Volunteer Staff

“It’s all about the Horses!’

R.T. Fitch (President and Co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation)

R.T. and rescued Harley (Ginerous Legacy)

Author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heartand freelance writer/reporter, R.T. Fitch is a jack-of-all-trades.

In the past, he has worked with whales, dolphins, sea lions, and penguins at Sea Life Park in Hawaii.

First introduced to horses by his wife, Terry, his fondness for all things equine has become an obsession. They spent several years in Brazil where they met Terry’s current equine companion, Apache.

Once back in the US with Apache, their herd of rescued horses grew as they donated their time to support equine rescue efforts in Texas and Louisiana. The highlight of their rescue career came during the equine rescue efforts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita as outlined in Ky Mortensen’s book,Horses of the Storm.

An outspoken equine advocate, R. T. sat for many years on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Horses and is the President and Co-Founder of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  He is a charter member of the Equine Welfare Alliance and fully supports the efforts of the Cloud Foundation.

You can find R.T.’s written work in “Horseback Magazine“, “True Cowboy Magazine“, “The Equine Connectionand many other publications and journals.

He and Terry live on a small farm outside of Houston Texas where they care for and enjoy their rescued horses, dog, cats, Koi and resident deer.

(R.T. can be contacted at either rt@rtfitch.com or rtfitch@wildhorsefreedomfederation.org)

 

Debbie Coffey (VP and Director of Wild Horse Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation)

Debbie Coffey has personally witnessed BLM roundups of wild horses in California, Nevada and Oregon.  Deb is the Vice President and Director of Wild Horse Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  She has written about many aspects of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.  She has also written about: foreign-owned mining companies that buy ranches for the water rights, the “mining” of our aquifers, BLM sale leases of public lands at $2 an acre to oil and gas/extractive industries and many other public lands issues.  Debbie’s articles appear in the PPJ Gazette, along with Straight From the Horse’s Heart, and are posted widely on the internet.

Debbie has also been a guest on nationally syndicated radio shows to talk about the BLM’s mismanagement of the BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program.

Debbie can be reached at debbie@wildhorsefreedomfederation.org

 

Carol Walker (Director of Field Documentation at Wild Horse Freedom Federation)

Carol’s passion for photography started at an early age, with animals as her favorite subjects. She studied literature and photography as an undergraduate at Smith College, and continued her education in photography after graduating, studying portraiture and nature photography. She has traveled all over the world photographing wildlife for the past 30 years. In 2000, Carol started her business Living Images by Carol Walker, specializing in photographing horses. Carol’s images illuminate the relationship between horses and their people, as well showcase the beauty of horses with her stunning images of horses at liberty. She teaches workshops for amateur photographers on equine photography. She markets her fine art prints from her website www.LivingImagesCJW.com as well as in several locations on the Front Range of Colorado and has won numerous awards with her artwork.

Eleven years ago, Carol began photographing wild horses. As she followed several herds in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, she became aware of how precarious their situation on public lands has become. Since then, she has dedicated herself to educating people with her photographs and stories about the wild horses. She is one of the leading advocates working to keep America’s wild horses wild and free on our public lands. Her award-winning book Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses The book was released winter of 2008 and is currently in its third printing. Carol’s second book, Horse Photography: The Dynamic Guide for Horse Lovers is in its second printing. Carol’s third book, Mustangs: Wild Horses at the Heart of the American Legend was published in October 2014 in France.

Proceeds from the sales of Carol’s artwork and books fund her work to keep America’s wild horses wild and free. Carol produces a calendar of her image each year to benefit Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

Carol can be reached at cwlivingimages@gmail.com

 

Grandma (Kathy) Gregg (Chief Correspondent and Research Coordinator)

Growing up in a family who respected, appreciated and made animals a big part of their family home, it was inevitable that Grandma Gregg would spend her life doing the same. Although having seen wild horses running free in Nevada many years ago, at that time she had no idea what the eventual destiny would be for many of these animals.

One day, passing by a BLM holding facility, she witnessed literally thousands of captured wild horses tightly crammed into corrals. Although they were still technically alive, there was no doubt these wild beings were emotionally already dead. At the moment, there was nothing for Grandma to do but stand at the roadside and stare and cry. It was a pivotal moment.

As time marched on and knowledge increased, Grandma realized that not only were the captured wild horses and burros forced to suffer physically and mentally but that the agency behind these actions was managed using many corrupt, illegal decisions – decisions based on greed and dishonesty. The BLM and associates not only operated with the absence of justice to the animals and the American people, but they hid their actions under a cloak of deception very similar to the old shell game – now you see them, now you don’t. This corruption needed and still needs to be exposed to all Americans.

