The Force of the Horse

Captured BLM Wild Horse Gets New Home

Original story by guest contributor, Kathy Gregg

“Ace” Finds Forever Home at DreamCatcher

photo by Catherine Scott

March 2011 – I have been crying for the wild horses and burros since my daughter called me on her way back from the Twin Peaks Roundup last summer – after she saw for herself what REALLY happens to the horses and burros during the BLM stampedes.  This week however, my tears were of joy … it’s about time something GOOD happened … even if it is just a small step in a gigantic tragic story.  One of only a few remaining Twin Peaks wild stallions was “sprung” from a BLM wild horse and burro facility … and is now safe and sound at his new home at DreamCatcher Sanctuary … a million thank-yous go out from his heart and mine to many, many people … he is YOUR horse and my horse and has always has been and always will be … but he belongs only to himself … as it should be and always will be.  His name is ACE.

While trying to find and acquire a Twin Peaks wild horse named BraveHeart, we went to the BLM holding facility.  In the “possible release” pen, was a bay stallion with a large white star.  From seeing him on a website, we knew he had been magnificent and had a beautiful large family on the range.  Looking at him in the small dirty pen he almost did not seem like the same horse but because this horse had only one ear (the other ear is there but it flops down – maybe from a past stallion fight) we knew it was him.  The horse we saw at the BLM facility hung his head and was withdrawn and obviously depressed – a very sad sight.  All of a sudden out of the blue, my daughter said to me, “His name is ACE – he told me”.  Why ACE?  Because he had only one ear and because he was a number one kind of guy … although on that day we did not know how special he would later become to us.  We left the facility devastated that BLM had allowed our chosen BraveHeart to “disappear” … as so many wild ones do in their hands.  Soon afterwards we discovered that the big bay stallion was not chosen to be returned to his range … and would be gelded and sent to a long-term holding facility … never to be free again.  This only added to the sickening feeling that my daughter and I had experienced when we discovered the stallion BraveHeart had undergone the same treatment.  We could not allow it to happen again.

On the day of ACE’s release, eight of us got together for breakfast very early in the morning – including three generations. Some of us had never met each other before but we were all there that day to come into contact with a small miracle and when the day was done and the miracle experienced … we knew we would all be changed for life.   I have never in my life “met” anyone with so much presence as this wild horse, ACE!  In the middle of his huffing and puffing and running and snorting in the chutes at the BLM facility, ACE stopped quietly and looked at me through the fence and our eyes met … and his eyes showed his kindness.   What an incredible experience and what an incredible animal … with all that he has been through, he took a moment to stop and meet me eye to eye and using his animal instinct and intelligence he knew I truly cared and he thanked me with his eyes.  I don’t think I have ever experienced “anyone” with so much charisma and yet gentleness in his eyes … but he is without a doubt a wild horse!  Although he is the “ultimate” wild mustang stallion … he has a heart of gold and is not at all mean.  This is visible in the video that shows him on the range with his family – it shows his patience and understanding and loyalty to his mares and foals … his kindness.

What an incredible species these animals are …so intelligent and strong and courageous.  His eyes told me “I knew you would not forget me”.  Then as soon as the trailer was ready and the chute door was open ACE walked right into the trailer and looked out at all of us and said “let’s get the ___ out of here!”  We all scrambled to our cars and off we went!  ACE was the boss of us all that day!

photo by Cathrine Scott

When we were following the trailer and neared the Twin Peaks HMA there was no doubt that he knew he was near his previous home range and he smelled the air and looked in that direction and he remembered his old home and his family.  It was amazing. If there was any way we could have turned the clock back to allow him to be on the range again with his family … we would have done it without a blink of the eye.  If there was only some way to turn back the clock for the thousands of others that all deserve to go back home!  When we got to DreamCatcher Sanctuary (which is very close to his home range at Twin Peaks) and into the 800-acre stallion pen and opened the trailer door he pranced right out of there as if he was a show horse and he knew he was now safe and could once again be himself – a wild horse.  He is a gigantic mustang and is at least a hand taller than all the other horses and all muscle and very intelligent and intuitive.  I am in love.

At DreamCatcher, he joined the other stallions by walking up and down the line of those who were eating.  He was introducing himself to them but he never kicked or chased them.  He did not have to.  They also recognized his charisma and knew he was a leader, but knew he was kind and although much stouter, they knew he was not there to hurt them… although he did take over a complete bale of hay for himself!  When we got ready to leave, ACE turned and looked straight at us all … and he thanked us … I absolutely know that for sure.  He had never met humans before that truly appreciated him for who he was and he knew we did.  Hundreds of years in the wild have ingrained mother nature’s instinct and intelligence into these horses and although they surely all have it … occasionally we humans are in tune enough to actually realize it and see it and feel it … if we give ourselves the chance.  We are the lucky ones to be able to appreciate ACE and all the wild ones.  What an amazing day and an amazing horse.   He knows his life at DreamCatcher will be FAR better than his past 6 months but I doubt he thought he would be part of a big bachelor band … I don’t think that was what he had in mind!

