Horse News

New Wild Horse Fed Suffers from Foot Lodged in Mouth

Story Phil Taylor of Greenwire

Goofy Public Intro Not Bought by Taxpayers

The Interior Department’s wild horse and burro chief today assured critics that her agency is not selling horses for slaughter and has no intention of overseeing their extinction.

Joan Guilfoyle, division chief for the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro program, said a mix of fertility control and herd gathers is critical to maintaining a healthy balance on the range, but that extinction is not in the agency’s bailiwick.

“The mission is for wild free-roaming horses and burros to be a continuing living legacy of the American heritage,” Guilfoyle said today in a speech to the International Equine Conference in Alexandria, Va. “Extinction is by no means on our agenda.”

She added that BLM sells horses only to those who have pledged to treat them humanely and not sell them for slaughter.

“As a matter of fact, BLM prosecutes people who do that,” said Guilfoyle.

BLM said it delays the transfer of title to new horse owners to ensure they cannot sell them for slaughter. The administrative policy is maintained despite its possible violation of a 2004 amendment requiring horses to be sold “without limitation,” BLM said.

But Guilfoyle’s words drew skepticism from the crowd of more than 100, many of them horse advocates and critics of BLM’s program.

Some shouted “Lies” and “We don’t believe you.” Their criticism comes less than a month after a pair of Utah men were indicted by a federal grand jury for an alleged scheme that investigators said involved the planned sale of wild horses to Mexico for slaughter, according to the Deseret News.

Guilfoyle, who took the helm of the program last month, said the conference was an opportunity to engage with those who have fought BLM’s wild horse roundups.

Her program faces spiraling costs to feed and care for captured horses until they can be adopted. It also faces criticism from horse advocates who say the roundups are inhumane, and from public lands ranchers and landowners who say the law mandates the horses be kept to their original range so as not to compete for forage (Greenwire, Sept. 20).

“Our goal is to find common ground,” she said. “While you and I will continue to disagree on some things, and we probably will, I would just ask that we do so respectfully.”

But Ginger Kathrens, executive director of the Cloud Foundation, a wild horse advocacy group, said BLM likely has vastly overestimated the number of horses on the range in order to justify their removal. The total number is likely half of BLM’s estimate of 38,000, she said.

Growth rates, which BLM estimates at 20 percent annually, would have to be dramatically higher in order for the national population to meet the agency’s estimate, she said.

“The handwriting is certainly, in our opinion, on the wall right now,” she said. “BLM is managing wild horses and burros to extinction.”

Kathrens outlined a proposal for BLM to increase appropriate management levels for herds and the use of predator control, discontinue the use of helicopters in gathers and use only bait and water to trap horses if they must be rounded up, among other recommendations.

Advocates have argued that helicopters often fly too low during roundups and can chase horses to exhaustion.

Tom Gorey, a spokesman for BLM, said helicopters are the safest and most efficient way to gather herds. Gorey noted that a fall 2010 Interior inspector general report found the BLM gathers were “necessary” and humane (Land Letter, Dec. 16, 2010).

“If we were to go back trooping, chasing horses by saddle and lassoing, this would be an impossible operation to gather large numbers of horses,” he said.

Moreover, in fiscal 2010, only one-quarter of 1 percent of the 11,000 horses gathered by BLM suffered direct fatalities, Gorey said.

He also rejected claims that BLM has overestimated the number of horses on the range, noting that a 2008 Government Accountability Office report suggested BLM has undercounted.

The population count and growth rate have long been a point of contention among horse advocates.

Caroline Betts, a professor at the University of Southern California who teaches international finance and macroeconomics, said she does not believe BLM’s population estimates are accurate.

“None of the methods are not without possible statistical critique,” she said. The agency extrapolates numbers based on the assumption that the herd will double every four years, but that assumption, when considering the number of horses that have been removed, would leave nearly a million horses on the range today, she said.

“Either the removal data is wrong or the 20 percent population growth is wrong,” she said.

Such methodologies are the focus of a National Academy of Sciences review that will explore methods for population modeling, the annual rates of population growth, fertility control methods and carrying capacity of various lands to support wild horse herds, among other things. The study is due out in 2013.

