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At 21 years of age, Roll has worked hard since December of 2010 when I saved him from slaughter. He is now able to carry my weight and go for jaunts around the hayfield monthly with a buddy in addition to his milder weekly exercises.
Roll thinks Brandy, another rescue, is pretty cute! She’s a “Mini-Me!”
Today, both Roll and Brandy are both being tested without their “Elbow Pulls” to assess how much of their own good equine posture they can maintain. Roll was actually more consistently engaged and rounded over the to line than Brandy.
We stopped to look at the horses that were running in a nearby field.
Although Roll was still twisting his right hind somewhat from bearing most of the weight from the other three compromised feet, he still maintained a decent posture and continued to step well underneath and stay rounded over the top.
His reinback was slow, but accurate and submissive.
Roll enjoyed riding past the Jasper Bunkhouse! Lots to look at!
Roll and Brandy matched their pace as we rode past the bronze statue that commemorates the famed Lucky Three Mae Bea C.T.’s accomplishments in Combined Driving and Combined Training.
Roll begins to “pace” when he gets tired, but he still matched Brandy’s pace through the “Mule Crossing.”
All in all, both mules did fairly well without the “Elbow Pull,” but it was clear they would still need it’s support for future rides for a while longer. Roll is staying sound and seems much happier to be able to get out in the wide open spaces for a change!
Cowboy is doing wonderfully. He has been getting tiny little corrective trims and treatments on his lil hoofers and it is already helping his hind legs. We still need lots of prayers for this little one, but he is progressing a tiny bit each day.
Lately, he has enjoyed being able to spend most nights with his real mama Lacy.
We were truly blessed to find some inexpensive labor and to get more shelter for the critters here, which ultimately is allowing us to take our 24 x 24 shelter over to where the 55 wild horses (less coming adoptions) are going to be spending their winter. We had no hay shelter to protect the hay and desperately needed one. We also were able to raise enough money to buy roofing materials for said shelter.
Unfortunately we still have a very long way to go in procuring a secure future for the wild ones. Our next project is putting up the shelters, fixing fence and adding additional fencing. Then we need to make sure we fill the hay barn and procure enough hay to make it through the upcoming winter for the group of wild ones in NV.
Fundraising is never easy or fun, but unfortunately very necessary as these horses, although thankful they were “saved from slaughter” actually want to eat every single day. :)
We have good news as the minute BLM found out about the 3 orphans needing the emergency hernia surgery they said thank you for the offer, but they would be happy to pay for the surgeries for the 3 orphans. So that just leaves us with Cowboy, (who is technically not an orphan due to the fact his mama is here), but needs special care so I kind of think of him that way, and Cicero and Honey who are “slaughter babies” (their mama’s were killed and slaughtered). Cicero and Honey are ready for their forever homes.
Tim Hayes first recognized horses’ power to heal when he saw a burly gang member from South Central Los Angeles come face-to-face with a wild mustang — and his own true nature.
It was 1996, and Hayes, then a TV commercial producer in New York City and amateur horseman, had traveled to a federal super-max prison in Florence, Colo., known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” He went to observe the Wild Horse Inmate Program, established in 1986 by the Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Department of Corrections to “gentle,” or tame, free-roaming horses from the American plains before they’re put up for adoption. The recidivism rate of WHIP inmates is half the national average.
Hayes watched Morris, the former LA Crip who’d never been around a real horse before, confront a thousand-pound snorting, kicking and thrashing beast. In that moment, Hayes remembers, Morris seemed to see himself in the mustang’s wild eyes: not a violent, rage-filled killer who’d once crushed a man’s skull with a car door, but a terrified creature who had to fight just to stay alive.
“They act tough, but I think they just scared. Yeah, they ain’t mean,” Hayes recalls Morris telling him afterward about the horse — and himself. “Maybe once you get to trust ’em, they trust you.”
Hayes spent a week with WHIP inmates. In that short time, he witnessed an incredible transformation in Morris and other men whom society had written off as beyond redemption.
