Horse News

BLM Boss Not Engaged with Wild Horse Range Reality

(In My Humble Opinion) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

BLM Puts a Spin on Everything

Today, 24/02/2011, myself, my wife Terry, Laura Leigh and her son climbed down out of our observation point overlooking a wild horse trap at the Antelope Stampede in Northern Nevada to drive for almost an hour in an effort to pick up a cell signal to tune into Bureau of Land Management Director (BLM) Bob Abbey give a news breaking press conference.  We should have stayed at the trap for the sake of the horses.

What we heard, with the exception of taking Salazoos off from the table, was the exact same BLM double talk that we have heard over the past several years.  In our heart of hearts we were hoping for a moratorium on these cruel, deadly and unnecessary wild horse stampedes, but instead, Abbey defended the very act that is ensuring our wild horses will be extinct sooner rather than later.  His words fall upon deaf ears as it is time for action, not rhetoric and the BLM is full of it.

Case in point, Wednesday we reported on a horse that was hung UPSIDE DOWN after lunging up and over the cramped contractor’s holding pen.  We reported, in detail, on what happened (HERE) and supplied raw video and photos to document the dangerous and potentially deadly event but the following day the BLM published the following update on their website:

Does this look like a "hind leg stuck through panel?" ~ photo by Terry Fitch

An incident with a stud horse happened in the gather corrals today. The stud stuck his hind leg through a panel. The crew got a rope on him and worked his leg loose. The leg appeared to be OK, so he was loaded and transported to the holding corral where he is moving about freely and eating hay.  The vet examined the horse and didn’t find an injury. The crew’s expertise in handling wild horse was apparent in their professional response to this incident.  This is one of the kinds of incidents that can occur when working with horses.”

Hung upside down, roped and dragged, rope left on during stallion fight, hidden in trailer for hours…yup, that’s normal stuff when working with horses.

Cameras, eye witness reports and the BLM will still try to spin a horrendous equine event into something as benign and simple as their statement above…do you really expect us to believe anything that Abbey has to say?  I think not.

Clog their faxes, turn up the volume and onward to Phoenix!

55 replies »

  1. Feb 24, 2011 @ 22:33:13
    When the BLM HALTS THE ROUND-UPS, we’ll believe them:

    The link is posted for those who want to read the rest of this article. Notice the date–doesn’t jive with the ” BLM promise to overhaul the Wild Horse and Burro Program from top to bottom”.

    Wild horse advocates attacked over “false claims”
    February 20, 2011

    A moratorium on wild horse gathers is untenable, Bureau of Land Management director Bob Abbey says.
    He directed sharp critisim at wild horse advocates, saying false claims, misleading statements and false characterisations about the bureau’s actions, motives and intentions are circulated on virtually a daily basis on the internet.
    Wild horse advocates have been seeking a halt to all wild-horse musters to enable an overhaul of the bureau’s wild horse management programme, which they label inhumane and costly.
    Abbey, in a guest column in “Roll Call” , said many members of Congress had received emails, letters and phone calls from wild horse activists in recent months.
    “These activists are waging an aggressive campaign, both in the federal courts and in the court of public opinion, that is aimed at stopping the Bureau of Land Management from gathering wild horses and burros from overpopulated herds on Western public rangelands.
    “With herd sizes growing at an average rate of 20 per cent a year – thus doubling in size every four years – these removals are necessary to protect wildlife habitat, the horses themselves and the public rangelands from the environmental effects of herd overpopulation.


    • Mubarek and Kaddaffi also claimed the people were spreading falsehoods and lies on the internet too. People in power really, really hate to lose their grip on it. No wonder Abbey is so afraid of the internet, blogs and facebook–it has the power of the people to topple dictatorships. And Mr. Abbey is the wild horse dictator.


    • Hey Bob, we haven’t even STARTED! This isn’t even close to a campaign yet! Some of us are just smelling the coffee! The rest of us are on our third cup! When we get a CAMPAIGN going, you ‘ll know it’s a campaign, and so will the nation! And then the nation will know about YOU too!

      Pshaw! Too many horses out on the range!? Heck, yesterday Humane Observers and Journalists got in a traffic jam with too many cattle on the HMA where you are STILL nastily taking horses off!! Why don’t you protect the range from the cows too!!??

