Monthly Archive for: ‘June, 2022’

Roundup season is almost here, and the BLM is coming for me and my herd…

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

I need your help.

Roundup season begins tomorrow and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning on coming for me and my herd soon. The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) says that the BLM is planning to roundup nearly 2,000 of my friends and family from our home in the 2.1 million acre Triple B Complex in Eastern Nevada. 

I’ll be honest, I’m scared. Helicopter roundups aren’t just cruel, they can be deadly. I’ve heard that wild horses can get stuck in traps, break their legs, or worse — get killed after the BLM chased them with helicopters. Meredith, I really don’t want to join that list. That’s why we need organizations like AWHC who fight to protect horses like me.

AWHC is working hard to stop the BLM from continuing its use of brutal helicopter roundups. Their fertility vaccine program is a MUCH better alternative. After all, it’s safe, effective, and most importantly, keeps us at home in the wild. Can you make a donation to AWHC to help them keep fighting for us?

DONATE

Powerful ranchers in Nevada hold permits to graze their animals on our lands — they want most of us gone.

AWHC says the goal of this cruel roundup is to reduce our population so that these privately-owned cattle and sheep can continue to graze within our Complex each year. The ranchers want us eliminated because then they get to graze their animals for really cheap — discounted by your tax dollars too! These powerful interests have lobbied in Washington for decades, so they hold a lot of influence, influence that hurts horses like the ones in my herd and thousands more across the West.

That all doesn’t seem very fair, and to be honest, Meredith, I’d really like to keep my whole family together on the lands we’ve called home for centuries. That’s why I’m so glad you support an organization like AWHC.

They are standing up for me and my family both in Washington and out in the field. We need them – and they need you. Without your support, they would not be able to do the necessary work to fight for wild horses like me. Can you make a contribution to support their efforts today?

DONATE

Thank you for standing by my side.

Chance
A stallion from Triple B

Hours Left to Become Herd Sponsor for Boots & Bling!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

Join us at our 9th annual Boots & Bling as a Herd Sponsor!

The Herd Sponsorship is perfect for small businesses, families, and friends! It includes a table at the event for 12, recognition on our website, social media channels, and newsletters.

This sponsor package is $500 and is available only through midnight! Act fast and sign up before it’s too late!

Become A Sponsor

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses or individuals

who wish to support the event and AAE in a bigger way.

Boots & Bling will be held on Saturday, August 6 at the

El Dorado County Fairgrounds, in Placerville.

Doors open at 4pm.

This evening features a catered BBQ dinner by Blackjack Grill,

and DJ music and entertainment by Sundance Kid,

live and silent auctions, stories from our barn, and more.

Boots & Bling is AAE’s most important fundraising event of the year as it supports our ongoing operations and allows us to continue helping horses, one horse at a time.

Don’t need an entire table? Buy individual tickets!

If you want to sit together, please buy your tickets in one transaction.

Buy Tickets!

 

BREAKING: House Committee Takes Important Step for Wild Horses and Burros!!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We’ve got BIG news.

Thanks to your support, the House Appropriations Committee just adopted language championed by AWHC calling for on-range management strategies of America’s cherished wild horses and burros. The Committee allocated $11 million in funding for humane, reversible fertility control vaccines as part of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget.

Additionally, the Committee called for several other key provisions that would help keep wild horses and burros on public lands where they belong and better safeguard the welfare of animals that are sold or adopted by federal agencies. These include:

  • Evaluating options for relocating wild horses and burros to different Herd Management Areas (HMAs) as an alternative to sending them to government holding facilities.
  • Reviewing the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) for any weaknesses that jeopardize the welfare of wild horses and burros placed into private care.
  • Partnering with veterans and wild horse organizations to assist in the implementation of a robust fertility control program.
  • Requiring the BLM to provide quarterly reports to Congress regarding how funds are spent and performance metrics.

The Committee also addressed concerns about wild horses and burros under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) by emphasizing the importance of implementing adequate screening procedures for adopters and purchasers of these animals. The USFS currently lacks safeguards to protect wild horses and burros it rounds up and removes from their habitats on USFS lands. This, paired with sale prices as low as $25 a horse, raises serious concerns that USFS wild horses could end up in the slaughter pipeline or face other inhumane outcomes.

We are incredibly grateful for the concrete steps Congress has taken toward reforming the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program over the past two years. This is a result of your unrelenting advocacy, and it marks important progress in the fight to protect these iconic animals. 

At the same time, the bill proposes increased overall funding for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program — although $6 million less than what the Committee proposed last year. We must continue to press the BLM to use any additional funding to improve its program by reducing inhumane removals and addressing shortcomings in its holding system, where 60,000 wild horses and burros are confined and where disease outbreaks have claimed the lives of 159 wild horses so far this year.

