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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comments on its plan to roundup and remove 167 wild horses from the West Douglas Herd Area (HA) near Grand Junction, CO. If unable to capture all 167 horses from the West Douglas HA, the BLM will also round up horses in the neighboring Piceance/East Douglas Herd Management Area (HMA) in order to meet its removal quota. The BLM has been trying to “zero out” (eliminate all wild horses from) the West Douglas HA for years. Despite receiving over 8,000 public scoping comments demanding alternatives to this proposed roundup, the BLM has failed to seriously consider options for reducing livestock grazing and humanely managing wild horses with PZP birth control in this area. Your comments are needed today!
I’m sure everyone was as excited as I was to finally see trees budding and spring flowers starting to poke their heads above ground. Then Mother Nature played a cruel trick on us by following that another snow storm. Hopefully, this will be the last of it. We still have snow and ice in parts of the woods and under the manure pile. The mud is in all of its glory, and the mules wear it happily.
I want to thank everyone who took part in making our Cabin Fever Auction a success this year. Our wonderful donors provided a lot of really cool items, and you, our friends, in turn got some great stuff.
BIG thanks to Veridian folks Nigel Blake, his son Terence, and the group of folks who volunteered a Sunday to come and get a run in shed started. Many hands truly do make light work. It was a fun day and a lot got done.
I recently took in a very sad mule whom I have named Sweet William.. A wonderful friend of SYALER bailed him out from a sale barn. He was emaciated when pulled, but he has a huge, and thankfully strong and healthy heart, and is a real sweet heart. I am totally in love with this thirty year old guy. He is eating a lot as I try to put weight on him. His teeth have worn down to nubbins so he can’t properly chew hay so he gets four meals of soaked hay stretcher, MVP, and Equine Senior a day. We are going through feed like crazy, but it will be so gratifying to see him put some weight on his bony frame.
We have had a few adoptions recently, which is always nice. I love when I can help enable a “love match”. I sent a mule off to a new home with two very dear friends of mine today, which is a double treat. These friends have taught me a lot about mules and their care from a time before I was involved in rescuing these magnificent animals. I wish Johnny and Kris all the best with their new mule.
Huge thanks and heaps of gratitude to all of you who continue to support us. I love the letters and emails and phone calls from those of you who share your long ear experiences.
President & Shelter Manager
On April 28, 2015, Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the Senate version of the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (S.1110). The bill would direct the Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users on many national forests, including equestrians. Earlier this year, Congresswomen Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN) introduced the House version of the bill (H.R.845).
The bill was first introduced during the last Congress. The American Horse Council, Backcountry Horsemen of America, and the Wilderness Society were significantly involved in the creation of this bill.
A June 2013, study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Forest Service has deferred trail maintenance needs that exceed half-billion dollars, and only one-quarter of the agency’s 158,000 miles of trails meets agency standards for maintenance. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on national forests.
The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act would direct the Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails. It will also provide outfitters and guides the ability to perform trail maintenance activities in lieu of permit fees. Additionally, the bill would address a liability issue that has discouraged some national forests from utilizing volunteers and partner organizations to help perform trail maintenance and would direct the Forest Service to identify and prioritize specific areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance in the national forest system.
In the current fiscal environment it is unlikely Congress will appropriate additional funds to directly address the trail maintenance backlog. This bill will help improve trail maintenance without the need for additional funding.
The bill is supported by the AHC and many other recreation organizations.
Great news! This week, the federal court in Wyoming agreed with our legal arguments and dismissed the State of Wyoming’s anti-mustang lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Backed by powerful ranching interests, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead waged this legal battle in an attempt to force the BLM to conduct constant roundups and removals of wild horses from public lands in the state.
This is our second major legal victory for mustangs in just over 30 days! Last month, the federal court in Nevada granted AWHPC’s motion to dismiss a similar rancher-backed lawsuit.
You see, the ranchers in the Nevada case are appealing the lower court decision and we expect the State of Wyoming to do the same.
