Horse Eating, Fringe Cult Leader Bumped from National News Show

“In my most humble opinion” by R.T. Fitch

Maybe Fox News Listened to the Voices of 80% of Americans

Vegan Poster Boy – Dave
‘Doink” Duquette. Infamous horse hating proponent for murdering and eating equine friends and family.

Longtime proponent of murdering (processing) companion and wild equines (horses and burros) for perverse human consumption, Dave “Doink” Duquette was abruptly removed from the broadcast schedule of Fox News Tucker Carlson show on Friday, December 29th.  A very sad moment for his horse hating lemmings but a moment of comic relief for the rest of the self-actualized human beings that inhabit this planet.

It appears that the mass objection to the appearance of this monosyllabic moron by normal, mainstream Americans may have been a force in Fox reconsidering the highlighting of a subject that is against the law in the United States and makes the skin crawl of even the hardiest soul.

Or…it might be that Tucker himself was on vacation and that he, personally, wants to chew on this horse hater and expose him for what he really is.

Either way, it has rekindled the compassionate soul of those who strive to build a better world for humans and equines alike.

“Mmmmm, this would be a nice cut”

I strongly recommend that motivated equine advocates continue to politely contact Tucker Carlson and Fox News and thank them for not allowing this dark lord of horse blood to spread his gore and untruths across the cable news wire.  In reality, it was actually an act of kindness to Doink himself as he does not have the sense to realize that the intent of the interview/debate was to make him look like the raving idiot that he is.  Unless he has received a crash course on verbal communication and removal of expletives from his vocabulary he would have crashed and burned within the first 10 seconds of the debate. (expletives = cussing, Dave)

Let’s hope that ole Doink crawls back into his hole with the rest of the weirdos that moan about trying to start an illegal business of killing and eating family and friends.  Disgusting, to say the least.

We are a strong voice, a just voice as we represent over 80% of Americans and ALL of the voiceless horse nation…the horse haters are simply a small and perverse, fringe group of emotional cripples.  May God have mercy on their twisted souls.

Breaking News: Infamous Horse Eater to Debate on Fox’s Tucker Carlson, TONIGHT

A Scary News Alert: in the most indignant opinion of R.T. Fitch

Update: POS was a no show but claims he was bumped until next week.  Let’s hope the producers realized him to be as dumb as a box of rocks and nixed his misguided moment of infamy.  https://rtfitchauthor.com/2017/12/30/horse-eating-fringe-cult-leader-bumped-from-national-news-show/#comment-205482

According to the poorly written press release, below, it appears that long time, washed-up alleged horse trainer and professed horse eater  Dave “Doink” Duquette has crawled out from underneath his slimy little rock to spew lies and deceit about how wonderful murdering and eating companion animals can be.


PROTECT THE HARVEST’S DAVE DUQUETTE TO GUEST
ON TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT SHOW
 
Hot equine debate – Friday night – Dec.29, at 8:00pm ET on Fox News
 
Brownsburg, IN. Dec. 28, 2017): Protect The Harvest’s equine expert Dave Duquette will
guest on the Tucker Carlson Tonight Show on Friday night, December 29, at 8:00pm ET. Dave
and Tucker will be talking about why Protect The Harvest (PTH), supports bringing back horse
processing in the United States.
 
Duquette explains on the show that horse processing is an essential part of many nations diets
and used to have a rich history in the United States. The return to horse processing in the US
would mean much higher welfare for horses.
 
Founded by Lucas Oil owner Forrest Lucas, PTH is a 501c3 non-profit formed in 2014 that
seeks to actively inform and communicate with the general public about issues regarding

agriculture, hunting, fishing, and animal ownership.


‘Merry Flippin Christmas to you too Doink.  Bet your mamma is proud of you…Lord knows your hometown is not.’

Dave “Doink” Duquette, alleged horse trainer and known horse eater ~ photo not taken by R.T. Fitch

Yup, according to the release and it has not been verified, Doink will be on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Show at 8 PM Eastern time, tonight, Dec. 29th.  Anyone with half a brain knows that Tucker is pretty handy at publicly making losers look as stupid as they really aspire to be so this may be Doink’s big chance to go on National TV so that his wife and children may never be able to show their faces in Walmart, again.

Doink has been working in the background ever since his equine blood engorged tick of a sidekick, Sue Wallis choked on her own lies several years ago and croaked; Karma made away with her bigot of a husband, too.  I guess there is some sort of mercy in the world that allows the likes of Doink to continue to walk among the living, perhaps it is pity for his young family that might, or might not, look to him for fiscal support.  Moral support and direction from this grade A wiener was lost long ago.

Left – “Doink” Duqquette – DUMB  Right – “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis – DEAD

So advocates, we only have  a few hours but let’s politely tweet, email and Facebook the facts to Mr. Tucker Carlson and give him a bit more fuel for a potential ass-chewing tonight.

