Horse News

Reprint: Men, Horses, Sex and a Thing Called Love

Last published 01/09/2011, (In My Humble Opinion) R.T. Fitch ~ author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart

On the Eve of the despicable BLM wild horse stampede and destruction of Wyoming’s Great Basin horses it is difficult to come up with something fun, interesting and uplifting for ‘Feel Good Sunday’ so I sit at the keyboard and struggle with multiple emotions and thoughts running together at many different levels.

I am frustrated that I will not be there to witness for the horses, tomorrow. Just several hours ago I returned from a 6-week stint on the other side of the world and the ranching duties that have piled up before me, here at home, are momentous in their number and scope. Plus, in only three days time we leave for the 4th annual International Equine Conference  (IEC) with the BoD of Wild Horse Freedom Federation immediately followed by, once again, way too much time away.

But as I squirm in my chair and contemplate an early Wrangler Iced Tea my mind and heart reaches out to those who will be there for the helicopter stampede in the morning and warms to the fact that several women very close to me will bare their souls and witness the end and final destruction of wild horse’s freedom and families.

Good friend and colleague, Ginger Kathrens will be there and I personally know how viewing such carnage pains her to the very depths of her soul.

Our own Carol Walker will be there and like Ginger, this will be a test of her strength and fortitude to witness such blatant violations of a law intended to save and protect now twisted into one that destroys and maims.

My heart goes out to them…and it also realizes that other women, best friends of mine, are in the trenches working, particularly this week between the rotten roundup and the uplifting and fortifying IEC occurring.

Vicki Tobin is busy selflessly putting the final touches on the IEC.

Victoria McCullough is preparing her home for the members of the IEC.

Simone Netherlands, Marjorie Farabee, Susan Wagner and Mims are polishing up their presentations while Debbie Coffey, Dawn Reveley and Terry Fitch are in the process of traveling and/or finalizing plans to be at the IEC along with Ginger and Carol who will come directly from the roundup.

Lisa LeBlanc, Grandma Gregg, “S” and many others are intently monitoring activity and keeping the Blogosphere in check… the list of ‘women’ I love goes on and on…

…which brings me to today’s installment, a reprint that, perhaps, is distant text captured in one of my more enlightened moments and saved for posterity to be shared over and over again, as the message is timeless and the written intent is pure.

I offer you some truth, today, and a love well grounded…we extend to you peace, strength and look forward to seeing many of you at the IEC later this week.

Thank you all for being who you are; each and everyone of are very special, indeed.” ~ R.T., 14/09/2014


Rebecca Williams, VP of Habitat for Horses, with several of the Fitch boys ~ Photo by Terry Fitch

Recently I was engaged in an email conversation, with a group of colleagues, on the issue of the extensive cruelty exhibited by Federal agencies and our government, overall.  The discussion was centered on the unimaginable suffering that our native wild horses are subjected to at the hands of the Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headed up by Bob Abbey under the direction of 5th generation rancher, Ken Salazar the Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI). (Interesting to note that currently the DOI and BLM’s WH&B program are headed by women) As the conversation progressed it became apparent that the bulk of the mindless cruelty, shown to our federally protected mustangs, is administered by and distributed through men.  Hence, the question arose;

Why is it that men consider equines to be such a threat?

I found the question to be of great interest as both myself and my good friend Jerry Finch, President of Habitat for Horses, have been pondering this same issue for many years.  Jerry and I have been in the horse rescue business for over a decade and we often wondered, as we looked around our ranks, where are all the guys?

Now my intent is not to insult nor do I wish to stereotype but if you will indulge me I would like to offer my observations from well over a half a century of living with and around my own gender.  If there are any gentlemen out there who might recognize themselves in these words take heart as you may be able to make a significant shift that could reap you ample rewards in your current and future relationships be they equine in nature or with human females, they all subscribe to the same forms of acknowledgment.

Overall, and this is huge, the bulk of all men are insecure…full stop.  That’s why we speak loud, push things around, believe that size matters, play with balls and call it a sport, start wars and subjugate women and animals.  Ya can’t deny that boys.

