An Angel for the Wild Horses and Burros

A testimonial by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Thanks to many for the photos of Garnet

The day started out as many others; up early, check email, write for the blog, hay the horses, let out the dog, feed the cats, make a pot of coffee, chat with Terry to plan the day…it was a typical Monday morning until an email popped up on the computer screen with the subject line; “Garnet is in Trouble”, all bets were then off.

Long time wild horse and burro advocate, Garnet Pasquale born June 19th 1945, carried her fight for the safety of the horses across the bridge, yesterday, January 27th, 2014.  A shock to many of us as respectable and proper Garnet did not make her physical struggles public nor did she draw upon public sentiment for sympathy and support.

My heart is heavy with the loss of a friend, a sister in the fight and someone who was known to kick me in the ass when I got out of line.  Just typing these words causes my eyes to blur with tears but another part of me knows that Garnet was too strong, too dedicated and too loving to go quietly into the night; she still walks amongst us and gives us strength.

Garnet set the standard, she raised the bar on being an advocate and she put her money where her mouth was…she is my idol.  No drama, no whining, no BS, it was all about the horses or nothing at all, we are blessed for having known her.

Many thanks to Arlene Gawne and the members of America’s Wild Horse Advocates for being there for Garnet and for carrying our parting messages to her before she crossed the bridge.  Thanks and blessings to her family for accepting our presence during the passing of Garnet’s spirit…and to Garnet, I leave you with these words:

“Garnet, you have been a mentor and teacher to me.  When I have stepped out of line you have been like a big sister who has whipped her little brother back into place, and I have always listened.  You have done so much, as a leader, to help the horses and your current struggle only empowers me further to see our mutual fight come to a favorable conclusion.

I am in this war because I made a promise to a horse who crossed the bridge, now I make the same pledge to you;  We will NOT give up or step aside from the battle to save our wild equines from extinction nor will we rest until horse slaughter is forever banished from this great land.  I pledge to you, Garnet, that I will never, ever, deviate from our mutual objective.

And above all, Garnet…please rest assured that many, many of us love you dearly.  I am sorry that I am not there to hold your hand, but I hold you in my heart and will forever do so.  I love you Garnet…please keep me between the white lines, I will be counting on you to continue to do so well into the future when we will ultimatly meet again.  The thought of you being there, working for the horses and waiting for me brings great comfort.  We love you Garnet.”

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51 comments on “An Angel for the Wild Horses and Burros

  1. In Deepest Sympathy to Garnet Pasquale Family and all the Advocates who Loved her Dearly, her mutual Passion for all the Horses , lives on with and inside all of us… i have no doubt she is with all horses at the Rainbow Bridge now, smiling at the horses and with them as always… She will now still give to us the strength to Win the battle she fought for………………………

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  2. Farewell to an equine Heroine and I too am in this war because of the uneccesary departures of so many wild horses and burros and domestic s
    I will fight for them all now that forty six mustang mares and foals are my children they are in my blood and I will fight for The West as only I can
    Goodby elegant warrior we will continue in your name and bring you pride

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  3. Garnet, you dear, funny girl, you were a fighter to the end. Thank you for being a friend in battle, a Twentieth Century Warrior Woman. When it wasn’t the BLM, DOI, USFS, or Dept of Ag, you rounded on cancer with a vengeance. You rang In January 2014 determined to find the magic surgery to beat the tumors “just until we get some things done this fall for the wild horses and burros.” You were not going to let helicopters and short-sighted humans remove from those wild bands from the Spring Mountains west of Las Vegas Nevada! And when pneumonia brought you down last Saturday, you raged on paper (because that furious voice was reduced to a whisper) saying the ICU unit was “MAJOR overkill”. Well, Sweetie, it was. But we had you a few days longer while your spirit sorted out where you would go next, who you would tackle (OMG, lookout!), and how better you could help wild horses and burros. Why did you devote your whole waking life to them since you were never a horse-rider or a horse-lover? You told us all that wild horses and burros represented FREEDOM to you – the freedom that this country once promised to represent. And you would not sit by and let this government, past, present or future, take that FREEDOM away. Defenseless wild ones – you had their back, until government could be changed. You go girl, you change it from the Other Side. I already hear that you will.

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  4. RIP Garnet, and now we have more hard-hitting help on the other side, along with other strong, spirited people, and horses, wild, captive-wild, and domestic, to “bring it on” and give us the strength and power we need to “get er done” once and for all.