You can tweet Tucker at: https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson

Contact on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/TuckerCarlsonTonight/?ref=br_rs

and: https://www.facebook.com/tuckercarlsonFOX/

 

We don’t need the likes of Duquette soiling a season meant to bring cheer and hope…enough is enough.

THE TRUTH #12 – The BLM has opened Pandora’s Box to sell wild horses & burros overseas: The BLM sold 21 wild horses to American Mustang Germany in March, 2017

Wild Horse Freedom Federation issues THE TRUTH to share Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents and information with the public. Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.

THE TRUTH #12 – The BLM has opened Pandora’s Box to sell wild horses & burros overseas: The BLM sold 21 wild horses to American Mustang Germany in March, 2017.

There has been a BLM policy to not sell wild horses or burros overseas, so WHAT CHANGED to allow this sale to Germany? What loopholes is the BLM using?

Wild Horse Freedom Federation has received Freedom of Information Act records of a BLM sale log that indicate that the BLM’s SE States District Office sold 21 wild horses to an organization/company called American Mustang Germany.  The website for American Mustang Germany is HERE.

And now, American Mustang Germany is selling our wild horses.  See it HERE.

We do not want our wild horses & burros to be sold overseas.  In 2011, when Lon Ball contacted the BLM to request that the BLM sell him wild horses to be used as prey on a Siberian Tiger refuge (see THE TRUTH #7), there were a series of emails between BLM employees and they were all very aware they could not protect wild horses sold overseas.

Remember, wild horses & burros are STILL wild and under the BLM’s “protection” while the BLM is making decisions to sell them where they cannot be protected.  So, while under the BLM’s “protection,” the BLM is making a decision NOT to protect the wild horses.

A few examples of what was stated in the 2011 emails between BLM employees are:

“The idea is if we sell horses to over seas recipients knowing we have no authority as to how they are treated or dealt with it is the same as selling without limitation and we are not allowed to do that under the omnibus.

I think we all know they are no longer wild horses once they are purchased.” – Zach Reichold

“Zach is exactly right. We’ve looked at this issue before, because of the excess horse challenge. We’ve advised that the BLM would have limited ability to protect horses’ welfare once they’re out of the country.” – Greg Russell

“One of the problems I read about with this was was the inability of to enforce private care and maintenance agreement terms outside of the US or the wild horse and burro act. The Advisory board has requested this before and that is the last comment for the solicitors office.” – Zach Reichold

“…our requirements for not selling to slaughter or proper treatment could not be enforced. Even if it is private property we could not enforce anything the individual signed. A person could buy a horse and march it right over to a slaughter house or rodeo and we would have no recourse. That is the point.” – Zach Reichold

Karla Bird, who was the Acting Division Chief of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program, then wrote “Looks like we won’t be going overseas at this time. this same answer then would affect MHF idea of going to Calgary Stampede.”

So what changed from 2011 to 2017 to allow the sale of wild horses to Germany?  And, more importantly, did this sale of wild horses to Germany open the door for wild horses to now be sold to Lon Ball to be used as prey for the Siberian tiger refuge in Russia?  And where else will wild horses & burros be sold in the future?

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AND SEE THE FOIA DOCUMENTS HERE.

Be sure to subscribe HERE to Wild Horse Freedom Federation, so that you can receive email alerts.

Read all of THE TRUTH and see other FOIA documentation HERE.

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) spreads false information in New York Times OpEd, but researcher Marybeth Devlin counters his opinion with facts

Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah deceived Congress by implying there was a 41% increase in wild horse & burro population in only 5 months, and by showing a photo of one thin horse and claiming that a majority of the wild horse population on the range were starving or dying from dehydration.

Stewart authored the recent Amendment in the House that would lead to 46,000 healthy wild horses & burros in BLM holding facilities and tens of thousands more on public lands being “euthanized” (killed).

Now Stewart has stooped to spreading false information about wild horses in an OpEd that appeared to in the New York Times titled “The Hard Truth About the West’s Wild Horse Problem.”  Stewart continues to push for the killing of healthy wild horses & burros, both in his OpEd and in Congress.

Researcher Marybeth Devlin submitted her remarks (below) countering Stewart’s OpEd to the New York Times via its “we want to hear from you” page.  However, when I clicked on the link to the “we want to hear from you” page, it was gone (so apparently, the New York Times doesn’t want to hear from anyone).  Marybeth also commented on The New York Times Opinion Section on Facebook, where Stewart’s piece is listed (among others, halfway down the page).

Our thanks to Marybeth Devlin for exposing the misinformation opined by this squirrelly politician (my apologies to squirrels).   Stewart’s own constituents even booed him in Salt Lake City this year.

“No birth control, no euthanasia, no slaughter: None of them fixes fraud.  The problem is fraud – BLM’s fraud – not overpopulation.  What is needed is honest management of our wild horses and burros.” – Marybeth Devlin

by Marybeth Devlin

The Bureau of Land Management’s wild-horse fraud: The “overpopulation” of wild horses is a pernicious lie, a concocted “crisis”. The government doesn’t have a wild-horse problem — wild horses have a government problem.