This isn’t the last step in the congressional appropriations process, so stay tuned for more updates! 

— The AWHC Team

From California to Colorado, wild horses need your voice now!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

There’s been a lot going on with our precious wild horses and burros, so we wanted to share some updates with you, including a Congressman’s bold efforts to save wild horses in California, and more!

Last Chance: Ask Your Representative to Set BLM on Path to Humane Wild Horse Management

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee will hold a markup of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Interior spending bill, which includes funding for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program. The Government Relations team here at AWHC has been working hard on Capitol Hill to divert funding away from the BLM’s helicopter roundups and toward humane fertility control vaccines that keep wild horses on public lands, but we need your help!

Please take action TODAY by asking your member of Congress once more to ensure the BLM’s FY23 budget reflects humane management strategies on behalf of our beloved wild horses and burros!

TAKE ACTION

ACT NOW: Urge Your Members of Congress to Protect California’s Devil’s Garden Wild Horses! 

Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) is currently circulating a sign on letter to U.S.Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S Forest Service Chief Randy Moore regarding inhumane wild horse management practices in the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory in California. While Congress has passed legislation prohibiting the Forest Service from destroying healthy wild horses and burros and selling these animals for slaughter for processing into commercial products, serious concerns remain about whether sufficient measures are being taken to protect the Devil’s Garden wild horses from slaughter, including measures to screen buyers and conduct follow-up compliance inspections after sales.

These horses need your voice. Please take one moment today to send a message to your Representative asking that they support Congressman Lieu’s request for the Forest Service to implement policies to ensure the welfare of federally-protected wild horses at Devil’s Garden.

TAKE ACTION

20 Roundups in 40 Years? BLM Mismanagement of the Piceance Wild Horses

By now, you have heard that the BLM is planning on removing most of the wild horses from the Piceance Herd Management Area (HMA) in Colorado beginning July 15, despite calls from state and federal officials to delay the operation pending a review. A little digging into the history of the management—or mismanagement—of this herd tells the story of exactly how we got to where we are today with the pending removal of nearly 850 wild horses. Click below to learn more!

LEARN MORE

Thanks for all you continue to do to protect wild horses and burros!

— AWHC Team

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MULE CROSSING: Turns On the Forehand and Haunches

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By Meredith Hodges

Proper conditioning of the young equine through a carefully sequenced program of gymnastic exercises is essential to the proper development of his mind and body. Spending time cultivating a smooth, fluid forward motion with rhythm and cadence will help him to develop properly and enable him to perform difficult movements more easily. Work with ground rails and cavalletti helps to build muscle, particularly in the hindquarters, which will help him carry your weight more easily through lateral movements, stops and lengthenings. Proper preparation minimizes resistance and frustration which will be apparent by the way your animal carries his tail. You may have noticed after the introduction of a few simple lateral movements, that your equine’s forward motion has become a little shaky again. It is now time to clarify to your animal the connection between forward motion and lateral motion. With his increased understanding of your seat and legs and by using a few simple exercises, this should be a fairly simple process.

Ask your equine to walk a 20-meter (approximately 60 foot) circle, maintaining rhythm, cadence, proper flexion and bend. Then, in rhythm, change your aids to a slight counter bend and ask for a turn-on-the-forehand, sending his haunches in toward the center of the circle until he is reversed. At the precise instant he is in position to start following the circle in the opposite direction, release your pressure on the reins and send him forward again with your legs onto the new circle in the opposite direction.

You will find that you must hold him back a little with the reins through the turn-on-the-forehand to keep his weight on his hindquarters through the turn, but to maintain the forward motion, it is critical that the release comes at the instant he has completed the 180 degree turn. While executing the turn-on-the-forehand, do not hold back on the reins with steady pressure.

Instead, complete the turn with a series of half-halts with your seat and a squeeze/release action with the reins. If you do this, your final release will come as a natural sequence to the turn and it will be in rhythm and harmony with your equine. You can do this exercise at the walk, trot and canter, slowing to the walk each time for the turn-on-the-forehand.

Next, you will begin to cultivate the turn-on-the-haunches. (Your equine’s lateral work on the Side Pass T-poles will have given him a little understanding of what this is all about.) Again, walk him on a 20-meter circle. Then, when you are ready to make the turn, nudge your equine rhythmically and hard with your outside leg, keeping your weight centered over his body with a passive inside leg.

Maintain contact with your outside rein so that his head remains straight, and lead him into the new direction with a squeeze/release action on your inside rein and back it up with a rhythmic squeeze-release from you leg on the opposite side from the leading rein. Be careful not to inhibit his forward motion. It is better that he do small circles to complete the turn than to fall back over his haunches into a reinback. As in the turn-on-the-forehand, nudge and give, squeeze and release—a Longears (mule or donkey) will lean hard against continuous pressure. Keep practicing this exercise, maintaining his body between your aids.

