Horse News

Thank you, Veterans

Today we thank veterans and active military who protect our rights and freedoms.  We also remember the horses that have been used in battles to protect these freedoms.  Coming full circle, and honoring both veterans and horses, below are testimonials about horses used in healing our veterans.  – Debbie Coffey

Thank you to Winnie Wong for sending this video to our attention to be shared here today:



Categories: Horse News

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20 replies »

  1. Far better than sending them to prisons:

    I posted TWO comments on this article (CBS). They were simply comments that showed the other side of the issue. One was a video of our Wild Horses in the wild, where they belong. America’s Federally Protected Wild Horses and Burros do NOT belong in prisons, behind closed doors, where the public can NEVER see them again. God only knows what happens to them there.

    Sacramento County Inmates Will Help Break In Wild Horses

    WHAT can be wrong with showing this comment?
    (VIDEO is on the website)
    Key AWHPC supporter Ellie Phipps Price has produced an exciting new film, American Mustang. Filmed in 3D, over two years in eight locations, the full-length documentary “chronicles the emotionally charged journey through a tenuous landscape dotted by ranchers, wild horse advocates, government agencies and the American people.” American Mustang promises to open the eyes of the American public to the plight of wild horses in the West. It makes its world premiere at the Denver Film Festival November 7-9 and will also screen at the Napa Film Festival on November 16 and 17.


    • CBS has some serious reporting issues.

      As a retired veteran, I am saddened by the lack of posts on this and the previous thread. Veteran’s don’t even rate high “rate” stars? Huh???

      Any veteran will tell you they don’t want the attention, they were just doing their job. But we do want our fellow veteran’s thanked and appreciated….especially the ones that didn’t come back home alive, suffered and committed suicide and those suffering from everything from wounds, missing limbs, chemical exposure, TBI/PTS and an unresponsive VA system.

      I said it before and will repeat, animals (from carrier pigeons, mules, donkeys, horses, dogs, dolphins) have been there for the US military through the good times and the bad.

      Remember the men, women, families and animals that make this country great.

      More comments about the troll in NM, then the servicemen and women that paid for your right to speak out against injustice and animal cruelty.


  2. And our War Horses…they also served.

    The ancestors of the Sheldon horses fought in battles as cavalry mounts through World War I.



    AWHPC is asking the Senate Committee to investigate the FWS/Palmer contract, and to put a hold on Palmer’s dispersal of any additional Sheldon horses while the investigation is underway. AWHPC also hopes that the Committee will ask the Refuge to reconsider its plan to eradicate the wild horses and burros of the Sheldon Refuge due to their historic and cultural significance to the area. The ancestors of the Sheldon horses fought in battles as cavalry mounts through World War I.

    Tens of thousands of us have spoken out about the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) transfer of wild horses from the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada to Stan Palmer, the known slaughter middleman in Mississippi, but Washington isn’t listening.

    Just this week, another 100 horses were shipped to Palmer from Sheldon.
    A Palmer employee recently urged people on Facebook to “show up with your trailer and load em up….need gone asap!!!!” adding, “when they leave my house they are no longer my business.”

    Following the post, Sheldon horses began leaving Palmer’s property by the truckload. On October 31, the trailer below — packed with Sheldon horses — was one of two loads that left Palmer’s headed for Magnolia, Mississippi, where the horses allegedly will be used as rodeo bucking stock. There is little doubt that these wild, untamed adult horses will eventually end up in the slaughter pipeline.
    Senator Barbara Boxer is the Chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), which has oversight authority over FWS. Take these three steps right now to ask her and EPW to get to the bottom of this situation ASAP:

    1. Post to Twitter:

    2. Copy the text below and post to Senator Boxer’s Facebook Page.
    HEY Senator Boxer, before it’s too late, please use your Environment & Public Works oversight power to investigate why the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service transferred 252 wild horses to slaughter middleman

    Senator Boxer’s Facebook page

    3. If you haven’t already, contact your Senators
    and encourage them to make the same request of Senator Boxer and the EPW Committee


    • Louie (and others) I came across this abstract of a study of horses in the Sheldon Refuge which looked at equid’s dietary habits and results on vegetation. They compared areas including horses and areas from which horses had been removed.