BLM has also announced that it plans to dramatically increase its use of fertility control — a method favored by both horse advocates and ranchers — while reducing gathers and increasing opportunities for horses to be adopted.

44 replies »

  1. I believe Ginger is right about the current population of free wild horses being half of 38,000 which would be 19,000 for BLM reading this since they can’t do math. Or it could be half of the number the BLM gave for wild horses which was approx. 33,000 as the 38,000 included burros . That would mean the pop. is down to approx. 17,000 –the same number in ’71 when the WFRH&B Act was passed. Add 20% (impossible with PZP) to that and substract 7,500 to be removed FY 2012 , etc. and see just how few will be left in a few years. If that isn’t extinction I don’t know what is !!


  2. This is not accurate. The number’s don’t add up by the way their estimating. Factor out mare’s reproductive phase( seasonal) and gestation 11-12month given conditions on land, birth of one foal, growth of foal to adult,five years. Mare’s are picky and don’t breed like rabbits which are induced ovulaters,it’s not possible average 8-10 years taken but not consider in this equation is preditors, weather conditions and human interference(gathers on false pretenses) all consider. What there idea including is all in the punch bowl and it will double in four years. That is not good accounting bad practice management. Any business that operated that way would be shut down.


    • Along those lines, I’d like to point this out:

      The Triple B removed 1,269 animals. 190 (if my figures are correct) were foals.
      So, 190 mares participated in ‘foaling’ for this group. Of 1,269 removed. There is no way around that; it’s logical and empirical. Which puts us at around 15% – based on the whole group removed and not the percentage of mares.
      According to the math for the Triple B EA, foaling was an incredible 53% per annum, in order for these horses to achieve the huge population that merited their removal.
      The roundups keep rolling on, like a mindless avalanche. Evidence of inaccuracy in BLM data is just lyin’ around like shells on the beach. And even if advocates were wrong, we couldn’t be wrong 100% of the time.
      But we’re not wrong.


      • And for a government agency & a government contractor, that’s just the kind of statistic you can be proud of…


      • But isn’t it true that foals don’t count? (yeah, I know kinda like slaves were only half persons…seriously; and cows with calves don’t count as TWO animals for grazing permit purposes.)

        I’m tellin’ ya’…government math abilities are ridiculous, inaccurate, incompetent, yah-duh-yah-duh……IDIOTS!


      • Such irony here in that we really wanted to save foals. Before the ’roundup season’ began we wanted help in the field for foal counts. We wanted to have better information for the public on what became of foals during roundup/removals. The reality of what happened to many babies is a real kick in the solar plexus. I so wish we could have prevented this!


    • Moreover, in fiscal 2010, only one-quarter of 1 percent of the 11,000 horses gathered by BLM suffered direct fatalities, Gorey said.

      The real clue here is “direct fatalities”. Look into the stats for further down the road. 30 days out is a very fragile period of time with many deaths reported then. Not listed as gather related of course. then look 60 and 90 days out and the trend continues. So once again there stats lie, lie, lie. You can make stats say what you want them to say and BLM seems to have mastered that talent.


  3. none of the BLM numbers add up, respectfully there should never be round ups and they should be discontinued until an accurate count is made that is by an agency who is non bias , actually the bottom line is all round ups are being done illegally…………. by the Blm and also inhumanely ….Whats her name is still the fall girl for the BLM…… Just the fact that she would not answer any questions makes her presence completely a waste of tax payers money…………. This Agency is defunct and should be dissolved immediately !!!!! And Criminal arrests should also be made……………..What they are doing to the Wild Mustangs is a National American disgrace …………………………..


    • I strongly believe that they chose her because she is clueless and like the GOP They could put Mickey mouse in charge and Ken Salazar and Bob Abbey would be pulling the string’s still. She is so clueless about her situation in this agency and as a leader of her department, presents a severe shame on our sex in leadership position altogether. Through history women have had to struggle to gain respect in what ever profession we chose. The woman clearly is mocking that in her conduct, lack of knowledge on the matter at hand. She wouldn’t know the truth and corruption in this agency if it hit square in the eye. Five weeks is a (pardon my saying) piss poor excuse. I’m sorry to state this, but there it is.