When he does well at the walk, you can move on to the trot and canter, slowing to the walk for the turn.  And even if your equine makes a mistake, remember to praise him for his effort and go on. If you do this, you will find him to be a much more cooperative partner and eventually you will succeed at what you have set out to accomplish.

Once your equine gets his footwork figured out through these turns, and has had the chance to build up his body physically, you can think about increasing the demand for speed and finesse in the turn-on-the-haunches , but that will come much later. To attempt any more than this right now will most likely destroy his forward motion, cadence and rhythm, and will cause much frustration and fatigue. Working a mule along the fence will help him to keep his pivot foot planted throughout the turn. It is an excellent exercise for improving the quality of the turn-on-the-haunches for Reining and cow work, but because of the sensitive nature of the animal and his slow physical maturation, it usually causes too much stress and frustration on younger animals if attempted too early. The equine may even perform well for a couple of years after quicker training, but before long he will sour on the movements. He will anticipate and possibly even
begin to run off with you to avoid doing them. It’s better to take it slow and easy and maintain your rapport and understanding with him. After all, equines that are brought along slowly will generally live a lot longer, so why get impatient and try to do too much too soon? Wouldn’t you rather have a long-lasting and pleasant relationship with a animal that is happy with his work?

Your equine will not require the crimped oats reward while he is under saddle, but be sure to give him plenty of oats BEFORE the ride and then again afterwards to make sure he understands that he has done well. This will assure that his good behaviors will be repeated. When you praise your equine lavishly for successes, and stroke him gently and calmly if he makes a mistake, you will solidify the relationship between you!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 1989, 1992, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All rights reserved.

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WRANGLER’S DONKEY DIARY: First Turnout with Chasity: 6-10-20

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We tore down the quarantine panels and made one big area for Wrangler’s and Chasity’s turnout. Today would be their first time together in an open area by themselves. Chasity spent two months in quarantine with a double fence between them, then two weeks with a single fence between them. For those two weeks, they were introduced to the round pen and lunged together with no problems. Wrangler has finally found his “LADY LOVE!” But, for the time being, Wrangler is more interested in this GREAT BIG NEW PEN! Chasity watches him with interest while he inspects every square inch of the area.

Wrangler suddenly bolts and runs with joy!!! Chasity goes to the corner and pretends she doesn’t notice  his exuberance and obvious male flirtation!

Chasity then meanders over to talk with our miniature gelding horse, Mirage. Wrangler gallops over to flirt with our miniature mule, Francis, to make her jealous, but Chasity is not moved, so Wrangler goes after her to break up the tryst!

Chasity just moved down the fence line and Mirage followed her. Wrangler went after her and herded her to the other side of the pen where Chasity stopped and Wrangler patrolled the perimeter to keep her from returning to Mirage. Chasity is slightly incensed.

Wrangler made an approach and Chasity promptly chastised him and sent him to his corner. Then she trotted down to her corner and they pretended not to notice each other!

Chasity walked back up to Wrangler to try to make up and he galloped off in a huff! She then decided to play hard-to-get and returned to her corner where he promptly approached her again…this time, much more cautiously!

After they had stood still for a while, I called Chasity and Wrangler over for a reward of crimped oats. They came obediently and stood politely next to each other to receive their “goodies!” They then watched me leave with acute interest… “Well, aren’t you going to give us MORE?!!!”













Drop Everything! Early Bird Boots & Bling Pricing Ends TONIGHT!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

Boots & Bling will be held on Saturday, August 6 at the

El Dorado County Fairgrounds, in Placerville.

Doors open at 4pm.

This evening features a catered BBQ dinner by Blackjack Grill,

and DJ music and entertainment by Sundance Kid,

live and silent auctions, stories from our barn, and more.

Buy Tickets!

Boots & Bling is AAE’s most important fundraising event of the year as it supports our ongoing operations and allows us to continue helping horses, one horse at a time.

If you want to sit together, please buy your tickets in one transaction.

Buy Tickets!

Start your week off with some feel-good foal news:

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Meet Colorado’s newest foal, named in honor of the state’s First Gentleman Marlon Reis. Introducing: Reis!

Photo by © WilsonAxpe Photography

Traditionally, in the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area, the first person to spot a new foal also gets to choose a name for them! And that’s exactly what photographer and AWHC team member Scott Wilson did, in homage to the Governor of Colorado and the First Gentleman’s advocacy on behalf of these gentle animals. 

Here at AWHC, we fully support this new moniker for this sweet foal, and are proud to recognize the wild horse-friendly leadership of Governor Jared Polis and First Gentleman Reis!

We couldn’t think of any better story from the range than an adorable foal receiving a worthy name. And, Scott managed to get some amazing photos, too!