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  5. I regret I never heard of this gal until now. She sounds like she was (& is) the kind of friend our wild horses & burros needed and will always need. I’m sure that when she crossed the rainbow bridge there were many from the wild herds to greet her. We all need to make her proud!

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  6. This is a terrific loss to all our wild equine. She also was a loving support to all of us too. She had such strength and conviction, I will never forget meeting her. And, don’t forget, she always loved my beloved long ears too. Say hello to Charlie, Blue Boy, Dusty and the others who are waiting on the other side to give you a lift.
    I love you Garnet,
    Marjorie Farabee

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  7. Last night after I heard the news I went searching on my computer and found my few photos that I took of our trip to meet the wild horses of Lost Wages. Sadly I don’t know how to post it here. I have one that I resized and renamed.

    It was a WONDERFUL experience. We were at this pond and the horses had come in from far out. Ginger was there and told us that we should move to the other side of the pond away from the horses to give them room. They just walked right up to the pond, into the water (which was quite cold by the way!). They drank and splashed and rolled. It was amazing to be a part of this herd for a moment even on the outside. They allowed us to be a part of them to see what freedom, coming for water and playing was all about.

    It was one of the magical experiences especially since Ginger was sitting next to me who had experienced this dozens of times and she watched as tears just streamed down my face.

    A couple days later I went back and this small herd followed me down this steep path. I swear I could hear hoofbeats but everytime I turned to look there was no one there. Just a couple moments after I arrived at the pond this little band came out of the brush. I couldn’t help but chuckle. They had been that well camouflaged.

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  8. The first time I met Garnet was at a protest against our Harry Reid of Nv. It was after that we started getting together. She has always gave me the confidence to help; She become a big part of my life. Spending many hours on the phone. I remember 1 night we were on the phone for 2 -3 hrs. She always kept me focused. Not living just around the corner didn’t help much. But, when ever there was a question, issue, it didn’t matter, I could call Garnet. She had so much strength, information, she was so remarkable. With every ounce of her being, it was all about the horses. Garnet, you became a friend who I will never forget, you will always be in heart. I will miss you so.
    I Love you, Priscilla

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  9. I’m in a crumple of tears. I did not know Garnet had cancer or was in any way having health problems. We never actually met but we were close friends anyway.

    She was the very first person to pre-order my new book Born Wild – The Soul of a Horse back in October, so I sent her my “proof”, the first copy ever printed, the only one with a big bold “PROOF” on the last page.

    She is responsible for the photo at the beginning of Chapter 27, a photo of our Saffron being rounded up at Triple B, taken by Laura Leigh. I didn’t know Laura at the time and Garnet brought us together. This is all very sad. Whenever I had a question, or an idea, or concept, she was always there and responsive. I will miss her so.

    R.T. I make the same pledge to Garnet that you made to her. And, like you, I will never step aside from the battles that lie ahead. Although I truly expect now that Garnet has direct access to the Boss things will most certainly improve for the wild horses. – Joe

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    • Joe, rest assured that Garnet’s daughter has that wonderful proof of your book for her keepsake of her dedicated mom. That was one of the first things we found yesterday as we packed up a Warrior Woman’s treasures. Garnet loved the way you found wild horses and the way you shared your growing insights with the world. We wish that AWHA and the Spring Mountain Alliance could have had you and Benji out to Vegas if only to have met face to face. Last night I attended a local wildlife/hunter meeting without Garnet for the first time in years and let them know why a non-horse lover and non-rider would fight so hard for the wild ones. Garnet said that wild horses and burros represented FREEDOM to her – the FREEDOM that this country promised to protect. And she would not sit by and let any government – past, present or future – take that FREEDOM away. Defenseless wild ones, she had their back until government could be changed. She was against one group dominating others. Her passing only galvanizes us to find a healthy and peaceful way for all wildlife and humans to share the Spring Mountains with her beloved wild horses and burros.

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    • I believe they do, Louie C. I did not know Garnet, but I have just come to know her via this remarkable tribute to her. She is there with so many who care and gone on ahead and who will help us from there. She will live on forever. I can feel it.

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  10. Garnet was a wonderful lady, and it’s because of her and Arlene that the wild horse tourism Resolution was introduced last session. She kept educating me along the process and continued to give me tips and advice – no matter how ill she must have felt. She earned my utmost respect – I’ll miss her. Beverlee McGrath

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  11. While listening to my saved voice mail messages this morning, who did I hear but Garnet Pasquale. It was in December and she was telling me in her whispered voice and usual prodding and pushing manner all the things we needed to get accomplished at the AWHA meeting in January. Little did she know that she would would be called “home” so soon. Garnet, we will try to carry on but you will be missed.

    home

    on the latest BLM news.