Arbitrary management level (AML): The maximum number of wild horses that BLM declares the Western range can sustain — 26,715 — is a political construct. Per the 31,583,386 acres — 49,349 square miles — of dedicated wild-horse habitat across the Western states, the AML establishes a maximum stocking density of 1 wild horse per 1,182 acres — nearly 2 square miles! Even if the wild-horse population really were 72,000 (hint: it can’t be), that would mean a stocking density of 1 horse per 438 acres (⅔ of a square mile). No reasonable person would consider that excessive.

Sparsely populated, widely dispersed: Wild horses are few and far between. While the arbitrary maximum density that BLM begrudges is about 1 wild horse per 2 square miles, many herds are restricted even more severely. Here are examples of stocking densities that BLM deems “appropriate,” and down-to-which it strives to reduce them:

1 wild horse per 3,102 acres — 5 square miles — Antelope Complex — NV
1 wild horse per 3,566 acres — 5½ square miles — Triple B Complex — NV
1 wild horse per 4,381 acres — 7 square miles — Beatys Butte — OR
1 wild horse per 4,500 acres — 7 square miles — Warm Springs — OR
1 wild horse per 5,062 acres — 8 square miles — Paisley Desert — OR
1 wild horse per 6,606 acres — 10 square miles — Eagle herd — NV
1 wild horse per 9,591 acres — 15 square miles — Silver King herd — NV

Contrast with livestock density: To put this in perspective, nationally, BLM allows a stocking density of 1 cow-with-calf pair (or 5 sheep) per 76 acres, which means 8 cow+calf pairs (or 40 sheep) per square mile. Further, within dedicated wild-horse habitats — where the mustangs are, by law, supposed to receive principal benefit of resources — livestock are often awarded most of the grazing slots. Examples:

89% of AUMs to livestock — Red Desert Complex — WY
91% of AUMs to livestock — Checkerboard — WY
94% of AUMs to livestock — Triple B Complex — NV
96% of AUMs to livestock — Antelope Complex — NV

Normative annual herd-growth = at most, 5%: Horses are slow to reproduce. Gestation lasts 11 months, and a mare produces 1 foal. By analyzing BLM’s own raw demographic data, Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston (2014) found the average birth rate across wild-horse herds to be just under 20%. But they also found that 50% of foals perish before their first birthday. Thus, the birth rate is just a temporary blip in the data. Starting with the surviving-foal rate (10%), and then subtracting a conservative estimate of adult-mortality (5%), the expected normative herd-growth rate would be, at most, 5%. At that rate, it would take 14 years for a wild-horse herd to double. Meanwhile, the corresponding growth-rate for wild-burro herds is 2%. At that rate, it would take 35 years for a burro-herd to double.

Fraudulent figures on the range: BLM’s herd-growth figures are falsified. Repeatedly, we find BLM reporting one-year increases that are 50, 100, even 200 times the norm, far beyond what is biologically possible. Examples:

237% — 47 times the norm — Great Divide Basin — WY
256% — 51 times the norm — Beatys Butte — OR
260% — 52 times the norm — Shawave Mountains — NV
293% — 59 times the norm — Diamond Hills South — NV
317% — 63 times the norm — Jackies Butte — OR
418% — 84 times the norm — Black Rock Range East — NV *
522% — 104 times the norm — Salt Wells Creek — WY
525% — 105 times the norm — Carracas Mesa — NM **
1,218% — 244 times the norm — Centennial — CA
1,257% — 251 times the norm — Carter — CA

* BLM claimed the Black Rock Range East’s population grew from 88 horses to 456 horses in one year, an increase of 368. If so, that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 17 foals.

** BLM claimed the Carracas Mesa population grew from 12 horses to 75 horses in one year, an increase of 63. If so, that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 21 foals.

Fraudulent figures off the range: A report has just been released after a 5-year investigation by Wild Horse Freedom Federation. It revealed that BLM has been publishing fictitious figures regarding the number of wild horses removed from the range and now supposedly boarded in private pastures. BLM is paying, but where are the horses? http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/white-paper/

Fraud and embezzlement are crimes: BLM’s representations with regard to wild horses and burros are false and misleading. Making false and misleading representations = fraud, which violates Title 18 USC 1001 of the Federal criminal code. Embezzlement and theft violate various sections of Title 18 USC Chapter 31.

Adoptions: The adoption-market has not “dropped.” There’s just been a change in the definition of an “adoption.” Back-in-the-day, BLM actually used to count sales-for-slaughter as “adoptions.” Nowadays, only true adoptions — forever-family placements — qualify. However, wild horses are not homeless horses. They have a home — where they belong — on the range.