Photo by © WilsonAxpe Photography

We’re constantly working to protect foals, wild horses, and burros in Colorado and beyond. And we couldn’t be more grateful to have wild-horse friendly leadership from Governor Polis and First Gentleman Reis! 

Will you sign our thank you card to Gov. Polis and First Gentleman Reis for their continued advocacy on behalf of Colorado’s wild horses?

SIGN THE CARD

Thanks!

— AWHC Team

Chilly Pepper – ORPHAN 911 – Catcher called – we need to pick up babies today! they need Your Help now for Milk, BAIL, transport & Supplies!

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

It’s GO TIME!

Catcher called and I need to head out now to pick up babies.

Our funds are depleted from this last rescue and now we need to replenish our supplies immediately.

We need meds, bail money, transport money, Foal Lac Powder, Foal Lac Pellets, Hay, meds, funds for vetting and all the normal stuff.

THANK YOU for the milk y’all have sent for Pearl. All of the kids are getting healthier every day and the baby is starting to buck and play.

Please Help us Save the new kids so they can also have their best life!

Please help us “git ‘er done”, and God bless y’all for being so amazing for these horses. He puts them in front of us for His reason, and I am glad He chose our Chilly Pepper Family to help them!

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN HELPING SAVE THESE PRECIOUS LIVES!

Please check out our Adoption page!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies or checks can be sent to

Palomino
Chilly Pepper
19 Weona Rd.
Goldendale, WA 98620

or

checks to PO Box 233,
Golconda NV 89414

Once again we are back and forth, so all addresses are good.

or Donations can be made at:

CashAp-$LauriArmstrong
Venmo – @Lauri-Armstrong-2

THANK YOU for everything we have received.

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/55-0882407 If you shop at Amazon, please go to this link.

Your love and support at work. She is starting to feel better and better! THANK YOU!

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_

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MULE CROSSING: Donkeys: The “Sinking” Reflex

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WN-DonkeySinking-001Donkeys have a lot of behaviors that owners might find strange. One of these is dropping their spine, or “sinking,” when you put a hand on their back. Not all donkeys will do this, but many of them will, especially when they are young and or haven’t been handled routinely. I’ve personally had experience with donkeys sinking to the point that they’ll go down to the floor on their knees and bellies. You may also commonly recognize this behavior in cats and dogs.

In order to understand what’s happening, it is important to understand the intervertebral equine anatomy. “Intervertebral” refers to the opening between two jointed vertebrae for the passage of nerves to and from the spinal cord. When a foal is first born, their bones and cartilage are soft and flexible, and their nerves in these areas are hypersensitive —especially over the spine.

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A foal that has not had the benefit of imprinting will be much more sensitive and generally reactive to touch than one that has been imprinted. Imprinting begins to desensitize nerve endings throughout the body wherever the animal is touched. However, the primary focus when imprinting is usually on the head, neck, ears, around the eyes, mouth, and down the legs, with only a passing swoop over the back and croup. Thus, the back does not get as much desensitization during imprinting and is largely ignored until grooming comes into the picture, and later, tack and equipment.

WN-DonkeySinking-004As the foal ages, muscles begin to develop under and around the nerves thanks to ongoing exercise. When muscles get harder and toned, though still maintaining their elasticity, they put pressure on the nerves from the inside of the body. You will start to notice that the foal that used to “jump” out from under your touch is now increasingly tolerant, and his reactions are not as abrupt and overdone. Foals that are more active in their exercise tend to be less likely to sink their backs, as their hardened muscles have begun to desensitize the nerves to some extent. Softer, untoned muscles do not affect nerves in the same way, so less active foals will usually have a more drastic reaction to touch.

With the right kinds of controlled passive leading exercises, the foal’s body can grow properly, conditioning muscles symmetrically and allowing the body to develop balanced equine posture. This conditioning allows for efficient movement, maximum blood circulation, internal organs working as intended, joints bending correctly, and nerve impulses firing in an unobstructed and healthy manner. When the animal is not exercised with good postural balance in mind, his way of going can be compromised. Though his unbalanced movement may not be apparent to the untrained eye, it can still produce pinched nerves and pain. If you have an animal that sinks to your touch, it is up to you to determine whether the reaction is a case of sensitivity due to minimal touch, or a more serious case of pinched nerves.

WN-DonkeySinking-005You can help desensitize your equine in a healthy way by continuing to imprint throughout the training process. Don’t just limit imprinting to a birth exercise, but pay attention to every phase and opportunity for touch. When grooming with the shedding blade for instance, pay special attention to the pressure over different places on your equine’s body. You can apply more pressure to fatty areas, but be sure to lighten up over the bony areas, as it can cause pain. Too much pressure over the spinal nerves will produce the sinking effect. When using your brushes over the body, be sure to use short flicks instead of long strokes. Short flicks induce more passive pressure over the nerves, which not only removes dirt more efficiently, but also provides more endurable pressure over the nerves that will eventually minimize your equine’s sensitivity. With these careful and detailed practices, the sinking effect will soon disappear.