The BLM held its second, and final, Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting of 2015 on September 2nd and 3rd in Oklahoma City, OK. Of all the board meetings I have attended since 2009, this was by far the most ominous. Emboldened by years of BLM’s crisis-creating, the pro-slaughter majority on this board is now openly endorsing slaughter as a solution to the BLM’s budget woes. These members, who overwhelmingly represent livestock interests, are also aiming to reduce wild horse numbers below the already ridiculously low allowable population levels.
The BLM Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) program, under the leadership of Dean Bolstad, a long-time BLM bureaucrat, seems only happy to comply. In fact, after the pro-slaughter board members spoke explicitly about the need to overturn Congressional ban that prevents the BLM from selling wild horses and burros for slaughter, Bolstad commented that, of the 49 board meetings he has attended since 2003, this was the best one yet.
In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences evaluated the BLM’s WH&B Program and concluded that “continuation of ‘business as usual’ practices will be expensive and unproductive for the BLM and the public it serves.” Undaunted by this warning, the BLM is continuing down the same destructive path, announcing at the meeting:
- Expansion of helicopter roundup contracts to include three companies, including Sun J Livestock, which was found previously to have engaged in “unprofessional” conduct, including the electro-shocking of wild horses.
- Scaling up removals under the guise of sage grouse protection.
- Spending over 70% of the budget to round up and warehouse horses, while continuing to spend less than 1% on humane fertility control to manage wild horse populations on the range.
- Spending millions on research, much of which is aimed at perfecting techniques to permanently sterilize wild horses on the range.
- Meeting with Congress to share its self-inflicted budget woes, with the goal of overturning the ban on selling captured wild horses and burros “without limitation” that would enable kill buyers to purchase large numbers of wild horses and burros for slaughter.
ZEROING OUT ENTIRE WILD HORSE HERD NOT VIEWED AS CONSTITUTING “IRREPARABLE HARM.”
Washington, DC (Sept. 15, 2015) – Today, Federal Judge Christopher R. Cooper denied a Preliminary Injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from carrying out its decades old quest to remove the entire West Douglas wild horse herd. Tomorrow the BLM will begin a helicopter roundup and removal of wild horses in and around the herd area with the ultimate goal of zeroing out the herd (area).
The lawsuit was brought by The Cloud Foundation (TCF), Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (CWHBC), Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, CO., and Barb Flores of Greeley, CO, to protect this herd and the neighboring Piceance East Douglas herd. “Sadly,” states Toni Moore, “the courts did not view the loss of an entire herd of wild horses as ‘irreparable harm.’ “
“Wiping out the West Douglas herd erases a whole distinct set of genetics, separate from nearby East Douglas horses,” states Linda Hanick, TCF Board member who testified in the Sept. 11 hearing on the case. “The roundup disregards the importance of the historic recorded documentation of these horses since Sept 1776. This roundup closes the door on an important piece of Colorado’s wild horse history.”
“We’re very disappointed of course,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “Wild horse families that have shared a history with this rugged Colorado landscape for hundreds of years will be swept away, while the real public land destroyers, the thousands of head of welfare livestock remain. It is terribly unfair, but we continue to fight for those wild herds that remain!”
“Rangeland impact of livestock in West Douglas is greater than 10 times the impact of wild horses,” states Barb Flores, plaintiff in the case who also testified in the Sept. 11 hearing. “Both use the area year round. While cattle are moved from pasture to pasture, wild horses migrate throughout the herd area on their own.”
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) currently is accepting public comments on a plan to expand the Bald Mountain mining operation that will affect the wild horses living in the Triple B Herd Management Area (HMA) in White Pine County, Nevada. The proposed action will permanently remove 1,210 acres of already scarce vegetation available for wild horses, temporarily remove an additional 6,879 acres of currently available forage, reduce the amount of water available for wild horse use, increase the size of the area negatively impacted by human activity and noise, and pose a risk to wild horse safety and health by either physical injury or exposure to poisonous mercury and cyanide contamination, which is a byproduct of gold mining.
Comments must be received by September 28, 2015.
