Feel Good Sunday Video: A Horse Lover’s Prayer

“It’s time to pause, dismount, loosen the cinch, pull off the headstall and bit, let your trail-buddy graze while you pull up a cool spot under a tree and sip on one of my homemade Wrangler Iced Teas…yes, it’s been a tough battle and the war is far from being won. 

This next week is going to be a rough one so take a few minutes to sit back, reflect and recharge on why we do what we do.  Whether you are lucky enough to live with equines or not, this video will give you pause and bring a tear to your eye. 

I raise my drink in honor of all those I stand shoulder to shoulder with; we will win, we will save them, each and every one of them.  May God bless you all!  Cheers!” ~ R.T.

Public Records Sought on EPA, Beef Lobby Collusion to Weaken Water Protections

Press Release from: Biological Diversity.org

Livestock operations have polluted 35,000 miles of U.S. rivers and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Each year American beef production creates 489 billion pounds of manure.

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a Freedom of Information Act request today seeking communications between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and beef-lobbying groups. The filing seeks information about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s participation in a promotional video for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in which he urges ranchers to flood the agency with comments in favor of repealing the Clean Water Rule.

“It’s bizarre and appalling that our nation’s chief environmental official starred in a beef-industry infomercial attacking protections for our water supplies,” said Jennifer Molidor, a Center senior food campaigner. “Americans deserve to know why Pruitt would support the private interests of this incredibly polluting industry.”

Livestock operations have polluted 35,000 miles of U.S. rivers and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Each year American beef production creates 489 billion pounds of manure. Improperly stored manure creates toxic byproducts that frequently leak into rivers, lakes and streams. In addition 167 million pounds of pesticides and 17 billion pounds of fertilizer used to grow animal feed leak into waterways.

The Clean Water Rule, a clarification of the Clean Water Act ordered by the Obama administration, prohibited the dumping of waste in “navigable waters” without a permit. The rule exempts most agricultural drainage ditches.

As the attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt sued to halt the rule. Industry groups filed similar lawsuits. In all cases the rule was ultimately upheld.

“Pruitt took office already determined to slash Obama-era safeguards like the Clean Water Rule without concern for the dangerous fallout of losing these protections,” said Molidor. “It’s the EPA’s job to protect our environment from big polluters, not the other way around.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/beef-lobby-09-14-2017.php

Feel Good Sunday: Tearful Moment As Dying Stable Hand Feeds Horse One Last Time

Source: Mini News

Former stable hand, 87, smiles as he is granted his dying wish to feed a horse one last time just three days before he passed away at a hospice. A pensioner smiled in his hospital bed after he was granted his dying wish to feed a horse for the last time – just three days before he died.

Patrick Saunders, 87, from Braunton, Devon, in the UK had spent most of his adolescence around horses, and began his working life at a stable.

Feel Good Sunday: Everyone Is Laughing Except Stable Owners After Dad Innocently Gives Horse A Haircut

Source: ReShareWorthy

Equine Hairdressers Beware

Sammy the horse lives at a rescue facility that takes care of farm animals needing rehabilitation. But when the owner of the stables came in to the check on the horses, she found Sammy had gotten a haircut, that is anything but flattering!

Everyone at the barn was up in arms after then saw the hilarious haircut this horse got from a dad who thought he was being helpful!

So my dad calls me the other day, says he got in trouble at the barn for cutting a horses hair and everyone’s pissed off. I felt bad for him until I got this picture from my mother.

Needless to say, Ellen (the barn owner) was not happy and neither was anyone else in the barn, so she wrote a stern note as warning: “Please!! No scissors!! Ellen is not happy…All horses will have manes, bridle paths and tails done by us from now on. Thank you!”
However, it turns out it was an innocent mistake made by a well meaning dad. Redditor btssmgss32412 shared the hilarious photo of Sammy and his haircut and provided some much needed answers into how Sammy came to get the haircut from her dad in the first place:

“As for some of the questions, I can elaborate! Ellen owns the stables, she is not the horse. The horses name is Sammy. I don’t know who specifically owns the horse. My parents own a horse that is boarded at this stable. The stable is a rescue facility that takes in all farm animals that need rehabilitation, and they also rent out a few stalls for some horses.