These kinds of initial training practices will greatly enhance the training experience for both you and your equine. All behaviors, bad or good, arise from the way you do things with your animal, and you will only gain his trust when you make him feel good. When he feels good, his behavior will be good. Preparing him properly before asking him to carry tack and equipment, and later, a rider, will make the process much easier for him to accept, and will avoid the adverse behaviors and even painful or severe consequences that can develop without proper preparation. Be patient and always take the extra time to do the little things that will enhance your time together. It will be well worth the effort!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2016, 2020, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BLM Corral No Surprise At All To Wild Horse

I-Team: ‘It’ll spread like wildfire.’

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Mustang deaths at BLM corral no surprise at all to wild horse

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Longears Music Videos: Lady Mule Riders

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See more Longears Music Videos

ACTION ALERT: Our wild herds need your voice!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

House Appropriations language for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 is being considered on Tuesday — and we urgently need your help to ensure next year’s spending bill includes efforts to protect wild horses and burros! 

Can you contact your U.S. Representative right now and ask them to ensure the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) FY23 budget includes humane management strategies on behalf of our beloved wild horses and burros?

TAKE ACTION NOW →

We are incredibly proud of the historic steps Congress took towards reforming the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program when it passed its FY2022 omnibus spending bill earlier this year. This bill required the BLM to spend up to $11 million to implement a robust fertility control vaccine program as a humane alternative to cruel helicopter roundups.

America’s wild herds are still in danger. 

The BLM is accelerating its brutal roundups of these precious animals. Just yesterday, the BLM began a bait trap removal of the Piceance Basin wild horses outside of Meeker, Colorado, a roundup that wasn’t supposed to even start until the end of August.

Once captured, these horses are sent to overcrowded holding facilities where they are vulnerable to disease, injury, and death. In Piceance, the wild horses were originally supposed to be transported to the BLM’s Cañon City corrals — the same facility where 145 wild horses died from Equine Influenza Virus earlier this year and where an ongoing deadly ‘strangles’ outbreak is still occurring. Instead, the horses will now be transported across state lines to the Axtell holding pens in Utah, which have historically been plagued with strangles.

Our Government Relations team here at AWHC is working hard on Capitol Hill to divert funding away from the BLM’s helicopter roundups in favor of humane birth control vaccines that keep wild horses on the public lands they and their families call home. But we can’t do it alone. We need as many voices as possible to echo our message and urge Congress to enact a pro-horse and burro agenda for 2023!

That’s why we need your help. Will you call on your U.S. Representative to support $11 million in humane birth control vaccine treatments in the FY23 spending bill?

TAKE ACTION →

Thank you for standing up for America’s wild herds,

AWHC Team

The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

I wanted to contact you today because you are a supporter of AWHC who takes a lot of action on behalf of wild horses and burros!

AWHC is starting a volunteer legislative advocacy team and we are looking for reliable people who may be interested in helping with us in a leadership role.

The purpose of the Volunteer Ambassador Program is to have AWHC volunteers in each Congressional District to give a voice for our iconic wild horses and burros and bring awareness to their plight.

If you are interested, please complete this application and return to volunteer@americanwildhorsecampaign.org. We are actively recruiting volunteers who have drive and interest in helping with our policy and legislative initiatives.

Thank you for your continued support of wild horses and burros!

Michele Patterson
Grassroots and Advocacy Manager, AWHC

THANK YOU!!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

You’ve heard a lot from us recently about our Rescue Fund and the work we’re doing with our on-the-ground partners to provide lifesaving care to foals abandoned on the range, mustangs dumped in kill pens, and other innocent wild horses and burros who found themselves in need of help across the West.

You also heard that we set an ambitious goal of $15,000 to replenish the resources of our Fund to assist rescue operations and field veterinary, feed, and formula costs. Well,  I’m happy to report that we raised above and beyond our goal! 

From all of us at AWHC, thank you so much for your generosity and dedication to protecting America’s wild herds. 

Every single dollar of our Rescue Fund goes right back into caring for foals, supporting our partners and rescuing these animals from the most vulnerable of circumstances. These donations will make a difference in the lives of so many wild horses! 

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on our ongoing rescue efforts. Thank you again for all your support!  

With gratitude,

— Suzanne + the AWHC Team

Our Fund goes further than just foal rescues!!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Over the past few days, you’ve heard all about how our Rescue Fund has helped rescue and support some of the most vulnerable baby foals from Nevada’s Virginia Range.

