Wild Horse Education

Letter To Mom


A picture with “Elvis,” a dog that went to more roundups than any other observer, public or government. Elvis passed in 2012. On holidays we take a moment to remember those no longer with us.

(Personal Holiday entry from the desk of founder Laura Leigh)

Our day to day lives keep us caught in each moment and task we need to complete to get to the next task. But at the holidays we all find ourselves a bit more reflective of the past and begin to make resolutions for the coming year. I do that myself; both personally and professionally. I am human after all.

In this “race” to gain protection for our wild horses and burros I get very caught in the “next task” and spend very little time celebrating victories, lamenting losses and reflection on simply the journey. “It is the journey, not the destination,” usually simply means “document everything because you never know what you need to reach the destination.” Not exactly what that phrase was intended to imply.

Often in this work things must be presented to the public in a manner that suits accountability to a legal process or standards of protocol that gains credibility in process. You are told by lawyers (concerning media) that things need to be revealed as they “break” or only after filed in briefs. Or in other cases you just have part of a story at hand and need to solidify the facts before writing.

As I sit here both free to speak, and restricted by specific process, I remember another day that felt the same way. I had been told to speak about the cases could jeopardize the legal process.

The First Amendment case was in full swing and inhumane issues were popping in multiple places on range and in court. As many wrote speculation as fact I felt frustrated. I had the facts but the speculation was fast becoming “accepted fact” because often if something is repeated enough, the truth must compete with a new fiction. It was driving me nuts.

At that time the only thing I could safely write about without upsetting “Judge and Jury” was how I felt. It was the holidays. I was caught in court. Like most people my thoughts turned to my family. I made a video for my mom.

So much has changed and so much has stayed the same.

I Love You Mom. “I think of you every day.”

I know that video is a bit “overly emotional” for some that have come to expect a documented, almost declaratory, type of writing from me.

But in those moments when the work is intense, on the ground and politically, it is emotion that is the fuel to get the other tasks done. This work is not the type that provides measures of success like a bank account or personal property, it provides its measure to the heart. Not only the triumphs, but the tragedies, have an emotional wealth that is beyond measure. A palette for creation that has unlimited color and every single one creates the work of life.


Today I am working on many projects. Some of them are in the public sphere and some are incomplete, but every one engaged with the power of the incredible palette of this experience.

“How do you not get lost in sadness or anger?” I was asked that question almost six years ago by a reporter. “In sadness lies helplessness, in anger lies recklessness, somewhere in-between is effectiveness. But I’m not there yet.”

We are much closer to that balance today.

Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday Season. May it be filled with Hope and a real appreciation for the incredible palette of life.


Appropriations includes the defunding language for domestic horse slaughter and also continues the provisions that disallow the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to use federal funds to sell to slaughter or euthanize horses “for space.” But the bill contains multiple areas that approve funding that is being politically manipulated to avoid accountable practice to the land itself. So with one hand we relax, the other we “lock and load” with.

Legal cases are still active by NV counties to remove and destroy horses (one in the Ninth Circuit on Appeal and the other in the IBLA by Eureka county). The defunding once again makes these actions “unlawful” according to Congressional mandate. But that does not simply create dismissal, dismissal must  be argued. We are active in these actions and must continue the process.

“Accountability” is an interesting word. Often one party will be held to the understanding and another excused. We are very active at this moment to gain “accountable action and enforcement” in multiple processes of law. We will have more on that soon.

We urge you to take a moment this week and celebrate and understand the “Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.” Please understand what it did, does and what must come next. It is vital that we become a stronger, less reactive, well educated advocacy. http://wildhorseeducation.org/2015/12/14/wfrhb-act/

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Categories: Wild Horse Education