LTR Blog

Introducing our OFFICIAL 2022 American Wild Horse Campaign Member Card (!!)

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

You voted, so here it is (!!) 

Introducing our OFFICIAL 2022 American Wild Horse Campaign Member Card:

We have so much in store for 2022. Not only are we continuing our fight on the Hill, in courts, and in the field — we’re also working on a number of groundbreaking new initiatives — all in the name of keeping wild horses and burros in the wild where they belong.

Will you renew your support as an AWHC member to help fuel our fight for wild horses and burros in 2022?

We’re laser-focused on the fight to preserve the freedom of our wild mustangs and burros. That means in 2022, we are … proving through our PZP program on Nevada’s Virginia Range that humane in the wild management works … expanding our investigative team to uncover abuse and hold the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) accountable … continuing our lawsuit against the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program that’s sending horses and burros to slaughter … working with a prestigious university to make roundup violations enforceable by law … and so much more!!

But to have the means necessary to protect our cherished wild horses and burros for generations to come, we need your help. Will you renew your support as an AWHC member today to help fuel our fight in 2022?

RENEW YOUR 2022 SUPPORT

Thank you for your support of our wild herds.

— American Wild Horse Campaign

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Wrangler’s Donkey Diary: Arrival At Lucky Three Ranch

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Nation wide horse transportation

 

Checking things out

 

Leading – not exactly in sync

 

Entering barn alleyway

 

Handsome head shot

 

Meeting Meredith

 

Giving Meredith a donkey kiss

 

Good–bye present from prior owners

Unloading at Lucky Three Ranch

 

Steve leads the way – donkey trailer butt sores

 

Approaching the barn – in sync

 

Enter stall ahead of handler and turn around

 

Checking out his run

 

Posing for a picture

 

Giving Meredith a donkey hug

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MULE CROSSING: Donkeys As Livestock Guardians

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By Meredith Hodges

There has been a lot of discussion since the early nineties around using donkeys for small livestock protection and predator control. Donkeys can certainly be a formidable opponent for cats and dogs and other smaller animals. One needs to be careful about who the donkey is pastured with since it is in their nature to pursue and sometimes kill animals that are smaller and weaker than them. This is true in all donkeys, although some individual females tend to be more maternal and are not apt to go after smaller livestock. The males will always be more aggressive than the females and do not make good guardians for smaller livestock.

The other thing to consider is whether or not they have been raised with the livestock they are expected to guard. When raised with the other livestock, they will feel more a part of that “family” and are less likely to do them harm. A donkey that is going to be expected to guard livestock, but was not raised with them, should be carefully introduced to them “over the fence” for several weeks. Then if all seems to go well, you can introduce them in the same pen and watch for any signs of aggression. If there are signs of aggression after a few weeks of being separated, then they probably will never really get along. You must remember that a donkey is NOT a predator, nor a prey animal that will necessarily get along with other livestock. Donkeys prefer to be in a herd with other donkeys. They do not like being alone either. Donkeys have a strong sense of “family” and prefer to be with their own kind. When forced to be with other species, they will blend, but grudgingly.

There are three basic sizes of donkeys: Miniatures, Standard Donkeys and Mammoths. Our American donkeys are further identified by their height when being described rather than specific breeds. This is because they are so interbred from being turned loose during the time of the Spanish explorers. There are no real purebred donkeys in America other than the descendants of the original Andalusian donkeys that were bred from George Washington’s stock at Mt. Vernon. One must go to Europe to see the original BREEDS of donkeys. American donkeys are identified as: Miniature Donkeys (36” & under), Small Standard Donkeys (36.01” to 42”), Standard Donkeys (42.01” to 48”), Large Standard Donkeys (48.01” to 56”) and Mammoth Donkeys (Males 56” & over; Females 54” & over).

Miniature donkeys are not suitable guardians for livestock at all. They are too small and can fall victim to predators themselves. They simply cannot defend themselves. Standard donkey jennets are the most sought after for predator control, however, keep in mind that they are PREY animals and can fall victim to predators that are fairly large, or predators that run in packs. Mammoth donkeys are simply too slow to react. They lack the quickness and athleticism that it takes to combat a predator. Donkeys will never be able to guard against such predators as bears and mountain lions.

Good ranch dogs that are bred for guarding sheep and other livestock are a much better choice for guardianship. They are quick, clever and always on the alert. Their barking can alert the farmer as well. They can even move the livestock to a safer location on their own and will often chase off a predator pretty easily with their confusing way of attacking.