“My parents go there multiple times a week to take care of their horse, and while there they help out around the barn doing pretty much whatever they need done.

“According to my dad, he was cleaning out the stalls and he felt bad that the horse’s hair was getting in his eyes, and honestly thought he was helping the horse out.

“After he saw the sign, he immediately apologized, and it wasn’t a big deal after that. I do want to add, we’ve not grown up with horses, this is a relatively recent hobby (within the last few years). However ridiculous the horse looks, somehow my father thought he was helping!”

Read more at http://www.reshareworthy.com/horse-bad-haircut/#4ihiYOTHDVYDYJDj.99

Feel Good Sunday: Chapter 1 – Living with Four-Legged Children

by R.T. Fitch

“Behind the scenes, here at Straight from the Horse’s Heart, are several volunteers who write while others scour the internet in search of equine related news and articles that will not only be entertaining but of value to our horsey readership. One such individual, Geraldine Bray, works seven days a week with no compensation in an effort to get the news about horses, burros, buffalo, whales, wolves, grizzles, dolphins and any other wild being that is downtrodden by humans out and in front of our readers so that they can have the information needed to make a difference when discussing such topics with family, friends and legislators. Likewise, Chief News Correspondent, Geri, endeavors to locate at least one story a week that might bemuse and uplift our audience as a Feel Good Sunday (FGS) installation so that we can wash our hearts and souls out for one day a week before we wade back into the fray on Monday. This week, I am kindly going to ask Geri to take the day off as I have found the fodder for FGS right within arm’s reach in our own backyard with our wild and wacky four legged charges who never cease to either entertain or amaze me.” ~ R.T.


Terry and I never copied ourselves by manufacturing two legged children that would be labeled as “ours”. Her reasoning harkens back to the grotesque video that public schools used to show to pre-pubescent girls during special sessions after hours in grade school, when they thought the boys had all gone home, fat chance of that. Plus, she was prepared to take a hit for the team when it came to population control as humans do NOT have the propensity to treat their world, or it’s other inhabitants, kindly. (She also says that she has been raising one over-sized kid, me, for over twenty years and that was about as much fun as she could stand)

Me, I was and still am convinced that if you mixed my genes with another human’s you would end up with some sort of individual that would grow hair on the palms of their hands and drink out of the toilet so in an effort to save humanity from a backwards trip down evolutionary lane I was gelded very early in my adult life. And no, I do not speak in a high-pitched voice.

So with that all being said, we have always been guardians to four-legged children who we have welcomed into our lives and been devastated when they pass on. It is tough being a parent who outlives their children but we have always had a very staunch rule when it comes to being a guardian to dogs, cats, horses and yes, even fish. When you enter our lives, we will never, ever give you up, your home is permanent and you shall always be loved; even if you are a butt-head, we will still love you and your uniqueness.

With all of that tone setting preamble behind us let me tell you about a little adventure that I had when attempting to accomplish some fencing repairs out in our pastures the other day.

Perhaps those who don’t live with horses might not understand, just like I don’t get cute baby stories, but those who do interact with ponies and donkeys on a daily basis will recognize and appreciate the curious and adventurous spirits that graze upon grass out behind their barn and home. We are blessed.

I had been absent from the farm for several months, earlier this year, working hard to supply an income that would allow for the purchase of hay for the horses and batteries for cat toys; it is what I do, I am a guy, it tis my job. But in my absence the electric rope that is strung across the top of our cross-fencing in an effort to stop one juvenile drafty from breaking fence boards while playing “Dueling Heads” with his TB brother mal-functioned and it did not take the giant, 1 ton, golden baby very long to figure out that he could begin to disassemble the inert electric rope and associated gate guards. So that is what I returned home to and set upon repairing the other day, WITH a lot of help from my friends.