No birth control, no euthanasia, no slaughter: None of them fixes fraud. The problem is fraud — BLM’s fraud — not overpopulation. What is needed is honest management of our wild horses and burros.

Researcher Marybeth Devlin corrects the misinformation in a biased OpEd written by Barry L. Perryman

Researcher Marybeth Devlin has corrected the misinformation in an OpEd in the Daily Caller, found HERE.   This inaccurate OpEd, titled “It’s Five Minutes To Midnight: The Wild Horse And Burro Tragedy,” more aptly should’ve been titled “It’s Five Minutes to Bullshit: Let’s Ignore The Livestock Grazing Tragedy on Public Lands ”  The OpEd was written by Barry L. Perryman, a professor of rangeland ecology at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Our thanks to Marybeth Devlin for setting the record straight, and for allowing us to share her comments (below) with you.

Barry L. Perryman, who did not mention livestock grazing on public lands once in his inaccurate OpEd
by Marybeth Devlin
Tragedy … or travesty?  The “overpopulation” of wild horses and burros is a pernicious lie.  The government doesn’t have a wild-horse problem — the wild horses have a government problem.  Overpopulation is a fraud.  Birth control and roundups do not fix fraud.
Arbitrary management level (AML):  The maximum number of wild horses that BLM says the Western range can sustain — 26,715 — is a political construct.  BLM uses the AML to concoct the perception of a crisis.  BLM must have a crisis.  Why?  Politically, agencies have to justify their existence.  They must show they are needed.  Nothing works better than a perceived “crisis” to secure continued and even increased funding.  It’s a way to protect jobs and paychecks.  BLM then chooses high-cost management-methods, such as multi-million-dollar contracts for helicopter-roundups — contracts against which the agency can add on its 20% administrative fee.
Sparsely populated, widely dispersed:  Wild horses are few and far between.  Per the 31,583,386 acres — 49,349 square miles — of dedicated wild-horse habitat across the Western states, the AML establishes a maximum stocking density of 1 wild horse per 1,182 acres — nearly 2 square miles.  Imagine if cattle were held to the same standard!  However, many herds are more severely restricted.  Here are examples of stocking densities that BLM deems “appropriate” in Nevada.
1 wild horse per  3,102 acres  ( 5    square miles) — Antelope Complex
1 wild horse per  3,566 acres  ( 5½ square miles) — Triple B Complex
1 wild horse per  6,606 acres  ( 10  square miles) — Eagle herd
1 wild horse per  9,591 acres  ( 15  square miles) — Silver King herd
Contrast with livestock density:  To put this in perspective, nationally, BLM allows a stocking density of 1 cow-with-calf pair (or 5 sheep) per 76 acres, which means 8 cow+calf pairs (or 40 sheep) per square mile.  Further, within dedicated wild-horse habitats — where the mustangs are, by law, supposed to receive principal benefit of resources — livestock are often awarded 90% or more of the grazing slots.  Examples from Nevada:
96%  of  AUMs  to livestock — Antelope Complex
94%  of  AUMs  to livestock — Triple B Complex
Normative annual herd-growth = at most, 5%:  Gregg, LeBlanc, and Johnston (2014) found the average birth rate across wild-horse herds to be just under 20%.  But they also found that 50% of foals perish before their first birthday.  Thus, the birth rate is just a temporary blip in the data.  Starting with the surviving-foal rate (10%), and then subtracting a conservative estimate of adult-mortality (5%), the expected normative herd-growth rate would be, at most, 5%.  At that rate, it would take 14 years for a wild-horse herd to double.  Meanwhile, the corresponding growth-rate for wild-burro herds is 2%.  At that rate, it would take 35 years for a burro-herd to double.
 
Fraudulent figures on the range:  Why am I and other advocates persuaded that there can’t be anywhere near as many wild horses as BLM alleges?  Because BLM’s herd-growth figures are falsified.  Repeatedly, we find BLM reporting one-year increases that are 50, 100, even 200 times the norm, far beyond what is biologically possible.  Examples:
   237%  —     47 times the norm — Great Divide Basin — WY
   260%  —     52 times the norm — Shawave Mountains — NV
   293%  —     59 times the norm — Diamond Hills South — NV
   317%  —     63 times the norm — Jackies Butte — OR
   418%  —     84 times the norm — Black Rock Range East — NV *
   522%  —   104 times the norm — Salt Wells Creek — WY
   525%  —   105 times the norm — Carracas Mesa — NM  **
1,218%  —   244 times the norm — Centennial — CA
1,257%  —   251 times the norm — Carter — CA
*   BLM claimed the Black Rock Range East’s population grew from 88 horses to 456 horses in one year, an increase of 368.  If so, that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 17 foals.
** BLM claimed the Carracas Mesa population grew from 12 horses to 75 horses in one year, an increase of 63.  If so, that would mean each filly and mare gave birth to 21 foals.
Fraudulent figures off the range:  A report was just released following a 5-year investigation by Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  It revealed that BLM has been publishing fictitious figures regarding the number of wild horses removed from the range and now supposedly boarded in private pastures.  BLM is paying, but where are the horses? http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/white-paper/
Fraud and embezzlement are crimes:  BLM’s figures with regard to mustangs are false and misleading.  Making false and misleading representations = fraud, which violates Title 18 USC 1001 of the Federal criminal code.  Embezzlement and theft violate various sections of Title 18 USC Chapter 31.
Lagomorphs:  Jackrabbits, cottontails, and hares — the lagomorphs — are dominant herbivores on the Western Range.  A recent study in Utah found that jackrabbits were consuming 34% of the forage on local grazing-allotments.
Locusts:  In normal times, grasshoppers and crickets — locusts — consume 20-to-25% of the forage in areas where they are present.  However, in times of outbreaks, locusts can devour nearly all of it.  The 2017 USDA map shows locust-infestations in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.  The 2016 map revealed that Nevada was experiencing an outbreak.

