“It’s all about the Horses!’
R.T. Fitch (President and Co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation)
Author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” and 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.
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.
Debbie Coffey has personally witnessed BLM roundups of wild horses in California, Nevada and Oregon. 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.
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 email@example.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.