      If you want to save all of us a lot of time and money, you might want to think about changing course now Bob. Or, do you want another wreck on your hands? We sure don’t! Not for you. Not for one more horse or burro! NOT ONE MORE!


      • I recommend cattle be replaced with Bison. Afterall, they are native and natural for public lands and a good meat producer. They also co-exist well with wild horses. They also will require more humane (at least more careful) attention when it comes to slaughter, as they will not stand blithely to be stunned.


      • Puller, Come and join another long term fight. We need the help… Bison should be reintroduced and even used to help heal overgrazed lands along side wild horses… But the cattle industry has a death grip on our wild bison… Our wild bison are challenged by constant non selective culling.

        We have over 300,000 domestic bison raised for meat and breeding for meat. Ted Turner owns 2/3 of them. We don’t need to eat the wild ones, altho’ several tribes are allowed to hunt off park bison in Montana. It is a small hunt. The wild population needs our help badly. mar


    • Yikes , they say false claims , since when are video and photos,and eye witnesses false claims?????? The only false claims that are being made are exclusively by The BLM……… We need only to know that are Mustangs are being rounded up needlessly into extinction by a Rogue Agency that Murders and maims them right before our eyes……………………For one of the Most deadly Sins against God and Our Country, Government Greed !!!!!!


  2. This contractor SHOULD NOT BE PAID:


    The reality of a government shutdown

    Regardless, federal contractors would lose out. Many contract workers could be furloughed without pay and not receive lost wages retroactively, especially in an extended shutdown.


  3. While I totally agree that the BLM has given us NO cause to believe a word they say up to this point, I do think this is a positive sign that they are “feeling the heat” of public scrutiny. Now its time to TURN IT UP!!!!! Lets go, peeps!


    • I agree, Gwen. We have to take care that being angry with the BLM doesn’t take precedence even minor positive steps they make towards improving the WH&B program. I look at it like training a horse – reward each little positive step when he/she starts heading in the direction you want them to go.

      Every private US citizen that has dealings with the BLM in any fashion usually winds up being pissed at them – and that’s with ALL their programs, not just the WH&B. They’re good at making individuals mad and have been for a long time.


      • “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (taken from Andrew Jenks)
        Everyone of you working so hard for the wild horse and burros are all heroes. I admire you and thank you all for your efforts. From Canada, my thoughts and prayers are with you and the horses.


      • It’s OVER!
        Laura Leigh | February 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Categories: Antelope | URL:
        BLM will send out a press release this afternoon but the Antelope Complex roundup is OVER!

        Lesli Coakley just sent me a text… but I think I owe the Elko district office lunch? Y’all wanna chip in?

        Tomorrow we will document a treat and release and get that out to you…

        More info when I have it.


  4. ” Collectively individuals are able to achieve goals that they could not achieve alone…and gain an empowering confidence in themselves….Through acting collectively, people learn about the political nature of dominance, that they are not alone as victims of social and systemic problems….Ultimately, people learn to see that battling back against disempowerment…is part of their responsibility to a shared and evolving community…. By making opinions count THEY GIVE REALITY TO DEMOCRACY.”

    — Rubin, H. J. & Rubin, I. S. (2000). Community Organizing and Development, 3rd Edition. Boston: Imprint/Allyn and Bacon. Ch4: “Creating Power for Collective Action,” page 96.

    This was part of my reading assignment this week — imagine that! If you go to Phoenix, you are not an outsider or a radical! You are participating in American democracy. It’s part of grad school! And Bob Abbey needs to know it! He needs a reality check!


  5. Dear Rt, Terri and Laura , the mustangs know you are with them always , even if they dont see you !!! They know you all are for them………………………………..


  6. How can a man who has spent 28 years with the Nevada BLM really expect us to believe he now wants a new direction? The man who have played an integral role in the eradication of the last stronghold of the wild horses and the relentless 30 year campaign smear against them claims now to be part of the solution?


  7. 30 years of training in the wrong direction is hard to undo,hard to fix,hard to retrain. It will take a long time to get BLM moving in the right direction–perhaps the group will be split and run around screaming for each other. Perhaps they’ll get hung up on a fence panel or tumbled over by their own hell-icopter skids! Maybe they’ll get terrorized by baggie whips and dark cavernous trailer tunnels.
    A Nation Full of Anger– it’s happening half way around the world, too! My best to all the wild horse advocates going to Phoenix– don’t speak softly and do carry a big stick!


