Mare & Foal Sanctuary in England

I couldn’t wait for Feel Good Sunday to post the photos below from the Mare & Foal Sanctuary in England.  Breeze, the abandoned foal, is comforted by Buttons the Teddy Bear.

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, the BLM puts wild horse foals at risk of freezing to death at Rock Springs Corrals in Wyoming.  It seems like Ed Roberson, BLM’s Asst. Director of Resources and Planning, must have rocks in his head to allow this to happen.  And a big shout out to Joan “euthanize wild horses on the range” Guilfoyle (BLM’s Chief of the Wild Horse & Burro Program), who sits in a cozy Washington office, but has not installed shelter for the captive wild horses in freezing weather, even when Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation offered to purchase materials and have it installed at no cost to the BLM.

Anyhow, it’s good to know that there are people in the world who do have compassion and actually care for horses.  It’s just not the leadership of the BLM, who seem to continually and unabashedly violate their mandate to protect wild horses & burros.   – Debbie Coffey

foal pic1  photo credit:  SWNS (a London photography company)

foal pic 2

foal pic 3

foal pic 4

from the website for Mare & Foal Sanctuary:

Life’s a Breeze

Here, Syra tells the story of our orphaned foal, Breeze, and how his quest to find a teddy bear touched the hearts of thousands across the globe.

None of us here could have prepared ourselves for what happened when little Breeze came into our lives.

Breeze was born in the early hours one morning in May. The farmer found him running from mare to mare trying to suckle; none would entertain him and he kept being pushed away. We do not know what happened to his mother- we think it is possible she just didn’t have any milk.

The Sanctuary was called to help the little foal. When we arrived, Breeze literally collapsed into our arms. We rushed him back to the Sanctuary and our vet met us there. Breeze was extremely dehydrated, covered in cuts and bruises and so very tiny. Tests showed he had none of the vital colostrum that provides immunity for a new born foal, so he was in serious danger of getting an infection. He was placed onto drips and various medications; it was touch and go for a while but slowly and surely, over the following weeks, Breeze fought back.

The poor little foal was so traumatised he struggled to sleep, or rest for any length of time. That is, until we found him a giant cuddly toy called Buttons to snuggle up to. Breeze was finally on the mend.

You would think that was the end of this story…think again!

Before we knew what was happening our little Breeze had become a global sensation- appearing on news shows, in newspapers and on websites around the world. The story of the orphaned foal and his teddy bear had touched the hearts of thousands worldwide.

And Breeze? Well, he’s taken his new found stardom in his stride. Now two and a half months old and 8.2hh, our little foal is growing into a big, strong – and rather cheeky – boy. He loves nothing better than playing out in the field with his new pony companion Pippin, a miniature Shetland who also came to us as an orphan back in 2012.

To think of that tiny, weak foal we found on the moor, compared to the healthy, happy colt that Breeze is today…the difference is astounding.

Yet if it wasn’t for the generosity and kindness of our supporters, Breeze may not be here today. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to save ponies like Breeze and provide them with the veterinary treatment and care they so desperately need. So, from us and from Breeze – thank you.


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Straight from the Wild Horse’s Mouth – A Letter to Santa

Submitted by “Ace“, the Twin Peaks Wild Stallion and personal friend of Grandma Greg’s

“I often warmly think about the ‘good old days’ when hundreds of we wild ones roamed free…”

“It’s not only ‘Feel Good Sunday” but for Christmas this will be ‘Feel Good Week’ where we will share original equine related Christmas stories every day until the 25th  for you to ponder, enjoy and hopefully allow you to wash your mind out and gain a breath of fresh air; we all need an extended recharge.

Today’s story was sent to me last year by one of the last stallions of Twin Peaks, “Ace”, now safe and out of the BLM’s grasp.  On first read it made my eyes leak and a year later it has not only maintained it’s poignant message but it is even, perhaps, more timely at the close of 2013.  I thank Ace for his input as I believe this is one of the best things he has ever written, except for the note to the other day reminding me to share it.  Thanks buddy and the best to all this holiday season!” ~ R.T.

holly

"Ace" ~ photo by Cate Scott

Dear Santa-

I am an old wild stallion.  I am told that I am one of the last Twin Peaks stallions.  I have had a wonderful life as Mother Nature planned for me from the very day I was born.  I lived the first 22 years free and wild and learned from my sire, dam, siblings and family band what was good for me to eat and where to find the fresh water springs that are hidden in the hills.  I romped and played with the young colts and fillies in my extended family.  Under the watchful protection of our family members, we young horses frolicked in the snow and creeks and rested in the shade of the old Juniper trees in the heat of the summer. Life was very good.  I later grew to be a healthy, robust and compassionate herd stallion with beautiful loyal mares and amusing, vigorous offspring.  Although I now have a good “retirement” life in a sanctuary with other displaced animals, my life in the wild was perfect for a wild one like me!

