Enough is Enough

Important information from Rachel Reeves on what the BLM intends to do to Cloud’s herd in the Pryor Mountains.

Rachel Reeves Photography

As a general rule, it is a very big mistake for me to start running my mouth off online when I am overly emotional.  The problem with that is that we are only 1/3 of the way into an emotional year that feels like it is just going to keep building and building until everything spirals out of control.  When you are faced with such a time, it seems logical to get it all out in the open while you still have the chance.

Because the fact of the matter is, we were snookered folks.  And the most ridiculous part, is that we were conned by the same people that con us over and over again without remorse.  It’s almost like an abusive relationship.  You tell yourself that this time it will be different, things will get better.

Nye Nye

Spoiler Alert:  IT NEVER DOES

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22 comments on “Enough is Enough

  1. BLM’s decision to apply a fertility drug to such a large number of the herd’s mares (including the previously PZP’d mares) puts the Pryor Wild Horse Herd in danger of a die-off if any natural or man-made disaster (BLM is the man-made disaster!) struck the herd management area – be it wild fire or an extreme winter or mass predation or any other. As an example, in 2011 there was no population growth. Births equaled deaths—18 births versus 18 deaths. If a majority of the mares are non-reproducing and thus zero or even just a few births, then it is easy to see that the entire herd will be in jeopardy – both genetically and physically – and would diminish their ability to survive into the future. Nature’s “survival of the fittest” will be moot. This beloved Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd is being destroyed from within by previous roundups, removals and applications of birth control … and now more jeopardizing of this herd is to be done on top of this by continued massive fertility control and this massive removal. The roundups have continued to remove horses coupled with the use of PZP. Doing this to this small herd has taken these recently thriving wild horses down to a small breeding core and the extensive PZP plan will amplify this management toward extinction. We now have a herd that is not safe on its own range. The horses need to be protected as the law states they will be.


  2. Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd at risk

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. (Sept. 16, 2013)
    For over thirty years, the genetics of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd have been tracked by foremost equine geneticist, E. Gus Cothran. His first revelations linking the herd to the horses of the Spanish Conquistadors and Old World Iberian Horses were cause for celebration among local supporters of the herd who long believed that the primitive physical appearance of some Pryor horses were indicators of their Spanish ancestry. Cothran also indicated in earlier reports that the genetic diversity of the herd was good.

    But Cothran’s newest report issued on August 22, 2013 reveals a herd at risk of losing genetic variability. Cothran states that “compared to past sampling of this herd, variability levels for all measures has been in decline.” He further states that the expression of the Spanish heritage is “stronger than seen recently,” but we could be seeing “the very beginning of evidence of inbreeding.”


  3. I consider this a life or death fight for the horses in the Pryors, and I donot intend to let this policy to be continued into the other herds..Pryors have alot of eyes on them-and this still happened “with blessings” from the side who is supposed to be the voice for the horses..so yes I will be pissing off alot of advocates in the best interest of the horses, and not lose an ounce of sleep over it.I had gone over to the pryor wild horse blog to read their input and documentation in response to BLMs long term policy of management on the PRYORS, BLMs intention is not to review this policy -ever again-Pryor center disagreed as this is still new and may need to be adjustment as it goes along..so I went to BLMs page on fertility management for the pryors, this seems to be the new current policy in response to input..but I am not positive, they thanked everyone for their “supportive comments and input” insert gag here..and low and behold BLM did comment that yearlings are being bred and foaling at least 2 foaled, they did not say how many yearlings were actually bred that did not foal…and how would they know? this is not a domestic breeding operation where you are going to know exactly which stallion bred which mare. Take the example of encore, clouds daughter, who ginger was concerned about because she had been stolen from clouds band last year as a small immature yearling by 3 bachelor stallions..I went searching for what had happened to her, she is no longer held captive by all 3 stallions, just in the company of 1, she was unquestionably bred by all 3-whether she was in heat or not-they would have run her into the ground until she could run no more and they would have raped her, I have owned stallions for over 40 years, and if you hobble a gelding-they will mount and try to breed..the only reason they don’t do that with breeding age mares is that the mares are big enough and powerful enough to double barrel them..That filly was overpowered by 3. why and how did that happen? further down on the BLM page..blm noted that stallions seemed to be spending an unusual amount of time trying to keep his other mares-the PZPd ones from leaving the band..so while his plate is full the bachelors peeled that filly off..Now I remembered Nunez’s studies which is exactly what she saw…mares leaving the band trying to find a stallion that can get her pregnant..driven by natural insticts to preserve survival of the species…altho the BLM drew no conclusions that both of these unnatural behaviors had anything to do with PZP, combined with a 60/40 imbalanced stallion ratio, and only 20 some mares capable of breeding in any given year