What an experience!!!  What a day!!!  What a horse!!!   He is totally a wild one. Let it be known that sometimes “it takes a village” to save a horse and my daughter and I did not do it by ourselves by any means.  We could never have attempted it without our family’s commitment and animal-loving hearts!  In addition, there were many other people who helped too.  The list is very long.  It took ALL of us together to do this good deed.  I did not realize how monumental our day was going to be and I am still on cloud nine.  ACE’s release to a better life is such a small step for we humans to do for our wild ones but I hope it is encouragement for us all to continue our quest to help the wild ones.  The whole ACE experience was far more than just incredible … it was inspirational.  This story of ACE was written from the heart but can nowhere come close to the real feelings that ACE gave to us that day.  One horse rescued … 60,000 more to go!

[Videos of ACE on his home range with his family and ACE’s release at DreamCatcher Sanctuary by Gary and Catherine Scott]

“We have said that we will attempt to take Sundays off and share some “good time stuff” and “Grandma Gregg” has held my feet to the fire by submitting this story for your enjoyment.  If you have something that you would like to see in print, here, please feel free to do likewise.  In the meantime, thanks Grandma for sharing.” ~ R.T.

30 replies »

  1. How blessed I am, to, in an indirect way know all of you that have within your heart’s and minds what these Wild and simply MAJESTIC HORSES are all about and how we are blessed to understand the way they go and feel. Oh boy are those OTHER folk’s surely missing out on the greatest gift’s in life, here, right smack infront of them and yet they are BLINDED….. ACE knew, he felt you and he told you, what a GIFT, for you and ACE. Thank you for helping ACE have a better life. Compassion and Love and God smiling ……


  2. Great images of all those “starving” horses on their rightful land destroying the environment where there is little or next to nothing to eat, yeah, right.

    To date I have yet to see a ‘ribby” or hungry looking horse pulled from public lands by the BLM and both at Twin Peaks and Antelope we had to navigate around hundreds of private cattle and sheep while the BLM harassed and captured the true tenants of the property, the wild horses.

    My blood boils on a daily basis over this great injustice, it is beyond my comprehension!


    • …excuse me running off on a tangent, it is Sunday and I should be giving it a rest. My apologies and many thanks to Grandma Gregg for this story of victory. We are thankful for every single grain of happiness that the horses receive.

      Thanks so very much for sharing.


  3. What a wonderful story for this beautiful May Day! It is very encouraging that Ace is free and for once “we, the people” have prevailed. For several reasons, Twin Peaks is still the most disturbing of any round-up. The fact that some had old Cavalry blood made it all the more offensive. We knew at the time that these horses were just as intelligent as this great story suggests. They knew what they were losing and fought hard. It still tugs at my heartstrings that I could not adopt one. I haven’t forgotten the stallion the BLM put in with mules who suffered horrific injuries and whose fate was unknown. I haven’t forgotten the BLM lying to Judge England about stampeding herds, and the local gentleman who cried, “that’s too many” to cram into the trap. I haven’t forgotten the smug comments by Dave Cattoor that injured horses are destroyed out of view of the public. I will never forget the BLM lying about how many horses were on that range, and then coming up short at the round-up, nor the pitiful few eventually released. No, BLM, we do not forget. I, for one, am biding my time. I hope Judge England makes a favorable decision for the Twin Peaks herd and IDA! Maybe he doesn’t like being lied to either. Thank you for this happy ending for at least one of the Twin Peaks horses.


  4. Kathy, what a heartwarming story. Thanks so much for sharing it. And thanks to DreamCatcher Sanctuary for taking in another of our wild horses so that we can see them again. Remember, the BLM removes our wild horses from our sight forever once they go to long term holding (and even in short term holding at the Indian Lakes Road facility in Fallon, NV).


  5. This pretty much says it all for me:

    Margaret Mead : Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.

    Until you all are better paid, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!


  6. God bless you for rescuing Ace. Tears of joy filled my eyes.
    Rescuing horses from the abominable BLM is like rescuing
    soldiers from concentration camps of evil.