As with all livestock, donkeys need to be provided with adequate shelter from the elements, whether heat or cold, must be provided trace mineral salt blocks and clean, fresh water. Their time on pasture will need to be monitored for optimum health which will often clash with the grazing needs of sheep, goats and other smaller livestock. Donkeys are desert animals and really easy keepers. It is not uncommon when they colic or founder on too much, or too rich, grass. They cannot be on pasture 24/7.

Donkeys will need regular trims and must therefore, be reasonably trained. They will require vaccinations twice a year and regular worming. If they are not trained to accept these things, most veterinarians and farriers will be averse to handling them until they are. It takes time and patience to gain the trust of your donkey before you can actually consider him trained.

I have found it better to be smart about livestock control and not make it so easy for the predators. As I said, guard dogs bred for herd management are a much better choice. One should NEVER use mules as a guardian as they WILL be dangerous to smaller livestock and other smaller or weaker animals, even older mules! However, I have discovered that when my mules are pastured next to the smaller animals, predators give them a wide berth and thus, skirt the pens where the smaller animals are kept.

Since miniature donkeys and mules are always at risk, I add another element of safety for them by lining their pens with metal grating over the stock panels. Then, everyone is also brought in every night and turned out for a limited amount of time during the day. This gives me the opportunity to monitor their diet, check for injuries twice a day and keep them safe overnight. All my equines are taught to come in from turnout upon request. They know there is always a crimped oats reward awaiting them.

Wooden barns and wire fences can be easily torn down by larger predators. So over the years, I slowly replaced all of my wood barns and wire fences with metal barns, steel panels and vinyl fencing with hot wires on the top. I also run hotwires on the bottom of the vinyl fencing in areas where animals are likely to come through by climbing underneath. The way my barns and pens are laid out, the mule and large donkey pens surround the miniatures’ housing accommodations. It is not uncommon to see large “cats,” bears, coyotes and other predators in the foothills of Colorado where I live. It is even getting worse as more developments are built in the mountains and drive these predators off the mountains in the wintertime.

In summary, I do not recommend using donkeys as guardian animals. We need to remember that they are PREY animals themselves and can be grossly injured in any altercations with a predator. I think there are better choices for livestock guard animals and setting up the environment in which your livestock (donkeys included) is kept. These two considerations will promote the health and welfare of your livestock, and cost you a whole lot less in the long run!

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.

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

How we’re protecting wild horses and burros in 2022 >>

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The new year is upon us, and so is the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed roundup plan for the 2022 calendar year. Over the next 12 months, the BLM intends to round up 22,000 wild horses and burros — permanently removing 19,000 of these animals from their homes on our public lands.

This is Year 2 of the BLM’s plan remove 20,000 horses per year for the next five years, and it presents a real threat to the survival of America’s wild herds. But it’s not the end of their story. Far from it. Because the worse the BLM treats our cherished wild mustangs, the more support we get from Congress and the American public to change the current costly and cruel wild horse and burro management program.

Our team enters 2022 prepared for the many battles ahead — in court, on the Hill, and in the field — to protect wild horses and burros and keep them in the wild where they belong. Today, I wanted to share with you some of our biggest plans for 2022. This year, we intend to: 

  • Spearhead a national awareness campaign and grow our Ambassador Program to educate the American public about the plight of wild horses and empower them to get involved.
  • Continue to demonstrate through boots-on-the-ground work that humane management of wild horses is possible. We’ll continue to deliver unprecedented results from our PZP program on Nevada’s Virginia Range and broker programs for other herds across the West.
  • Put science at the forefront of wild horse management — We’ll be launching a number of new and exciting science initiatives, including an academic analysis of our Virginia Range PZP program data AND we’ll be creating an economic report to highlight the missteps of the BLM’s current approach and the cost-savings of a more humane one.
  • Amplify our work and your voice on Capitol Hill to pass legislation that diverts funds away from roundups and toward fertility control programs and ensure that the BLM uses these funds appropriately.
  • Expand our Investigative Team to continue to uncover waste, fraud, and abuse in the BLM’s on-range and off-range programs.
  • Continue our lawsuit against the BLM over its Adoption Incentive Program that’s sending wild horses and burros into the slaughter pipeline, while gearing up for new legal battles ahead…

Meredith: We have big plans for 2022! We’re using every resource at our disposal to continue our fight on behalf of America’s wild horses and burros. Our first step? Growing our grassroots army to build the scale of the wild horse protection movement so that it is inclusive, diverse, empowered, and well-equipped to achieve our mission of protecting wild horses and burros for generations to come.