Video: The True Spirit of Christmas Knows No Walls

“Over the years I have attempted not to broadcast when and where I was as I worked a career which centered on international travel.  Our book was born while I worked in Cabinda, Angola and even the book contains a story, a true one, written while I was in Nigeria.  Two years ago, this Christmas, I was in a rural mountain town in Sichuan Province, China called Nanba. 

It is somewhat heart-tugging being away for the holidays but over the years I gradually learned to make the best of where I was.  In 2015 my buddy, a few of my Chinese friends and a lone Phillappino with a saxophone launched a plan to mezmorize the children of the town.  Santa (me) would walk among the streets of Nanba on Christmas and pass out reflective bracelets, for safety, and little hair do-dads to the town’s children.  Most of the children had never seen a tall white haired and bearded westerner before let alone Santa Clause, so we set forth to walk among them as the slideshow documents.

Now before you say what does this have to do with equines I would like to point out the Terry and I have never had two legged children but have always had a house/ranch/farm full of the four legged type.  So certain nuances and perks of having mini-duplicates of ourselves have escaped us but two years ago today, I had the eye opening experience of looking into the eyes of these beautiful children and seeing the same innocence and curiosity that I view mirrored back to me in the eyes of our equine charges.  It has forever moved me and two years later still warms my soul and gives me hope that human, perhaps, are born with innocent dignity and a positive, loving spirit.  Perhaps if we can learn how to prevent the world from strangling and corrupting all that is good in us, we may have a chance to survive and, likewise, our fellow passengers on this Space Ship Earth.

Capture the purity of this day and keep the faith, my friends, I believe that out there, somewhere, there is goodness…this video points to that very hope.

Merry Christmas.” ~ R.T.


The Traditional Equine Christmas Story: “We Were There”

An excerpt from R.T. Fitch‘s book ~ Straight from the Horse’s Heart: A Spiritual Ride through Love, Loss and Hope

“Over the past, now almost 10, years we have dug into our bag of heartfelt stories and brought this particular tale out to share every Christmas.  The feelings penned here never grow old, for me, and perhaps are a little clearer, today, as I am home for the holiday for the first time in years. 

After a long absence from the farm  I returned to a very long “Honey-Do” list, yesterday.  First and foremost was fence repair and as I tapped and sawed my way across the multiple pastures I was never without a warm puff of equine breath in my ear, a gentle tug at the longer hair at the nape of my neck and a little boarder collie leaning against my legs, just to reassure herself that I was really home.

Yup, I can personally attest to the fact that a world without four legged beings is a very lonely world indeed.  God has truly blessed us with friends and companions who know no jealousy, hate or greed and in return they enjoy a smile, a loving hand and a simple wink of acknowledgement.  I truly love our critters, each and every one.  Celebrate with me, this day, those who helped bring, and keep, light into our world. 

Merry Christmas to you too, my two legged friends…our four legged companions need your voice.  Be safe.” ~ R.T. 

(Fire-up your imagination and cut loose reality before you move on; it will make for a more spectacular ride)


We Were There

Pele, Bart and our departed Harley. photo by Terry Fitch

It was like any other evening feeding of the horses, yet it was not; or not quite, as something was different.  The air was crisp and cool as Christmas was only a week away in South Louisiana, but the feeling had little to do with temperature or barometric pressure.  There was an electric buzz in the air; the feeling of white noise just outside the audible range of the human ear.  There was something tangible and moving in the barn that night.

I did not pick up on it at first.  Terry, my wife, was off having an early Christmas with her family in Florida, which means that the barn chores and the feeding of all our four-legged children rests upon me when I return home from my office in the evening.  And, at this time of year, it is already dark.  It’s a matter of rushing home, putting the vehicle up for the night, greeting and playing with Kenny, the white German Shepherd who is so excited to see you that he bounces three feet high, dashing into the house to turn on lights, checking messages, changing clothes, feeding the cat; then back outside to dribble the bouncing dog; and into the barn to cook dinner for the equine boys.   Oops, I missed that while in the house I might fix an industrial strength Wrangler Iced Tea to take out to the barn with me, not a requirement, but a nice reward for all the running around.