While foal rescues are a critical part of our work, they aren’t the only thing our Rescue Fund’s resources go towards! Another incredibly important aspect of our Rescue Fund is offering financial support to on-the-ground rescue organizations to help get wild horses and burros of all ages out of kill pens AND support their continued care after they’ve been rescued.

We set a goal to raise $15,000 by tonight at midnight to replenish the resources of our Rescue Fund to help even more horses and burros in need. We’re so close to reaching our goal, Meredith — will you donate whatever you can right now to help us get there before midnight?

FUEL OUR RESCUE FUND

Just this month, we sponsored the feed, veterinary care, and farrier bills for three beautiful mustang mares and their babies who found safe haven at Oklahoma-based rescue organization RJF Equine after being rescued from various kill pens across the West. Meet the mares and their babies:


Uno and her baby!

Uno is a beautiful pinto mare from the US Forest Service-managed Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory in California. She was born wild and free in 2018 but was soon rounded up by the agency and sent to a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holding facility. From there, she was adopted through the disastrous Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) and arrived at a kill pen soon after her adopter received the full incentive payment. When RJF Equine saved her from slaughter, she was pregnant and soon gave birth to a beautiful appaloosa baby!


Duo’s baby Gemini

Duo is a stunning bay mare also from the Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory. Like Uno, she was pregnant when RJF Equine rescued her from a kill pen, and was able to give birth to a beautiful baby named Gemini.


Trinity and her three-day-old filly

Trinity and her adorable foal are RJF Equine’s most recent kill pen rescues! Thanks to the rescue’s swift action, this sweet filly gets to grow up strong and healthy by her mother’s side and the pair are safe from the horrific fate of slaughter.

We’re honored to work alongside and support our rescue partners, like RJF Equine, that do so much to save our beloved mustangs and burros from danger. And we couldn’t be more grateful for our other partner in these rescues — you

Without the help of supporters like you, this work wouldn’t be possible. Your support for our Rescue Fund gives us the means to sponsor continued care for these deserving horses and many more like them. So today, as we aim to hit our $15,000 Rescue Fund goal, will you make another donation to help us support more lifesaving rescues?

FUEL OUR RESCUE FUND

Thank you for your support,

AWHC Team

Just $1,216 to go for our Rescue Fund! Can you help us??

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

With just a few hours to go until midnight, I wanted to make sure I updated you on our progress:

Right now, we’re just $1,216 away from hitting our $15,000 Rescue Fund goal! That is truly astonishing progress, but as you know, to make the maximum impact for these vulnerable animals, we need to raise the full amount.

What does hitting this $15,000 goal mean? It gives us the resources to be ready the next time a wild horse or burro is up for purchase at a slaughter auction or a foal is found in critical condition on the range.

Your support drives just how many rescues we are able to power. So, with just a few hours until midnight, I’m asking if you’ll chip in so we can better support the on-the-ground organizations doing the hard work of rescuing these innocent animals and creating a safe, happy, and secure environment for them. Will you contribute to help us reach our $15,000 goal?

CONTRIBUTE

Thank you so much for stepping up to help us protect these animals and provide support to organizations whenever we are called upon!

— Suzanne

Meet Ranger: a heartwarming testament to the importance of our work

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Our Rescue Fund powers a variety of critically important work from providing lifesaving medical care to foals on the range to even outbidding kill buyers at slaughter auctions to protect victims of the BLM’s failed Adoption Incentive Program. But no matter how many rescues we fund, just know that this work is only possible because of supporters like you, Meredith. 

We’ve supported a lot of rescues as of late, so we’ve set a goal to raise $15,000 by Tuesday at midnight to add some much-needed resources to our Rescue Fund. With more support, we can help even more of these beloved animals in need of care. If you’d like to continue to power this lifesaving work, will you donate now to help us reach our goal?

Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of the recent rescues, a sweet long-legged boy named Ranger who was born on Nevada’s Virginia Range:

Ranger’s story begins when at just two days old, he got mixed into the wrong band and was separated from his mother. Once this was reported to a local organization, Wild Horse Connection (WHC), they called the Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC) rescue team to the area. The skilled rescue crew was thankfully able to secure him. The team tried to reunite him with his family, as they were still very near, but his mother would not come to him, and the stallion kept chasing him away. 

After attempts to reunite them failed, LRTC rescue members gave Ranger a critical supplement to ensure he received colostrum, and they transported him to LBL Equine Rescue. Unfortunately, after several hours he began to show signs of intestinal distress. He was rushed to the emergency vet, where he tested positive for an infection and had to be hospitalized for a week while he received lifesaving antibiotics. But little Ranger recovered, and was released back to LBL Equine Rescue!!

