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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
Hi, it’s Suzanne.
By now you may have seen the news about the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement of its intent to round up at least 22,000 wild horses and burros from national public lands this year and permanently remove 19,000 of them from their homes on the range.
These formerly free-roaming animals will join the 58,000 other wild horses and burros confined in off-range government holding facilities, putting 2022 on track to become the year that the United States of America holds more wild mustangs – our national symbols of freedom – in captivity than remain free in the wild.
It’s part of the BLM’s plan to reduce wild horse populations to just 17,000 – 27,000 animals on 27 million acres of land. That’s fewer animals than were left in the West in 1971 when Congress passed a law to protect them because they were “fast disappearing.”
This is wrong on so many levels – it counters the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences, is fiscally reckless and unconscionably inhumane.
The BLM claims these devastating roundups are necessary to protect the environment. But wild horses and burros are present on just 12% of the land that the BLM manages, and they are greatly outnumbered by commercial livestock — a major cause of land degradation and a contributor to climate change. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars to round up and warehouse wild horses in captivity actually harms the environment by diverting funds away from actual programs to address land health, habitat restoration, and climate change.
I understand if you are angry at this injustice. I know I am. But I don’t want you to despair or give up. I’m not, because I see the real progress we’ve made together in the last year alone:
We worked with Congress to direct one-third of the funding earmarked for roundups to the implementation of humane fertility control instead.
We combatted roundups in the Sand Wash Basin (Colorado) and Onaqui (Utah) Herd Management Areas (HMAs) — and thanks to public outcry and the support of political leaders like Governor Jared Polis, we succeeded in keeping more horses in the wild than originally intended. We also got the commitment of the BLM in both states to work to make these the last helicopter roundups that ever occur in the HMAs by ensuring the PZP fertility control programs there succeed.
We joined forces with a growing chorus of prominent environmental groups to oppose the BLM’s scapegoating of wild horses while giving commercial livestock a pass. The 7 million-member Sierra Club even wrote to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland calling for the removal of all commercial livestock from wild horse and burro habitat areas!
We added nearly 200,000 new supporters to our grassroots army fighting to keep wild horses wild, and our videos, photographs, and reports documenting the cruelty of the roundups were seen by millions nationwide.
The fight to save our wild horses and burros is a marathon, not a sprint, and we are making progress. In fact, we are stronger and larger than ever.
We have an impactful agenda this year to continue the fight on the Hill, in the courts, and in the field. But the backbone of the fight is you.
So please, stay positive. Stay passionate. And stay ready.
We’ll be in touch!
American Wild Horse Campaign
On November 22nd, of 2021, I posted, on my MEREDITH HODGES PUBLIC FIGURE Facebook page, information about how to maintain your tack and equipment, and how to keep a neat and tidy tack room. There were a lot of comments about it and many people indicated that they thought it would be easy if you had the staff that I have.
Just for the record, when it comes to my equines and their tack and equipment, I do most of the work myself. My TWO guys do clean the stalls and runs daily, and the larger dirt pens weekly when the animals are overnighted there, and they do feed in the mornings, midday and evenings. TWO of my girls take care of the inside and external cleaning of the multiple buildings that we have, and they condition the tack and equipment as needed, but mostly every three months because we clean things as we use them.
My THIRD girl assists me in the office checking the website and Social Media connections, making Social Media posts (with the exception of Facebook that I do myself), editing articles, advertising and the newsletter, fulfilling orders and MUCH more. TWO of the girls and I film and take photos of EVERYTHING we do so we have material for our posts, articles, video Training Tips and Documentaries. We put these together with our TWO remote videographers and we have ONE remote graphics artist that also assists with publications. Our JASPER MASCOT also doubles as a website tech person. So, we have a VERY SMALL staff to cover all the work that we do. We are prompt in doing what we do because we want to provide all of you the information that you need to have the same success with your equines that we have with ours. In this post, I will address how I efficiently keep all 17 of my equines clean and healthy.
I find that when you have a regular weekly grooming routine along with good environment cleaning practices, the animals do not seem to get as dirty as they would otherwise. Spring is obviously the most intensive time of the year because of mud and shedding, but during other times of the year, grooming can go quickly. During the summer months, they have short hair coats and will only need to have bridle paths trimmed, faces, ears and nostril cleaned, Johnson’s Baby oil in the manes and tails, Neosporin for any cuts and scratches, and a quick go-over with the Dandy brush. Since I keep them barefoot with regular trims every 6-8 weeks, they rarely need their feet cleaned. I carry the grooming tools in a bucket and visit them wherever they happen to be, either in their stalls or in turnout. Because they are all taught the same manners, they come to me and line up for their turn wherever they are.