My trusty, full-time companion, Roxy the Wonder Border Collie, goes everywhere with me, so much so that she has laid claim to the big, red Dodge Dually and does not allow me to take it on my extended domestic trips, instead, I have been instructed to take Mom’s much smaller Grand Cherokee; a 4X4 with panties. Sorry, I digress.

The other day Roxy and I entered the pastures with my bag of tools, roll of rope and wire in an effort to get as much of the fence-line back up and running before the temps would begin to kiss the 100 degree mark so I attempted to work quickly while she supervised me from a shady spot and I worked along the fence-line.

And we had help. As shown in the video that accompanies this tale of frivolity and mirth, one of our pasture ornament off the track TBs, Bart, came over to check out his girlfriend, Roxy. Bart is in love with Roxy and she just does not have any time for the giant suitor who is 20 times her size, in fact, she is rude and will sit with her back to him but Bart is not the Einstein of Equines and continues to try to win her favor, which works out well for me as it keeps him busy. He loves to stick his nose in my ear, while I am working, and say “Can you hear me now” which is immediately followed by stealing my straw hat and running away with it.

Not today, when he became bored of being stood up by Roxy he stuck his nose in my ear and said “I have a special present for you,” and before his words even stopped rattling around in my head I saw his tail stand up and heard the sound of well hydrated horse turds plopping upon the ground, but upon further examination, they never made it to the ground as they ALL landed right inside my canvas tool back where they exploded all over my drill, pliers, screwdrivers and hardware. “REALLY!?!”

If not for the look of total and abject amusement on his face and Roxy running over to partake of this fresh manna from heaven I would have been a tad bit pissed but instead I trudged back up to the house and garage and cleaned up the mess before going back down to the pasture to continue my work.

Once back down, I clamped off a section of rope and began the tedious task of wiring an underground section to pass under a gate so that I could leave the gate open yet the power would continue to pulse further downstream where it was needed. With mission accomplished I looked for my staple gun so that I could safely secure the traversing wire to the fence posts on either side of the gate but alias I could not find it in the bag where Moose, the juvenile drafty, had been nuzzling just moments before. It took a few moments for it to register as I gazed at his ample backside calmly walk away and cross into an adjoining pasture but the concept struck home when I called his name, he turned around to look at me and there was a glint of shiny metal between his lips, I had been robbed. Of course, this turned into a fun and exciting romp around the pastures with dog in tow for about 20 minutes in 90 degree heat but I finally picked the staple gun out of the mini-mud pond that the horses roll in when it gets too hot. The staple gun was no longer recognizable.

Tools back in the bag, rolls of rope and wire under my arms and towards the house I dragged myself.

Industrial sized Wrangler Iced Tea was made and I walked into the pool fully clothed to sit on the steps and let the coolness roll over me and down inside me. I was finished.

Not much later, Terry appeared at the side of the pool, covered with sweat herself from her continued gardening obsession and stood over Roxy and I sitting neck deep on the steps in the middle of a giant slick of mud and grease.

With hands on her hips she said, “You two sure did not work very long.”

To which I replied, with Roxy panting in agreement, “Time is irrelevant when working with your children, often, it seems like an eternity when working in the pastures…and for that I am grateful.” as I raised the 36oz tumbler, filled with Diet Arizona Tea infused with a good Texas vodka, to her in the form of a salute. “Might I interest you in a drink?”

Curtain closes, exit stage left.

And so goes another day and chapter in the life of the residents at “Laughing Horse Farm”.

Next episode: “Moose eats tractor seat and steals all shift knobs when fuel line breaks during mowing and I go to the barn for tools. Time away from equipment: 2 minutes.”

Stay tuned…the adventures continue.

Keep the Faith!