  7. Grandma Gregg, THANK YOU so much for sharing this! Absolute Balm for the Spirit.
    With all of the chaos in the world and talk of end times…does anyone else wonder whether the “Wheat and the Chafe” are being separated as we speak? The divisions have never seemed more clear than at the present.
    We are so fortunate to be among those that have reverence and respect for the other Wonderful Creatures on this Earth.


  8. NOW, the rest of the captives that were stolen from our public lands need to be PUT BACK where they belong.


  9. Thank you, Thank you for rescuing Ace. If ever I get to the area where the sanctuary is, I hope to be able to see him. I was crying as I read the story of Ace and I know that horses communicate to us, if we only will stop and listen and look deeply into those beautiful eyes. I help at a sanctuary where she has one horse that was so abused he will not have anything to do with humans. I have tried to give cookies to him but he will have no connection to them. Only after six months, up to now he would walk away if you even tried to come to the corral he’s in, but twice now as I walked towards him and talk to him, he has come to the corral fence and has even let me rub his check and forehead. He would always let someone rub his side but never around the face or neck. He still at times would like to bite, but yesterday, he was even nicer than usual. I don’t know if he ever will let one groom him, or give him a hug, but I will surely try as I feel he should not be alone all the time with no one giving him the edge he needs to show that he is loved and wanted. I will try as long as it takes. I contacted the BLM after the Calico roundup and wanted “Freedom” but they told me they never got him again and one day I hope to get a wild horse from the BLM. I contacted them and told them my conditions for getting one the horses and they said it was okay, but unfortunately, the sanctuary at the time, backed out in letting me bring him there even though they said they would even drive to Fallon to pickup the horse. I will get one eventually as I feel that need love just as all of our beautiful, majestic, wild or not, horses need. To that end and wishes that we wipe all cattle from the ranges and return our wild ones to it, I will persevere just as all those of you horse lovers do. R.T. God bless. This was a beautiful story and I hope all our horses, wild, or racing horses, or those relenquished by owners, will all find new homes, never to see a truck heading them to Canada or Mexico. May we prevail to that end. IDA please win that suit, we are all behind you.


  10. He is a big guy! And he has great presence. He should have made the cut. But he did make it to sanctuary a stallion, thanks to you, Kathy, and all your family and friends and Dreamcatchers. For now it is all people can do… but we keep fighting for the reality of their freedom on the range. It is all wrong what we have lost- what these horses lose. All wrong. May the suit right the wrongs and allow a recovery. They deserve this. They belong out there- free and wild.


  11. I am happy for ACE and thankful for DreamCatcher Sanctuary and any other citizen run “new freedom” homes for the wild horses. I am angry/sad over what we have lost— beyond the fact of thousands of horses removed from their designated lands—- we have lost our freedom to see them in the wild—and we see our own loss in their eyes. How wrong that our government denies us and the horses this simple right— a wild home on the range. This is a fine article– 60,000 more to rescue!


  12. God Bless you for saving Ace. What a magnificient stallion! He is the essence of the Wild Stallions. We need to save these horses. Does anyone have access to the long holding pens? It grieves me that these horses are never seen again. They whither away like ghosts from the land which they come from. Blessings to you and your family for saving this wonderful horse!


  13. It is really lovely to read a good story now and then. As in the news, most of what we read about is all the ugliness. Thank-you Kathy Gregg and RT, for sharing this.


  14. FANTASTIC!!! Thanks so much for sharing. That final picture above shows so much joy…I am so, so happy for him and for all who saved him!!!!


  15. Congratulations, Kathleen, on your rescue of Ace, on giving him a life at Dreamcatchers. Yes, these horses and burro should be restored to their rightful freedom when we people get our act together. this is the 40th anniversary of the Act so lets restore its true intent.


  16. RT. Thank you for bringing us this heartwarming “feel good story”! Grandma Gregg, and all involved in saving this beautiful stallion, many blessings for your generous hearts; for there no greater gift then the GIFT OF FREEDOM!


  17. It is unfortunate that success stories like this are entirely too few and far between. You deserve a special place in heaven.

    I don’t live out west but I do live in a part of Florida known for it’s horses and oranges. Unfortunately the economy made orphans out of a lot of horses. Let tied to trees on the side of the road others abandoned in barns without any food or fresh water.

    The tragedy is there are plenty of rescues that would have helped the animals if only the owners had asked.

    As for me I took in 2 horses that needed a forever home. My other passion is the abuse of wild mustangs/horses/burros by our BLM, Their website says that they do not have overcrowded short term holding pens yet you can see them plain as day on YouTube.

    Ken Salazar and the BLM are a black mark on American. Shame on them BUT Good For YOU!!! Thanks


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