We have had good weather this fall, but with the lack of moisture, they are all pretty dusty. Since we are using my Tack Barn as an art studio and getting the BELLE, JASPER, MOXIE & KYLIE bronzes ready to be cast for their placement in our newest project, the OLDE WESTERN TOWN OF ASSPEN here at the ranch, I opted to vacuum everyone in the alleyway of the barn.
The first thing I did was to have them exit their stalls and be tied in the alleyway. I brought in Augie, Spuds and Billy from their barn and added them to the eight mules from the South Barn. As I retrieve them, I ALWAYS open the door, ask them to come to me, reward them and then put on their halter. They learn to stand quietly and will not exit the stall until I give them permission to do so.
So I can be hands-free with the halter, I will often allow them to eat their reward directly from the fanny pack of crimped oats that I ALWAYS wear around my waist. If they get pushy, I will say, “NO!” and put my hand up like a stop sign and ask them to back off. If that doesn’t work, a quick slap to the side of their mouth after they have been asked does work. Consistency in MY behavior is key!
They have all been introduced to the vacuum cleaner and stand quietly while I go from one to the next. If they start picking at each other, I just holler the name of the perpetrator and say “NO!” VERY LOUDLY! They always stop because they know the next thing is a pop on the rump from me!
I am always aware of each animal, but I do not “move over” for them. I ask them to “move over” for ME. Then they are rewarded with crimped oats. Once they learn, for instance, that I need to return the vacuum to its spot, and that they will all get rewarded for standing quietly, they give me my space as I work around them, even during rolling up the extension cords!
Since I have so many animals, I do have to refill the fanny pack often, so I keep a full bucket available in a convenient spot for refills. Once they are all vacuumed, I ten move down the line and wipe everyone’s faces. They get their eyes, ears and noses cleaned thoroughly. They quickly learn to accept the process and then I reward them once they are all done. When I do them individually before riding, I will reward each immediately after each task. When they are all together, they will behave better when they have to wait to be rewarded when they are ALL done with each task. Then I go down the line and sprinkle Johnson’s baby oil in all their manes and tails and reward their good behavior when that is all done.
My 28 year old mule, Merlin, poked his eye on a tree branch when he was a yearling. I opted not to have his eye removed, so we have been treating it for 27 years. We keep him in a fly mask all the time to keep the dirt and debris from irritating it. Twice a day face wiping keeps it sanitary and it is easy enough to do at feeding time. We just carry a wet rag with us when we see him.
When they are all done, I lead them back to their stall, send them in while I stay at the door and ask them to turn back to me for their reward. As they chew their reward, I remove the halter and bid them a fond farewell!
With the 11 mules and mini donkeys finished in the South Barn, I next go to the North Barn to repeat the process with the remaining six animals, two Large Standard Donkeys (Wrangler & Chasity), a miniature mule (Francis), a miniature horse (Mirage) and two saddle mules (Jubilee & Brandy).
Again, I ask them to come to ME, give them their reward and then halter them as the chew. They are all happy to stand still until I tell them they can walk out the door.
I repeat the whole process with the vacuum cleaner and again, they have all been trained to accept it, so they stand quietly and happily. I do believe that they really DO enjoy being cleaned…even if they do go back and roll almost immediately…LOL!
Then comes the face-wiping followed by the Johnson’s Baby oil in the manes and tails. I do not cut their bridle paths in the winter. It gets very cold here and I don’t want them to lose heat from their bodies.
Then it is time for them to be returned to their stalls. I have two rescues (re-trains) in this group and they watch intently as the old troopers enter their stalls and behave impeccably!
When Chasity was returned to her stall, I asked her to walk through the narrow space between my truck and the wall of the barn. My assistant was filming from the bed of the truck and as I said earlier, we do not move over for them! Chasity walked quietly through the narrow space, did not rush or push me, but followed obediently. She was sent into her stall, turned around and got her reward. Then, it was Wrangler’s turn.
Francis is a mini mule that I got 10 years ago and to this day, she is still suspicious of humans, but is learning to trust. She can be fully groomed in her stall with no halter, but she can become quite a handful when outside the stall. Her natural reaction is to bolt and run any time she get the chance. When I return her to her stall, I set her up for success by looping the end of her lead rope around the stall bar so if she does bolt, she won’t be able to pull the lead rope from my hand and will be forced to turn around and face me. She didn’t even try to bolt this time, kept the rope loose and returned to me for her reward. Then I went and got Mirage, our 26-year-old miniature horse, and returned him to his stall. The grooming of all 17 animals only took me 2 hours! Organized practices and teaching good manners makes all the difference!