    • You cannot solve the problem at the same level it was created.—Einstein

      Abbey helped create the problem. Time for him to go back to retirement.


  8. I’ve stayed away from making comments on these pages for months, for the simple fact that there are thousands of innocent horses that soon to be instinct…ALL wiped out of existence because there isn’t one USA citizen with ENOUGH backbone to stand up to the government and say STOP the death runs,these are protected animals…. The people of the eastern countries are fighting by the thousands in the streets for their freedom.. Fighting army and police with just their lives as weapons, and in the USA, people for their wild horses are still sitting on their rears sending emails… Scaring the BLM half to death with big words like Stop,Your killing an American Icon, Your not being humane…BLA..BLA.. BLA..THEM mustangs are done and the people who could have made a difference are still just sitting on their rears doing nothing but write comments just like this one…which will do the same thing ..NOTHING … Cause the ones who live in the USA who can do something about it for their mustangs still got it in their little brains that one of those letters will stop all the injustices to the mustangs.One of them Emails will create the change of heart in one them BLM leaders and he will stop it all… Yup Yup .. If you’all’s really believe that the letters and emails are going to do it..Get it stopped..Get them mustangs left on the range… Then I will sell you share in my dream company.. Better ice machines for the Eskimos…Guess what?? I’ll make millions on this scheme.. Yep Yep.. Your sitting on your butts at home and saying OH Please Sirs stop the mustang death run to extinction..and maybe one more letter will do it scheme is a total failure…Just go try and find a Mustang on the range….But stop by any holding pen and you can find thousands..And as soon as the BLM can ship them to slaughter…They will do it..And if you think they won’t ??? Watch them,,, they run them into the trucks, off the ranges… So it’s just matter of time before the slaughter will begin…Why do I know this?? Because I am a Canadian who has seen it happen to our wildess.. We only have about 650 of our 26000 (1965 data) left… And these few left ?? They have a dead or alive bounty of 500$ on their heads… And nobody in Alberta Canada is doing anything either…all for the same thing cattle grass…So do what you have always been doing ..sending emails and wring your hands about the horror of it all..And the mustangs will keep paying with their freedom and lives…


    • So what exactly are you proposing? Guerilla warfare? This is a government agency that the American public has no control over. We can’t kick the bums out like we can with our Congress or President. Making phone calls, protesting, and doing what we can to get the national spotlight on this issue is the only way to fight it short of going out under the cloak night messing with helicopter blades and slashing trailer tires. Does Egypt not show to us that you can make a change without violence?


      • But if Egyptians had not taken to the street, no change would have happened. I think what he is saying is that as we comment, call and write letters, the horses will disappear just like in Canada. And he’s right. They are disappearing right before our eyes.


      • Yes, thats what I have been telling my people, pictures and videos are find, but hows that working for us. It isn’t- we need another game plan.


    • I hear what you are saying Jim, but there are many of us who spent our youth marching protesting and committing civil disobiedience, we ended the Vietnam war eventually, today..revolutions are started using the internet, you have to spred the word..Wild horse annie did it pretty much single handedly, her biggest assest was the cruelity of the mustangers caught in photos,it made our nation rise up in outrage.. its happening the same way–it took quite some time Jim to get the 71 law to give them some special protections and one midnight rider to take it away along with a string of administrative decisions that undermined it..there is a time when all the forces come together and allign, and we are close to that mark


  9. Notice Bob Abbey’s statement says “annual”. I take that to mean they intended to remove 20,000 in 2011-12(FYs?), and now maybe 15,200 in the same timeframe. I imagine they’ll still round up the original number (14,644 in FY 2011 and ? in 2012). My question is, will they PZP-22 more mares to make up for the lower number of removals?


  10. Yep, don’t trust the BLM. Don’t let your guard down. Hope a lot of people go to Phoenix. We need more then the few who were in Washington, DC. Please if you can go, please do go. The rest of us will be there in spirit and thank you all.


  11. I love where Bob Abbey says that they are going to cut the number of horses rounded up from 10,000 to 7600. Does he really think that 7600 need to be removed and does he really think that that tiny reduction will satisfy our American public?