Thank you so much to all the AWHPC supporters who have generously contributed to our Litigation Fund. We are deeply grateful to you for giving us the resources necessary to intervene in these cases and defend America’s wild horses from these dangerous and scurrilous legal attacks.
Thank you, as always, for cherishing America’s amazing wild horses and burros.
– The AWHPC Team
Tomorrow, April 23, 2015
Come Join AAE in the 24-hour Non-Profit Local Giving Challenge
All donations to All About Equine in April will honor the ASPCA’s National Help A Horse Day!
Bring cash/check to the following drop-off locations:
El Dorado Community Foundation: 312 Main Street Suite 201 in Placerville
Sierra Nevada Tire & Wheel: 659 Main Street in Placerville
Madroña Vineyards: 2560 High Hill Road in Camino
El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce/CA Welcome Center: 2085 Vine Street #105 in El Dorado Hills
Foster Awareness Network Office/Shingle Springs-Cameron Park Chamber of Commerce: 4095 Cameron Park Drive in Cameron Park
Marshall Community Health Library: 3581 Palmer Drive Bldg 101in Cameron Park
Lake Tahoe Visitor’s Authority: 3066 Lake Tahoe Boulevard in Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Chamber of Commerce: 169 US Highway 50 in Stateline, Nevada
This is a great opportunity for our local El Dorado County supporters to GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE!
Any questions about this challenge can be directed to Dani Benoit at Dani@AllAboutEquine.org
As always THANK YOU for your continuous support!
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comments on the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP)/Environmental Impact Statement for the Carson City District Office. This document will set management policy for the next 10-20 years for a 4.8 million-acre public land area that includes 17 wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs). If passed in its current form, the draft RMP would perpetuate the BLM’s unsustainable and inhumane reliance on removals of wild horses and burros from the range as its primary management approach, and will “zero out” (eliminate all horses) six HMAs. This is the stage of the BLM’s planning process where the voice of the public must be heard, so please take a moment to speak up for these wild horses and burros by clicking below!
Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) President, Steuart Pittman, discusses bridging the gap between the racing world and the riding world to benefit the Thoroughbred breed. Here he describes Thoroughbred aftercare as a three-legged stool. The first leg involves the nonprofit organizations that take in unwanted horses who are not marketable because of soundness problems, temperament problems, or low demand for riding horses in a given area. The second leg is the work of preventing horses from becoming unwanted. This includes the work of the RRP and The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program. The third leg of the aftercare stool is helping racing owners connect with the riding market when they have a sound horse that is ready to retire. For this the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses (CANTER) provides a listing service for racing trainers and owners who are looking to rehome their horses. The RRP also offers an extensive “Horse Listing” page on its website featuring more than 200 horses for sale or adoption.
“So what is generally termed the ‘aftercare industry’ is really more than the literal meaning of the word ‘aftercare.’ In fact, when people hear words like ‘rescue’ and ‘aftercare,’ they assume that racing left horses in poor condition. That sentiment is not good for racing and it’s not good for efforts to market these athletes in other sports,” says Pittman.
We have just days left to get 10,000 emails to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board to demonstrate strong public support for policies that Keep Wild Horses Wild and strong opposition to dangerous roundups and surgical sterilization on the range!
This Board is headed in the wrong direction, as evidenced by the troubling recent appointment of a veterinarian who has for several years been pushing for the BLM to perform dangerous surgical ovariectomies on wild mares.
If the pro-slaughter, pro-cattlemen members that dominate this board have their way, mares like this beautiful mustang will be in danger, as will all wild horses and burros that remain on the range and in holding!
The Board meets next week, April 22-23, 2014 – so please send your email today!
– The AWHPC Team
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to remove Saudi Arabia from the list of countries affected with African Horse Sickness (AHS). In a March 30 announcement, the Department stated that based on its evaluation of the health status of the country, Saudi Arabia is free of AHS. USDA has determined that the importation of horses, mules, zebras, and other equids from Saudi Arabia presents a low risk of introducing AHS into the U.S. The change, which applies to both temporary and permanent entry of horses, means that horses can enter the U.S. from Saudi Arabia without undergoing a 60-day quarantine period.