  4. One of the biggest threats to Wild Horse Herds is loss of Wild Horse Band Behavior…the very thing that makes them different from Domestic Horses.


    In the semi-feral pony herd used in research at The University of Pennsylvania, New Bolton Center in 8 years of research into herd-situations there has never once been an “inbred” foal born;

    When fillies become sexually active, they leave the herd to seek another herd or bachelor stallion with whom to breed.


  5. Horse contraceptive study raises concerns

    The Princeton University researchers studied the foaling data, and found that since the contraception programme began in January 2000, foaling has occurred over a significantly broader range than it had before the programme.

    “For a gregarious species such as the horse, the extension of reproductive cycling into the fall [autumn] months has important social consequences, including decreased group stability and the extension of male reproductive behaviour,” the researchers wrote.

    Citation: Nuñez CMV, Adelman JS, Rubenstein DI (2010) Immunocontraception in Wild Horses (Equus caballus) Extends Reproductive Cycling Beyond the Normal Breeding Season


  6. I think something needs clarification, that is, when Gus does the dna testing it is on a “portion on the herd”-it gives a broad overview of how many genes that group has in common..so it is a percentage not actual gene sequencing, that exposes the “recessive genes ” that both the mare and stallions have in common..those are the dangerous genes.. those genes are 100% in common and block out any other combination of genes from being passed on for a particular trait..gene contribution is normally a giant roulette wheel..where the chance of receiving the same gene from each parent is miniscule-that is genetic healthy, that is in a totally unrelated herd, and the way wild horses were before they were managed..today the herds have been kept separated for 50+ years so there is always a family connection in who they breed, in domestic horses-you would out cross to a totally unrelated stallion to your mares, to freshen up your gene pool, or in the case of wild horses you would have to remove stallions and replace them with band stallions from an unrelated HMA..because it is the stallion who dominates the gene pool contribution..he has many foals a year with his genetics, a mare if she is lucky..has a handful of foals in her life. So you can see where a band stallion in his prime will hold mares for many years before he is defeated and loses his ability to contribute genes any more..now, if you only have 20 or so mares in the pryors capable of passing genes on..you have a big problem


    • And, not sure if I can explain this … but the gene pool that the (Cothran) samples are taken from is basically moot by the time the report is completed. In other words, if the entire herd was 2,000 before the capture/removal then the samples came from a gene pool of the 2,000 horses and would likely show a genetically healthy herd. But “THAT” 2,000 gene pool resource is no longer in existence because in order to get the samples they would have captured and removed about 1500 of those 2000 so “now” the gene pool (next generations) would be from a much smaller gene pool – say 500 or so (although as Louie pointed out even those are usually separated by numerous fences and cross-fences put in for the livestock and cannot intermingle for breeding – therefore reducing the gene pool even further). It was that original large gene pool and survival of the fittest that has kept and should continue to keep our wild horse herds genetically healthy for the future. But that is not what is truly happening thanks to BLM’s “management”.

      Now … if you use that same theory on a herd of (example) 300 wild horses and half are removed, the (Cothran) genetic results would be for that (no longer in existence) herd of 300 and likely tolerably healthy but “THAT” herd is gone and the results are basically “moot” for the future generations of that herd because then the current herd gene pool is down to 150.