From Wolves to Horses to Dogs, This Big Law Partner Has Built a Practice Exclusively Defending Animals

Jenna Greene, The Litigation Daily

Bruce Wagman, Behind the Scenes Warrior for Wild Horses & Burros

“It is a very sincere pleasure to share with you this article about our legal consultant and my longtime friend, Bruce Wagman.  Bruce was the attorney that we pleaded with, almost a decade ago, to research for Terry and myself ways to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from zeroing out federally protected wild horse herds.  With no organization to back us up and zero history to bolster our dedication to the cause Bruce took up our case and to this day was the silent partner and legal consultant behind our BLM Long Term Holding White Paper…and there is more to come.  Thank you Bruce for all that you do for those who are recognized only as property and even if they could speak, would not be allowed to.  You are the voice for millions.  Rock On my brother!” ~ R.T.


Schiff Hardin‘s Bruce Wagman with dogs Kazi (left) and Tatu at his home in Stinson Beach, CA. Jason Doiy

Schiff Hardin partner Bruce Wagman has the best client list ever: birds, cats, chickens, chimpanzees, cows, deer, dogs, dolphins, ducks, elephants, elk, gorillas, horses, lions, mice, monkeys, pigs, sharks, turkeys, whales and wolves.

Okay, technically they’re not his clients, because, well, animals can’t hire lawyers.

But Wagman, who plausibly asserts he is the only Big Law partner in the country focusing exclusively on animal law, has carved out a unique practice defending and improving the lives of animals.

On Tuesday, he and Schiff Hardin partner Elizabeth Runyan Geise, along with co-counsel from the Humane Society of the United States, scored a big win when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court decision protecting gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, which includes Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

They challenged a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule de-listing the wolves as a protected group under the Endangered Species Act.

The panel—Judges Thomas Griffith, Patricia Millett and Nina Pillard—held that the agency failed to reasonably consider the impact of partial delisting on the remaining portion of the species, as well the impact of historical range loss. Their decision will save the wolves from trophy hunting and commercial trapping, including hound hunting, snares, baiting, electronic calls and the use of leg hold traps.

Per the Endangered Species Act, the prevailing lawyers are entitled to an award of legal fees. Still, Wagman acknowledged one ongoing “tension” in his practice is getting paid. Because in addition to being unable to hire lawyers, animals don’t have any money.

But his partners at 300-lawyer Schiff Hardin have been “incredibly supportive,” he said. Wagman previously practiced with 35-lawyer Morgenstein & Jubelirer in San Francisco, which merged with Schiff Hardin in 2007. “I was in the right place at the right time” to build the practice, he said. “I’ve slowly picked up more and more clients.”

In 2015 when he was honored by the ABA’s Animal Law Committee, Wagman wrote, “I expected my tenure there would last a couple of years at most, and that this Chicago-based firm would not want this animal law weirdo as a partner. Well, I could not have been more wrong. … The firm’s validation of the work has been overwhelming and consistent.”

Among his big cases: defending a California law requiring humane treatment of animals too sick or injured to stand or walk; stopping commercial horse slaughter for human consumption; suing the federal government to stop untested surgical sterilization “research” on wild mares; upholding a ban on the possession or sale of shark fins in California; and negotiating the release of chimpanzees used for medical research. He also helped found two permanent sanctuaries for them.

Some of Wagman’s work, especially the big-impact litigation, is pro bono, he said. Some is “low bono,” for reduced fees. And some is full-fee work for private clients, including dog bite cases and custody fights over pets.

Under the law, pets are considered to be property—a discovery that people who call Wagman up wanting to sue for emotional distress after someone kills their dog find dismaying, he said.

“It’s ripe for change, but change is slow,” he said. Still, he sees subtle signs that more judges are taking into account what’s best for the pet in custody fights, looking beyond indicia of ownership. Who walks the dog? Who has a yard? “It’s happening without anyone realizing it’s happening,” he said.

http://www.litigationdaily.com/id=1202794647496/From-Wolves-to-Horses-to-Dogs-This-Big-Law-Partner-Has-Built-a-Practice-Exclusively-Defending-Animals?slreturn=20170704070805

Feel Good Sunday: Wild Horse & Burro Advocate Takes to Facebook Live Blinding Thousands with Glare from Bald Head

NEWS JUST IN:  Although speaking to an important issue; President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, R.T. Fitch, took to Facebook Live, yesterday, in an effort to help support the wild horse & burro advocacy by explaining the release of their biggest lobbying tool yet, their White Paper, only to end up giving thousands of cases of mild eye fatigue due to the continuous glare from his bald head for over 30 straight minutes.