AHS is a highly contagious and deadly disease that affects horses, donkeys, and mules and has a high mortality rate in naive horse populations like that in the U.S.
Under the prior rules, horses from Saudi Arabia, like horses from other countries affected with AHS, had to be quarantined for sixty days before entering the U.S. Horses from non-AHS countries may be admitted with a shorter quarantine period. The extended period is required to ensure that horses from AHS countries are not infected with AHS, which has a long incubation period.
In response to a 2009 request by Saudi Arabia to be recognized as free of AHS, USDA studied the status of the disease in that country. The USDA evaluation used information provided by Saudi Arabia and other sources. Based on its evaluation, USDA concluded that AHS was not known to be present in Saudi Arabia and that the likelihood of introducing AHS into the U.S. through imports of horses from that country was low. Last June, USDA proposed to change the federal import rules to remove Saudi Arabia from the list of countries affected by AHS and allow horses to be imported with a much shorter quarantine period.
The AHC, and several other equine associations, opposed this proposed change maintaining that the potential benefits were not sufficient to offset the potential adverse consequences.
USDA disagreed, noting that it has been 25 years since a case of AHS was found in Saudi Arabia. USDA concluded that changing the import rules for horses from Saudi Arabia presented a low risk of introducing AHS into the U.S. To review the USDA decision and rationale, see: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-30/pdf/2015-07212.pdf
Well, here we are again… me and Roll back out of shape and trying to get going again. I think age is a factor for both of us! I had visions of him being able to do five rotations at walk each direction and ten rotations at trot in each direction, but it didn’t exactly work out quite that way.
Roll did a pretty good reverse although he had to hesitate and think about it first.
Tracking right, he engaged with a very slow walk with practically no impulsion and the trot was okay, but not energetic. The weather was cool which DID help.
In the other direction the walk became somewhat more animated and the trot was satisfactory.
However, he was only able to do five rotations at the trot in each direction before we were BOTH out of wind! He was so willing to give me what he had that I saw no reason to push it.
We will continue to build our wind, stamina and muscle going forward during the better weather ahead. Still, Roll is holding his core muscle strength in good posture and just naturally falls into the four-square position every time he stops…all on his own! He continues to be a happy and affectionate draft mule!
Photo | The Cloud Foundation
The world has come to know and love the wild stallion Cloud and his small herd in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range through filmmaker Ginger Kathrens’ acclaimed PBS Nature documentaries. In the years since Ginger began making these films, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has improved its management of the popular Pryor Mountain wild horses by using the humane PZP birth control vaccine and ending helicopter roundups. Unfortunately, the BLM is now proposing to remove 30 horses from the Pryor range to bring the population closer to its established management level. Please take action below to ask the BLM to forgo removals and allow the birth control program the necessary time required to reduce the population through natural attrition, not removals.
What’s new? It was Garth Brooks week here in the Sacramento Valley when we got the last call….
Garth, Brooks, and Trisha! They were only 2-3 weeks old when discovered alongside their deceased moms. Thanks to an amazing fundraising effort by the Horse and Man group, AAE was able to act quickly and bring these little ones home to safety. They adapted quickly to milk replacer, and they are thriving now.
All Available Hands, We Need YOU!
Garth, Brooks, and Trisha are only few of the many, many horses in need. Over the next few weeks, we will be working hard to assure we can continue doing what we do at AAE! There are many ways to help.
First up, Help A Horse Day!
Help us compete to win $10,000!!
AAE is celebrating ASPCA’s Help A Horse Day with a Community Outreach Day
Saturday, April 25th
ASPCA’s Help A Horse Day is a national day of recognition for equine organizations. It was designed to help equine rescues and other animal welfare organizations increase their visibility in their community, engage community members, raise funds locally – and be eligible for some of the $50,000 in prize money from the ASPCA. In 2015, there will be seven winners. Three grand prize winners will win $10,000 and four runners-up will receive $5,000.