Here’s how you can help:
1. Spread the word! Tell five friends to sign up for our email list so they can learn more about the plight of our wild horses and join our fight to protect them!
2. Donate to help fuel our fight in 2022 and beyond!

Thank you for your support,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

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Another Augie and Spuds Adventure: SnowPlay

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12-4-19

Time is running out! Cast your vote for our 2022 Member Card now >>

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

There are only a few short days left to cast your vote for our 2022 AWHC Member Card! Will you let us know which option is your favorite?

VOTE FOR DESIGN #1

VOTE FOR DESIGN #2

VOTE FOR DESIGN #3

So, will you let us know which option is your favorite for our Official 2022 AWHC Member Card? Cast your vote now, before time runs out. We’ll be announcing the winner this Friday!

Thanks for your input! 
— AWHC Team

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MULE CROSSING: Do Mules Need to Be Shod?

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By Meredith Hodges

Do mules need to be shod? Those who are familiar with mules might be tempted to say, “No,” but the answer is a little more complicated than you might think. Although the mule generally has a tougher and more durable foot than the horse, all mules do not have the same feet, nor do all mules apply the same kind of stress to those feet. Therefore, each individual animal has to be considered when answering the question, “To shoe or not to shoe?”

It is commonly known that, when it comes to horses and mules, light-colored hooves are softer and more likely to break down under stress than are the darker, black hooves. Even though the
black hoof is naturally harder than the light-colored hoof, if it does not contain sufficient moisture, it can become brittle and can chip away as destructively as can the lighter hoof. Whichever breed of equine you own and whatever the color of their feet, remember that good hoof care is essential for all domesticated equines.

For better or worse, an equine inherits his hooves through his genes. If your mule has inherited good feet—black, oily-looking, and with good shape—then you are fortunate and hoof care and maintenance should be relatively simple. If he has inherited a softer or misshapen foot, you will need to discuss more specialized care with your farrier.

Climate and weather greatly affect the condition of your mule’s feet. Damp weather and muddy footing will tend to soften the walls of any hoof, and perpetual exposure to mud and dampness can cause deterioration of his feet. With the light-colored hoof, which tends to soften more easily, this could spell disaster. It is wise, therefore, during damp weather or if you live in a damp climate, to provide a clean, dry place for your mule to stand. Conversely, extremely hot and dry weather can cause your mule’s feet to become dry and brittle, and they may start to crack due to contraction and expansion of the hoof. For this type of dry weather or climate, you may want to overflow your water tanks regularly so your mule has a place to “cool his feet.” If it is excessively dry, you may even need to manually lubricate your mule’s hooves as needed with one of the commercial products available. But before you use an artificial hoof lubricant, first check with your farrier to make sure that it is actually needed. Many people use hoof products too frequently, which can cause hooves to become too soft. When this begins to happen, you will see horizontal rings appear around the hoof wall, and sometimes, vertical lines. Try not to let the hoof get to this point by using lubricants sparingly, but if you see that these rings are beginning to appear, immediately discontinue use of the lubricant and allow the hoof to harden. Then check with your vet to make sure it is not a founder condition. It does not take much to adequately soften the hooves of an animal with rock-hard feet. During the really dry seasons, lubricant application once a week is usually sufficient.

Assuming that your mule has a normal set of dark, healthy hooves, he will probably not need to be shod, as long as he is used strictly for pleasure or only sporadically. However, if you are going to use your mule on excessively rocky or hard ground, you might want to look into getting shoes for him. Mules that repetitively participate in more stressful and demanding activities (such as parades, showing and endurance events) should be shod to protect their feet and to keep them healthy. Prevention of bruising or cracking and maintenance of good foot and leg posture is critical to the equine athlete.

The pack and pleasure mule that is not used much or is used on softer terrain and in places where he does not require shoes must still be trimmed for balance regularly to assure that his feet are evenly worn and that he is not putting undue stress on any joints, muscles or tendons. Failure to have your mule’s hooves regularly trimmed in order to maintain their balance and shape can result in an imbalance in your mule’s feet, which will then cause an imbalance throughout his entire body, inhibiting his performance. However, if trimming is done consistently, the risk of imbalance, accident or injury will be greatly reduced.