When Chasity first arrived, we needed to keep her in quarantine, away from the other animals for a minimum of two weeks. Over the past 41 years, we altered our facility to an all-steel facility. Reduced maintenance costs enabled us to proceed converting from wood and wire to steel until we completed the process. This has greatly reduced the overall maintenance costs for the entire ranch, enabling us to purchase steel panels for the barn runs. It was easy to quarantine Chasity safely and still allow her company (at a distance, of course!) and an introduction to her future stable mate, Wrangler. About every five years, we do have to spray paint the panels to keep them looking new, but this is a small price to pay for a happy donkey!
Once out of quarantine, Chasity and Wrangler were stabled next to each other. All of our runs are bedded with four inches of pea gravel. This promotes good drainage and keeps things from getting muddy. This, in turn, provides a hard surface for good hoof health and will not chip their feet because of its rounded shape. Each of our donkeys is given a soccer ball for play in the smaller areas. The ground surface is also soft and comfortable enough for them to lie down without causing shoe boils or sores. They learn to come by calling them to the end of the runs and rewarding with oats.
The mini donkeys’ pens are the same way, as is the road around the sandy dressage arena where they can also be turned out in the larger dirt area when it is not in use. They really enjoy a good roll in the sand.
Donkeys are desert animals and can easily become obese when exposed to green pastures. I only take my donkeys out to pasture to play with me.
My 60’ x 180’ indoor arena is lined with steel panels. I have a 45’ Round Pen at one end with obstacles inside the side gates around the south end. The enclosed area makes for good obstacle training with minimal distractions. Round Pen work and turnout in the open area during bad weather is completely safe and NON-DESTRUCTIVE!
At first, Chasity would not come to me at the stall door, but after being chased once into the stall to be haltered, she soon gave in easily. I always halter in exactly the same way, in the same place. They love routine.
The oats reward assures that she will repeat the behavior. After only one lesson, she now comes to me every time to be haltered. For clean, dry stalls, we bore a 2’ wide x 4’ deep hole in the center, fill it with 1 ½” rock, cover it with four inches of pea gravel and put rubber mats on top. The pea gravel is held in with 2” x 6” boards bordered by angle iron.
Since we had no animals in the north stalls, we took down the panels and made a large turnout area bedded in four inches of pea gravel for Wrangler and Chasity. It was plenty large enough to romp and play…and not get muddy!
When I am out and about the barn, I reinforce Wrangler and Chasity’s will, as well as all the others, to come to me for their oats reward. We keep bulk rock, pea gravel and structural fill in bays behind the indoor arena.
When the equines are in turnout, we replenish the pea gravel as needed with the Skidsteer.
Wrangler and Chasity, our miniature donkeys Augie & Spuds, miniature mule Francis and miniature horse Mirage also have alternate access to a very large 2 ½ acre dirt pen…Large Standard donkeys one day, miniatures the next.
When it is dry, they can take turns on alternate days in the larger area to stretch their legs and buck to their hearts desire. They do not seem to miss being in the pasture with this kind of management and they really do stay very healthy. We have no incidence of colic, founder, abscesses, skin irritations, rashes or obesity.
The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
Can you help us pick our 2022 AWHC Member Card?
We’re asking dedicated American Wild Horse Campaign supporters like you to cast your vote and help us select our Official 2022 AWHC Member Card design!
A 2022 AWHC Member Card is a great way to show off your dedication to protecting America’s wild herds. Will you cast your vote and let us know which design is your favorite?
We’ll be announcing the winner next Friday!
— American Wild Horse Campaign
The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:
First emergency call of the new year. 31 year old, Injured, emaciated mare was down in the snow and couldn’t get up. 5 total thin? horses that need saved NOW!. Thankfully the 2 mustangs have a safe place to go. I was called for the 3 old horses. Animal Control is involved.
So Matt n I are on the way. My son has been there and thankfully Great Grandma was up again. A bunch of wonderful folks were on scene to help, PTL!
As I just had surgery, I will be “supervising “. Thankfully both Matt and Travis are available for whatever these horses need.
I already have a call into Doc, but we are 7 hours away and funds are extremely low. Please help if you can and say a prayer that Great Grandma stays up and we can help her. Trav took supplies over so at least she has a little bit more energy.
We need your help to save these horses!
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN HELPING SAVE THESE PRECIOUS LIVES!
Please check out our Adoption page!
If anyone wants to help,
Supplies can be sent to
12965 Green Saddle Drive, #233
Golconda, NV 89414
checks to PO Box 233,
Golconda NV 89414
or Donations can be made at:
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2
THANK YOU for everything we have received. **
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:
You can go to gofundme
You can go to Paypal
if you would like to help these horses.