  4. She wants disagreements to be respectful? Do you know the meaning of respectful? I think you are another huge waste of hard earned tax dollars!


    • RE:” I think showing up..not knowing your job” being wined and dined, which leads to ??? Dinner and movie and ???? Prostitutes get better press. Charlie Sheen and his girls. I don’t need to draw a picture for this, Do I?


  5. One thing that Joan said that really stuck in my mind was when she said they wanted to increase their adoption program and that they were looking at using WILD MUSTANGS as theropy horses. ???????? Did she really say that??? What therpy org would ever think about using former WILD MUSTANGS as therapy horses??? When boarding at a barn that was also used for therapy riding there is NO WAY IN HE77 that they would ever put a handicaped person or child on a former WILD mustang. What was she thinking? Shows what a snow job she was trying to do on us!


  6. The fundamental problem here is an agency that is disfunctional. It doesn’t matter who is put in charge. As we have discovered, there is NO overpopulation problem in the Wild Equine community. I think Barbara Clarke hit the nail squarely on the head:

    “Wild horses are not saddle horses in waiting. They do not belong in our backyards, corrals or show rings. They belong in the wild where they can be free and separate from humans.”


  7. Really BLM adopts to homes that pledges not to send them to slaughter? What about sale authority horses–the ones you get the papers to–right then and there? For instance Terri Farley could have sent Ghost Dancer to slaughter–she was given the papers to her on the spot. That wasn’t gonna happen that’s just an example.

    A couple of years ago a rancher lost all his property and his horse had to go. Problem is–he didn’t have the papers on his MUSTANG. He was a month away from his one year. And he was at an auction that sold regularly to kb. Have no fear–the brand inspector didn’t let the horse get by him. And through the efforts of several very hard working folks this horse was rescued. But it could have been VERY VERY different had anyone looked the other way for just a moment.

    Then for a moment let’s look at Wendi something or other. She got 29 horses from the BLM at 20 dollars each. They were fat and sassy when they got to her. 4 months later and they were skin and bones. Where was the follow up?

    Director G–boy are you in for a shock. And not the nice kind. Someone really pulled the wool over your eyes. Your the patsy. Everything wrong with the BLM is now gonna be YOUR fault. You had best take a journey out to the Pryors and drive up Burnt Timber Rd–cause lady the road your on is worse than Burnt Timber. Get ready to be tossed by the nearest horse over the nearest cliff. And no one from the mighty BLM is gonna reach out a hand to help you.


    • This should be in no way be construed as a defense of “Wendi” but the horses she received were 5 months off the range; they were still traumatized from roundups. They were futher traumatized by a three-day truck ride across the country.
      This group should NOT have been shipped anywhere.
      They weren’t fat and sassy. They were ill, fractured and stressed beyond the limit. Wendi’s was (allegedly; let’s try and be legally correct) the Ninth Gate of Hell in a long line of Hells.
      There was no follow-up by the agency responsible for their removal and subsequent sale. I suspect this is probably not an isolated incident. Apparently, ‘sale’ absolves the agency of any further responsibility.


      • Dr. Bruce Nock, PH.D., gave a great talk on the stress of the round ups on the wild horses and how it affects their health. He said how they go into depression and I’m sure that they really do not want to work for men again after all the harsh treatment they had received. Especially from the Sun J crew. And any horse owner knows that it takes a lot of work to get a horse in and out of a trailer. Can you imagine just how fearful the wild horses are at going into this dark closed in hole? Talk about stress!


      • Thats really good Laura. Dr. Nock’s talk was just filled with FACTS and it was alarming. Its amazing that anyone can get a good companion horse after all they go through. God bless them! For me thats why I think they need to be left alone on the range where they belong.