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  12. I’m sorry I never met Garnet but am thinking how her name reminds me of Granite… and how that strengthens my resolve to honor the promises I made for other stronger than I who have left some mighty big hoofprints.

    Garnets are gemstones. Granite is composed of multiple minerals of varying hardness. May we all become the Granite which carries Garnet inside us.

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  13. I only had a bit of contact with Garnet but enjoyed that small gift. The horses had a wonderful and powerful advocate when they called on Garnet to help them. To say that she answered their call would be an understatement.

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  14. Garnet went to heaven…God looks upon Garnet and has a list of all the good she sowed on the planet, for his environment, for his horses, for his people, for her family and friends, and her everyone who wished they could have known her, so the Gates opened and she hears his voice among the Angels wings and Whinnies calling her in…

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  15. I just got a email that said Rep. Sue Wallis has died from unknown causes at 56.
    The coroner said they didn’t know what caused her death.

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    • Barbara – I’m honestly sorry for Rep.Wallis’s family – BUT compared to what I’m reading about Garnet – well – not necessary to say anything more!

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  16. My deep condolences towards Garnets family and horse advocates everywhere. Perhaps Garnet decided she was not going allone and pulled the wicked witch with her. Rest in the utmost peace Garnet and thank you for all you did. As R.T. says, we will carry on forwards our mutual goals.

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  17. I had the pleasure of spending an entire day in Garnet’s company last year when she took me and my friend to see the mustangs. The depth of her knowledge about the horses as well as all the players and politicians was astounding and impressive and I still think about that day often. She impressed me with her strong yet gentle spirit and her deep love for these horses. Although she will be greatly missed I hope she knows the world is a better place because of her dedication to the horses.

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  18. I hope that wherever she is, she is surrounded with the beautiful animals she worked so hard to save.
    RT: You have to be one of the most inspirational people I have ever encountered. While your memorial to Garnet was heartbreaking, it was a beautiful remembrance for someone you loved and admired.
    May we all be so well remembered and loved.

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  19. Garnet gave me my first experience of seeing wild horses first hand. I will never forget the feelings I had being in their presence or her kindness and passion that has cemented my passion to continue her work.
    You get back from life what you give and she GAVE. Animals are powerless before us and it is a test of character how we treat them.
    You’ll be missed and the horses will miss you. What a wonderful legacy.

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  20. I did not know you Garnet, but knew of you. Thank you for your relentless fight for our indigenous wild horses. You are an inspiration to me and many other “newbies” that have joined in this fight. Give them all a hug from me at the “Bridge” and let them know that we will never give up!

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  21. Garnet is now running and playing with so many many of our wild horse and burros that have passed on before us… (and Garnet, please give the Twin Peaks’ white stallion BraveHeart my deepest love) and as the sign in the video says, “If you have never felt the thrill of wild horses running free … you may never have the chance” … but we do have the chance and we want that chance for our grandchildren and their children and that is why we speak for our wild ones.

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    • Dear Grandmagregg, the scene you mention with such love is one that I have seen everytime I ever had the chance, is one that I have repeated in my life hundreds of times on the Nevada Desert, for the last several years it has played in my dreams and in my mind nitely, so mesmerizing you have to witness it , it is the most beautiful feeling, sound and sight I have ever felt,for that moment in time everything becomes one !!!!! It is why I am here !!!!! and will remain always…………… The mustangs will have this Freedom very soon I genuinely feel it !!!!!! It is theirs!!!!!!!!

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  22. Garnet, You are an angel and a fighter. You are an inspiration and I am glad I got to know you. I’ll never forget your voice, your laugh and your spirit. I miss you dearly.

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  23. In October of 2009 I came upon an ad in our Las Vegas Craigslist inviting all horse lovers to attend a rally up in Red Rock Canyon to protest the removal of wild horses from public lands. This confused me, because at that time, I was a believer of the BLM propaganda that was frequently on the news. I decided to go see what the rally was all about, so I painted-up a bunch of protest posters and headed up to Red Rock. That’s where I met Garnet Pasquale and Arlene Gawne… two powerful women dedicated to the seemingly-impossible task of saving the last few thousand wild horses from the BLM’s relentless round-up and removal agenda. To say I got an instant education on “real” BLM policy and a de-education regarding the accuracy of what they released to the media would be an understatement. From that day forward, I have been a proud member of America’s Wild Horse Advocates and it has changed my course through life.