I believe that horses and mules, doing what they would naturally do alone—on terrain that is neither hard nor rocky—do not need to be shod. But mules that are asked to repetitively perform with a human on-board in varying surface situations should be fitted with the proper kind of shoes to help protect them from the additional weight and other demands that will be put upon their bodies. For example, my trail mules wear regular shoes on all four feet when they are being regularly used for trail riding and a variety of other activities, lessening the potential for injury. Then, when there is an occasional misstep on hard ground or rocks or when we trail-ride in the more challenging mountains, the shoes help to absorb some of the shock that would otherwise be absorbed by the hoof itself. It is my experience that young mules (and horses from two to four years of age) bear most of their weight on their front legs until their bodies are carefully and properly conditioned, and this is when you will see the most wear and tear on their feet. Because of this, my young mules that are just beginning saddle training wear regular shoes on the fronts only until their bodies are balanced and their activities clearly defined. Our broodstock, youngsters (under three years of age) and equines that are not used under
demanding conditions can go barefooted year-round, but they all still get regular trims every six to eight weeks.

All my other stock is shod for the specific purpose for which they are used: The Reining mules wear slider plates during the competition season, and the jumpers are fitted with either regular shoes, a tap and die shoe with studs or a borium shoe for non-skid, depending upon the terrain they will be negotiating.  If I were to ask one of my mules to race, I would fit him with the lighter-weight racing plates. Each equine athlete is given a set of shoes particularly designed for the best performance in his event, just as is the case with the human athlete. In the winter, if my mules have the need to wear shoes, I add rim pads to their shoes to help prevent “snowballing.”

Granted, there are a lot of mules that may not need to be shod, but there are also many that do need shoes, so each individual mule’s feet must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Because of this fact, the generalizations that “mules don’t need to be shod” and “all equines should go barefoot” are not always correct. You must take into consideration how your particular mule’s genetics affect his hooves, what he will be used for and how harsh the demands put on him will be on his feet. These important factors will determine whether or not he needs shoes, and if he does need shoes, what kind of shoes will best suit him. And don’t forget to check your mule’s shoes on a regular basis to make sure that all is well and that his shoes are staying on tight, but most of all, that he is comfortable and happy.

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.

© 2014, 2016, 2019, 2021, 2022 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

An update on the Bureau of Land Management’s 2022 plans for you

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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! 

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

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LTR MULES: Efficient Grooming Practices 12-1-21

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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!


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CHASITY’S CHALLENGES: Maintaining a Happy Donkey: 3-2-20

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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.

Wrangler, Chasity, Augie and Spuds are TRULY HAPPY DONKEYS!


Whip53

LTR Training Tip #53: Use of the Whip During Lunging

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The whip is used in lunging to create movement and encourage impulsion in the equine and should never be used in an abusive manner. Learn how to use it the RIGHT way in Meredith’s latest training tip!

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[INPUT REQUESTED]: Help us pick our 2022 AWHC Member Card!!

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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?

VOTE

We’ll be announcing the winner next Friday!

— American Wild Horse Campaign

CHILLY PEPPER – It’s “GO TIME”. 1st 911 of the year. Emaciated, starving Great Grandma n 2 others

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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!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/543121366934903

If anyone wants to help,

Supplies can be sent to

Palomino
Chilly Pepper
12965 Green Saddle Drive, #233
Golconda, NV 89414

checks to PO Box 233,

Golconda NV 89414

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.

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.

Donate to Help

Spuds and Augie standing in the snow

Longears Music Videos: Snow Play

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Wow!

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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!

With Gratitude,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

Happy 2022! 💚

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from all of us at SYALER. What a weird year it has been. Between trying to keep the rescue up and running thru a pandemic, dealing with the price of everything skyrocketing, and having more than the average number of animals coming to us in need of veterinary care it has been trying, to say the least.

In the past year, we have taken in 36 animals into the rescue.

We have placed 28 animals in wonderful new approved homes.

Two animals had to be humanely euthanized.

We currently have 17 animals waiting to find their forever family’s. ️

This past year we have incurred over $25,000. in veterinary bills.

Many of the animals we have taken in have been in need of serious veterinary work, including major dental care. One needed a trip to a large animal hospital in Vermont for a hoof surgery, and many needed blood work done to determine health issues and know what meds and supplements were needed.

All of this has been made possible due to the generosity, kindness, and compassion of our wonderful support team of donors. Hannah and I thank you so very much. We appreciate you more than words can say. So many animals truly would not be where we are today without your help. We know the donkeys and mules in our care are extremely grateful as well.

We wish you all a very Happy New Year and good health and happiness in the coming year.

Best,

Ann and Hannah

 

 

Less than 24 HOURS until our 2021 Year-End Deadline!! Can you help? >>

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We have less than 24 hours until our year-end fundraising deadline and we still have a ways to go if we want to hit our $125,000 goal.Right now we are tracking at $96,467 — $28,533 short of where we need to be to finish 2021 strong!!