  8. Really, Joyce, really; the BLM prosecutes people who do not treat mustangs humanely after adopting them. Can you please provide any detail at all on this statement? After all, “prosecution” requires paperwork, so even if you are relatively new on the job, someone should be able to help you with this. And you want to be treated with respect. That’s interesting coming from anyone, anyone at all who represents the BLM. There is actual video after video showing that the BLM and its hired contractor seem to go out of their way to treat our wild horses and burros with the utmost disdain and disrespect.

    And yes, Tom Gorey, I am sure helicopters are the safest and most efficient way to gather herds. For the contractors. And if Mr. Gorey or Bob Abbey or Ms. What’shername think that anyone who cares anything at all about our wild mustangs and burros have any faith in anything the Interior Department has to say they are totally delusional. Yes, I am sure if you all had to get out of the nice comfortable lawn chairs complete with umbrellas to chasing horses and lassoing them, it would be a bit more difficult to gather large numbers of horses. I always think the BLM cannot sink any lower, and I am always proved wrong.


  9. I wrote this in response to some of the goofy analogies and chit-chat she relayed to us—

    Ms. Guilfoyle—
    I attended the Equine Welfare Conference in Virginia and saw you speak on the last day, though you refused to take questions from the citizens and taxpayers who fund the BLM program. I have to say, I find this egregious and more than a little unprofessional, considering the vast experience in other areas you relayed to us in your speech. If your specialty is communications, I am surprised you fail to recognize the irony of your debut before us and the message implied by your refusing to answer questions. Five weeks is a vast amount of time to become experienced with the major policy issues of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro program if one is serious about the position occupied. A position in private industry would not tolerate such excusing oneself of responsibility to the stakeholders of the company—-your public.
    You already seem to be drawing similarities to former field work with whooping cranes and current wild horse “gathers”, as you mentioned the “early hours and exhaustion”, though I would hope you realize there are some glaring DIS-similarities. I point out to you, that learning anything about the biology and herd dynamics of wild equines is poorly observed when the animals are stampeding at break neck speed driven by machines and slamming into trap structures to facilitate their capture. One would hardly expect to learn much about whooping cranes while hunkered down in a duck blind in hunting season with the rifles blasting, as a comparison. Your mention of the “early hours and exhaustion” would seem to be a wholly human construct with little relevance to the stress and suffering obviously occurring with the mustangs and burros.
    The instruction you made regarding attending a “gather” so as to “see for yourself” is particularly grating, considering the main concern the BLM has with anyone going to these events consists in preventing any “seeing” The latest example at Barren Valley, in a complaint formally lodged with your agency (and yourself), consists of citizen observers kept 3 miles from the trap, kept behind a hill, and kept from even entering the area by the devious device of BLM siting the trap on private land. All three of these variations call into question your breezy advice to “see” a “gather” —as a aside, Ms Guilfoyle, the agency predeliction for making up euphemistic terms to soften the harsh reality of their behaviors is classic bureaucratic shenanigans. One “gathers” cloth to make a skirt or ” gathers” holly to drape from the mantlepiece. Helicopter stampedes of wild horses are chaotic, dangerous, and filled with the screams of animals in abject terror—there is no euphemistic “gathering” You have obviously not viewed the huge body of video/audio documentation that has accumulated over many years, and will be derelict in the duty of your office if you fail to avail yourself of these sources. Finally, in attending these awful events, the experience of the high level entourage of officialdom compared to the public observer could hardly be more disparate. The situation is akin to the restaurant reviewer telling the chef and serving staff he will be coming for dinner. This NEVER happens, for obvious biased results are to be expected as everyone is “on show” To know how low the ignominious treatment may go, know that at the latest Triple B stampede, observers were one day confined in a STOCKTRAILER. The message is clear.

