Wild Horse Education

It’s All About the Tag; #wildhorses

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Our first article on the “orphan pen” October 5th featured this baby that we thought might not make it. We did not see 7548 on this visit, no longer in the orphan pen.

On the range the extent of analysis of impacts to wild horses from profit driven interests is lines on a map showing a border of a Herd Management Area (HMA) and a population survey number. The population survey number is invalid; it compares old inventory methods with new ones. The boundary lines of the HMA are also invalid and based on inadequate data that fails to incorporate any science, they were drawn in the early 70’s. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has been failing the Bureau of Land Management on data to justify any decision since it’s first assessment of the BLM in the 80’s. (the deadly traps of advocacy;  https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/08/02/deadly-traps-dont-get-caught-2/)

When it comes to holding facilities it’s still all about the inventory number. 

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The blaze face we featured on Oct 5 is still in the pen. Some of the swelling in the little face has gone down.

“Not just a number” is a phrase we have heard from people trying to adopt from BLM and those that have adopted.

We helped someone track down 3 horses that were from the same area that her mustang is from. Those horses were in the off-limits facility Broken Arrow (that is now open to extremely limited public tours after years of litigation). Trying to adopt a horse from Broken Arrow? It took Skydog Sanctuary, the woman referenced above, nearly a year to get three sale authority horses out of there.

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7516 is still in the orphan pen and some of the swelling is going down. This babies face may always be a “bit different” and may wear that “war wound” for life. But this is a beautiful face.

A woman tried hard to get an Owyhee from the 2016 roundup. She fell for a horse, not a number. She tried for weeks to get BLM to release the horse to her. It died in the facility and she was told to “pick another.”

(you can read more about those stories here:   https://wildhorseeducation.org/2017/04/24/not-just-a-number/)

A roundup of over 1000 wild horses from the Owyhee Complex just completed. In over 1.1 million of the best grazing acres in the state of Nevada BLM claims a little over 500 wild horses can exist. This roundup was funded in the “protect sage grouse” money game and has roots in a legal action involving Pershing County and discussions after a case was filed statewide. We will write more about the politics of Owyhee soon.

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For wild horses they do not care about a number, they care about the herd bond. These babies lost families and are creating bonds with each other. Those bonds are vital for their development. If you do adopt? Consider a bonded pair.

However, now we are at the juncture of “management” where wild horses are in pens and need homes or they will sit in those pens in the next round of politics where debating the “bullet in the head” will rise again just as surely as the sun rises.

Prior to the Owyhee roundup we reached out to BLM. During the fire we reached out to BLM. We offered to assist in any way possible, any way possible. No rehab plan was created for wild horses, just remove. No adoption network was created. No triage for fire survivors. We were ignored.

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This little one is now  on our top “not gonna make it” list. This baby is not doing well. Each roundup we witness comes with a list of “not gonna make it.” As a nation we can do better than this and a safety net for these babies should be a priority. It’s the least we can do after making the entire herd pay the price for a mine, a livestock operation, or an ATV track and campground.

Now there is an “orphan pen.” Of course we reached out to help place these babies, we were denied.

If you as an adopter want a baby? We do not know when BLM will release them. This tag number is what you need to track the “face you fall for.” Remember these faces will grow older, the ones that survive, and we do not know how old they will be when you go pick up your horse.

But if you want one? You need to get approved by BLM, provide the tag. You will need to follow up. We know many people that contacted BLM to adopt, put in for a specific horse, and were never notified if that horse died or was shipped out. These babies are ay Palomino Valley Center (PVC).  https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/adoptions-and-sales/adoption-centers/palomino-valley-adoption-center

We wish we could help more. We can provide you with what we are limited to by BLM; just a number.

This system needs a serious overhaul from top to bottom. The least we can do? create a network of adopters for the special needs like babies, particularly after their families outran a fire of 35 mph and many foals burned alive.  Us just saying that? Makes it highly unlikely the BLM will ever allow us to help… with adoptions or on range. This system is more than simply broken, it tries as hard as it can to stay broken.


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It seems the only ones it is “easy for” are those taking advantage of the new sales policy, that leaves wild horses vulnerable to slaughter. BLM is trucking sale horses all over the country, making them look like adoption events. Saying that? will also not get us an “invitation” to the friends and family club of tax payer funded federal management meetings. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/07/18/blm-end-runs-congress-to-sell-wild-horses-to-slaughter-response/

Our work can not continue without your help.

Our WHE digital Mag “Roundups!” published this week! As a bonus we are sending out our “Triple B” E-Mag with the new magazine to thank all of you for supporting this effort. The Triple B magazine is filled with information on how politics manipulate funding, the system caters to it, the wild horses pay the price.

Click the Mag cover to make a donation and add your name to the list.


Our work can not continue without your support. Thank you!

Categories: Wild Horse Education