BUT, we have an exciting update → Our generous donor wants to help us hit our goal and unlock their $100,000 matching gift so badly, that they’ve agreed to TRIPLE all donations that come in before midnight tonight up to $100,000. 

THAT’S RIGHT! Any donation you make today could be TRIPLED in our fight to protect wild horses and burros!! Donate now and make 3X the impact for wild horses and burros in 2022. >>

$25 becomes → $75!!
$50 becomes → $150!!
$100 becomes → $300!!
$500 becomes → $1,500!!
$1,000 becomes → $3,000!!

We know we’re asking for a lot during this last week of the year. But it’s because the stakes are so high and we need the resources to keep the fight going.

At this very moment, our wild horses and burros face an existential threat: the BLM’s plan to slash wild herds across the West to the “99 percent extinction-level” that prompted Congress to protect these animals 50 years ago!

Our work in 2022 could not be more important and we need your support to make it happen. We’re just HOURS away from the opportunity to unlock $100,000 before we close the books on 2021.

Can you pitch in whatever you can afford right now to help us unlock this HUGE matching donation opportunity?

TRIPLE YOUR IMPACT →

Thanks so much,

— American Wild Horse Campaign

TT 52 Slideshow

LTR Training Tip #52: Verbal Commands and Body Language

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It is important to learn the elements of good communication through verbal commands and body language. You’ll find an equine who is willing to comply when he understands what you are asking!

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Counting down to 2022!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

unnamed-1

Recapping 2021 as We Welcome 2022

In the midst of our move, 2021 is rapidly coming to a close. We’re sad we’ve not been able to share our traditional 31 stories for them month of December, so we thought we’d recap the year to show who you’ve helped in 2021.

Distressed Sanctuary Support to 9

In ongoing support to a distressed sanctuary, AAE took in seven horses (Mila, Rory, Jack, Nash, Dakota, Clay, and Duke) and two pigs over the course of the year, and the sanctuary wound down operations after animal control initially intervened. All but Jack have received much needed dental and hoof care, vaccines, and deworming. They were microchipped and DNA tested, too. Jack is a 12-ish mustang that was never touched (for years) at the sanctuary. Jack had five days of Liberty work with Patrick Sullivan when he visited AAE, then later spent some time at Monty Roberts International Learning Center with Clay and Duke. Jack participated in a mustang gentling program, while Clay and Duke participated in a starting program. Jack is slowly accepting human touch, but he’s still reactive and untrusting with humans. Mila had eye issues that were treated and resolved. Dakota had extensive heel cracks that extended into his coronary band in both hind hooves. On top of that, through his vet exam, we discovered he has no vision in one eye. Rory spent some time with a trainer and worked on a bucking issue. Nash’s needs were met with basic care updates. He’s a very handsome lady’s man. He loves his girls, and he let’s the other’s know it! Clay’s hooves were a bit of a wreck, and finally, after a few trim cycles, they seem to be unfolding like a flower blooming…everything falling in place. Mila quickly found her forever home.

Oscar and Oliver were severely overweight, so much so that fat pads covered their eyes (they could not see), and their bellies dragged on the ground. Their tusks and toes were much overgrown, as well. They were vetted. tusks and toes trimmed, and placed on a very restricted diet. It’s taken many months to melt away the fat and so they can see. Poor lil piggies, they’re still looking for a farm sanctuary or a better pig home to live out their days. Can anyone help?

One last ask for $30 today

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The cost to vaccinate a single mare with a PZP vaccine is just $30. 

But instead, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) spends millions of taxpayer dollars to brutally round up our wild horses and burros by chasing them with helicopters and confining them in pens, robbing them of all that wild horses hold dear — family and freedom. 

Far too many of these beloved animals are entering the slaughter pipeline through the BLM’s disastrous Adoption Incentive Program, as exposed by our investigation earlier this year.

On Nevada’s Virginia Range, where a population of state-managed wild mustangs is threatened by extreme habitat loss, we’re operating the largest PZP fertility program in the world for wild horses.

And our work there has reduced the foaling rate by 44% while allowing these animals to remain free as nature intended. This data is incredibly useful as we prove to lawmakers and the BLM that there is a better alternative to the agency’s current approach to managing our wild horse populations.

So today, on December 30th, I’m asking you personally to donate $30 or more to support the continued success of our PZP program.

Thanks to a generous donor, every gift made now through tomorrow at midnight will be doubled — that means your $30 gift today helps not one, but two horses! Can you help us fuel this groundbreaking program in the new year?

DONATE $30 →

 

Thank you,

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director
American Wild Horse Campaign

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