    He also states that they will increase adoptions. Huh? I have adopted several BLM horses and donkeys. After watching all of the footage from the Wild Horse advocates and Humane Observers, I would NOT recommend that anyone adopt a BLM equine because these animals are clearly emotionally and physically damaged way beyond most people’s capabilities by the inept, cruel, abusive and physically damaging stampedes.

    Even if our horses were NOT damaged by the contractors, where are they going to find suitable adopters?

    Sorry Bob. Your words are just words. When I see action, I will know that BLM is following a different path.

    Thanks to Laura, RT, Terry and all the others in the field. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.


    • And just how are they going to increase adoptions? Relaxing the already lax standards. How are they going to find homes for 50,000 wild horses in captivity in an economy where people are barely hanging on themselves? I fear for this increase in adoptions as I shudder to think just who will be adopting these horses. And Mr. Abbey, Madeleine Pickens wanted to give a home to 1000+ wild horses. You said no. You are such a liar, Abbey.


  12. This is exactly the same PR gig as last June… under scrutiny of public pressure and increased public notice of their tactics they formed a strategy to pacify the public with “reform”, which has not been applied nor delivered, the meeting was in June, the crap went down all thru the round ups. INow with yet another gig coming up, their PR headhonchos are well at work again.
    I do not trust anything they say, they have had the opportunity to work with us and prove their fairy tales from last June… nothing was delivered – their priority is not the horses or implementing the “promised change”… (do we yet have another moron in this country who constantly deceived everyone with that pretty tune…) – but their image and to pacify the public.
    I wish I could go to the meeting again, I hope the public will not let up their pressure, and keep the momentum, as the BLM has not delivered. Lilly Thomas’ and Susie Stokke’s words of “admitting their inadequate animal welfare standards and having to make drastic improvements….” still ring in my ears, their well planned PR gig as an act to present a “needed solution” yet as soon as the meeting is over, going right back to their routine and demonstrating the same old pattern and ignorance.
    They cannot be trusted ever, as the only thing that improved with BLM in the past year is the way their PR headhonchos handle their stunts.


    • If they spent as much improving the range as they do on their high priced PR propaganda machine, there would be no reason to remove 10,000 horses per year.


  13. This isn’t being fought JUST on the interner or through the press. There ARE people in the field, in the courts and on the road, following the trucks. People are contributing to this financially, as well. It is a multi-pronged battle and all fronts need to be covered. This is only one front, but as you can see by the number of hits on the side, there are many readers who come to it. That is the purpose of this blog–to get the information out.


  14. If a morotorium won’t work, then why are there so many herds out there that were never rounded up until 2004-2011? Why is it that before 2000 herds were left alone for two decades at a time, and yet they still survived? The North Mountain HMA in Nevada was gathered for the first time ever in January 2006. The BLM left 7 horses on that HMA, even though there were at most 60 horses living there total? Golly, that herd sure wasn’t a herd doubling every four years. Seven mile was gathered in 1986 and there were only 159 horses there in 2005 when the BLM declared they had to be removed.

    Want more? My personal favorite is Diamond Hills South in Nevada. They had a gather in 2004 decimating the herd down to a neat 13 horses. In 2007 they estimated there were 20 horses leftIn 2008 they estimated there were 161 horses. For that mathematically challenged that’s a 705% increase, meaning there was no deaths and every mare, stallion, and foal gave birth to septuplets. Or, more likely, it’s one of many cases I have seen where small herds with low AMLs have convenient spikes in numbers that gives the BLM an artificially high total population that they can show to Congress when asking for more money.

    Also consider Dry Lake Nevada. That herd was gathered 02/07 so you’d think the BLM would have a good estimate of how many horses there were. But in 2008 it saw a 250.6% increase from an estimated 75 horses post gather to 263 horses the next year. Or what about Hot Creek where they left a total of 3 horses post-2007 gather which jumps to 11 horses the next year. Are there really still horses in Hot Creek? One can’t help but wonder. And those numbers are not exclusive. I’m not done getting in all worked up yet (just started Wyoming) but by the BLMs own numbers in at least 75% of these HMAs they are blatantly lying about numbers.

