By the end of the First World War, more than 827,000 horses and mules had served in the military. The British Army alone saw 415,179 animals die in the conflict. After the Armistice was signed, these soldier equines weren’t honored for their service and retired to pasture with the appreciation of grateful nations. They were, instead, sent to slaughter.
In the past few years, on government web sites and in newspaper op-eds, a large portion of the failure for the Wild Horse and Burro Program was laid on the overwhelming populations of wild equines on the ranges and in holding, then at the feet of the Public, for lackluster performances in adopting thousands of animals removed in the face of a poor economy. Yet, according to information published by the Bureau of Land Management, the Public has participated, to the best of it’s ability, even in the leanest years, 2007 – 2009.
A tall, charcoal maned gray stallion living in Twin Peaks has, through no intentional actions on his part, accrued a small fan base.
Twin Peak’s “BraveHeart” ~ Photo by Lisa LeBlanc
He is stunning, though years of defending his family and his territory have left his black skin visibly scarred, a common testament to a fiercely protective nature. First observed during a ‘mixer’, a Wild Equine version of speed dating, he pawed the ground, trotting, snorting, kicking up dust in a frank display of masculinity. Middle age and hard living has begun to moderately effect his body, leaving him angular, in contrast to the inherent roundness of a younger, untested stallion. Still, he exudes a powerful appeal in his direct gaze and commanding stance, an assurance that he is more than capable of taking care of what is his. And in his small realm, he is undisputed Lord over all he surveys. In Wild Horse society, little credence is given to perceived perfection; he wooed and won many mares. His mares chose him for his competence as protector and provider, for his experience on the range and likely, for the hardiness & vigor sure to be handed down to his offspring.
I don’t know how true this story may be; I only know how true it could be. As the Holidays approach, we should be filling our hearts with the appreciation, warmth & kindness of our fellow humans. Instead, we find ourselves fighting bitter battles for those who cannot fight for themselves against such a monstrous enemy.
But as the Holidays approach and as we fight the Fight, please, remember to be thankful for the human Alpha Mares and Stallions Fate has kindly brought together, bonded in friendships old and new.
Guest Column by Lisa LeBlanc ~ HfH Advisory Council Lead Research Specialist It has become glaringly apparent, particularly to the interested public over the past year, that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), under the auspices of the Department of Interior (DOI), keeps and considers no one’s council but […]
Several days ago we ran a “tongue-in-cheek” article about the poor math skills of a much recognized individual, Mr. BLiM. That piece was published in an effort to prime the public for the following information, facts and figures. We now have a real sense of urgency upon us as the BLM’s recent release of thier 2011 Stampede schedule indicates their misguided plans to remove 11,000 wild horses from their rightful land…by their OWN numbers that is all that will be left in the wild after their assualt on the horses in 2010. There will be NO MORE wild horses, by their numbers, after 2011.
Just for fun, imagine Ms. Average American standing on stage and questioning our main actor, Mr. BLiM…it’s a short play but one we are confident that you will find interesting.