I scurried into the tack room, flipped on all of the lights and turned up the radio as Christmas music was the order of the day.  As I carefully measured varied degrees of hoof supplement and rice bran with their normal pelletized feed, the thought crossed my mind that my parents, especially my mother, never had the opportunity to see our equine kids nor experience this very special side to our otherwise very busy lives.  I paused from humming along with the radio and reflected on what a tremendous loss that was.  I resumed mixing and humming with a small pang of sadness in my heart.

I went from stall to stall filling up the appropriate feed bins with the proper amount of food.  Each time I exited a stall and went back to the tack room I asked Kenny how he was doing; he sat so attentively out in the driveway.  This simply inquiry would start the bouncing, again.  I’ll never figure out how a 100 lb dog could bounce so high and he made me laugh.  I was just about finished with the mix of the last meal when the traditional and expected three measured knocks came to the back door.  Terry and I have learned to keep the back “horse” door closed until ready to let the horses in as it is such a pleasure to hear those three distinct and perfectly timed and executed knocks.

We know who it is and he does such a good job at it.  It’s Ethan.  He is the King of Knocking, the Guardian of the Food Gate, and the funniest of them all at feeding time. ,

I hollered back through the closed doors that I was hurrying and would be right with him.  With that, I dumped the last bucket of feed in Apache’s stall, walked to the back, and carefully cracked the sliding doors.  Who was standing with his head pressed to the middle of the doors, Ethan, as always.

“Are you ready?” I asked and a part of me picked up on a gentle nod and smile.

The doors were slid open, the breezy gate was swung out and, as they do every night, they came in the barn in perfect order to eat the dinner that I had labored over in preparation for them.

First came Ethan, then Harley followed by Apache and bringing up the rear is the biggest, the youngest and the most fearful, Bart.  He feels more comfortable when they are all tucked away in their stalls with their doors closed so that no one can stick their head out and attempt to bite him as he walks down the aisle.  He actually stops and looks into each one of their stalls and you can almost hear him say, “Ha, Ha, you can’t get me now”.  Hopefully, one day, he will grow up.

Immediately the barn was full of the sound of relaxed munching and filled with the sweet odor of horses and feed.  I looked back at Kenny who only bounced two feet instead of three feet off the pavement hoping that I might sit down and enjoy this moment.  I went into the tack room to pull out a chair and sit in the center aisle of the barn to commune with the horses. My Brazilian hammock, however, caught my eye.

“Ah ha” I cried and snatched up the hammock with one hand while I grabbed the “tea” in the other.  This could be good!

Two quick slips of “S” hooks into the installed tie rings on to opposing stalls and I had the hammock swinging across the center aisle in a heartbeat.  Kenny lay down, as I eased into the hammock, because he knew that this could be awhile.  I sat down with my back propped up and began to swing while singing along with the Christmas music from the radio.

It did not take long to realize that my singing was not appreciated.  Bart began to pound on the stall wall with his right front hoof and Apache quit eating to urinate, on the clean shavings in the stall, in protest of my singing.  I actually was not too offended by Bart’s signal to quit but for Apache to pee in his stall was pushing the envelope a little too far.  I felt rather hurt so I just shut up, set my drink down on the aisle floor and listened to the sounds of the horses mixed with the sound of Christmas.

The music stirred emotions from seasons long past:  seasons of happiness, hope, disappointment and most recently, pain.  But I am the Captain of my ship and I had no intention to sail into dark and murky waters this night.  I simply wanted to let go and feel the companionship of my friends around me.  That’s when I heard the buzz.

At first I thought that the radio was slipping off from its frequency but the music was still there, clearly playing.  The buzz was overriding the music; the “white noise” was multidimensional and not strictly coming from the tack room.  I did not make a serious attempt to think about it as the sounds and smells were like candy to my senses and the buzz was only the canvas that the painting of the moment was applied to.  I relaxed.

I closed my eyes and continued to rock back and forth.  There was a feeling of warmth in the barn, while all of those equine souls were inside eating and enjoying.  The buzz, on the other hand, continued to grow.  In the beginning it really was not something that I was paying much attention to but now I attempted to tune into where it was coming from and what it was.  I continued to rock.  I could still hear the horses and the music but now the buzz was growing in volume.  As I continued to mentally identify its source, it was becoming ever more evident that the sound, itself, was coming from within.  It was coming from inside of my head and not related to anything outside of myself.  I was aware that I was humming “Away in the Manger”, along with the radio but it was becoming evident that the white noise was music also.  In that music there were whispers, words, phrases and thoughts being conveyed.  Without knowing it I gave in to the music from within and opened up to the whispers and words.  There were many voices with varied depths and pitches although different they all blended together in song and, it was soul stirring.  I listened and listened and listened until I finally made out the words that were being sung to me.  It came as abruptly and as clearly to me as if a sonic boom had just resonated throughout the barn.  In thousands of voices, from deep within my soul, the words being sung in perfect harmony were “We were there!”