SUPPORT FOALS LIKE RANGER

Here at AWHC, we partner with local rescue organizations like WHC, LBL Equine Rescue, and LRTC to fuel their work as they care for orphaned or abandoned foals on the Virginia Range. Your support enables us to help these organizations with funding to make sure no foal is left behind. 

The work AWHC and our partners do to help foals like Ranger wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for our Foal Rescue Fund. Due to the high amount of rescues we’ve assisted with recently, we need to replenish our fund. Reaching our $15,000 goal helps us bolster our Rescue Fund to help more foals like Ranger. If you can, will you make a contribution to help us reach our $15,000 goal, Meredith?

Thank you,

American Wild Horse Campaign

RichardShrakeClinic8 11 2010 195CC

MULE CROSSING: Myths About Desensitization

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By Meredith Hodges

You really don’t want to desensitize your animals to everything. Here is Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of the word “desensitize”:

1) to make (a sensitized or hypersensitive individual) insensitive or non-reactive to a sensitizing agent.

Some people have the misconception that, in order to desensitize an animal, you have to make it numb to its surroundings and any stimulus it encounters. Not true! What you really want to do is sensitize your equine to different body language and cues from you, as the trainer. So “desensitization” does not mean achieving a total lack of sensitivity. Rather, it should be approached as a way of training your equine (in a way that is quiet and calm) to be less sensitive to certain objects or events that may be cause him to be fearful, so he can move forward with confidence and the right sensitivity toward the communication between the two of you.

When incorrect, harsh or overly aggressive desensitizing techniques are used on equines, the handler is met with either a very strong flight reflex or a stand and fight reflex.  In either case, an equine will either put up a fight and be deemed a rogue and, therefore, untrainable, or eventually just “give up” and succumb to the trainer’s wishes. This is  a sad situation because the equine is not given the opportunity to make reasonable choices in his relationship with his trainer. The equine’s instinct to warm up to the person training him is hampered by his fear of more desensitization techniques. Thus, he becomes resigned to his work and is not fully engaged in the training process.

Often, trainers will put obstacles such as a trailer, tire or tarp in an equine’s pen in the hope of getting him used to it by making him live with it. But ask yourself this: How much rest would you get if someone put a blaring radio in your bedroom to desensitize you to noise? Equines have many of the same reactions to their personal space that we do, and they do much better when their place of rest is just that—a place of rest and comfort. And when lessons are approached in a considerate, respectful and rewarding way, an equine is more likely to approach them with an eager and positive attitude that facilitates better learning. It is always better to turn your equine’s fear into curiosity than it is to just assault his senses.

When doing obstacle training, it is better to allow your equine a gradual approach with small steps and great rewards for his honest effort than to whip and spur him through just to get to the other side. When his fear is converted to curiosity, the chance of his refusal to go forward is lessened and his trust in you as the trainer allows you to, eventually, ride through any obstacle at the slightest suggestion. This is because he trusts your judgment and has not been frightened, hurt or made uncomfortable during the training process. This is your equine developing sensitivity to your demands and learning to willingly comply so he can become a participating partner in each activity.

Some trainers believe that breaking down tasks for the equine into tiny steps is a waste of time and that giving a food reward prevents an equine from learning to respect the trainer, but I disagree. When you break tasks down into understandable steps in the beginning stages of training, you will eventually begin to get solid, reliable behavior from your equine. You will have to pay attention to a lot of little details at the beginning stages of training (and that can seem overwhelming at first), but if you take the time to pay attention to these small steps in the beginning stages and through the ground work and round pen work that will follow, when you finally do move on to riding under saddle the lessons will go much more quickly.

Each stage of training should become easier for you and your equine to master. For instance, it actually takes you less time to train in something like a side pass if you have done your groundwork training with the lead line and drive-line lateral training before you even get into the saddle. It also follows that the side pass will come more easily for your equine if he has first learned to move on an angle in the leg yield before having to move straight sideways. This is an example of taking things in small, logical steps, keeping your equine sensitive to his surroundings and tasks without fear. It also greatly lessens the chance for a fear or anxiety-driven blow up from your equine later on.

There is a physical as well as mental aspect to all of this technique. While you are training your equine to perform certain movements and negotiations over obstacles, his muscles, ligaments and tendons are all involved in his actions. When an equine is asked to do a movement for which his muscles have not first been properly conditioned, he will not only execute the motion incorrectly, but his premature attempt will undoubtedly compromise his muscles, ligaments and tendons. Even if he can adequately assimilate a requested movement while he is young, he could easily be creating problems in his body and joints that will cause him escalating problems as he ages.