I know you are very busy Santa, but today I am asking you to help all creatures that have not been as lucky as me.  I have heard that there are fewer and fewer wild horses and burros that are allowed to live wild and free on their rightful range.   I do not understand this but I do know it is wrong.  What I am asking from you is for you to watch over and protect all animals and help them to be able to live their lives as Mother Nature intended for them.  Do not allow them to be chased, harassed, trapped, caged, starved, abused and slaughtered.

Although I live for today, I often warmly think about the “good old days” when hundreds of we wild ones roamed free.  Where are my wild friends that I knew those many years?  Where are my mares and foals today?  Why was our family torn from each other and our peaceful and natural world destroyed?  I have over-heard humans say that our life in the wild was traded for money.  Santa, what is money?  Could it possibly be more important than our wild hearts, lives, families and land?

Santa, I will continue to dream of my days gone by but I am asking you today to watch over all creatures’ great and small and to teach all human beings to think with their hearts and to reason with their souls.

Thank you, Santa.

– “ACE”

Related Articles

The Advocate, the Guard and the Force of the Horse® at Christmas — (www.rtfitch.com)

Tribute to the Lost Wild Horses of Wyoming

Report and photography by Carol Walker ~ Wild Horse Freedom Federation Advisory Board
Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ co-founder/president Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“This past week we have been following the extraordinary adventures of Wild Horse Freedom Federation‘s Carol Walker as she has endured sub-zero temperatures in an effort to capture the last images of wild horses in Salt Wells and Adobe Town where the BLM is attempting to manage the herds into total extinction.  The current operation has concluded and what Carol shares with us today are the ghostly images of 40 PZPed mares being released into another area, not their home, without their mates and without their babies…at times like these, it is difficult to say ‘Keep the Faith’.” ~ R.T.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

photography by Carol Walker, soundtrack from Opus Moon “and they run” available on iTunes, produced by R.T. Fitch

In Carol’s own words:

I found myself quite emotional about the images when I was working on them, especially the poignancy of the mare stepping out first in this strange new world, and then also when the whole group moves away together, not looking back – but why should they? This Salt Wells Herd has been targeted for zeroing out by the Rock Springs Grazing Association, and even the mares and stallions who belong in this area can never go home – they have been relocated as if they are merely inconvenient objects. This has become highlighted by the fact that tomorrow the scoping document for the Great Divide Basin Herd Area comes out – they are planning to round up this herd even though it has only been 2 years since the last round up. This is another herd that is targeted for complete zeroing out.

Today on my way home I went through the Adobe Town Herd Area to the area where the mares had been released yesterday.  I did not see them – they were long gone. But a few miles away I saw a few family bands of wild horses, grazing despite the bitter below zero cold. And I also saw cattle in front of Haystack Mountain.

Please visit Carol’s website at www.wildhoofbeats.com

Vision for the Future

Source: Intro by Susan Wagner, article from SCOPE Magazine

“Today is ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and it is our most distinct pleasure to bring you a heartwarming story of a very special PMU mare, rescued from slaughter. Thank you, Susan Wagner.” ~ R.T.

n 2004, the New York-based equine protection organization, Equine Advocates conducted a rescue operation of 46 PMU mares in Manitoba, Canada. Most of the mares were in foal and all were about to be sold at a slaughter auction in Winnipeg because the PMU factory farm where they had been used and abused for years was closing. Equine Advocates heard about their plight and purchased all of them. With the exception of several who were placed in Canadian homes and a few who needed to be humanely euthanized, the vast majority of the mares went to homes and sanctuaries in the U.S. This wonderful article published recently in SCOPES, a veterinary publication of Cornell University, focuses on yet another battle that “Mariclare,” one of the rescued mares had to fight years later and long after she had given birth and been retired at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary. Cancer was discovered in both of her eyes. This heartwarming cancer survivor success story, “Vision for the Future,” is about how Mariclare overcame the disease with the support of her caretakers at Equine Advocates and the skill and brilliance of her ophthalmologist at Cornell.

