Wild Horse Education (WHE) is a small organization with a dedicated volunteer base that educates the public and media and advocates for changes in the way wild horses and burros are managed on public land. The advocacy we are engaged in takes many forms. From documenting range conditions and preparing reports for inclusion in conversations dealing with government agencies to taking the documentation into a courtroom when other avenues for discussion fail.
Wild Horse Education (WHE) goals include: gaining an enforceable humane handling policy, reform in the way wild horse and burro populations are managed on the range (minimizing removal and managing on the range), improving the adoption program, and protecting wild horses and burros from slaughter.
Founded by Laura Leigh, a journalist and equine advocate, the organization is still in it’s infancy. Leigh herself has been engaged in equine advocate issues for almost two decades, focusing primarily on issues surrounding wild horses for more than four years. The body of work includes documentation seen in various news broadcasts and publications including KLAS-TV, NBC, ITV (BBC), CNN and Horseback Magazine. Leigh’s documentation has been used as evidence in several court actions, including a landmark case against the Bureau of Land Management BLM gaining the first Restraining Order against the Bureau of Land Management and conduct at roundups (the first against conduct in the history of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act after a pilot hit a horse with the skids of the helicopter), that action is ongoing in the courts.
There is an extraordinary amount of work that needs to be done to gain fair management on the range for wild horses and burros as intended under law. There is much work yet to do in order to ensure humane treatment during removals and during the time animals are held in government hands. Work must continue to engage BLM policies on sale to make sure our wild horses do not end up in the hands of kill buyers.
There are tools that as an advocacy we do not have and must literally build. But this is not without hope. We are building the tools and creating the language for conversations based on first hand observation. We are gaining a conversation that can lead to change, that can grow to more change. It IS movement. A movement armed with accurate information can create positive change.
As a MOVEMENT we must recognize these facts and gain momentum. If there is an opportunity, no matter how small, and it is not seized, the moment passes. The road to change leads to change as the road of apathy leads to apathy, the road of depression leads to depression. We are on the road to change…. it may be a two track in the dessert but eventually (even if you have to travel off-road a bit) it leads to a highway.
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.
If it is “bad enough for you,” please join us! Help support our efforts and join with us to win safety and protection for the wild horses and burros.