Horse News

Feel Good Sunday: Sometimes Less is More

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

Enjoy Today, Prepare for Tomorrow

photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

I’ve spent quite a bit of time scouring the internet for some good and meaningful equine news to share with our supportive readers and advocates (you) but from one ranch hand to another, “It’s kinda slim pickens out there.”

So I will turn inwards for just a moment and let you know that on this day I am out on the range with the horses and burros, on their rightful land, accompanied by a very dear and wonderful friend.  Life just doesn’t get much better than that…and our thoughts are with you as we watch the herds kick up the dust and run faster than the wind, it still makes my heart stop.

Okay, with that said, take a deep breath and enjoy the remainder of the day because the horses and burros are going to need you to be their voices this week, and if we lose this one we have lost it all.

If I fail to post in the morning, it’s because we will be getting an early start to get out on the range before sun-up so I will give you a little bit of home work for Monday morning…please, re-read this post, link below, and make the calls; then tune into Wild Horse and Burro Radio on Wednesday night (Moved to Friday Evening) for a very special, call to action broadcast.

It’s time to saddle up and get her done, folks.

Keep the faith!!!

16 replies »

  1. Sometimes the sadness of how some see sentient animals like Horses which means they respond to sensations which means they can feel and when I’m overwhelmed I give it to God then I go see my Horses and there in the herd my Heart feels lighter and I keep saying it’s in God’s Grace they will be saved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mare, Sierra, is from Adobe Town HMA. She was only a baby when captured in 2003. I adopted her in PA. in May of 2003. She was a very dark gray, but now is white with a yellow tinged mane and tail. She resembles the gray stallion in this video. Prayers for her still free relatives.


  2. The Wild Horses: they kept coming!
    R.T. Fitch

    Over the Labor Day Weekend of 2009 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) bumbled an ill-conceived and mismanaged round up of the world famous “Cloud’s Herd” of the Pryor Mountains in Montana. Ignoring their studies and the advice of experts they stampeded horses down 5,000 feet of rocky mountainside in 95+ degree heat only to break apart family bands, pump the mares full of PZP and injure the horses. Despite public outcry, orders from a Congressman and questions from Senators the local BLM office in Billings destroyed this beautiful herd.

    This presentation was written in honor of Cloud’s herd and the pictures are exclusively from that “gather”. Get outraged, get mad and then get on the phone and call your elected federal officials and tell them that enough is enough.


  3. Investigative Report of Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Buyer (excerpts)

    Click to access WildHorseBuyer_Public.pdf

    We subpoenaed financial and business records from both Davis and the owner of Southwest Livestock. We found sales invoices documenting instances in which the owner of Southwest Livestock purchased horses from Davis that correlated closely to purchases Davis made from BLM. For example, on February 16, 2012, BLM sold 36 wild horses to Davis from its Cañon City, CO facility. Davis then sold 39 horses to Southwest Livestock on February 18. While these invoices did not reflect whether the horses were BLM freeze-marked horses, they confirmed that Southwest Livestock was one of Davis’ buyers. We also subpoenaed Davis’ telephone records and found numerous calls made between March 2009 and November 2012 to the owner of Southwest Livestock.

    BLM bills of sale, Government bills of lading, and other BLM documents confirmed that Davis purchased horses by the truckload-which consisted of approximately 35 horses per load-and paid $10 for each horse.

    BLM delivered the horses directly to Davis, which a marketing specialist said was normal protocol for BLM when anyone purchased more than 20 horses.

    We determined that BLM spent more than $140,000 transporting horses to Davis between 2008 and 2012

    After interviewing WH&B officials and reviewing WH&B records, we found that WH&B managers failed to enforce BLM’s policy of limiting the sales of horses and ensuring that the horses went to good homes.

    We interviewed a WH&B marketing specialist who approved the sales to Davis. The marketing specialist explained that before she approves a buyer for a sale, the buyer has to complete a telephone application. She said that if she is satisfied with the answers, none of which are validated or verified, then she approves the application. The applicant can then purchase horses or burros immediately and does not need to requalify for subsequent purchases.

    In January 2008, the WH&B marketing specialist interviewed Davis as part of the sales application process. During the interview, the marketing specialist said, Davis told her that he might sell the horses but not to slaughter. Davis agreed that any horses he sold would go to good homes. The marketing specialist approved Davis’ application, signed the application as the person who completed the interview, and agreed to sell Davis horses.