CoverCopy

Susan Wagner and Mariclare ~ photo by Karen Wagner

Susan Wagner and Mariclare ~ photo by Karen Wagner

Straight from the Wild Horse’s Mouth: A Letter to Santa

Submitted by “Ace“, the Twin Peaks Wild Stallion and personal friend of Grandma Greg’s

“I often warmly think about the ‘good old days’ when hundreds of we wild ones roamed free…”

“It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and I awoke, today, to find a letter from a captured, yet now safe, Twin Peaks Wild Stallion in my inbox.  I share that letter to Santa with you and can only wonder if it makes your eyes leak as it did mine.  Be safe.” ~ R.T.

holly

"Ace" ~ photo by Cate Scott

“Ace” ~ photo by Cate Scott

Dear Santa-

I am an old wild stallion.  I am told that I am one of the last Twin Peaks stallions.  I have had a wonderful life as Mother Nature planned for me from the very day I was born.  I lived the first 22 years free and wild and learned from my sire, dam, siblings and family band what was good for me to eat and where to find the fresh water springs that are hidden in the hills.  I romped and played with the young colts and fillies in my extended family.  Under the watchful protection of our family members, we young horses frolicked in the snow and creeks and rested in the shade of the old Juniper trees in the heat of the summer. Life was very good.  I later grew to be a healthy, robust and compassionate herd stallion with beautiful loyal mares and amusing, vigorous offspring.  Although I now have a good “retirement” life in a sanctuary with other displaced animals, my life in the wild was perfect for a wild one like me!

I know you are very busy Santa, but today I am asking you to help all creatures that have not been as lucky as me.  I have heard that there are fewer and fewer wild horses and burros that are allowed to live wild and free on their rightful range.   I do not understand this but I do know it is wrong.  What I am asking from you is for you to watch over and protect all animals and help them to be able to live their lives as Mother Nature intended for them.  Do not allow them to be chased, harassed, trapped, caged, starved, abused and slaughtered.

Although I live for today, I often warmly think about the “good old days” when hundreds of we wild ones roamed free.  Where are my wild friends that I knew those many years?  Where are my mares and foals today?  Why was our family torn from each other and our peaceful and natural world destroyed?  I have over-heard humans say that our life in the wild was traded for money.  Santa, what is money?  Could it possibly be more important than our wild hearts, lives, families and land?

Santa, I will continue to dream of my days gone by but I am asking you today to watch over all creatures’ great and small and to teach all human beings to think with their hearts and to reason with their souls.

Thank you, Santa.

– “ACE”

Scientists Demand Obama’s BLM Cease Stampeding Wild Horse Foals and Mares

(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Cruel and Deadly Helicopter Stampedes During Foaling Season Must Stop

Baby Wild Burros Captured and Imprisoned by the BLM ~ photo by Terry Fitch

An Open Letter to the management of the Department of Interior and Bureau of Land Management

Dear Sirs:

As an outraged citizen I am writing you to beg for the mercy of week and
month old babies that will be the victims of the planned Round-ups starting
in July.

The BLM handbook states that round-ups should NOT be conducted during
foaling season. In July there are still mares that are heavily pregnant and
babies that are only weeks old. Even babies that are one or two months old
cannot withstand the miles and miles of running over treacherous terrain.
July is in the middle of foaling season.

These round-ups will undoubtedly result in many foals suffering and dying
and pregnant mares aborting their babies. Babies have died from sloughing
off their hooves before. (during the Calico Roundup)

It is easy to predict, young babies simply cannot withstand the miles and
miles of exerting exercise, their small under-developed feet cannot
withstand the pounding, they cannot go without their mothers milk
especially after this exertion, and the stress and anxiety of separation
from their mothers is extremely inhumane to both mothers and babies.

One would not run one’s own pregnant mare or mare and baby for miles and
miles and expect them to be ok. As a matter of fact one would be arrested
for cruelty to animals.

I do not agree with any BLM Round-ups as there is no independent count of
Wild Horses and the contractors are inhumane and have no knowledge of
natural horsemanship.

However, Round-ups during foaling season take this one more inhumane step
further and are even more callous and willfully cruel and heartless.

