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For the first time, Roll was ground driven straight out of the Tack Barn with no warm up.
On the way to the hayfield, we stopped to see the old broodmares and give them a treat!
Although we lacked impulsion getting there, Roll picked up the pace in the hayfield.
Roll walked immediately into a square halt, keeping his hind quarters well underneath.
Roll stayed well-connected to my hands through all moves for the very first time in four years!
Roll’s reinbacks were flawless…light on the lines and straight.
Roll now knows that the whip is a tool used for communication and not for punishment.
Roll understands that I do not want him to eat the grass until he is signaled and free to do so.
Roll receives his reward of crimped oats for paying attention and NOT eating the grass!
Roll finally received permission to eat the grass while I straighten the lines to continue forward.
Upon the command to “Walk on,” Roll promptly raises his head and acknowledges my request.
Roll and I stopped to check out the bronze statue of Lucky Three Eclipse.
We stopped to see the Mule Fountain in all of its splendor!
Then we said “Hello” to Lucky Three Mae Bea C.T.’s bronze driving statue.
Roll thought she was beautiful and did a little flirting!
Great lesson! Fun morning for both of us! Now back to the barn…the snowstorm is rolling in!
Ranchers and their allies at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have been gunning for the wild horses in Colorado’s West Douglas Herd Area (HA) for years, even though this is one of the few remaining wild horse populations in the state. The agency’s attempts to “zero out” this wild horse habitat have so far been held off thanks to lawsuits by The Cloud Foundation and others. Now the BLM is proposing to round up nearly half of the estimated 356 wild horses who live in the West Douglas HA and is seeking public comments regarding “additional alternatives or issues that should be considered” when evaluating the proposed roundup.
This is a chance to show our public support for an alternative that removes privately-owned cattle not federally-protected wild horses from these public lands. Help send a strong message to the BLM that these lands belong to all Americans and all Americans should have a say in how they are managed. The deadline to speak up is Valentine’s Day – so, please have a heart for Colorado mustangs and speak up today!
Northern Nevada – where the majority of captive horses are held – experienced record-breaking wind yesterday. Patty Bumgarner, a local advocate and friend of mine took these photos of the horses trying to endure the rough weather without the benefit of wind breaks or shelter.
Patty said, “This wind blew it hurt, had to cover my head
a few times with my jacket. And the horses & burros can’t find a way out of it. I got hit with tumble weeds around my ankles and it drew blood, can’t image how they feel getting hit by them.” When I saw the photos I could feel her pain and also the suffering of the horses.
How long will they wait for shelter or wind breaks? Some progress has been made at some facilities, but not at the ones where the majority of horses are held.
We have a ray of hope – there has been a new person put in charge of BLM oversight (announced January 19th.) His name is Louis Gohmert and today, we added his name to the Shelter4Horsespetition and we are anxiously awaiting presenting him with signatures to see what he will do to address the situation. So far we have about 22,000 signatures on that petition if you haven’t signed yet, please add your name!
In the last letter I shared this photo of a burro being “shot” from a helicopter. I have been told that the gun may be a tranquilizer gun. But the visual is real. The BLM has been put in charge of keeping the numbers of horses and burros down to 26,684. One of their suggestions rather than birth control is on-the-range euthanasia – which would look alot like this!
Please help us continue our mission. We urgently need to complete maintanence on our vehichle. This vehicle takes kids to field trips, us to care for horses, and me to speaking engagements. We put 30,000 miles on it in 2014! So now, we need brakes, tires, and more to keep it safe and ready-to-go for 2015. This week it will cost us $300 to keep it on the road.
We have so many good things going, my next update will be so much good news, I just know it, but we need your help to complete these works-in-progress like: setting up the children’s art gallery, protesting helicopter roundups, and finally getting a meeting with the governor on a project I’ve been working over a year on!
Thanks for your continued support. I know I can count on you.
Mark your calendars for March 1st – that is when our Cabin Fever Auction will begin! It will last until 9:00pm on Sunday,March 8th. We hope to have a wide variety of items on which to bid and are happily accepting donations of artwork, jewelry, gift baskets, gift certificates, gift cards…anything you think someone might enjoy.If you have anything you would like to donate, please contact Joan atSYAAuction@comcast.net ASAP. We already have several amazing artists who are donating some of their beautiful artwork. All donations are tax deductible and very, very gratefully appreciated. All funds raised go right in to helping care for the animals in the rescue.
NOTE: Donated items do not need to be long ear related!
It’s always great to hear from people who have used our training materials successfully with their equines, so we loved getting an email recently from Becky of Becky’s Homestead, showing off a video of her formerly hard-to-catch mules, Emma and Charlie. Using Meredith’s methods, the mules now come to the gate and exit quietly, and turn to Becky to await further instructions—no chasing required.
Becky writes: “I love your method because you don’t have to be a tough, roping cowboy to train your problem mule. I also really like that you say people need to train their own mule so they develop a relationship. I have seen it countless times, where someone sends their horse or mule out to a trainer and the animal is perfect for the rough, tough cowboy or cowgirl trainer—then it goes home to the middle-aged woman and acts the same old way. Bottom line, there is no short cut to developing a good relationship with your animal.”
One of the keys to Becky’s success was that she did not try to modify or rush the exercises, and did them exactly as laid out in the training program. Although it can be tempting to quickly move to more advanced lessons, like riding, your equine needs to build those skills—and muscles—on the solid foundation provided by beginning training. And as Becky experienced, these methods can produce amazing results!
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada wants to lease 124 parcels of land in the Battle Mountain District for oil and gas development. Of these, 44 parcels overlap five wild horse Herd Management Areas. The agency admits that such development can result in disruption and displacement of federally-protected wild horses.
BLM routinely excludes key habitat for sensitive species and archeologically important sites from oil and gas development. Please take a moment to tell the BLM to exclude from the leasing plan the 44 land parcels that overlap the protected wild horse habitat.
The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) and the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) have joined forced in 2015 to help facilitate the sale of retired Thoroughbred racehorses to buyers in the equestrian market. CANTER is a nonprofit organization that works through 13 affiliates at 27 racetracks nationwide connecting racehorse owners with potential buyers via an online marketplace. RRP works to increase the demand for ex-racehorses through educational programs and marketing while serving the farms and organizations in the private and nonprofit sectors that offer training for second careers. Among other collaborative efforts, both organizations will promote CANTER listings as a source for horses eligible to enter RRP’s Thoroughbred Makeover in Kentucky; CANTER will distribute copies of RRP’s Racehorse Resource Directory; and RRP will involve local CANTER affiliates when presenting at educational programs and regional horse expos. “We love what RRP does to educate and inspire horse people to consider off-track Thoroughbreds, and are thrilled to be integrating our work with theirs,” said CANTER USA Executive Director, Nancy Koch.