Over the years, Grandma spent many days on the open range, visiting horses and burros in the wild and eventually adopting three wild mustangs. Words cannot express the magic that envelopes a person when in the presence of these truly wild horses and burros; breathing the same air; seeing and smelling the same grasses, flowers and trees; listening to the same birds and insects and wind and appreciating what special beings mother nature has provided for our earth and for we humans to appreciate if we open our hearts.

Injustice is defined as a violation of the rights of another – be they of the human or animal kingdom. As Henry Beston once said, we need another and a wiser concept of animals. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor of the earth.

 

Geraldine Bray (International Equine News-Desk Manager)

Geraldine (Geri) is responsible for resourcing and categorizing the bulk of the news articles that are posted, here, at SFTHH.

Geraldine is a lifelong horse lover.

She found SFTHH site in 2008, after seeing a documentary about wild horses.

She visited SFTHH site daily, where she discovered about the abusive roundups and the plight of America’s wild equines.

Living in Colorado Geraldine has always had an interest in water, wildlife, water rights, gas and oil exploration.

After doing research of her own, and realizing that water, gas, oil and our wild horses are all connected she started to comment on SFTHH.

There came a time when RT asked for unique articles that SFTHH readers would find both informational and compelling.

Geraldine started to send articles that directly or indirectly affected our wild equines hoping to make a difference in their lives and get them back in the wild

hopes to continue her research as long as the horses need our help.

When not working at her computer, Geraldine runs her own business and spoils her grandsons.

14 comments

  1. I am a lifelong horselover and owner of two horses of my own, one being a 29 year old lame guy who has a permanent home here for life. I just found your website about the wild horses and found it very disturbing. I’m glad to see that someone is making the public more aware of the need to help these poor horses. THank you for the work you are doing.

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  2. Nan, thanks for taking the time to post. Feel free to continue to stop by as we attempt to present a new article on a daily basis. Be sure to check out the informative links on the right side of your screen, also.

    Anything that we can do to help, just let us know.

    May the Force of the Horse be with YOU!

    R.T.

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  3. R. T., I’m currently reading Hope Ryden’s book “America’s Last Wild Horses.” Although published many years ago (the politics have drastically changed), she makes a point I wish to emphasize. Perhaps this could be used in the current struggle vs. the BLM.
    White man tried to eradicate the Native Americans, tried to corral them and place them on reservations. Early in the 20th century, the white man mindset was still to destroy the Native Americans and anything that reminded him of those peoples. The Cayuse horse is one of those. And it continues today.
    I am the caregiver of a rescued senior BLM mustang mare. It is for her, and her cousins, for whom I weep. The other senior rescued mare is an Appaloosa!

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  4. Equine angels, all of you! Thanks for all you do for our wild horses and burros.
    RT Fitch, love the protest videos, both of them! Hope the DC rally pumped up the volume on voices for our Calico prisoners and all our wild horses….. Thank you, everyone who made it there.

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  5. ALL of you are amazing. In the face of such disaster and genocide on wild and otherwise horses, it is soooo wonderful to get a glimpse of hope – that there are educated, well being people out there putting a voice to this cause / outrage. THANK YOU! the book is amazing! God Bless and I will continue to share and spread the word of your incredibly meaningful work!!!

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  6. I am so thankful that I got involved on Facebook to actually be able to connect, read and follow some of the greatest horse and animal protection advocates around.
    I was raised with horses, my mother worked most of her life just keep going with her horses and she passed that love to me at a very young age. Circumstances took me away from them for years but 5 years ago I saw a video on horse slaughter and away I went. In 05′ I adopted two TB from slaughter and another two starvation TB…two I recently found homes for and the other two will remain with me and my youngest daughter. But the mustangs have grabbed my heart and created this overwhelming yearning to be out west and become involved. I’m not sure how I will do this, but I must see and feel what is going on. I read everything I can read on the subject, but somehow I must figure a way to be a part of making a change…but keep writing guys…I envy and admire you.

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  7. Send us your stories about horse rescue and the good work being accomplished. Send us your calls to action and we will publish, target and post on Horse2Heart.com also. My life has been dedicated to advocating for the horse one on one and now to the masses. Please allow me to help you any way i can. Where there is heart, there is hope.