    The BLM doesn’t have anyone in the agency capable of crunching numbers at a 7th grade profficiency level. Maybe that’s why they’re dumb enough to try a money grab like this. Now I’m just a simple mathematician but even a simple ones knows enough about differential equations to get the idea behind predator/prey models. Even if there isn’t a true “predator” for an animal, a population will go through fluctuations at first before balancing out towards a medium. Every time. And after a while the fluctuations stop and it remains at the medium with no human intervention required. The BLM needs to be held accountable for the numbers they seem to be pulling out of their rear ends year after year. How can a government agency have no one who audits them and asks these simple questions? It’s insane!

    And finally, increasing PZP treatments to 2,000 horses a year? Blech. So let’s assume there really are 35,000 horses left (and we all know that’s doubtful). Let’s assume that thanks to sex ratio adjustments of those 35,000 horses about 16,500 are mares. Again, that’s a high estimate. Again, I’m still working the numbers, but there should be at least 2,000 mares already given the drug. So the BLM is proposing a course of action in which 7 years from now no mare on the range would be capable of reproducing? When no conclusions have been given on the field trials? Yeah, that is is what they’re proposing. Gee guys, who would disagree with that? After all, they’re ONLY going to remove 7,600 a year now…


    • Good work Rachel. The BLM denies real numbers and continues to pull them out of the air to try and justify what they have been doing and plan to do. Salazar is scheduled to go before the House Natural Resources Committee on the 3 March and is expected to request an additional 12 million to support BLM equine operations. He will undoubtedly be quoting greatly inflated populations and scary potential reproduction numbers to bolster his case. The committee or someone on it should have your figures to counteract what salazar will be saying. Maybe your Representative, even if not on the committee, would be willing to take whatever calcuations you have been able to complete and get them to a committee member that would be willing to stand up and refute the statistics salazar will be presenting. WO


  15. I posted the comments below on today’s ‘Nation of Anger’ article but forgot to include this: When I attempted to discuss the psychological damage being done to the horses by the traumatic way they are ran in and captured then the separation of their natural bonding in families and bands, that aspect was almost casually dismissed as either non-existant or unimportant because horses readily adapt to their new surroundings and herd mates rather than longing for what used to be. Another misconception wrapped around a few grains of the truth that horses are adaptable, they are survivors, Anyone that has personally worked with once wild horses and understands where they came from can readily see the the clear effects of the psychological scarring that has taken place. It requires unending patience and the ability to see things from the horse’s point of view to successfully deal with it and it does not happen overnight. In many cases the human gives it up as a lost cause and the horse is disposed of in some way.

    Yesterday, the 24th …. a phone conversation of over half an hour with a BLM rep at the national level: Every point I made, or tried to convey was answered by the same lines we have heard all along and it was implied that those making these videos and putting them on line show a false perspective of how close the chopper gets to the horses in order to stir up our emotions and get us to donate money to their cause. The rep claimed to have personally attended roundups in the Antelope Complex but had not observed any of the types of behavior by contractor personnel or the helicopter that have been described. When told the chopper had been caught on film actually knocking an animal down with its skid that was explained as just being an accident, if it actually happened. The deaths and injuries that have occurred thus far in this “roundup” were explained the same way with the comment something to the effect that when dealing with horses there are always accidents. It was patiently explained that it is necessary to remove these horses in order to protect the over all ecology because if left unchecked the horses will quickly over populate and ruin the ranges for themselves and everything else that lives on them. Without going into further upsetting details, suffice to say it was like having a polite conversation with a very courteous wall that had a BLM answer for everything but really hadn’t listened to what I had to say because I don’t truly know or understand what I am seeing. Also the LTH facilities were described as very spacious, some being thousands of acres, and more than adequate with huge pastures, plenty of feed, etc., and I could not dispute that not having seen them myself. My protests of the methods being employed to get the horses to that distant Shangri La for Horses were dismissed as being necessary to handle the horses efficiently to keep them from fighting and injuring each other.
    Allthough each of us was courteous and non-confrontational to the Nth degree, eventually agreeing to disagree on some points, after I hung up and thought about it, with this all-pervasive attitude and beliefs along with firm denial of contractor cruelty through out the BLM, my long held opinion that if Congress will not stop all this nothing will change, was confirmed in my own mind. Even though the rep denied that their aim is to ultimately remove all the herds, at the current pace of operations, I am afraid that will eventually be the scenario. All free roaming bands will be finished and we will be supporting thousands of formerly wild horses in LTH until they either die of old age or are sold off to other entities! Adoptions have dropped significantly, possibly much due to the economy so although they still have that program available, many people simply cannot afford and/or do not have adequate facilities so adopotions will not significantly relieve the situation. I did have to agree with that part.