->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)
Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,
PO Box # 233
Golconda, NV 89414
You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.
NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!
SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME
Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab
We are now part of the WIN Organization
WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_
If there are ever funds left over from the cost of the rescue itself, the monies are used to feed, vet, care for and provide shelter and proper fencing for the animals once they are saved.
The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we are SO excited to share that we reached our $125,000 Year-End fundraising goal and UNLOCKED the $100,000 gift from our matching donor!!
From each and every one of us at the American Wild Horse Campaign — thank you so much for your part in helping us reach this goal! Please know that your support will make such an enormous difference for America’s wild horses and burros in 2022 as we continue our fight to keep these cherished animals wild.
While we begin to tackle our 2022 agenda, we wanted to share with you the victories that AWHC supporters helped us to accomplish over the past year. Please read on for a recap of our 2021 accomplishments and a preview of what’s to come this year!
Exposed the Adoption Incentive Program
After a months-long investigation, our team uncovered a slaughter pipeline that had been created by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Adoption Incentive Program (AIP). In partnership with The New York Times, we exposed the disastrous program in a front-page report.
Uncovering this pipeline was only the first of several milestones in this fight. Shortly after the New York Times exposé, we garnered an overwhelming amount of support from the public, and dozens of members of Congress took action on Capitol Hill to reform the failed program. At the same time, AWHC filed suit against the BLM to challenge the AIP. Recently, government attorneys informed us that the BLM will be revealing a “new” Adoption Incentive Program in early 2022. We will be watching closely to ensure that the program is meaningfully reformed by ending the cash incentives that are fueling fraud and abuse.
Made Strides on Capitol Hill
Our government relations team worked tirelessly with members of the House and Senate to pass historic legislation during the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations process allocating $11 million in funding toward humane wild horse and burro management.
This $11 million was reallocated away from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) roundup funds toward implementing “a robust and humane fertility control strategy of reversible immunocontraceptive vaccines” for America’s wild horses. This breakthrough language marks the first time that Congress is requiring the BLM to implement alternatives to the cruel roundup and removal of wild horses and burros from their homes on our public lands. It’s a huge step toward responsible wild horse and burro management that will help keep these iconic animals in the wild, where they belong!
Helped Rescue Over 100 Wild Horses & Burros from Slaughter
Thanks to the help of generous supporters like you, we were able to help fund the rescues of over 100 slaughter-bound wild horses and burros this year. In collaboration with our rescue partners, we were able to identify and rescue wild horses and burros from kill pens across the country — in imminent danger of being shipped to Mexico or Canada for brutal slaughter. The vast majority of these horses and burros were sent into the slaughter pipeline through the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program by adopters who pocketed the cash incentives then dumped “their” animals at kill pens.
Proved Humane Management Works
AWHC operates the world’s largest humane fertility control program for wild horses on Nevada’s Virginia Range — and this Spring we will celebrate the three-year anniversary of this groundbreaking program!
On the range, we use Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) immunocontraception — a scientifically-proven fertility control vaccine given to female horses through an injection via remote darting with an air rifle. The vaccine creates an immune response that prevents fertilization without impacting the horses’ hormonal systems, thus preserving their natural behaviors.
This year our program reduced the foaling rate on the Virginia Range by 44%! This achievement has been critical in demonstrating to lawmakers and the BLM that fertility control is an effective tool for reducing population growth and a viable alternative to costly and cruel helicopter roundups for the management of America’s wild herds.
Protected Nevada’s Wild Horses
Earlier this year, a resolution was introduced in the Nevada State Senate that called on Congress to fund brutal helicopter roundups of at least 40,000 of Nevada’s wild horses and burros — that’s nearly every wild horse and burro living in Nevada today!
We quickly mobilized political and environmental opposition to the resolution, SJR 3, and were successful in killing it in the Natural Resources Committee. The outcome was an important show of support by this key legislative committee for humane wild horse management and a significant defeat for the coalition of livestock operators, hunters, and commercial wildlife trappers behind the mass roundup resolution.
Amplified Our Voice
Our movement to save America’s wild horses and burros grew by leaps and bounds this year. Public outrage over the plight of these iconic animals grew, and so did the number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill demanding reform. So many of you joined the fight to preserve the freedom of our wild horses and burros on the public lands they call home, and for that, we are so grateful.
We have much progress to make in 2022, but we know we can always count on supporters like you to lobby your elected officials, support our critical legal work, and raise awareness across the country about the threats America’s wild horses and burros continue to face.
This fight is a marathon, not a sprint, and we know that we can count on you to stand with us all along the way. Together, we will make real progress for our cherished wild horses and burros in 2022.
So stay ready and stay tuned! We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year!
American Wild Horse Campaign