“I normally wear a hat,” R.T. said, “but being inside I did not think it would be proper so I ensured the overhead florescent light was out but I guess I just shouldn’t have discounted the effect of natural light from the window.” he continued.  “Next time I will use powder or perhaps Terry might have a make-up trick that I could use, but in reality, there is nothing like a good ole full head of hair to do the trick.” he sighed.  “That stagecoach has long ago left the station.”

When interviewed on the success of the project, VP of WHFF, Debbie Coffey, who joined the broadcast by phone commented, “I think it went very well and I welcomed the opportunity to clarify just what our White Paper is and how important it is to get in front of our legislators now, but I did take issue with one aspect of the broadcast.”  When asked what that issue was she stated, “At the end of the broadcast, R.T. stated that his Executive Producer and good friend, Roxy the Wonder Border Collie, had fallen asleep on the job, well, it would have been rather cute if he would have shared that with us.”

Well Deb, he has, if you scroll down to the bottom of this page you will find a photo of the burned out Executive Producer who says that R.T. is a difficult boss to work for and like you, he pays her peanuts.

Keep the faith

“He bores me to tears”

Update: Wild Horse & Burro Advocate Takes to Facebook Live to Save America’s National Icon

Source: Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s President, R.T. Fitch, speaks on newly released White Paper outlining BLM’s deception of US Public and Congress

The People Behind the Paper, the Board of Directors of Wild Horse Freedom Federation. Left to Right, Marjorie Farabee, Carol Walker, R.T. Fitch, Debbie, Dawn Reveley and Terry Fitch


Long time Wild Horse & Burro advocate and co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation spoke to the release of their detailed and informative White Paper on the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, with a Focus on Problems Related to Holding Facilities.

Released just last Wednesday, July 26th 2017, the detailed report outlines years of deception initiated by the renegade federal agency who, to date, attempts to dissuade, delude and deceive the citizens of the United States and the very legislators that write the laws and control federal budgets.

“We have spent over five years gathering and cataloguing our evidence through FOIA and eyewitness accounts. We have actual BLM documents that the public and Congress have never reviewed; the evidence is damming by the BLM’s own account,” says R.T. Fitch. “What we present in the paper is only the tip of the iceberg and with the specter of the mindless murder of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros looming over the wild ones this information is critical and must be presented to the Senate and Congress, NOW! ”

 

“I am, personally, treading into unknown technical territory as I have never done this before but we feel this is the best way to help to explain the current way forward in the fight to save our wild equines,” R.T. explained. “ We are just normal, stick-in-the throat, regular Americans doing our level best to make a difference. We hope our viewers will be able to look beyond any amateur fumbling; the point is that it is all about the wild horses & burros and we all need to take action and the time for that action is now.”

Keep the Faith

Co-Author of White Paper, Animal Law Attorney Bruce Wagman with R.T. and Terry Fitch

DESPITE TRUMP PROMISE – BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT BREAKS RULE OF LAW MAKING EXTINCTION ALL BUT INEVITABLE FOR WILD HORSES & BURROS

Press Release from Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s White Paper exposes BLM: Never-seen evidence proves America’s wild horses and burros are disappearing without explanation

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

photo by Carol Walker

Pinehurst, Texas—(PR NEWSWIRE)— Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Inc. (WHFF), today released its white paper, “Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, with a Focus on Problems Related to Holding Facilities.” America’s wild horses and burros – long a national treasure and symbol of freedom – are endangered and being pushed towards extinction, despite the Trump administration’s promise to uphold the rule of law.

