Authors/Writers

This page is dedicated to giving you, the reader, an insider’s glimpse into the lives of the people who attempt to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.

But it is important to remember that we are not here to either promote ourselves or each other as there is just one creed that we all live by;

“It’s all about the Horses!’

R.T. Fitch

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. currently sits 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 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, two German Shepherds, cat, Koi and resident deer.

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

 

Jerry Finch

jerryandbaby

Jerry and baby mustang, Audi

Jerry Finch, President of Habitat for Horses– Jerry served in the US Navy and is a former youth crisis intervention counselor with a BA in Psychology, a member of the Texas Animal Control Association and a Level 3 Equine Abuse Investigator.

He has attended numerous classes in equine abuse investigations, equine nutrition and stable management. Certified as a horse professional in Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy by EAGALA, and a court approved equine abuse expert witness, Jerry is now active in bringing youth and horses together in a positive, healing environment.

Habitat for Horses maintains a foster home network throughout three states housing an average of 250 equine, plus a ranch housing an average of 50 equine, providing nutritional, physical and mental rehabilitation and adoption services.

Perhaps a more in depth and personal description of Jerry lies within the  pages of the introduction to R.T.’s book “Straight from the Horse’s Heart“:

“I almost don’t know where to begin when it comes to talking about Jerry; there aren’t too many people who walk on this earth that are like this man.  Perhaps the jury is still out if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but this I can say and confirm in print;  I have rarely, if ever, said “I love you” to another man, but I can speak those words to Jerry for I love him like a brother.  If there was a law requiring that you had to list an individual’s ingredients on the underside of your right forearm his would read something like this:

20% Magic, 15% Nurturing Mother, 10% Salesman, 5% Politician, 50% BS

And I mean that 50% BS in terms of not only being able to dish it out but the ability to take it in return.  You just cannot take yourself too seriously if you’re one and only 24/7 activity for the past 10 years has been exclusively horse rescue.  You need to have pretty thick skin if you hope to survive, and Jerry flourishes.

Mr. Finch is the illustrious Founder and President of Habitat for Horses.  Jerry is not only the blood and guts of the group but he is the heart that pumps the life into every human and horse that comes into contact with him.  Making sure that a horse does not suffer is Jerry’s passion in life and his fire has lit the candle of many people across the globe, including mine.

It was several years ago when Jerry Finch sat across a table from me, while we calmly sipped on ice cold beer, and told me that I should write.  He said that I should commit to paper what I had experienced with my mother’s death and how it not only affected me but how the power of the horses ran through that entire period in time.  He said that others would take heart from hearing such a story; so I did and the tale in question is the second story in this collection.

To have Jerry Finch tell me to write was a great honor as Jerry is an astoundingly profuse and passionate writer himself.  He moves me and those who know him…so I could not let him down.

I owe a lot to Jerry and hope that we can grow old, or older, together as I just can’t imagine a world without my “Older Brother” in it.  Nor can many other people and horses alike.  Thanks Jerry….”

 

Simone Netherlands

Simone is a 39 year old horse advocate of many years. Originally a business woman, she became a natural horsemanship trainer about 10 years ago. She says this did not do her bank account any favors, since she does not manage to make much profit this way. She trains mostly unwanted horses so they may find new owners. She trains wild horses at BLM adoptions so they are more likely to get adopted, and she performs Freedom Training shows with her own Friesians to show audiences that you do not need a halter, bridle or even a crop, to make a horse do what you want him to do. Simone also has her own small horse rescue facility on 15 acres, where she rehabilitates emaciated horses, wild horses and slaughter bound horses of any kind.

As of lately Simone has switched her gears to 6th to make a stand for ALL horses. She has been  relentless in her lobbying efforts for all horse related bills, S 727, S 1579, H.R. 503 and H.R.305. With her efforts of trying to raise awareness, she has become an accidental writer as her passion to end horse suffering in this country seeps from every paragraph she writes. She seems to know how to keep things tactful while at the same time certainly not beating around the bush.

You can read her very important article on the issues currently facing our wild horses and our domestic horses, including solutions here:  www.Respect4horses.com

She was recently on the front cover of  Prescott Woman Magazine, with an article about her horse rescue. (which was written about her, not by her) You can read the article here: CLICK

You may also become her friend on Facebook by looking up Simone Netherlands.

 

Steven Long

Sample News Interview: Story won Emmy and Murrow Awards for KHOU Reporter Brad Woodard http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2008/12/horse-slaughter.html

Steven Long has spent more than 2,000 hours in the courtroom, more time than most practicing lawyers spend there in a lifetime. He has covered some of the most important cases of the last two decades. Few can capture the drama of lawyer vs. lawyer quite like him.

His most recent book, Every Woman’s Nightmare (St. Martin’s Press) tells the story of the fairytale marriage and cold blooded murder of Utah’s Lori Hacking, whose body was left in a city dump to rot. She was killed in her sleep by her husband Mark after catching him in the lie that he was about to begin medical school. The book has sparked heated opposition from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons.

Steven’s true crime tale, Out of Control, (St. Martin’s Press), chronicled the strange murder of Dr. David Harris by his wife Clara. Long’s story, set in a wealthy suburb of Houston, is not a typical grisly true crime paperback. He tells the tale of a woman who loved too much, so much that she was willing to kill to keep her man from his paramour.