I stopped rocking and the singing stopped; there was total silence.  My eyes popped open and I was looking straight up.  Once they focused I could see two small sparrows in the barn’s rafters looking straight down at me.  They were looking directly at me with calm assuredness.  The radio was silent, only my breathing could be heard.  I sat up and looked at the stalls; all of the horses were looking directly at me, calmly, with their heads bowed.  I then gazed out across the moonlit pasture and could see the little donkey and her herd of cows staring directly into the lighted barn.  Not one of them was moving.  I quickly swung around and looked out the other door for Kenny; he was laying calmly with his head between his paws and his big brown eyes starring right at me.

I went to stand and in the silence the words came again, “We were there!”  I froze.

“We were there that night”, the collective voices continued.

“Wait, what, who?” I started to ask.

“Just listen and absorb.  Do not ask, we will tell.” the voice said.  “We were there in the stable, that night.  All of us in one shape or form.  We were there long before human shepherds and nobles came to see.  We were there to see him take his first breath.  We were there.”

“It is important, at this time, for you to know that we were the selected witnesses, the guardians and the companions of the Son of the Light.  You need to understand that we are closer to the source of goodness and purity than all mankind.  You need to know that your fight for our lives is a just and noble one.  All of you humans who guard and protect us walk in a very special light.  You have now been there too; now you know and now you must continue the fight”, the voice ended.

“Wait!  What do you mean I was there too?” I called.  I stood up and turned around because I did not know who I was talking to.  I looked at the horses, the dog, the birds, the donkey, and the cattle.  ”What do you mean?”

Reality had yet to come to me as I stared into the horses’ eyes.

Again, the voice returned, “You were there, too.  When you opened your eyes, just a few moments ago, what did you see first?” it asked.

I stammered for a second and came up with, “The birds; the birds in the barn’s rafters.”

The voice asked, “What did you see next?”

“Well, I saw the horses looking at me from their stalls, the donkey, the cows and Kenny the bouncing dog, all looking at me.”

“Yes”, the voice said, “And what were the first impressions in the life of the Gifted One when he first opened up his eyes in that stable long, long, long ago”?

“I would imagine that when he first opened his eyes, lying in a manager, he saw the rafters in the barn ceiling with the birds looking down…” I stopped talking so quickly that I almost bit my tongue.  There was a warm sensation washing over me and it was more than just the tie-in and realization of what had just occurred.

I could not speak and was about to sit back down when the voice added;

“Yes, you see now.  You have been there too.  We all have been there yet, few humans can remember.  This is our gift to you.  Carry the light and chase the darkness; we love all of you for what you do.”

Hearing those words, there was something else, I could not then nor can I now describe it.  Perhaps a sigh, perhaps it was a catch as if emotion had welled up but there was something there, not spoken, that touched me more than the words.

In a dreamlike state of numbness I began the process of releasing the horses from their stalls to their pasture; this is done in the exact reverse of the entry process.  I moved like a robot as the power of the words and the moment were still within me.  I opened up Ethan’s stall and he walked out and stood in the middle of the back door as he often does.

Harley was next.  I stood at his stall door and allowed my hand to move down his furry side as he calmly walked by me and out past Ethan.

Apache usually flattens his ears when he sees Ethan in the doorway and chases him out; but not tonight.  When I opened up his stall he calmly walked past us both without any notice.

Finally, Bart was freed to return to the beloved round bale and as he exited I asked him to stop and I gave him a hug.  He gently kissed my bald spot and headed out past Ethan.

I then turned my attention to Ethan; I stood next to him in the doorway and gazed out upon what he was viewing.  The donkey and cows had gone back to grazing in the moonlight and the neighbor’s horses were tucked away in their barn with their heads hanging out.  Our three were all drinking from the trough, together, and the sky was fantastic with the moon and stars.  It was picture postcard perfect.

As he stood next to me I put my hand on Ethan’s withers.  He turned to me and put his left nostril right against my heart which placed his left eye at the same level with mine.  I said, “Merry Christmas, my friend.”  He blinked, turned and then stepped out into the night.  As I watched that big Appaloosa butt dwindle from the light of the barn he stopped and turned.  Regardless of what anyone says, he had the biggest smile on his face that any horse could have.

I lowered my head, pulled my glasses off to wipe the tears off the lenses, closed the back door, walked past the still full glass of tea sitting on the floor under the hammock, turned off the lights, walked out of the barn and stood over Kenny who had still not budged.

“Want to go inside, boy?”, I asked.

He bounced five feet high this time and we happily dribbled each other up the driveway to the house like we were two ten year old kids headed for a game of basketball.