Can you help us spread the word about the lifesaving work we do on behalf of at-risk horses like Garth, Brooks, and Trisha and show our community how to join in the effort?
then join us
Sunday, April 26th
11a to 3p
Celebration of the Ages and Open Barn at AAE
Sunday, April 26th
11a to 3p
Come One, Come All to A Celebration of the Ages Open Barn!! Come learn more about AAE, what we do to help horses, and learn how you can help a horse.
We’ll be celebrating horses of all ages with our closest friends! Finn and Dylan turn one, while Rusty is 29, and Sapphire is 31. Come enjoy the fun while visiting with the Girls and Boy Scout Troops of America, our local 4-H educators and participants, Folsom Mounted Police and Folsom Lake Trail Patrol, as well as Susan Wirgler Horse and Human Partnership, and of course our community supporters, new and old alike!
The celebration will be held at the All About Equine Barn in El Dorado Hills, CA! We’ll be promoting the event the entire month of April with a variety of activities including El Dorado County’s Give Where You Live campaign on April 23rd! We’ll also be at the local Pet-A-Palooza on April 25th!
Stop by to help us celebrate with fun, games, music & food! You’ll be sure to enjoy the barn and all our amazing adoptable horses!! We can’t wait to see you there!! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and directions to our barn.
When the call came in over Easter week about a foal in need on the Virginia Range, local heroes in Nevada were ready. The tiny filly had been spotted on the range with her mother and family. She had a serious facial injury and was having difficulty breathing. In short measure, the good folks from Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC) in Stagecoach arrived on the scene to rescue her. Read the full story of the Easter foal’s rescue and learn how you can help continue this lifesaving work by clicking below.
The following post comes from Steve Edwards of Queen Valley Mule Ranch. Working with equines can be a rewarding and life-changing experience, but, as with all animal-related activities, accidents can happen. However, exorbitant insurance rates are currently threatening trainers’ ability to provide clinics for equine owners, forcing them to cancel or drastically limit these sessions due to cost. Steve is one such trainer, and below he discusses his experiences with insurance companies, coming to the conclusion that his only option moving forward may be to forgo future clinics.
I recently received a letter from the State of Arizona. It seems that working with equine livestock and with people in a clinic setting represents the same degree of professional risk as being a police officer of a fire fighter. In light of this, insurance through the State Insurance Fund is no longer available to me for my professional work. I am sure this is related to claims analysis and the like, but it sure puts a different spin on how I will proceed with my work!
Over the years I have been in a expert witness for cases involving equine accidents. I will give you overview of one of the cases to which I contributed.
A Court Case I Was an Expert Witness For
The case involved two women who had been very good friends for over 30 years . One lived in California the other in Arizona . The woman from California drove to Arizona to a nice horse facility with corrals, RV parking lots of trails to ride t meet up with her friend. One lady rode a mule the other rode a horse, The mule was a fine trail mule but had one problem: the mule was very difficult to put in the trailer. After a wonderful week of riding and after enjoying each other’s company riding together as they had for over 30 years, the incident occurred.
On the morning the ladies decided to head home, the lady with the mule started to load the mule into the trailer. Her friend chose to hide behind the truck and trailer peeking around the corner. Yes, the mule was once again giving the owner a hard time not wanting to load in the trailer.
A person watching the lady load the mule came over to help. She started waving her arms to get the mule to go in the trailer. So at this point, there is the person who owns the mule trying to load it, and a “helper” waving her arms to try to encourage the mule to go forward onto the trailer. It is likely that many of us have seen this very same scenario and we may have even participated in this task. But long story short, the mule started pulling the lady away from the trailer pulling her backwards and despite her efforts, the mule backed over the friend who was hiding between the truck and the trailer.
Does Your State Protect You? Mine Does
In most states, there are State laws that are there to protect the equine owner in such cases. Arizona has such a law. Being in the business, I post signs reflecting this all over my ranch. From the gate to the corrals I have these notices and I think everyone should do the same, even if you just keep your animals for your own use.