The comprehensive white paper cites taxpayer waste and multitudes of inconsistencies in documentation presented to both the American public and Congress.  These alleged offenses continue to occur under the direction of Trump-appointed Secretary of the Department of Interior (DOI), Ryan Zinke.

WHFF’s document notes current and historical violations that include evidence of misrepresentation, wasting taxpayer funds, and lack of scientific accounting for the wild horses and burros — in absolute defiance of the Congressional statute that provides for the safety of the iconic wild herds.

The five-year investigation culminating in the document has uncovered a consistent pattern of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) releasing misinformation thought to confuse and mislead the American taxpaying public and legislators.

For years, the BLM has taken healthy wild horses and burros from their legally protected lands in the American West at the expense of taxpayers. Notably, on those lands, the cost to taxpayers was nothing, yet the BLM roundups have continued, taking tens of thousands of wild horses into captivity. Despite the reported number of horses in captivity (46,000) to date, large numbers of horses have mysteriously disappeared from the holding pens or during transports where they never arrived.  And it appears that taxpayer money has been wasted by the BLM, at the expense of the wild horses and burros they are supposed to protect.

WHFF’s FOIA obtained documentation on this topic, many of which have never been reviewed by Congress or the public, appear to verify that BLM statements are filled with inaccuracies and poor math. The beneficiaries of this systemic misrepresentation have been ranching and corporate energy interests, both of whom, not surprisingly, are major donors to politicians who cover the areas where the most wild horses and burros are found.

Despite a strident outcry from American taxpayers who want, as the law requires, the horses and burros protected and returned to their rightful place on public lands, the BLM has repeatedly asserted to America that the wild horses and burros need to be under its care. In the last century, the wild horse population has gone from two million to less than 36,000 under BLM management. Less than two out of 100 wild horses that were present then remain in 2017.

WHFF’s white paper details multiple examples of mishandling of taxpayer funds, but the upshot is simple: alleged false assurances have been offered up to taxpayers while private and special interests have had their way with the use of public lands.  In another words, the BLM is the fox that guards the henhouse, seemingly unwilling to enforce the laws that obligate them to protect wild horses and burros.

“The DOI and the BLM have undertaken a long term ‘Fake News’ campaign to spread misinformation to confuse the issue. They want the wild horses and burros slaughtered, gone, full stop.  Americans are not going to stand for that,” says Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s President R.T. Fitch. “It appears that President Trump appointed a long time horse slaughter proponent to oversee the DOI and his first major act could be to kill tens of thousands of wild horses and burros making this White Paper a timely must read for all Americans.” he continued.

This is paramount in importance right now for the wild horses and burros and American taxpayers. In the coming days the Senate Appropriations Committee will take up the Interior appropriations bill, which includes the Wild Horse and Burro Program with the threat of killing wild horses and burros touted as a budgetary necessity. Without intervention, for the rising generations of America, wild horses and burros will be gone forever.

To read the WHFF white paper and for more information go to:

http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/white-paper/

###

Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a Texas non-profit corporation with federal 501c3 status. WHFF is the voice of not only those animals that cannot speak for themselves but also, most effectively, for the majority of the American public which has repeatedly expressed the desire to stop the unnecessary removal of wild horses and burros from public lands where they should remain, and the proper, legal management of the Wild Horse & Burro Program.

WHFF is funded exclusively through the generosity of the American public.

Media Contacts:

R.T. Fitch
President/Co-Founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
rtfitch@wildhorsefreedomfederation.org ~ rt@rtfitch.com
1-800-974-3684

Carol Walker
Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation
cwlivingimages@gmail.com
1-800-974-3684

Feel Good Sunday: Equine Videos to Make You Smile

“Okay, let’s take a second off and have a quick giggle.  This compilation features everything from Houdini ponies to just plain goofballs and if you are an equine guardian I am quite certain you will recognize an antic or two that your charges pull on you.  Kid and in-law friendly.  Enjoy the moment…back to the battle tomorrow.  Be Safe.” ~ R.T.