Men like things that they can control such as cars (just point it to where you want it to go and it goes), boats, aircraft, guns, tools, dogs and all things that bend quickly and directly to the male whim.  Men cannot nor ever will be able to adequately command or control cats, horses and/or women…ain’t gonna happen so the result is, often times, abuse and neglect.  Even though I claim no formal education in psychiatry it doesn’t take more than a high school education and an in tune heart to figure that one out.

Terry Fitch, co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, with her Pele ~ Photo by R.T. Fitch

Female induced abuse and neglect upon an equine is rare and is usually associated with some form of mental disorder.   When was the last time you heard of a husband having the living crap beat out of him by his wife?  Hard to conjure that image up isn’t it? (IMHO)

The male insecurity is amplified when the woman in his life falls in love with a horse and here is where real sparks can begin to fly.  Being inherently insecure the male is jealous of the fact that the human female he desires is sharing and spending love, time and attention on the horse that should be spent on him.  He feels that she must not really have the care and concern for him that he wants or needs if she can show so much affection to another creature while he only stands in the wings.  This insecurity is what has driven many equine related relationships into divorce court, we have all seen it a dozen times over.

There is also the Freudian sexual thing all wrapped up into that mess but that is more than we can go into, here.  Again, it goes back to the bigger is better syndrome and the size thing.

Now men who love women who love horses have a couple of things in their saddle bags that their brothers do not; they are comfortable in their own skins and secure with their sexuality, hands down.  If the woman of a horsemen loves a horse the man sees that women with an expanded heart and a depth of feeling that warms his insides.  Looking out across the pasture and seeing my wife hugging on her horse lights me up because she cares so much about something so special and has room in her heart for not only me but other sentient creatures it just plain turns me on, it’s that simple.

Women who love animals are special spirits as they have the unique ability to carry their compassion outside the realm of human circles and can spread sunshine to all the other travelers on this spaceship we call Earth.  And women who love horses are truly exceptional in the breadth, depth and conviction of their love as they not only have taken the leap from human ties but have bonded and partnered with a creature that is many times larger than her physical being.

Artist Leslie Anne Webb with one of the Loves of her life ~ Photo by R.T. Fitch

Horsewomen have changed the face of the Equestrian world over the last 40 or so years.  The days of using manly terms like “broke” have been replaced with gentled, partnered or bonded.  There are a few guys out there working with horses but they have become smart enough to develop and promote like techniques knowing that their largest audience is the compassionate side of the human race.

But bullies be forewarned; all of the love and compassion that a woman shows a horse can quickly be turned into the hottest and most tenacious fire that you ever hope to see if you should be guilty of harming any equines within her realm of influence.  This is something that abusers have known for a long time as you just do not want to cross a woman over being abusive to a horse and this is also a lesson that the BLM is learning at the very time of this writing.  The most honest, sincere, committed and knowledgeable equine advocates on this planet are women; we accompanying males pale in comparison.  There is something almost magical and supernatural about the ambiance of the women who are dedicated to the cause and commitment to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of our American horse be they wild or domestic.  For an enlightened male this is a tremendous blessing but for the slow to learn, it could spell their demise.

Maybe it’s genetically driven guilt for the sins that my brothers have rained down upon woman and horse alike or perhaps it’s a misplaced chromosome that bends me to their way of thinking but regardless of  the subliminal driver there is one thing for certain; if there is ever any hope of putting ourselves back in touch with the planet around us, and the other inhabitants of this world, it will not be the males of our species but the female who will save us from our own eminent self-destruction.  For within the spirit of the woman resides not only the hope for our future but the heart and the soul of the entire human race.

I am beyond pleased and proud to stand amongst the thousands of women who have made the commitment to protect the most benevolent of all animals on this planet.

I respectfully take off my hat and thank you for allowing me to share your grace; all of you special souls are my most heartfelt hero’s.

