about the interpersonal dynamics as well as the group dynamics. I will look forward to future installments.


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