In his first book, Death Without Dignity, (Texas Monthly Press, 1987) Steven Long wrote the sad story of catastrophic failure in a nursing home. The work prompted the Austin American-Statesman to call it the “literary equivalent of the movie Platoon.” The book won a State Bar of Texas Gavel Award for distinguished journalism. Yet among the numerous awards he has received throughout his career, Steven Long istill covets the merit badge for journalism he received as a Boy Scout when his first story was published at age 11.

Death Without Dignity is found in the libraries of many medical and nursing schools. However, it is not a dry factual tome. Instead it is true crime writing at its best, reminiscent of the style of the late Tommy Thompson.

Steven Long does not consider himself a true crime writer, although his work falls into that genre. “I write books about lawyers and judges,” he says. “Murder is boring for the most part, but the pull, tug, and theatrics of the courtroom is high drama indeed.”

Long began his career in radio but quickly moved to print. For most of 11 years, he served as editor and publisher of Galveston’s In Between Magazine, an award-winning alternative weekly famed for its gritty investigative work.

His first freelance piece appeared in the respected Texas Observer.

In the 1982 Texas election for governor, Steven Long asked the incumbent, Bill Clements, a question that changed the state’s history. “Would you appoint a consumer, for example a housewife, to the Texas Public Utilities Commission?” The governor blundered and answered, “There isn’t a housewife in Texas qualified to serve on the PUC.” He lost the election.

After closing In Between, Steven Long carved out a career as a feature writer with the Houston Chronicle. One article resulted in the indictment, conviction and disbarment of the late Houston adoption lawyer Leslie Thacker for buying and selling crack babies from mothers in several Texas county jails. Another series of investigative stories ultimately resulted in the indictment and conviction of the head librarian of the oldest medical school west of the Mississippi for stealing rare and historic medical texts, some dating to the sixteenth century. He exposed the Texas prison system’s wholesale practice of allowing the use of inmates as subjects for medical residents to hone their skills in cosmetic surgery at public expense in a state teaching hospital. The facelifts, tummy tucks, breast reductions, and brow lifts, came to a halt.

Steven Long covered the Andrea Yates murder case for the New York Post from the scene to conviction. For the same paper, he located rogue CEO Ken Lay who was in for ten days when the Enron scandal broke in the balcony of his Methodist church. He covered the lengthy and complex trial of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm for Agence France Presse, as well as Crain’s Chicago Business. He has appeared on Inside Edition, the CBS Early Show and Catherine Crier Live, as well as Mugshots on Court TV. Steven worked as a consultant to Dateline’s segment on the sensational Robert Durst Case. He has appeared on Northwest Afternoon on ABC/KOMO in Seattle. Steven appeared on the E Network’s series, “Women Who Kill.”

Long served as courtroom analyst and special correspondent with CNBC for its extensive coverage of the Lay/Skilling Enron trial. During the proceedings he frequently appeared on the popular business channel’s “Squawk Box” and “Power Lunch” programs.

Steven and his adopted horse Façade have appeared on Animal Planet’s “Animal Cops Houston.” Façade is an SPCA rescue animal. Steven and his wife Vicki recently adopted Flying Algonquin, a retired race horse saved from slaughter.

His most recent assignment was for Cowboys and Indians Magazine for a story on Willie Nelson and his Paint horses. He was just on assignment for the same magazine on a story on actor Tony Curtis for the same magazine.

An avid horseman, Steven Long has been a contributor to Western Horseman magazine. Long also serves as owner and editor of Horseback Magazine, (www.horsebackmagazine.com). His work has appeared frequently in the Houston Press.

Steven Long is a regular contributor to the respected true crime forum, In Cold Blog http://incoldblogger.blogspot.com. His most recent journalism award came from the American Quarter Horse Association for his “Hoofbeats on Hollow Ground” which appeared in the respected Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. Besides his writing career, Steven Long holds a certification in corporate community relations from the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College

Steven Long is a co-founder of the National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions (Literacy USA), and completed three terms on the national board of CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, based in Seattle. CASA volunteers throughout the nation help the courts place abused and neglected children in safe and permanent homes. He currently serves on the organization’s prestigious Emeritus Advisory Board. He is also longtime vice president of the Greater Houston Horse Council where he also chairs the Governmental Affairs committee.

Steven and Vicki Long, a fiction writer, live in Houston, Texas.

 

Debbie Coffey

Debbie Coffey has witnessed BLM roundups of wild horses in California, Nevada and Oregon and is the 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

 

Vicki Tobin

Vicki is a free lance writer, co-founder of the Equine Welfare Alliance and serves on the board of directors of Manes and Tails Organization founded by Ellen Cathryn-Nash. Vicki hails from Chicago and became involved in anti horse slaughter efforts at the prompting of family members that own a farm in rural Illinois. Several years ago, she met John Holland, started working with him and the rest, as they say, is history.

She is heavily involved with horse slaughter research, wild Mustang protection and equine rescues, particularly with Michael & Diane Blowen of Old Friends in Georgetown, KY. Vicki maintains the Equine Welfare Alliance and A Voice for our Horses websites and collaborates with the EWA board, SMEs and members on press releases, editorials, research and study papers.

Her “day” profession is technology procurement.

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14 comments on “Authors/Writers

  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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