The moon cast shadows of us dancing on our way as the horses continued to hum in the pasture; “We were there”.

Videos: Celebrated Comedic Equine Welfare Christmas Videos Reloaded

John Holland, president of the Equine Welfare Alliance and covert owner of Howling Ridge Film and Fertilizer Co., has been entertaining us with equine holiday videos over the years.  But once again this year we are going to be forced to sit back and enjoy the works of years gone by as John, like many others, has been up to his eyeballs in important issues and is making great strides forward for the horses and the donkeys in the real fight on the all too real battlefield; that fight has held precedence over the production of yet another annual Christmas video, as well it should.  Keep up the good works, John and EWA, we are all on the same page and fully support your efforts.  Have a very Merry and Jolly Christmas!” ~ R.T.

Appalachian Christmas Tail (2006)

Christmas Spirit (2006)

A Christmas Legend (2007)

It’s a Wonderful Life (2008)

How the Grinch Stole Equus (2009)

The Christmas List (2010)

All John’s videos can be viewed at the EWA Video Page

Wild Horses and Burros: Twas the Night before Christmas

by Vicki Tobin and R.T. Fitch, Illustration by Kerry Kelly of the Houston Chronicle

“First published on Christmas Day in 2009; the evil characters may have changed but the message still rings true to this very day.  The roundups must stop so that we can appropriately care for and manage, if needed, our national treasures on their rightful range.  At Wild Horse Freedom Federation we offer the gift of our continued fight in support of the Wild Horses and Burros to live free with their families on their promised public land.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good fight!” ~ R.T.

Twas the night before Christmas…

artwork by Kerry Kelly ~ Houston Chronicle

Twas the night before Christmas on our public land
not a Mustang was stirring, knowing what was at hand.
They huddled in fear hoping someone would care,
in hopes that the advocates soon would be there.

The foals hid in cover while Mom stood her ground
while stallions and bachelors, made sure Steed wasn’t around.
With Zinke lurking and Nedd so close by
the bands must stay quiet and not blink an eye.

When out on the range there arose such a clatter
The Mustangs all knew, what was the matter.
They ran to take cover, on wings they did fly
For surely they knew, that many would die.

The visions of million$ caused Cattoor a big grin
While Bolstad and Spencer high-fived a big win
More horses removed by ignoring the law
Hold on to your hats and stand back in awe.

The chopper did glisten on new fallen snow
Sealing the fate of the horses below.
When all of a sudden, the bands all stood still
And watched as the chopper came over the hill.

They stood in amazement, can it really be true
The advocates appeared right out of the blue
The horses retreated, not believing their eyes
For surely this is another, BLM guise.

Then leading the charge, lively and quick
were Kathy and Holland and Fitch with a stick
More rapid than lightening, Coffey followed in tow
with Simone close behind, directing which way they go.

Now Ginger and Paula and Ann times two,
Oh Marjorie and Dawn and Julie it’s you.
Now Vicki and Jerry and Susan and Daryl
with cameras in hand come Terry and Carol.

Down the hill they descended toward the horses with care
and watched as the chopper, fled into the air
The advocates came with injunction in hand
the decree shouted out, not on our public lands!

Enough is enough the judge did declare
the horses were saved by the breadth of a hair.
‘Our work here’s not done,’ the advocates cried
‘the choppers still flying, other herds could be spied’

It’s back to D.C. with a permanent plan
to ensure all the horses could live on their land.
So love was delivered to the horses with pride
but the warriors must leave so that no more would die.

They climbed up the hill and turned back to the band
who all now had gathered on what was their land.
‘We carry you with us,’ R.T. did say
‘as we go to the White House to show them your way.’

The horses all bowed with a sign of approval
as they all now knew that there was no removal.
They neighed and they nickered to the spirit above
‘Thanks for sending the people who give us their love.’

original artwork by Kerry Kelly of the Houston Chronicle

Wild Horse & Burro Updated 12 Days of Christmas

Reprint from 2009 by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/president Wild Horse Freedom Federation

(Characters have changed, content/intent same this year as yesteryear)

Through the Eyes of the Wild Ones

(to be sung to the tune of “The 12 days of Christmas”)

On the first day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
One rogue Federal agency.

On the second day of Christmas,
  Ryan Zinke gave to me
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the third day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Eight covert round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Nine laws a-breaking,
Eight covert round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Ten ranges barren,
Nine laws a-breaking,
Eight cover round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Eleven States now ruined,
Ten ranges barren,
Nine laws a-breaking,
Eight covert round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
Ryan Zinke gave to me
Twelve million heartbreaks,
Eleven States now ruined,
Ten ranges barren,
Nine laws a-breaking,
Eight covert round-ups,
Seven slaughter setups,
Six agents lying,
Five bogus dates,
Four zeroed herds,
Three covert bait traps,
Two convict pilots,
And one rogue Federal agency.

Let’s Pray for a NEW version, Next Year!!!