      Stable Isotope Diet Reconstruction of Feral Horses (Equus caballus) on the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, USA

      Megan K. Nordquist, Steven L. Petersen, Todd F. Robinson, and Gail Collins
      Feral horse management has become a subject of significant controversy in the United States. This is because of differing opinions and minimal recent empirical data on feral horses. In recent years, numbers of feral horses have increased due to governmental horse removal restrictions (specifically the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971). With increasing numbers of feral horses on rangelands, land managers are challenged with identifying the appropriate course of action for satisfying groups with differing opinions. The purpose of this study is to characterize diet consumption through the use of stable isotope dietary analysis (δ15N and δ13C). We did this in order to measure the impact of feral horse forage consumption on rangelands and to propose strategies for improving habitat management and conservation. We obtained tail hair isotopic values from tail hair removed while horses that were held in squeeze chutes following a roundup. Resulting isotopic values were compared to plant isotopic values using plant samples obtained from the geographical areas as the horses in order to characterize diet. Contribution of the various plant species to the tail hair mixture values was determined using the EPA program IsoSource©. Initial analysis of tail hair isotopes demonstrated seasonal variation. During summer months, shrubs (mostly Artemesia spp, and Purshia tridentate), Elymus elymoides, Juncus balticus, and Festuca idahoensis were the predominantly consumed vegetative species. During fall months, Leymus cinereus and Juncus balticus played a more significant role in feral horse diet. In the winter, shrubs were more heavily consumed along with Poa secunda. Springtime showed a shift towards forb consumption. Changes in seasonal consumption of forages are most likely linked to forage availability as well as equine preference. We analyzed plant metrics (specifically biomass, abundance, and cover) to compare a site with horses present to a site where horses had been removed the previous year and found relatively few differences between the two sites. With nearly all differences we found higher plant production (forage availability) on the site where horses were still present. In riparian areas however, there was more vegetation (specifically Carex rossii, Juncus balticus, and Poa secunda) on the site where horses had been removed. Within riparian areas, only Bromus tectorum (a plant not typically found in riparian areas but characteristic of degraded areas) showed significantly greater amounts of biomass on the site with horses present. Knowledge of plant species consumption will allow land managers greater ability to make scientifically based decisions regarding feral horse population control which is important in determining appropriate management levels of populations.

      Corresponding author: Megan K. Nordquist
      Brigham Young University 346 WIDB Provo, Utah 84602 USA
      Tel: +1.801.850.8211 E-mail:


      Click to access IWEC_book_of_abstracts_final.pdf


  3. Very moving videos, thank you. I sent some on to family (veterans) and friends today who need to learn more about this.

    Over a dozen years ago I became nationally certified to work with horses helping people, but have found it to be a hard road indeed without a substantial infrastructure to support what is such good work. I have floated working with veterans many times but there is sooooooo much red tape and insurance (not available for independents) that this good work has to fall on the shoulders of operating centers which often do not want to diversify from working with children’s disabilities, for example, to tackle the issues adult soldiers must face.

    So I will ask anyone reading this who knows of such organizations (that are above board, not all are) PLEASE SUPPORT THEM AS OUR TROOPS SUPPORT US, TO THE LAST MEASURE!


  4. Enjoyed the three videos….amazing the power of healing these beautiful animals are able to bring to those in need! Thank you for sharing.


  5. IcySpots, is the Gail Collins on the study the same Gail Collins that works for the U.S. Forest Service?

    Click to access IWEC_book_of_abstracts_final.pdf

    Contrary to popular belief, wild horses are not in danger of extinction: Herds increase at the rate of about 20 percent a year. Roughly 33,700 wild horses occupy 31.9 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM also cares for another 35,000 wild horses in short-term corrals and long-term pastures at a cost of tens of millions of dollars per year.

    “If we want to preserve the natural heritage of the Great Basin, Sheldon is a critical refuge for conservation,” said Steblein. “And the wild horses make that impossible.”

    A study plot on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada shows how non-native horses destroy a desert wetland. After just two months, an area open to horses, at left, has little uneaten vegetation; the soil and water have been trampled into mud. At right, in an area protected from horses, healthier vegetation provides nesting cover for birds and food for wildlife, while the stream channel starts to recover.
    Credit: Gail Collins, USFWS


    • Louie, maybe, but what I read in the abstract said that ALL areas showed INCREASED vegetation, but different species multiplied in riparian areas once horses were removed. I only read the abstract so there may be more specifics in the actual report. One has to ask if the watering hole was trampled, if there were any other hooved mammals drinking water there. I didn’t do the research, just found the increased vegetation in all scenarios seemed counter to the “overgrazing” mantra.