    Lastly, I have read these words you were quoted saying to the journalist, Mr Taylor–
    “It might be the one in a thousand that rears up against the corral and bumps up against the gate, and people go, ‘Oh my gosh, it got hurt,’” she said. “But that’s one out of thousand that came through more or less agreeably. Part of it, I think, is perception and understanding of what’s happening.”
    For years BLM has insisted the things we see with our own eyes need their “interpretation” to be “correctly” understood. With the weight of the science we heard at the conference—genetic markers of stress as expressed in telomeres by Dr Nock, we do not need broken necks and foals with sloughed hooves to tell us things are wrong. We don’t require “understanding of what is happening” and the justification from BLM minions that “one out of a thousand” means a job well done. I would hope your experience as a wildlife researcher in the field would inform your understanding of another species with a strong social dynamic, but politics and protocol have distorted the findings of many a good biologist and I sense the same will be your calling. The BLM is a good ole’ boys club, and the trail of shattered laws and guidelines, bullying officials, and dead animals litters the agency’s history going back decades.
    Your debut was not an auspicious one, unfortunately.
    Sincerely, Susan Rudnicki, Manhattan Beach CA


    • Re: Susan Rudnicki’s letter; Nice letter, But I will have one thing to say. She isn’t intelligent enough to read the whole letter and understand its meaning. She is a disgrace. This one goes through life choosing to be clueless and ignorant.


    • I hope that you follow through and send this letter. Joan could surprise us and read it. She may even watch a few videos, or look into the difference between a gentle “gather” and a round-up. She’s new, maybe something will resonate. Yes, I chose to be naive, but we need to keep trying to talk to “them.”


      • I have tried to send the letter 4 times over the last 2 days and keep getting a message from ‘Postmaster’ that there is delivery failure due to being “caught in a hop-loop”??? It sounds like a overload situation, or maybe some kind of wall?? I am not a computer person…..


      • this is a copy of the actual reading
        Error transferring to; Maximum hop count exceeded. Message probably in a routing loop. Maximum hop count exceeded. Message probably in a routing loop.
        Still the letter is not going through to Guilfoyle


  10. Adoption ?? BLM has 40,000 horses in LTH–and they aren’t getting adopted. They gather more every year and send them to –??– and they aren’t getting adopted. BLM is not going to find 40,000 adopters. How are they moving them through the system? Into the front of the pasture and out the back gate? Give us a break Ms. G — we know what’s really really happening to the wild horses.
    @Louie correct–they are not horses waiting for a “home”–they have a home on the range–wild.


  11. Why not give her a chance instead of trashing her every word?? Nothing will be accomplished this way. She will already be on the defense. Step back from the limelight and think about the horses.


    • Sorry Sandy but she swept into OUR meeting and proceeded to set up the same ole BLM ground rules of “we will set the ground rules”. She knew she was coming to this meeting and that there were going to be a lot of questions and that advocates really wanted to know where she stood. She chose instead to give this inane talk and cut any questions saying she didn’t know her job. Did she not know she was possibly in line for this job? Would it not have been prudent to study up? All of us are sick and tired of BLM calling the shots and when she walked into this meeting she had the chance to turn this around. She chose not to. That was HER choice. We are reacting to that personal choice. Our presenters are willing to be questioned and engage in a dialogue or debate it is the BLM that relies on circling the wagons and protecting those wagons with armed employees.


    • Sandy: I hate to burst your positive bubble. Five weeks on the job? Think about it woman. The GOP put That naive creature their for a reason, Because she opened her mouth then admitted that she had NO knowledge of her job. Which begs the question, what are the three stooges going to make out of this agency to make this person look really really bad given the currant situation? If She were smart she would find out in a hurry what their agenda is and how it involves her personally and professionally. She is being used and is extremely naive about the whole thing. Once the court cases have finished and that will take some time, will the force of that impact shed negatively on her leadership as a department head. Hit enough times over the head A simpleton will wake up and pay attention. Whether she chooses to be that simpleton is her choice. We just get to sit back support Laura and at the same time watch the fallout.


      • 5 weeks on the job, you said it. What a good opportunity to TRY to establish a relationship. JUST TRY!!! What is the harm in that? But by publicly trashing her, the chances of that are probably gone now.
        No need to be insulting Morgans, everyone is allowed their own opinion and I stand by mine.


      • Sandy…Watch the latest video from Ms Leigh, reread the posts and the IEC Facebook wall on Ms. Guilfoyle’s contributions (or lack there of). Read the NYT’s features on her.