54 replies »

  1. The sadness in my soul today is overwhelming, as tears roll down my face my passion , respect and love for the Wild Mustangs is strong as ever, i am remembering the first meeting with them on the Nevada desert so many years ago, the beauty I found there with them was life altering , the innocence mafnificent ….As I stood there vowing that I would never let any harm come to them …..I felt them listening to my thoughts….. reasuring me that they would always be there !!!!! that day I bared my soul to them and they returned the favor, they conveyed that they only wanted to be…………such a noble request …………. Now i sit here helpless to help them in their innocent Quest, only for Freedom>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Do not think for even 1 second we are defeated ?????? we may have lost a battle , but we will not lose the war !!!!!!! What these unscrupulous people are doing is more then despicable , it is immoral and criminal by any standard, the innocent Freedom they need is only a heartbeat away !!!!!! I feel it , now we must find it and fast !!!!!! Everyone here Please search your Mind there is an answer ………………and a way !!!!!

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    • They will be gone and I have not had the pleasure of seeing them in the wild as you have done (maybe now I never will be able to do that) I will be there for them always – you put it into words – “until we draw that line in the sand and say never again”.

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  2. Awwwww, what a nice post. I does help a little, but I just want to stand in the way of these A******s and block them from doing this awful, ungrateful thing to horses who have been so instrumental and faithful in helping human beings for thousands of years. The word human makes me wnt to puke, it truly does.

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  3. Thank you R.T. excellent article on Depressing news of our Wild Horses.

    I am so SICK over this next Round Up of our Wild Horses!!!!

    Award winning story and words of women, horses and men ring very true!
    Men have been jealous of my relationship my horse “Slick”. He is a blessing in my life. You really nailed the issue amongst people relationships and their horses…..

    You did well R.T…..a smile on a sad day for our Wild Horses……

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    • Geri – that was beautiful! The way kids should be brought up – to have a relationship with a horse (good horse by the way) & learn the right way to treat them from the start.
      RT This article hits close to home – the whole man threatened by a woman’s caring for horses!!! Bet there are lots of us out there than have seen it firsthand. Terry is a very fortunate gal!

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  4. Gee, I agree extremism accomplishes nothing much for the common good, and furthers the polarization which now defines our nation. That said, for whatever reasons, men are relatively scarce in speaking up for wild horses and burros while it remains true the majority of people in power are male. Both these situations are slowly evolving towards equity but it doesn’t exist yet.

    I share your fears about off-shoring our food production and am sure many others do, too. However, nobody here seems to be against ALL ranching, just egregious (and expensive) use of public lands for private gain, and to the detriment of species the law was written to protect. If the lands in question were private the situation would be entirely different (at least politically) and cost taxpayers far less both financially and emotionally.

    So I challenge all persons reading this (male or female) to search your heart for ways to help heal our nation and keep our wild animals wild, in the wild, as we found them.And before you harp on the “introduced species” topic, recall that cattle are certainly not native here and were brought to the Americas by the Spaniards. Wild horses and burros belong to the American public and are supposedly protected and professionally managed by federal law. Domestic livestock are private property raised for financial gain for their owners, and on the public lands this is accomplished at great taxpayer expense which people who cannot access public lands leases are not afforded. This system is tragically broken.

    Men and women, we need ALL your voices. Stand up and show up, and soon! November’s elections would be a good place to begin.

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    • There ARE some men who do comment, but most are shrugged off or even ignored because, in the minds of some, “men have nothing of value to say”.

      Very tragic, actually! And it will bite us all in the end, if we do not turn this around and quickly!

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      • We are all equal here , each one with awesome input !!!!!! We are not the issue here the very lives of the Mustangs are all that matters , not anyone persons ego !!!!!!

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      • That is nice and encouraging to know.

        The point that follows is that it works better for credibility’s sake, and for the sake of improving “Our” battles’ successes, if do not knowingly or unknowingly alienate those, who by virtue of being born a different sex, from contributing toward its success. This article WAS laden with a bit of the sexual “steroetypes” that harm its strength and credibility. Yes, We are ALL in this together, and that was what should have been said in the first place.

        Plus, this was not about “ego” to begin with. It was about righting a continued wrong that threatens to blur the original intent of the message. If we are simply going to yell at the messenger because we did not like the content of the message, then we are simply spinning our wheels and going nowhere.