    • Then we must implore Congress diligently to stop these Hippocrates…, no mercy , the same that is dealt out to the Wild Mustangs by the BLM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.Knowing full well the BLM is so guilty of nothing but insidious Lies and Deceit……….to us, Congress and countless others………………………………….


      • Forgive me, Arlene, but the word that appeared in your post is Hippocrates. I know you meant hippocrite. Sometimes my mind works faster than my fingers, or the computer’s “intuitive” capacity changes a word, but the irony is too great to ignore.

        Hippocrates is the ancient Greek physician often referred to as the father of modern medicine. In the Hippocratic Oath taken by medical students as they become physicians, they swear to do no harm.

        I wonder what kind of BLM we would have if employees were followers of Hippocrates rather than hippocrites.


  16. BLM is shuffling around and telling new tales because we have been able to affect them and we continue to. If there is a ripple at the surface then you know there is an
    explosion underground. mar


  17. From AMERICAN HERDS–I urge everyone to listen to this radio program:

    Friday, February 18, 2011
    Thanks For Listening

    Amy Hadden Marsh, publisher and producer of “From Western Colorado”, recently aired a radio documentary titled “Wild Horses Caught in the Crossfire” on KDNK Community Radio in Carbondale, Colorado.

    Probing one of the most fundamental questions in how America’s mustangs and burros are managed, she describes the focus of the documentary as:

    “Over the past year, From Western Colorado looked into how the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees most mustangs and burros, counts the herds. The following radio documentary shows that after nearly 40 years, BLM still can’t get the numbers right and some believe this could lead mustangs to extinction.”

    Click Here to listen to what “From Western Colorado” found….


  18. BLM are killing all wildlife (wild horses, burros, mountain lions, wolves, buffalos, prairie dogs, coyotes & birds in every way they can come up with, they also have destroyed our public lands, water, fish, wildlife, soil, native plants & sucking our western water dry with their welfare cattle & if that wasn’t enough taxpayers subsidize this destruction with BILLIONS of dollars. All this so WELFARE CATTLE RANCHERS can stuff MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS of privately owned WELFARE CATTLE on our public lands. They also use & screw over Indian Tribes at every opportunity and are screwing up the implementation of green energy, which could be done with out destroying our environment if someone honest and intelligent was in charge ( CALIFORNIA SAYS NO TO BLM’S stuck on stupid solar plans:
    WILD HORSES and AMERICAS other treasures need to be protected from CORRUPT BLM THUGS !


  19. For anyone not already subscribed to M.P.’s Save America’s Mustangs updates, the reponse to Abbey’s press release yesterday lists some very good “talking points” to try to convey to your Representatives in Congress regarding what actions should be taking place now, not next year or whenever they get around to it.…click_he/

    If the above link won’t take you there just go to the home page then scroll down to the link provided there.


  20. As I see it Bob Abbey and the whole Bureau of Land Management are in grave denial, they can bury their ungracious heads in the sand for as long as they so desire, but this will not hide the true fact of their barbaric and continuous mistreatment of the entire, wild horse and burro dwindling population. I have been aboard for just over a year, and it has got to the stage, where even I find this rogue agency to be loathesome, gutless and the biggest liars of spin in the whole universe. There is an immediate need for heads to roll within this federal department, and it needs to happen now. From the hierachy to the lower level they should all be dismissed. This is not animal management, but decimation to oblivion. But one thing is for certain, an army of good drama queens and kings, are not throwing in the towel and conceding to a barbarous dictatorship like BLM. The sooner, they realise this fact the better. May all the advocates forever remain thorns in the thighs of the animal oppressers, until this drama is well and truly over and the animals are safe.


  21. When I wrote my representative about the Secretary’s upcoming hearing, I reminded him that Secretary Salazar submitted a report containing false conclusions and recommendations made by members of the Deep Water Horizons review by 15 independent scientists. These report was used to request the first moratorium on deep water drilling in the gulf. The federal judge ridiculed it. Seven scientists sent a letter of protest to Governor Jindal, Senator Landreiu, and Senator Vittner of Louisianna. Finally in December, there was an apology and Carol Browner took the fall by rearranging the material in the editing process. She was a convenient scape goat since she was leaving the administration.