        I too said give here a chance (always knowing that she was “hand-picked” for a reason), but she did disappoint.

        Other than some very harsh language here and there, the advocates and experts here have got it right….Ms. Guilfoyle is not a breath of fresh air, will not help the wild equines and may very well be “thrown under the bus” by Abbey and Slaughterczar in the end….just like the MMS head after Deepwater Horizon Blowout/Gulf disaster.

        But you are certainly entitled to your opinion and open mind….it’s just that the BLM isn’t transparent or open-minded or polite or competent or…..

        But I’m saddened by advocates that called out “liar” during her presentation; two wrongs don’t make a right, and the NYT troll featured it in his last piece (the name calling and rudeness). I remember that idiot from SC saying that during Obama’s State of the Union….bad, bad behavior. I do however understand the advocates’ frustration. I don’t excuse it, as I don’t excuse DOI/USDA regarding their behavior regarding our wild equines (and several other issues, btw).


  12. Perhaps if she had introduced herself after listening and viewing the polished and professional presentations made by other presenters to the advocates, the new director would have raised her game a few notches. She was accompanied by Dean Bolstad who had probably been part of a group who prepped her for her introduction and how she should present herself.

    I think the preparation that she has received is a further indictment of how this agency does all its preparation and staff training. Not. When none of the staff has received a single hour of training in wild horses and burros, do we expect an agency director to come in ready to go.

    As for Tom Gorey, pleeeaaaassseee, be quiet until you can shed some light on a subject. Helicopter round ups are not humane to horses.

    One of the biggest problems this program has is that it is completely ignorant about the nature of the horse. And every time Tom Gorey opens his mouth to defend the the brutal actions of the BLM, this ignorance pulsates. However, more and more people who are in a position of influence are starting to see for themselves.

    We are not at the tipping point, but we are getting closer.


  13. Personally, I have come to believe that the ever shifting sands of numbers of any sort related to the BLM and its faux record keeping is a ploy to avoid accountability.

    Perhaps the supercommittee needs to examine eliminating agencies who are no longer able to fulfill their mission statement. There is no agency at Interior who wants to manage our wild horses in a manner that is consistent with the welfare of the wild horses and burros and the ability of the American people to be able to enjoy these wild animals as a guiding part of their mission statement.

    I agree with that Wild Horse Annie’s thoughts that they should be managed by the National Parks Service since it was created to preserve our history and culture would have been the appropriate place for the WFRHB program to have been placed, but NPS is under DOI, and there are too many conflicts of interest.


    • Christie, you might want to look into Service First. Joan Guilfoyle was National Coordinator of Service First –

      Service First seems to be more than just sharing offices and streamlining paperwork (making it easier for oil and gas leases, by the way) – it seems to be a merging BLM, Forest Service, USDA, National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service, and involves transfer of funds and sharing personnel and facilities.
      It would seem to make all of these agencies less accountable to the public (and Congress) with the transfer of funds.


  14. I should correct my previous comment. The BLM functions perfectly…for the “stakeholders” who pull the strings…purse strings. It does EXACTLY as intended. As George Knapp so aptly stated, this agency should be called the Bureau of Livestock and Mines.


    • Exactly, Louie. This is no dysfunctional agency. It works as intended–to keep the round up (haze and capture) machine rolling along, the public in the dark and knowledgeable advocates at a distance with threats and stonewalls. When Guilfoyle decided to give a lie-filled interview to the New York Times just days before her “no questions” puff PR turn at the Conference, she sent a clear message–no “new normal,” just the same old, same old. Of course we should always hope that hardened minds and hearts will soften, but as my horses taught me, intent is communicated through action. Watch what is done, not what is said.


  15. As for wild horses being used in therapy programs, we need to keep in mind that there are many types of ways people need to be healed.

    There is a program that Monty Roberts (and possibly others) are working on for veterans returning home from war with serious PTSD. This program was featured on the military channel with three or four veterans who spent time on Monty’s ranch working on “join up” with wild horses, and there was a marked improvement in the veterans affect after there experience here. I think there should be some follow up and further contact. One of the veterans may have adopted one of the horses. I am a little foggy on details, but I believe that building a relationship with a wild horse because of the nature of the relationship could be helpful for this disorder in some veterans. This program appeared on the military channel.