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  5. I honestly don’t think RT or Jerry intended to bash ALL males. At least that’s not what I got from this article from 3 years ago. But there do seem to be many more women & girls getting involved with animal abuse. I’m sure there are also a lot of men who care about – not only animal abuse, but domestic violence, too. I have never felt this blog was any kind of war against men! Its a constant battle against the people who are trying to eradicate our wild horses & burros, yes. And a battle against horse slaughter – here & elsewhere.

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  6. We need to be honest about what’s happening, and not politically correct. It’s not always about us. The people doing this are mostly the male control freaks. But there are a few women involved in the abuse of our wild horses who ought to be ashamed of themselves also. And they’ve been mentioned in the Hall of Shame here many times. 🙂

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    • So why not focus on the abusers and their abuses, rather than the sex they happen to be. Wrong is WRONG, regardless the character of the perpetrator. I think it is equally disgusting that we have federal agencies that lie to us, cheat us, and steal from us (men and women alike). So why not just call for punishing them all for the acts they commit, without regard to the sex of the perpetrators?

      Does that not make MORE sense?

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  7. Funny that a woman would accuse a man of hating men. R.T. speaks the truth. Thank you R.T. But as stated above – this isn’t a time to be politically correct. We have to speak the truth, attack the root of the problem and throw it out. This is a sickness. This unabated abuse on animals is getting totally out of control. What makes a person want to abuse an animal in this manner?

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  8. MEN and Horses….Women love them too
    http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20140913/NEWS01/140919784/-1/s/The-gentle-approach-

    The gentle approach
    Horse whisperers display skills in Colt Starting Challenge

    Rhett Fincher of Pagosa Springs, who is given to whistling while he works, rides “Ollie,” a quarter horse gelding owned by Chris and Polly Kloster of Mancos, during the Colt Starting Challenge USA on Friday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

    STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald – DURANGO – 09/12/14 – “Ollie,” a quarter horse gelding owned by Chris and Polly Kloster of Mancos, did not look like a horse that would be easily tamed as he ran around his pen before the start of the Colt Starting Challenge U.S.A. on Friday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

    In the competition, four young horses – which have had little, if any, contact with humans – were introduced to a different kind of trainer – those with a knack for gaining the trust and confidence of the animal while eschewing the traditional methods and implements. Instead of spirit-breaking rodeo cowboys, these are the real horse whisperers – people with a quiet, natural ability to communicate with young, nervous animals.

    It’s called natural horsemanship. Trainers are judged on their ability to make progress with the horses. Twenty competitions will lead eight finalists to Las Vegas for the title.
    Cristy Beatty, who founded the event with her husband, Russell, said it is an astonishing display.
    “The audience is amazed at what they see,” she said.
    Two-time event winner Victor Sundquist of Olathe called it training with simple, natural instincts.

    “We don’t use spurs, twitches or hobbles,” he said in a press release about the event. “What we do is through natural horsemanship training. We use a horse’s natural instincts and communication. The horse wants to do it because of you.”
    At 20, Sundquist’s success is a testimony of natural talent – an ability to understand and influence. There is no abuse, like a gouge to the rib cage.

    On Friday, Rhett Fincher of Pagosa Springs whistled to help calm his gelding, Ollie, an anxious quarter horse from Mancos. Watching in near disbelief, Chris and Polly Kloster and their daughter Emily, Ollie’s owners, were moved by the gentle approach Fincher applied, transforming an unpredictable, sketchy beast to a still animal at ease.

    “If you’ve got their trust and respect, there’s a lot better chance that they’re going to love you,” Fincher said. “If I understand what he’s thinking about, there’s a lot better chance that I can influence him to follow me.”

    Colt Starting Challenge USA judge Mike Majors of Texas said trainers are evaluated on their comfort and ease around the horses they are working with.
    “This isn’t the old-school style of breaking horses, where cowboys would saddle a young horse and ride it bucking and kicking in order to teach the animal to work,” he said in the release. “Natural horsemanship allows the opportunity to understand its surroundings while gaining confidence.”