    However, I would suggest that as we write, call, or fax members of the House Natural Resources committee which will hear the Secretary’s testimony, that we let our concerns about the accuracy and integrity of the testimony be known.

    I do not believe anything that Bob Abbey says. There have been too many attempts to deceive the public. Anyone who could reject the cost savings to taxpayers and show some mercy to the mustangs when he had the perfect opportunity to show us he was interested in reform, is not to be believed. He is like some of our other leaders who make great speeches and then, when opportunity calls, do the exact opposite.

    I hope Rachel will send her comments to her elected officials and to the Chairman of he House Committee on Natural Resources.

    I have been wondering for a while how they came up with the estimation of herd size growth at 20%. I was interested in seeing the model. I think the BLM has successfully duped the American people and members of the American horse industry for so long, that they believe that they can continue doing it. I don’t know how many horse people have told me that the herds have to be removed or the horses will starve. They have gotten the BLM buzz. Left to their own devices, not fenced in or out of water and higher or lower ground, the horses will be fine. Some will not survive, but at least it will be natural.

    Furthermore, in my opininon, the BLM’s mismanagement of the horses can not be separated from their mismanagement of the land. Their mismanagement of the land and natural resources is costing the United States Treasury a small fortune.

    I saw the video months ago where Mr. Abbey is asked if anyone from his agency has ever studied wild horse behavior or just studied them in the wild. His response was that no they hadn’t, but perhaps that was something that needed to be done.

    As long as the BLM is gathering horses the way they have been, they do not need to be in the adoption business. I had my foster mare in training for 13 months, and while I can say now that she is much calmer and safer to handle, she is still reactive to stimuli that I believe directly relates to her handling by the BLM. For example, I had thoroughly groomed her except for cleaning the area right around her eyes and her nostrils last night. I pulled out a kleenex sized wipe, and started to raise my hand to eye level when she started backing up in fear. I crumpled it up in my hand, but she still knew it was there. It took several minutes for me to get her relaxed enough to bring the wipe in my hand from her shoulder, up her neck, down from her ears, to wipe around her eyes. She is a very shy horse but she will stand for half an hour at a time barely moving while I groom and massage her. I do not believe that she will ever intentionally hurt me, but I am very aware that if she stops thinking and starts just reacting, she could hurt me. There are hundreds, if not thousands of wild horses in rescues, that need to be rehabilitated from the trauma of the gathers before any responsible person should be able to adopt them.

    Sending more traumatized mustangs into adoption will only set them up for failure and unwitting human adopters will be put in a situation where they could be injurred. I think that is why so many of them end up abused. My little friend was locked in a shed without adequate food or water because the owner could not handle her. Furthermore, when traumatized mustangs are what the public sees and hears about, all mustangs get labeled as unstable, unpredictable which actually hurts adoption. In fact, some horses get through their gathers relatively unscathed, and have been trained into being wonderful horse partners. But the BLM’s adoption policies are focused primarily on unloading these horses. Not on the welfare of the horses and the citizens who adopt them.


    • Hi Christie. I live in NW New Mexico near the Jicarilla in the Carson National Forest. Since this isn’t an HMA I don’t know how many wild horses are out there, but the FS is scheduled to trap and remove 150 between January 1st and September 28th. The reason this is such a long window is the FS bait traps and brings them here periodically in numbers small enough that trainers and volunteers can work with them.

      The FS used to hold a couple of adoption weekends very soon after the horses came in. They were still pretty wild, but hadn’t been traumatized by helicopters. Volunteers began hand-feeding them (from outside the pens) as soon as they arrived, and a few had some handling and training. Adoption numbers were okay, but not great.

      Recently, the FS personnel must have realized the value of gentling the horses before adoption, because they’ve partnered (yes, PARTNERED!) with a very experienced wild horse trainer and her team. Before the horses meet and greet potential adopters, all have been well cared for and lovingly handled. The overwhelming majority catch easily, stand, lead, load, and let you work with their feet. The emphasis is they’re now ready for another experienced person to continue their training. How many novice adopters are educated about that? And the adoption rate is pretty close to 100%!