You may be interested in rest of the story. The lady that the mule backed over went through several months in the hospital and several years of physical therapy, She did not sued for damages but the insurance company did, and in the lawsuit the person helping load the mule who was waving her arms, the owner of the stable, and the lady who owned the mule all had to pay portions of the award either by their insurance or by their pocketbook.
It is pretty clear that no matter what the State laws say or what insurance you might have (home owners or otherwise), suits are likely to result in damages that any participant may have to pay. Even if you only had to pay 1% of a one million dollar claim, that still amounts to $10,000.
Why This Is My Last Clinic
Finding insurance for the equine trainer or owner is very difficult especially when you are training equines and people. I am sad to say that my insurance just tripled in price due to the “risky occupation”. Even though I have never been hurt, nor has anyone in any of my clinics or training sessions that have spanned 25 years or more, the rate is truly unreasonable. So to make a long story short, there is a very good possibility that this will be my last year for training mules, donkeys or people because of the expense of trying to cover my butt.
I love training. I love seeing people try my training techniques and I especially like witnessing the mule and donkey owners use these techniques that make dramatic changes in their animals. But as the world changes we must change. Now I’m sure that there’s always going to be people that will train without insurance. Some have nothing to lose and some just flat don’t care. When you are looking for a trainer, there is so much more to it than just climbing on the mule and riding. There is more to it than just putting the donkey to the cart. Finding a true professional trainer is very difficult. I hear from many people who have had mules trained and have had nothing but problems. I can tell you this is not always the mule and donkey at fault. When I used to take a mule with me on the circuit, I would have someone climb on the mule and ride it. Just before this I would do the demonstrating of turn on the forehand, turn on the hindquarters side passing. Then I would ask the audience who has been riding for 25 years. Hands would go up and I would choose someone to ride the mule that I just rode. In a matter of minutes, it would look like the mule was not even broke!
I was talking with Dr. Robert Miller one day and we were saying how much of a joy it was to contribute to the equine community, not just the United States but all over the world. Dr. Miller has traveled to more countries than I have, but we both enjoy seeing the equine community changed for the good. But we both noted with sorrow that the cost of being a professional trainer and teacher is a rapidly growing concern. It will change the future of the industry for sure and not necessarily in a good way.
Are You The Person I’m Looking For?
I would be interested in feedback from attorneys and insurance adjusters. Please give me a call (602-999-6853) or e-mail me, here. I want to stay in business but as it goes right now my last clinic will be in Fredericksburg, Missouri and I will head back to the ranch because that is all I can afford for insurance for the year.
This has become a very litigious society for sure. I am not sure who can do anything about the fact that some people refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. It is not always someone else’s fault that an animal exercises its own will or that the student does not do as he or she is directed. There is inherent risk in riding an animal. We can do a lot to try to limit our risk. We can train well. We can follow instructions. And when we feel that something might not work out for us, we can just say “no”! But ultimately, it is one’s own decision to come work with an animal. If you are working with a professional trainer or teacher, you may be somewhat safer. But when we hear a little inner voice saying “don’t do it”, we should probably listen.
Something You May Not Want to Hear
One other point I would make is that there are times when a professional trainer may suggest to a student that the animal that he or she has may not be the best choice for that person. When I say this, I may see tears from some. I may hear others say, “well that is why we are here – so you can make this work”. Still others will take the information and agree. But know that such advice is not given lightly and is only given after I have had time to observe the animal, observe you, and observe the two of you together. Some things can be fixed. Others are more difficult. A few are impossible. The comment is never meant to be mean or ill spirited. It is for everyone’s safety. Any trainer worth his salt will tell a student if there is clearly a mismatch of animal and owner. But this is just one little piece of this new and bigger puzzle.
I encourage equestrians to accept the inherent risk of their activities and to let their local and state governments know that they do acknowledge that risk. If we cannot find a way to make professional trainers able to do their jobs while being covered reasonably with insurance for the job, we will see fewer quality trainers and have less help available to riders. Your professional trainer is a huge resource to you and your equine.
Please visit Steve’s website for the original post.