    The competition, in its third year, has grown across the West in popularity, and event organizers are excited about the December finale in Las Vegas, thoughtfully timed in conjunction with the Las Vegas Pro Rodeo.

    “We’re just trying to promote it and local trainers,” Beatty said.
    Of the four contestants in Durango, two were from Colorado.
    Bo Gardner, vice president of corporate marketing for Las Vegas Events, said it will boost exposure for a little-known method of colt starting. Last year, 196,000 spectators attended the Vegas rodeo.

    Majors also said the competitions reveal insight into other ways – gentle ways – of training horses.
    “It will give a lot of people some recognition they would have never gotten before on their ability to start colts,” Majors said. “It gives the public some more awareness of other methods. I think that’s what everybody is looking for – how to do this without getting killed.”

    On Saturday, Fincher slowly moved around Ollie, calmly and quietly whistling, tightening the saddle and showing a nonchalant disposition.
    “I told my wife I didn’t think they could saddle this horse in two days,” Chris Kloster said while Fincher worked with her. “He did it in less than an hour. I was stunned.”
    Polly Kloster called it magic.

    “To watch them connect was amazing,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

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  9. Heart breaking! This is sickening!!!! After “American Taxpayers” have petitioned & made known our objections, requested BLM NOT Roundup Wild Horses! Requested the BLM Leave Wild Horses Run Free!!! AGAIN “We the People” are IGNORED! This is a Horrible, Discusting DISGRACE !!! D.G

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  10. Oh dear Sir, you have hit the nail directly on the mark here ! I recently had to stop seeing a man because , one evening we were getting our horses ready to go for a ride. He says to me ” now, I know this isn’t the way you do it , but ‘this’ is the way I do it”. He jerked the cinch up on his mare so hard, so fast and so tight that it knocked the wind out of her and knocked her off balance so that one front hoof came off the ground. Poor mare just dropped her head down and stood there with the saddest expression I’d ever seen. Seeing that about sucked all my wind out, too. I took the mares head in my arms and held her there for a few moments. He says to me later that he can’t catch her when she’s out in pasture. Hmmm, I can . She comes running to see me.

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  11. The roundup on the Wyoming checkerboard is scheduled to start tomorrow. If anyone can make it to the Rock Springs office of the Bureau of Land Management and ask them to hold off on the roundup, that would be great. Bring a sign if you can, and please be sure to express your opinion to them directly. If you can’t be there in person, please call: Bureau of Land Management, 280 U.S. 191, Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 352-0256

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  12. There are those who choose to destroy….they made their choice.
    They have always been opposed by those who know what’s right and put their energy and resources into stopping the destruction.

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    • What a Awesome Lady Barbara Clark, she explained what is felt within each and everyone of our elustious \wild Mustangs feel inside……………….Even though I could not be there tomorrow , my bleeding heart and soul, and Mind will be there with the Mustangs , I will Pray for intervention of the Fouth kind will happen, divine or otherwise !!!!!!!!!!! May Justice be served !!!!!!

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  13. Thank you for this lovely post. We are l so heartsick about the roundup tomorrow and always look forward to your articles and your take on all things equine.

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  14. We are all on this vigil tonight for the Horse People. May the Divine Spirit be with them, protect and console them in what is to happen to them tomorrow. May the hard hearts and closed minds of their tormenters be moved to compassion and appreciation of these magnificent beings and the irreplaceable gifts they bring our world.

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  15. I begin today with a heavey heart, and tears and a huge stomach ache, I know today our innocent beauties will be chased to exhaustion , maimed and ripped from from their families through no faults of their own, because of greedfilled morons who have no business doing so, I prayed all night for intervention of any kind to stop this pure insanity !!!!!! I sit here helpless to help them……………..I pray for their saftey and their lives !!!!!! and also the perpatrators to find kindness in their hearts………………..

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  16. I don’t understand why this is happening. Isn’t there plenty of land for horses and cattle? Doesn’t what we want matter? We shouldn’t have to protest for something that already belongs to the horses. I used to be really patriotic but now I am ashamed of my country. The government is allowing our beautiful wild life to be destroyed. God help us all. People and animals alike.

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