      Now with that in mind… if you take a look at the Pryor herd with many years of contraception and removals … the future of that herd is very frightening.

      One more thing … now consider the isolated smaller herds (which there are many many) that historically were able to migrate and intermingle with other wild horses (before BLM’s “management”) … and now, I am afraid that the future health and well-being of most of our wild horses and burros is very dismal indeed … thanks to BLM.

      PS If someone can explain this better please do so.


      • GG you explained it very well! No need for anyone else to do so. This is so frustrating to read about & feel that there is nothing any of us can do to stop it.


  7. I’m heart sick. I contacted Senator John Tester (Montana) via email last night. I had signed a petition for the Nevada herds on one of the forums. I got a thank you email from his office for my concern and devotion to our Wild Horses. It said to contact him if I ever needed anything. Well, I did contact him about our Pryor Mountain Wild Horses. One of my good friends in state government is friends with him, but, I’m sure he doesn’t know that. I shared the articles on Facebook and on LinkedIn to get the word out there. There seems to be at least 3 deadlines coming up to comment on. I hope I can do all of them justice this weekend doing a lot of reading and some intense writing.


  8. you are right louie, I have read both the UC davis report in its specifics, and gus’s report data and analysis. I remember some years ago-some kigers were brought into the pryor herd to forestall the inbreeding at that time, the Kiger gene, is now one of the top percentage of genes represented..It really forestalled the complete collapse at that time..but taking 90% of the available mare genes out of production allowing only around 20 mares to conceive makes intensive inbreeding inevitable and will warp speed the genetic collapse


      • Thank you GG, I knew it was money & greed! I just didn’t know how extensive it was. So greedy they’ll ruin their own backyard for a buck. How do we stop it, it seems that letters & emails don’t do too much good.


      • I don’t have the magic answer but I do know that everything that we can do … we must do. Education (ourselves and others) and public awareness and legalities (IBLA appeals/stays and legal suits) and personal consumer decisions and yes, letters and emails to BLM public comments and your voice to politicians and to chambers of commerce and media and staying focused on the main issues and especially staying focused on the animals themselves and on and on … it all does matter.
        PS When writing or speaking you may wish to use some of these legal facts … but there are other good ones available also. https://animallawcoalition.com/can-the-wild-horses-and-burros-be-saved/
        “…WFRHBA authorizes only limited interference with wild horses and burros in herd areas where they were living in 1971. Nothing about removing wild horses and burros from herd areas where they lived in 1971 to allow multiple use such as cattle grazing, recreation for off road vehicles, mining or development.”
        “…with no statutory authority at all, BLM has limited wild horses and burros’ access to thousands of acres that were historically their herd areas. This is done without thought about the horses’ seasonal migration patterns or available resources. The BLM then removes wild horses and burros from the artificially created “herd management areas” on the basis there is insufficient forage, water or habitat! BLM also targets them for removal if they cross the artificial boundaries into their original herd areas.”
        “… the multiple use concept does not trump the WFRHBA protections for wild horses. In fact, the statute makes clear that the protections under WFRHBA take precedence.”


      • Thank you so much for all your help, there is so much to sort out, it gets confusing to me sometimes. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and keeping me on point..


  9. What I see is worrisome – attempts to change the nation’s mindset about ‘wild’ horses to seeing them as lost or escaped (and abandoned) domesticated horses that escaped the farm and pastures and just need to be returned home!

    The original intent of the Act was to protect the nation’s legacy of wild horses on the wild landscapes they live on. I appreciate the work of horse sanctuaries who are able to intercede and adopt, but they are just trying to make the best of a bad situation – it is just inhumane to round up wild animals, frighten and injure them, kick and beat them, burn them with brands, leave them out in the elements without enough food and water, and having the non-veterinary and people without experience perform surgery on them out in an unsterile field – forcing them to live in a human-approved environment. We’ve divorced ourselves from he natural world for centuries – so we no longer understand what wild means. For example I have read comments that say zoo animals are better off in a zoo in captivity and being fed by humans because it is too dangerous for them in the wild!


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