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  8. Mr. Fitch,
    Whatever you do, don’t delete or remove the articles from your blog. No matter what anybody says, those of us “Special people in the world” who know what our missions are, stand behind you no matter what rhetoric they all want to put out there. We are doing what is right by standing up for those who can not stand up for themselves. Keep up the good fight, in the end we will have won the fight and the glory will be for all who inhabit our earth.

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  9. RT…. It has come to my attention that the BLM wants to “spay” the mares???? Have they already secretly started?? Does anyone know if the ones they are releasing tomorrow have been surgically altered? OMG This just makes me ill!! Is there any way to even find out if this is possibly the case?? The whole corrupt lot of them needs to be in jail starting with Salazar and ending with anyone in the BLM turning a blind eye on the happenings. I doubt there are enough left even in holding to continue the bloodlines now. These animals will die off in not too many years from now and all we will be able to tell our grandchildren is that there USED to be wild horses and burros running FREE but our own gov saw fit to destroy every last one of them. How sad is that?

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  10. R. T.,

    Thank you for this information. Although I think I have gotten to know these people through their writing (you cannot write from the heart without revealing the heart), it is wonderful to have more objective measures such as how people have and are spending their time, talent, and money. What fine human beings we have among us. Each of the writers above have informed us and helped share our understanding of what is going on with our wild horses.

    Steven Long’s interview with Conrad Burns has been a game changer for me. It explains exactly what we are up against.

    Another person who has been a game changer whom I would like to learn more about is Debbie Coffey. Her research, writing, documentation (sourcing) have been invaluable. I would like to learn more about her.

    Then there are the many people who come here to provide insight, action alerts, and links to more sources. I would like to thank Louie Crocroft in particular because I have followed several that he provided. Sometimes these links are listed multiple places.

    I would like to thank you, R. T., for your wonderful writing. I have visited your Habitat for Horses blog and been moved to tears by your writing. You capture the spirit of the horse, and the hearts for those of us who understand that there is a mighty, generous, loving heart inside these beings.

    Two other people I would like to learn more about are Patricia Fazio, PhD., who has been quietly out in front testifying before commitees about the issues relating to whether our wild horses are feral or native wild life which seems to be one of the superficial arguments Interior has decided to persue in the hopes (perhaps it is already in the bag; who knows with these people) that if wild horses are classified as feral (non-native; invasive) they can justify removing them.

    Jay Kirkpatrick, PhD, who wrote, perhaps co-authored with Patricia Fazio, the preamble of the ROAM Act and who actually is studying the effects of PZP on wild herds using principles of scientific integrity, is also someone I would like to know more about. Dr. Kirkpatrick is well respected, and if we knew nothing else about him, the fact that Interior’s expert witness has attacked him on-line because he has been effective using scientific research to argue that wild horses are a returned native species rather than feral.

    These are some of the people who have informed what I have learned, but you, R. T. are the thread that has pulled it together for me. There is no other site that brings the amount and variety of information, links, and perspectives that you do. I can only imagine all the work that you must be doing behind the scenes.

    Thank you for all our horses.

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  11. Anther game changer for me was an article I found through your link to Vickie Tobin. It is the 1997 White Paper Report that revealed how the BLM culled the best horses from the roundups to sell not for their personal pleasure, but to be sent to slaughter. How this worked systematically throughout the Western herds is just chilling. if this article were published today or something else with the power of the Internet behind it, I believe that the outcome may have been different.

    People like Craig Downer and Jim Bacca who put their careers on the line to try to right these wrongs are heroes. With great courage and integrity, they refused to don the mask of the Stepford wives (wives of affluent husbands who had them surgically altered so that they would become robots who lose themselves to become subserviant, reguritating rebots who spew the same pre-programed responses to their husbands for the the husband’s benefit) which is typical of almost everyone who has been indoctrinated by the BLM’s mantra.

    I spoke with a former volunteer of our equine rescue over the weekend. She works for the federal government. I had hoped just to talk with her about what is going on, but instead she bristled and repeated the government line. I was shocked by the way her back straightened and the authoritarian tone in her voice…then she paused, collapsed into tears, and said….”you know they run them with broken legs for miles (sobbing hard now) and then they force them into trucks….and they force them to ride for hours in pain….(more sobbing—almost a complete melt down now)… and then they drive them for hours…(her face has completely transformed by now into to patches of red and white; her spine has collapsed)…then they make them wait for hours…and then they shoot them….why would anyone do that…?”

    indeed.

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  12. I talked with Terry and bought your book Straight from the Horses Mouth and I thank you. I could feel the passion in your words. I recommend your book as heart warming and a must read.

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