Please help The EQUUS Foundation win a bonus for “Most Traffic” & “Fan Favorite” in addition to $100,000 in matching gift funds from Animal Planet by helping with this campaign from the EQUUS Foundation.
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ORPHAN UPDATE – Lil Bit is doing wonderfully. Her cast has been working and she is improving a little bit each day. We want to thank y’all as we have raised approximately half of her vet bills.
Cowboy is doing better. Due to the fact that he could not travel due to health issues, we were amazed and so thankful that by the time we could bring him to NV, we did not even need to do his casts on his legs. He will need some extremely delicate hoof trimming and some special supplements and meds, but his outlook seems to be much better than was expected. He is the baby that the local vet said might need to be euthanized. However our specialty is the critical foal care and we work so very hard on the “hopeless” cases that God puts in front of us. We do not search them out, but I truly believe, and our rescue is based on my belief that if God puts an injured creature in front of you, you darn well better give it the best care you can.
We spent the last couple of days transferring panels over to the new property we will be leasing for the 55 wild horses. The Let ’em Run Foundation has donated the use of all of their panels and a shelter to be used by the 55 Wild horses and the babies. There are several adoptions in the process and we will update you as soon as we have all the details. We are still needing lots of forever homes for these guys, but in the meantime we need to have the funds to support and care for them. It is an amazing property with tons of water. In this area and with the ongoing drought, the water alone is worth gold. Unfortunately, we will need to do a lot of repair on the fencing.
The Florida-bred chestnut stallion who was vanned off the Calder Race Track after a July 8, 2011 race was found wasting away on a putrid property where a paralyzed dog lay barking in the field, and a dead horse lay sprawled near the front door of a desolate farmhouse, says Laurie Waggoner of the South Florida SPCA.
Standing among the dead and the dying on a badly infected leg, the stallion, just six years old at the time, was emaciated and unremarkable in the overall picture of want and decay.
With the South Florida charity too swamped to accommodate the stallion, Waggoner shipped the starving animal, crossing her fingers he’d weather the ride, to Celia Scarlett, a horse rescue advocate who at the time worked for Florida TRAC.
Under Scarlett’s care, Moon’s Treasure filled out on a healthy diet, and his deep puncture wound healed with weeks of flushing and attention, she says. “He was in really bad shape, but he rebounded pretty quickly,” she says. “It’s a nice story. I knew him as a racehorse on the track; he was absolutely stunning. For him to show up like that a year later, it’s just sad,” Scarlett says. “Down here in South Florida it’s easy for a horse to wind up in a bad situation if you’re not careful. He definitely wound up in the wrong hands.”
But just as suddenly as his life fell in tatters, he was found and lifted by right hands.
“Hey Augie, what’s she want us to do today?!”
“I think she wants me to JUMP!”
“It’s a good thing the surface is rough enough to stop, Spuds!”
“I was afraid it wasn’t, so I got out of your way, Augie!”
“It IS a mounting block, but… I’m not sure you can hold me!”
“I think not, so I’ll just jump down… and be careful not to clip your head!”
“I’m not sure I can do this as well as you did, Augie!!!”
“Can you at least TRY, Spuds?!”
“Okay Augie, I’ll try!”
“Are you okay, Spuds?”
“That was some kinda sliding stop, Spuds!!!”
“Thanks a lot, Augie! I’m getting down now!”
“Hey Spuds, watch out!!!”
“Is it time for oats now?!!!!”
“She would NEVER forget the oats if we do what she asks, Spuds!
“Is that why you usually get more than me, Augie?!”
For the first time ever, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing to convert a wild, free-roaming mustang population into a non-reproducing herd of sterilized horses. The BLM Idaho plan for the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) would destroy the wild horses’ wild, free-roaming behaviors and is a recipe for managing this beautiful wild horse herd to extinction. If implemented, it would set a dangerous precedent for destroying healthy, sustainable wild horse populations into sterilized groups of horses that will die off. AWHPC’s formal protest of this destructive and devastating plan is pending, but we need the public to weigh in to help Keep the Saylor Creek Wild Horses Wild! Take action and sign the petition.