    I have so many wonderful memories of Garnet… from our protest in front of the Federal Building in downtown Las Vegas, our July 4th, 2010 rally, where we towed poster- laden horse trailers up and down the LV strip, honking and yelling to raise public awareness about the plight of wild horses. Our trip to Washington, DC for the 1st International Equine Conference, where I met RT, Terry, Ginger and Simone for the first time. The rowdy fun and good times we members of AWHA had during our drive from Las Vegas to Phoenix for Simone’s, Rally to End All Roundups. The outrage and hostility we openly displayed as we protested outside of the South Point Casino in Las Vegas while inside, Sue Wallis spewed her lies promoting horse slaughter, sold raffle tickets for a new truck that never materialized and assaulted Simone just for being in the same room! For the 2nd Annual International Equine Conference here in Vegas, Garnet charged me with running ahead of the bus full of conference attendees on their way to AWHA’s, “Wild Horses of Cold Creek Eco-Tour” to make sure there were wild horses to see. (Lucky for me, the horses cooperated that day, because I would’ve caught hell from her otherwise!)

    It has been an incredible experience working alongside Garnet for the last 4 years. I was honored that she felt me worthy of the office of Vice President of America’s Wild Horse Advocates and I’m proud that she called me friend. Garnet, thank you for trusting me to take care of our wild horse, Taser and for taking me under your wing and making me a better advocate. I will forever treasure our friendship. I promise that AWHA will continue to fight for the wild horses… until the freedom they represented to you becomes a never ending reality. Rest in Peace my friend. I will remember you, always.

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  24. Rest in peace, Garnet. Your rest is well deserved. Beautiful name, beautiful example, beautiful legacy. Your time on Earth meant something, in a larger way than simply living from one end to the other. You will be missed. The foundation you helped lay remains as a launching pad for the efforts of those who continue to fight the fight for America’s wild horses.

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  25. I only spent one weekend with Garnet, that weekend at IEC where I saw the wild horses outside of Lost Wages. Such amazing animals that can learn survival skills second to none if given a chance. I had such fun meeting that small herd on my own that early Mon morning. I’d like to think they laughed as hard as I did (on the inside)how they came out of the brush–I had heard them for a LONG time but could never spot them! They played an excellent game of hide and go seek!

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  26. Garnet…a pillar of inspiration and higher love to equines – your spirit will live on. We will all continue our work for the horses… each in their own way but unified to see the change we so want for them all, domestic and wild. Thank you Garnet, for all you did.

    I Live On – Unknown
    Don’t cry for me in sadness; don’t weep for me in sorrow,
    For I will be beside you, as sure as comes tomorrow.
    My body has gone but my spirit lives on, as does my love for you.
    Just as in life. I’ll watch over you, I always will be true.
    My blood lives on in my children, how I’ve watched them grow up with pride.
    I’ll live on within them, always by their side.
    I know my jokes weren’t always funny and jobs weren’t always done.
    Just try and always remember the good times, the days when we had fun.
    Reach out if you need me, for I will always be near.
    Just talk to me, as if I am there, I promise I will hear.
    For I’ll live on, with in your mind, we’ll never be apart,
    As long as you keep my memory, deep within your heart.
    So lift up your hearts, don’t be sad, my spirit hasn’t gone.
    While you’re still there, so am I, I really will live on

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  27. Wouldn’t it have been grand if all these nice things had been said to Garnet while she was still here. Makes me realize how inportant it is to honor the deserving people among us while they are living. Recognizing and appreciating the efforts of others is so easy, and yet is seldom done, in time.

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    • I’m sure she knew, Elaine how much she was loved and appreciated. Just being in her company and sharing her compassion for a cause that meant so much to her, speaks for itself. I am so sorry to hear of her loss and would have loved to have met such a lovely person. Thank you R.T. for the beautiful tribute. She was and will continue to be inspired by many.

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    • I’m sure she knew, Elaine. Just being in her company and sharing her compassion for our equine friends, I’m sure, meant very much to her. Garnet’s loyalty and dedication will long be remembered and she will be missed by many. Thank you R.T. for such a moving tribute of a beautiful lady.

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  28. With R.T.’s tribute and all the comments here, what a beautiful acknowledgement to an amazing woman, who fought on the front lines of the war to protect wild and free-roaming horses and burros.

    Garnet was a dedicated advocate whose compassion for the safety and freedom of the wild horses and burros took precedence over her own personal comfort. Truly making a difference for good in the world, more than she could have ever known, Garnet Pasquale will be sorely missed!

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