Thousands of horse advocates are outraged, Horse organizations are
outraged, my pony club is outraged, my neighborhood is outraged, and the
media is outraged.

Please have mercy and direct the contractors to conduct the Round-ups only
after the foaling season is over. And only when temperatures are not
extreme. I beg of you to order the round-ups to only ever take place during
the months of Sept and October and November, after the summer heat is over,
when the babies are at least 3 months old and before the bitter winter
cold.

Most urgently I ask you please, postpone the foaling season roundups!!

Sincerely,

Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.
Robert H. Lipsky, Ph.D.
Sarah M. Lipsky, Licensed M.S.W.

I Cry for the Wild Horses

By Lisa Friday, Witness to the BLM Butterfield Wild Horse Cruelty

I Cry…

I close my eyes at night and still see all the horses suctioned deep in the urine soaked manure.

I see that little emaciated mare whose eyes just cried out to me, “please take me out of here.”

I could almost hear her screaming from inside, begging me.

I cry as I type this.

I cry for the downed mare by the hay that tried and tried to get up with out being able to get her feet under her because they were suctioned in the mud and manure.

I cry for the other mare who tried and tried to protect her, not understanding why she had to.  Each night I see the horses being run into the rusted chutes,placed in the metallic box and turned on their side, kicking and screaming.  I had never heard a horse scream before and now i hear it every night as I go to sleep.

I cry for the condition of their feet, the thrush that was barely odorous over the manure.

I cry for the foals I did not see and their Momma’s who want them to have a better life.

I cry for the unanswered prayers for these majestics to be living with their families where they are free to run, play, and feel safe with their stallions.

I cry for the burros who look so sad, dazed and confused as to why they are there.

I cry for the one baby burro who had no one to play with.

I cry for each and every pair of horses’ eyes that followed me when I personally walked through the urine soaked manure to see them.  Those eyes that were sullen and depressed that followed me as I walked away. almost screaming to me, “please don’t leave me here!  Don’t walk away, no one can see us, no one can listen to us screaming” Their eyes spoke volumes.  I cant even begin to explain it, but I know you know.  I cry for the ten horses that had a bobcat come toward them and were unable to free their legs from the manure to get out of the way.

I cry for the horses who were moved from pen to pen by that bob cat and a four wheeler while their friends were suctioned in the manure and mud.

I cry because of the numerous phone calls from Lily Thomas, the BLM, the PR folks and I cry because they blame me for not reporting it earlier.  I cry when I tell them that I DID report each and every horse, each and every tag number of the horse that was in trouble while I was there although many were un tagged or I was unable to see the number because of the filth.

I cry because of the thousands of dollars I donate each year that doesn’t seem to be making a difference.

I cry because the legislature just refunded.

I cry because I bother Ginger and Anne Novak and don’t want to say the wrong things to the BLM who keep me crying.

I cry for you who have to witness this over and over again and will continue to cry until every last horse is free.

I cry for the aborted foals and their Momma’s who cry for them; little foals they would have raised and taught, and loved every day of their lives, cut short because of the BLM.

I cry for all those set free not wanting to leave their families behind.

I pray for those left behind not understanding why their families left them there.

I cry for the sale horses who’s fate is unknown and I cry for those horses who’s fate we do know.

I cry for Rain who misses her mother Velvet and her father Cloud who both, I am sure, cry for her.

I cry because I cannot do more.

I am tired of crying.

800+ Montana Horses Sold at Auction for $380,000

Story by Amanda Venegas of KTVQ.com

Most Horses Fetched High Prices

BILLINGS – Officials are calling this weekend’s massive horse sale of James Leachman’s horses a success after a majority of the horses were sold.

Crow Agency Superintendent Vianna Stewart says 805 horses went through the sales ring and were sold. Half of the remaining 24 horses were redeemed by their owners before the sale. Leachman was not one of those owners.

Stewart says BIA and Crow Agency officials are still determining what to do what the dozen or so leftover horses. They were too sick to go through the sales process.

Meanwhile, the overall sale brought in $380,365. On average, the horses sold for $466.50 a piece. Stewart says the costs of the sale and care, plus trespassing damages continues to grow and officials are not sure if their costs will be covered by the auction. The highest selling horse was a stud in his teens that fetched $6,000. One mare even sold for $6,000. The lowest bids accepted was $25 a piece for two yearling horses. Stallions brought in the most money, with 16 of them on average getting $2556.25. The 208 head of young studs sold for an average price of $555.26. The 418 head of brood mares brought in $418.06on average a horse. The 162 fillies got an average bid of $270.59.