Lately it seems that horses are often in the news, and horses have become the unwary targets of the clash of human land use versus their simple animal existence. Any time horses become magnets of such attention, they frequently do not fare well. Information coming from the U.S. Army on Aug. 12 and 13 has riveted attention on about 700 “feral” horses roaming on thousands of acres in Louisiana on lands used by the army during training exercises. The horses are increasingly considered “nuisance animals” because they may pose a kicking or biting danger or leave random piles of manure.
Fort Polk spokesperson Kim Reischling says that the intense military training of troops has to pause until the horses are “shooed away.” They leave behind horse manure in the areas used by soldiers. The training area is about 90 miles northwest of Lafayette, LA, and around 20 miles from the Texas state line. Most of the horses are located on 48,000 acres of the 90,000 acres of forest land that are used for training purposes.
The equine vacuum cleaner is not only a way to dry clean your equine, but it can also be used as a muscle therapy tool and to promote good circulation. Of course, the first thing to do is to gently introduce the equine to the vacuum cleaner.
As you vacuum, do it slowly and purposefully. The vacuum will remove dirt and grime and leave a healthy bed for hair shafts to grow.
The suction from the vacuum cleaner grabs large patches of hide and pulls subcutaneous muscle tissue and blood vessels towards the surface. This allows more room for muscle tissue and blood vessels to expand and develop in a healthy way. Here I am vacuuming our rescue draft mule, Rock’s shattered hip where there is a lot of internal damage to the joint and severe atrophy of the muscles involved.
On the left is 39 year old mini mule, Franklin before vacuuming, and then after vacuuming on the left side only in the picture on the right. As you can see, you get measured results almost immediately. The vacuum gently shapes and molds the muscle tissue into a more uniform area.
When Rock first arrived, although being a 17 year old Belgian Draft mule, he had severe muscle atrophy throughout his entire body.
After only six months of vacuum therapy, chiropractic, massage, proper diet and only fifteen minutes a week of leading exercises, his body was completely transformed!
Most horses that contend at the highest level of equestrian competitions come from large ranches and carefully selective breeding. That’s not the case for Soby, the rescue horse equestrian that trainer Kaili Graf will be riding at the Western Dressage World Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this coming November.
Kaili rescued Soby back in 2010 as a baby when she was neglected and left out alone in a field. The two had an instant connection, as rider and horse developed a strong partnership in a short time that would typically take weeks for other trainers.
“As soon as I saw her, I said, ‘This is not a normal horse,’” said Graf, a trainer who has been riding horses for as long as she can remember. “Soby has a goofy personality, but she loves to work.”
Soby was one of the earliest rescue horses that Kaili ever worked with, and as such is a bit of a “poster child” for rescue horses competing in Western Dressage, having won four state titles in 2014. A new discipline, Western Dressage’s influences date back to the 1700s with the ranches of the American West and Spanish vaqueros. Western Horsemanship meets the English Classical Dressage in a style that emphasizes “lightness” and “subtle cues.”
For Kaili and Soby, the goal in competition is to execute techniques as a single unit and to make their movement as instinctive and intuitive as possible. The importance of this upcoming World Championship goes beyond personal aspirations, however, as Kaili wants to advocate for the sport and rescue horses. “I want to inspire the riders who think they could never make it,” says Graf. “There’s an existing structure that no one wants to challenge.”
If Kaili and Soby can prevail at the World Championships, it will show that rescue horses and anyone from modest means can find success with hard work. The cost of competing is not cheap, though, so the duo can use all the support they can rally.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Summer 2015 roundup season is underway. Newly captured wild horses and burros will be added to the nearly 50,000 currently stockpiled in holding facilities. Of note is the BLM removal numbers are significantly lower than those of previous years, which is largely the result of BLM’s inability to remove larger numbers of horses due to lack of holding space. This situation creates an opportunity, and should make it necessary, for the BLM to increase the use of humane fertility control as an alternative to removing massive numbers of wild horses and burros from the range. However, the agency continues to fight against making progress towards creating a humane and sustainable on-the-range management program.