    Due to BLM updating the sales application form, the marketing specialist had Davis complete two more applications, in January 2011 and April 2012.

    We referred this investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, who declined both civil and criminal prosecution.
    The State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office also declined to file charges against Davis.

    We referred the public health issue concerning a USDA-certified veterinarian signing IHCs without inspecting the horses (false statements) to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico.
    The District of New Mexico formally declined prosecution. We will refer this issue to the USDA Office of Inspector General for any action deemed appropriate.


  4. But “they all went to good homes”

    Bureau of Land Management’s Response (final paragraph)

    Click to access WildHorseBuyer_Public.pdf

    To: Stephen A. Hargrove Chief of Staff, Office of Inspector General

    From: Steven A. Ellis Deputy Director, Operations

    Subject: Report of Investigation -Tom Davis, BLM Wild Horse Buyer Case No. OI-C0-13-0004

    With respect to Mr. Davis, the BLM no longer has any business relationship with Mr. Davis and will not in the future As you note, both the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado and the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office have declined civil and criminal prosecution.
    Accordingly, there is no further action that the BLM may take specific to Mr. Davis. Thank you for your assistance in this matter


  5. 2009

    On Sunday November 22nd, as on the previous Friday (as reported in the Denver Post and 5280 Denver’s Magazine), a plane and banner message critical of Secretary Salazar will be flying over Denver, prior to the Denver Broncos game. Frustrated and angry over continued Wild Horse round-ups, the message sponsors are working toward a conversation on the real issues on our public lands discussed in this press release.


  6. 2012
    Interior’s Ken Salazar, in video, threatens wild horses reporter
    By John M. Glionna

    An investigative journalist who has reported on the federal government’s alleged sale of hundreds of wild horses to a known kill-buyer has released a video of a face-off in which Interior Secretary Ken Salazar threatens to punch him during an impromptu interview.

    Dave Philipps, now a reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette, conducted a two-minute interview with the cowboy-hat-wearing Salazar, a Democrat, at an event taking place at an Obama campaign office in Fountain, Colo., on Election Day.
    In September, Philipps’ article for the online ProPublica investigative group claimed the Bureau of Land Management, which manages hundreds of millions of acres of public land in 11 states, was knowingly selling wild horses to a middleman who is thought to have taken them to Mexico for eventual slaughter.

    The ProPublica piece centered on Coloradan Tom Davis, who has purchased 1,700 wild horses from the federal government but can’t produce documentation on what happened to them.

    During the Election Day interview, much of which was videotaped and posted on YouTube, Philipps asks Salazar several questions, including the fate of the missing wild horses. Salazar, which the website Politico has reported will stay on for a second term in the Obama administration, said he didn’t know much about the case but understood that an investigation was being conducted.

    “Let me just say, fact is, there are huge issues with wild horses and mustangs on the public domain and there is a major effort on the part of the Bureau of Land Management to make sure that a problem that has gone unaddressed for a very long time gets addressed and we are working on that very diligently,” Salazar said, according to an audiotape of the interview being circulated by wild horse advocates.
    Moments after the brief exchange, according to the video and witnesses, Salazar approached Philipps, saying, “Don’t you ever … You know what, you do that again … I’ll punch you out.”

    A Salazar spokesman said Tuesday that, “the secretary regrets the exchange.”


  7. Just received the following email from the blm:

    Decision Record: Mare Sterilization Research EA

    Dear Interested Party:

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Burns District Office, has prepared the Mare Sterilization Research Environmental Assessment (EA) DOI-BLM-OR-B000-2015-0055-EA, Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decision Record (DR).

    Having considered the Proposed Action and No Action alternative and associated impacts analyzed in the Mare Sterilization Research EA DOI-BLM-OR-B000-2015-0055, the Proposed Action which investigates the safety and effectiveness of three separate methods of surgical sterilization of wild horse mares was selected. The three proposed methods include ovariectomy via colpotomy, and two minimally invasive methods, tubal ligation and hysteroscopically-guided laser ablation of the oviduct papilla. Implementation of the Proposed Action will begin in the Summer of 2016.


  8. Wild Horse and Burro Wednesday is moving to Friday night due to several guests and hosts tied up with the issues we are discussing…and more time is needed.

    Thanks for your understanding.


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