    North Carolina is a major military state in terms of bases and families of veterans who live here and where many veterans return, so our Congressmen and women are particularly interested in programs and services that will help veterans return to civilian life when their service is over. I wrote Senator Burr prior to the TV program appearing, and received a nice note afterwards.

    Would a wild mustang be an appropriate choice as a therapy horse for a child with spina bifida? Probably not.

    However, my ovservation with the two traumatized horses that I worked with for over two years is that they seemed to sense when someone who was also suffering from some loss (such as legal blindness) was with them. The horses were more willing to risk approaching these also wounded ones while they viewed others with more apprehension.


    • That’s a good idea Christie and I am going to broach it to some of the people in our area. I live in San Diego and of course we have a lot of military here with a lot of soldiers that suffer greatly with mental health issues. They even admit the standard treatment is not that helpful.


  16. Thaanks , Christie. I have found my rescued mustangs more sensitive than my domestic ones. Of course all horses are special but the wild ones even more so because of their persecution IMO.


    • Barbara, did you do all the gentleing? Were you the first one to get him after the round up? I often wondered if they recover from the round up trauma. I know that the ones like Gingers are gentled with so much kindness but wonder if those in long time holding before finding a home might make it harder to gentle them.


  17. The evidence for planned extinction is in the plan: the BLM has chosen to focus on sterilizing females – mares. And have intentionally interrupted breeding harems, a survival strategy of horses that is almost as important as their migratory foraging patterns.

    When I was in grad school, using bones from archaeological sites, I studied populations of prehistoric marine mammals, and how they were selectively, or not selectively, hunted by humans in different places. The question I was addressing is whether mankind in this place or that place, was unknowing hunting out the area, or whether they were managing their resources. I took my methods from Lyman, an archaeologist with a heavy ecological background. He uses sex and age as a proxy because of the ecological impacts that lessening one or the other has. Basically, predating on males does not have as much of a devastating effect on the populations as predating on females, or females and juveniles. The reason for that is that mammals that bare small numbers of young and invest in that offspring, like horses, can not recover (or recover at a perilously slower rate) if the pool of females is too small to rebound in time. They are busy nursing for a given time, and must space births apart. Conversely, when males are significantly fewer than females (in this case sterilized, rather than not present), populations can and usually do rebound, because males can impregnate females continuously – *if* there is an established harem, that has the ability to move while foraging, which is known as a patch choice change (another basic ecological principle). Yet, they are sterilizing the females, *and* they have interrupted other important factors that would contribute to the demise of the horses, so I have to conclude that what they aim to do is bring these various populations to genetic inviability. It’s troubling that biologist working on the ecological impact reports have not said as much.

    A minor background in ecology, and a wikipedia search of horse proto-culture informs anyone well enough to see the BLM policies for what they are – a hand out to cattle ranchers, and the cruel and protracted death of our wild horses.


    • Good stuff!

      I believe that cattle/sheep are the ruse, feint, whatever you want to call it in military strategic and tactical terms. The bigger culprit is mining, extraction and water consumption for same….read the latest win for WWP and the Greater Sage Grouse.


  18. I have not gentled them–just tried to let them know they are loved and will never be hurt again. Join up training or anything even slightly showing any force scares them. The mare I’ve had for 6 years now only scored a 3 maybe on the Henecke scale when I bought her to save her and her 1 month old filly from going to a killer auction. She will not let me touch her feet and I think they were roped.The 2nd mare was in the kill pen at Sugar Creek, Ohio. I can pet them both and they will lead. That’s all I ever plan to do . They do obey some voice commands like come in, go to your place, stop pawing , Lily , and hold your horses –I’m coming as fast as I can. LOL They love treats .
    BTW several of us have been saying for years the extensive removals and PZP is “Managing for Extinction”, the title of AWI’s $2 book. It can be read online at too and maybe at AWI’s web site. I now have the newest and 3rd edition.


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