If you were asked to go on a 25-mile hike with a 50-pound pack on your back, how would you prepare in order to safely and successfully perform this task? You would break it down into small steps, working up to it by first running a short distance with a very light weight, and then gradually increasing the distance you run and the weight you carry, which may take as long as a couple of years of careful training and conditioning. But if you tried to prepare for this kind of grueling hike by simply walking around the block a few times for a couple of days, you’d wreck your muscles, compromise your health and probably fail—all because you attempted to do the task when you weren’t physically or mentally ready. And depending on how much you strained your body, you just might discover down the line that the damage is permanent and will worsen over the course of your life. I use this illustration to show that, just as with humans, when it comes to training and conditioning your equine, it’s always better to take it slowly—one step at a time. Your equine will learn to enjoy being a partner in your challenges and goals if you give him the time he needs to be able to do these activities comfortably and with success.

An equine that learns in this sensitized way can also make judgments that might even save your life when you might not be paying attention. This is because when your equine is calm and well rested, he actually seems to be able to anticipate consequences, making him more likely to stop and wait for your cue. The equine that is “forced” during training will most often become anxious about a challenging situation and will seldom stop and calmly alert you to a potential peril—and he most likely will not trust your judgment.

It is because I have trained my mules in this sensitized way that I once avoided going over a 100-foot drop up in the Rocky Mountains while on a trail ride. On that particular day, I was in front, riding my mule, Mae Bea C.T. with four horses behind us. When we came to a giant boulder semi-blocking the trail, I told the people on the horses to wait and rode ahead. I soon found that the trail had narrowed to an impassable two feet wide and a rockslide had wiped out the trail ahead completely! It was straight up 100 feet on one side of the trail and straight down 100 feet on the other side and there was no going forward. The horses behind me were still on the wider part of the trail on the other side of the boulder and were able turn around, so they were safe, but backing my mule around the boulder on that treacherous trail would be very dangerous. I thought we were stuck. At that point, my mule calmly looked back around at me as if to ask, “Well, Mom, what do we do now?” I thought for a minute and then shifted the weight in my seat toward my mule’s hindquarters. This movement from me allowed her to shift her weight to her hindquarters. Then, with pressure from my right leg, she lifted her shoulders, pivoted on her left hind foot and performed a 180-degree turn to the left on her haunches, and with her front feet in the air, she swept them across the open precipice of the cliff and turned us back around to face the wider (and safe) part of the trail. After completing the turn, she stopped again, looked back at me to see if everything was okay and waited for my cue to proceed back down. I believe, without a doubt, that my mule’s incredible and calm response to a life-threatening situation was the direct result of the sensitized training methods I used that created our unbreakable bond of trust.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Chasity’s Spring Walk4 21 20 3

CHASITY’S CHALLENGES: Chasity’s Spring Walk: 4-21-20

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4-21-20

It was a gorgeous spring day and I was so pleased when Chasity came right to the door to meet me again as she had been doing consistently after only two lessons in her initial training. As I cleaned her nostrils and smelled the clean spring air, I thought it might be nice to forego the indoor arena lessons and go out and enjoy this lovely spring weather. Sometimes just doing things a little differently with the same basic lessons can give you both a new perspective on training and make it a lot more fun!

It is shedding season and the multi-bristled human hairbrush was doing its job of removing the excess hair and aerating her coat. Then, I added a sprinkle of Johnson’s baby oil to her mane and tail while she stood stock still! She was definitely learning to enjoy our time together and her friends in the barn were forgotten for the moment.

As I got her tacked up in her gear, I chatted with Chasity and told her I thought we would go for a walk outside today. She thought it would be a great idea! I noticed that her cresty neck was decreasing in size… very slowly. I put on her surcingle and only took it up a bit so it wouldn’t be too tight at the start.

I put on the bridle carefully over her ears, adjusted the “Elbow Pull” and put on her neck sweat. She even helped a bit by lowering her head. Then I did a last check on the girth of the surcingle.

I quickly washed her brushes and we were on our way down the road! Chasity was very excited!

Our first encounter was the Lucky Three Ciji Side Saddle Champion statue. And then the Lucky Three Mae  Bea C.T. Combined Training Champion statue. Chasity was fearless and very curious about them!

She met the fountain statue, “Dreaming of Friends” and another “Lucky Three Ciji” statue.

She wasn’t sure about “Lasagna” lying at the base of the cottonwood tree, but she loved the OLD WESTERN TOWN that was in construction!

During the course of the walk, we made gradual turns, straight lines and squared up at the halt at several intervals to continue her lessons in core strength and good posture. I noticed a lot of improvement in her back and her abs! She told me she thought the MULE CROSSING sign should say DONKEY CROSSING, but she posed nicely anyway!

When we got back to the work station, we did a couple of stretching exercises for her neck in one direction only, since doing them the other way would only exacerbate the present condition. When we get more of the fat off her crest, the stretches will have value in both directions.

When we were finished, we went back to her stall. She was “sent” into the stall, turned around to face me to get her halter removed and received her just reward! It was a great day!

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