  6. These are some excerpts from Debbie Coffey’s report/Part 2
    Part 2: BLM and Fish & Wildlife Service Experimenting on Wild Horses
    By Debbie Coffey Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved.
    (If you missed Part 1, click here)

    This article includes documented information obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the BLM, on the field spaying of mares, vasectomies and chemical vasectomies, so that the public can learn more about the experimentation on feral (and wild) horses.
    What you’ll see in the documents at the bottom of this article seem to indicate that there has been experimentation without properly planned protocols (which should’ve included having medication at the site in case of an adverse reaction to any drugs) and with haphazard (if any at all) monitoring after the procedures. It seems as if the BLM is fishing for “inferences” to push these FWS experiments as a “tool in their toolbox” for population control of wild horses.
    BLM should be doing ON THE RANGE MANAGEMENT OF VIABLE HERDS. Most herds are NOT viable. Stay on this point: Should BLM even be doing population control/fertility control on NON-VIABLE HERDS?

    3) In a 10/21/09 e-mail Ms. Gail Collins (FWS) sent to Dean Bolstad, then Deputy Division Chief of the Wild Horse & Burro Program, answering some questions he had asked about their horse sterilization program.

    The answer to #2 states they (FWS) “don’t track bands as they come into the trap, so we don’t have a definitive way of identifying the lead studs.” She then noted that in an aerial survey, that there were studs they were unable to identify from the air as sterilized studs.
    In answer #4 she noted the aerial surveys were to monitor wildlife, and they were limited by funding and personnel.

    (A year later in an 8/17/2010 e-mail from Collins to Bolstad, she noted that “We have no data directly investigating the mortalities after the mares were released. In July 2010 we incidentally observed about half of the spayed mares during our annual pronghorn survey…However, it is important to note that horses were not the primary focus of that effort, and we were not specifically looking for the sterilized individuals.”)

    Collins also noted mares were kept in corrals for 24-48 hours after they were spayed, and were then released. She stated “There has been no direct monitoring of the mares since their release.” She gave the details about the arrow brands used for monitoring the horses: the arrow points towards the tail of spayed mares, the arrow points up for vasectomized studs and the arrow points down for geldings.

    There is also an e-mail from Stublein to Dean Bolstad, telling Bolstad he was pleased with “the emergence of an interagency partnership.” Stublein then seemed to stress “As I mentioned last week, this is a working experiment versus research project dues to lack of staff and funds.” (So, Dean Bolstad was aware the word “experiment” was used.)

    4) In a 10/22/2009 e-mail from Dean Bolstad to Gail Collins, he states “I know this isn’t a research project” and asks if “maybe inferences can be made” about the data on spayed mares. Bolstad then noted “I’m not sure how you could measure this at this point in your work unless you were able to count surviving mares in the field. It would be pretty hard considering the difficulty of reading your arrows and the expanse of the country they live in.”

    Gail Collins answered that “While it is not ideal” they made some inferences regarding the foaling data. Collins also noted that testing the safety of mares in the field would be tested in a proposal that was a controlled experiment. (Note the use of the word “experiment” again.)


  7. The 3 videos were really great – hopefully there will be more done for our soldiers making use of horses. They can be such a calm loving influence for all of us.
    And then the so-called “experiments! What is the point of this? They already have removed so many horses that the herds aren’t viable. It seems the FWS (?) and the BLM are pushing the limits just because they can. Its wrong.



    Secretary Sally Jewell
    Department of the Interior (DOI)
    1849 C Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20240

    Director Dan Ashe
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
    1849 C Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20240

    9 September 2013

    We encourage and support your efforts to implement the proposed gather schedule. Sound feral horse and burro management will always be met with some level of opposition, but preferential management of a non-native species should not come at the cost of science-based conservation and management of native fish, wildlife, and plants. We look forward to lending our support as steps to eradicate feral horses on Sheldon NWR continue. If you have any questions, please contact Terra Rentz, The Wildlife Society’s Deputy Director of Government Affairs ( or Desiree Sorenson-Groves, Vice-President of Government Affairs with The National Wildlife Refuge Association (

    Winifred Kessler, President The Wildlife Society
    David Houghton, President National Wildlife Refuge Association
    Craig Kauffman, President Safari Club International


    By George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter
    By Matt Adams, Chief Photojournalist

    The Sheldon herds include some of the oldest and purest horse lines in the west. Some of those Sheldon horses’ ancestors carried American soldiers into battle in World War I. You would think that with all that land up there, and no compelling reason to remove them, that the Sheldon horses deserve something better than to end up on someone’s hamburger bun. The Sheldon Wildlife Refuge is also home to a population of bighorn sheep, a non-native species, but there is no move to remove them.


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