      IMO, the best way to increase adoptions and make sure both parties are safe and satisfied is to trap reasonable numbers of horses passively over a longer period of time (Maybe even offer that opportunity to knowledgeable and caring LOCAL horse handlers?) and set up a wide network of training PARTNERSHIPS similar to this. Model on something that’s already working!


      • That’s great to hear, Linda, because I have been extremely concerned about the idea of offering these latest horses for adoption. One doesn’t need to know WILD horses to know these horses have been severely traumatized, maybe for life. A domestic horse would be traumatized too. Having been tortured by a helicopter in such a way would make ANY horse so terrified of choppers that it’s doubtful if even a trainer familiar with traumatized/abused horses could get them over it completely. Horses never forget anything – ever.

        I have been just screaming about what these heartless idiots have been doing to the prospects of these poor horses EVER being safe to ride after what they’ve been through. That pilot is very fortunate that I’m over half a continent away……


  22. Sorry Christie I did mean Hypocrites not Hippocrates in my haste it came out wrong……( need to slow down over here) But I like the idea of the BLM taking an oath to Uphold and Preserve and Protect the Wild Mustangs……..


  23. I am outraged by the Inhumane Holocaust and the physical abuse, harm, crippling tactics being implemented to eliminate the American Wild Horses across the USA . Not to mention the outrageous amount of Tax payers hard earned $$$$$ do do this discussing extermination. This must STOP today!


  24. Linda,
    This makes total sense to me based on my experience. I am glad to hear about this because when we get to the point where we can look at the ways to go forward it will be important to know that there already is a working model. Thanks for sharing.


  25. Rachel;
    I’m glad you crunched the numbers…I’ve been keeping loose track of how many gathered from where in NV for 20 years and started out with BLM figures from that point and time, or what they said was out there…So by your calculations and what I have figured, we are lucky if we have 7,000 horses left on the range…and by darting those mares with PZP at a rate of 2,000 per year…what do will have besides a huge ZERO! This cannot take place, and there HAS to be several actual aireal census done by different entities and agencies before ANY MORE stampedes are done or infertility drugs are administered.

    Jim; I take offense to your callousness for everyone here. Many of these people have sacraficed much for YEARS. They have courage, guts, integrity, perserverance, tenacity among other things. I Can understand your frustration we all feel it too. I guess you missed the protests in Las Vegas last year when wild horse advocates lined every street and venue in protest that Obama was attending…just one example. So for you to sit so high and mighty our Northern Neighbor is uncalled for. You can jump on our band wagon and I promise we won’t kick you off… pressure from other countries will help us in our battle, so spearhead a movement in Canada we welcome you with open arms! You can sit there and critize that we aren’t doing enough, but I say put up or shut up, we need all the help we can get. Start that movement in Canada to save NORTH American wild horses…politically in D.C. it will be an eye opener!

    It is with a grace of God we do have the internet… in years before the advent people only heard of the attrocities months after they occured, like the stampede at Soldger Meadows in 1985…how the wrangles ran horses so full in a truck trailer it overturned and rolled off a hill, killing and maiming all inside. 136 were destroyed that day…or the horses in 1987 in the black rock desert that were run 15 miles over lava rock and ended up in trap sites with bloody stumps for hooves we lost 141 that day, mostly all babies with soft hooves to begin with….now we can streamline video as it happens or send the evidence in lightening seconds and people can file their reports and we can all grouse and complain and get fired up even more to fight for the cause. It’s a good thing… we also have each other here for support.

    Bottom line…The BLM agency is rogue. They think they can still get away with their dirty lies and blood money, but like Wall Street, the housing brokers, corporations that out source our jobs and the banks in America….. the crap is NOW hitting the fan! You can complain and critize or you can join the battle, it’s just not an American thing anymore…it’s global!


  26. i am so glad i found this site!! i am doing a thesis on ..the slaughting of horses…if there is ANYTHING i can do please tell me. i want to bring awareness to nh. also i have a lot of friends who buy rrecue horses an also a few who have therapy horses.there is ALWAYS a purpose. Also may i add, that all this great work from all you people is outstanding!! Remember, you eat an eleaphant one bite at a time!!! please keep me informed!


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