Auction officials say demand was very strong among all classes, especially in the young studs (2-3 yr olds) and that brood mares sold well. Around 400 registered buyers signed up during the two day sale.

Obama’s BLM to Return 10 Wild Horses after Stealing 1,700

(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Too Little Too Late

BLM Security at Twin Peaks to guard against 2 female reporters and one male ~ photo by Terry Fitch

SUSANVILLE – (SFTHH)  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced that it plans to release this week a very small number of wild horses and mules into the Twin Peaks area, where over 1,700 of the federally protected animals were cruelly and unlawfully removed last year.

Returning 10 horses, 11 mules and a burro to the range northeast of Susanville California is part of the agency’s work to maintain “a sustainable population with desirable animal characteristics,” said Jeff Fontana, a BLM spokesman in Susanville.  In reality it is little more than a joke and a slap in the face of concerned taxpaying Americans.

The Twin Peaks wild horse management area was the site of a controversial late summer roundup that attracted national attention and lead to the exposure of the BLM’s inequitable and unlawful violation of the public’s first amendment rights.  Witnesses at Twin Peaks documented that the inhumane helicopter stampedes left virtually no wild horses on the range while thousands of privately owned cattle and sheep remained.

In February, during another controversial and inhumane BLM helicopter stampede, BLM Director Bob Abbey repeated that the agency would increase fertility controls and reduce the number of horses it removes from the range for at least the next two years while the Obama Wild Horse Harvesting Machine will continue to consume thousands of federally protected wild horses and burros from their rightful land based on junk science, arbitrary numbers and bad math.

All of the mares scheduled for release in the nearly 800,000-acre area, which extends into northwestern Nevada, have been treated with a fertility control drug, Fontana said, which ensures that the herd will not survive.  The mare release will achieve the agency’s target of 60 percent stallions and 40 percent mares, said Ken Collum, manager of the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office which adds to the BLM’s target of zero herd population growth.

The stallions selected for release have the horse conformation and size to maintain the characteristics of the Twin Peaks wild herd, he said, yet with the released mares unable to conceive it seems unlikely that this statement makes any sense.

The mules and burro are being released because they are over adoption age. They will not contribute to population growth, Fontana said, just as the released horses won’t, either.

The wild horse releases are open to the public. Those interested should meet at 8:30 a.m. at the BLM corrals, 21 miles near Litchfield on Highway 395 east of Susanville. A high-clearance four wheel drive vehicle is required along with a good understanding of BLM double-talk.

Bad weather will postpone the release, Fontana said, and, as usual, BLM security will be present to intimidate and threaten the public

Video Shows BLM Contractor Targeting Pregnant Wild Horses

Media and Commentary by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Full Term Mares Easy Catch for BLM Contractor

Run for miles, sweating in below freezing temps a pregnant wild horses singled out by BLM stampede contractor ~ photo by Terry Fitch

During the much contested roundup of 1,400 wild horses in Northern Nevada’s Antelope complex many disturbing videos and photos came to the public’s attention, to no avail.  There was the filmed case of a mare that was run to exhaustion and finally collapsed on the ground, where the helicopter continued to harass her, and the multiple photos of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) flying stampede contractor, Sun-J, using their aircraft as a weapon and physically assaulting lone and defenseless horses.  Likewise, Terry and I witnessed other atrocities while we spent time with Laura Leigh until the early conclusion of this tragic debacle.

But overall, what stands out the most in our mind’s eye was the reckless shattering of families as the cruel chopper pilot concentrated on the slower pregnant mares and foals while the stallions got a way.  Almost full term mares, many run down by themselves, so that the contractor could collect that $350.00 a horse that you, the American taxpayer, so willing and graciously allows the BLM to give to these inhumane handlers that are stripping the American west of all living and breathing wild horses and burros.

That is what Terry and I can bring to you and that’s what we tender for your outraged disapproval, here.  Pregnant mares chased for miles in below freezing temperatures to be carted off to BLM concentration camps where the deaths will continue in the way of spontaneous miscarriages.

A travesty that has become the way the BLM does business as the Wild Horse Harvesting Machine continues to roar, unfettered, across our public lands.

Special thanks to Maria Daines for the use of her heartfelt and timely song, “I just wanna be free”