Wild Horse Education

Sunday Reflections After the Roundup Ends (Value)

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Reveille, 2020

In February two roundups ran simultaneously in the state of Nevada a removed nearly 2000 wild horses in helicopter operations. Twenty-three wild horses were confirmed killed (we are questioning the number as inclusive of only those killed after actual capture, and not including those that died prior to crossing into a trap). We believe at least 24 died during the operation at Eagle and the total that died during the operation, because of the execution of operation, could be even higher.

Eagle captured 1704 and 23 confirmed deaths.

You can see our final “wrap” of the trapping portion of Eagle (including video) HERE.

Reveille captured 113 and released 38. The operation ended shy of the goal. (HERE) 

These types of decisions, and the way they are carried out, always bring up the questions of integrity and value systems. Our observers are bombarded with PR, personnel and a type of orchestrated minimization. It deserves some attention.

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Eagle, 2020

As February draws to a close we continue to stand ready to address the BLM report to Congress (now over 8 months late) that will signify the beginning of the countdown for a release of an additional $21 million for fiscal year 2020 that will accelerate the types of operations we saw in February. (Roundups are not management. In the world of wild horses there are not many management documents nationwide, just a numbers game and removal documents. This desperately needs to change. You can learn more here and take action.)

This acceleration is for profit driven interests and ignores decades of inept, corrupt and lazy actions by federal land managers. It was pushed through backdoor channels by multimillion dollar corporate interests, including those claiming a status as “wild horse advocate” without any actual “on the ground chops.”

Zero integrity. Zero truth. Twisted value system.

As gears shift in the seasons of wild horse advocacy toward many of the planning issues (grazing reform, habitat loss, water quantity and quality, legislation, politics) we turn a bit reflective prior to diving back in. 

We wanted to share a moment of reflection with you about value. As a nation what do we value? The mustang was declared the living symbol of the pioneer spirit of the West unanimously by Congress in 1971. A time when we were passing environmental and cultural legislation to protect our air and water and the things we saw ourselves as leading the world in: integrity, equality, respect. We have come so far from those noble ideals and if it can not be sold for a dollar, our country seems to have forgotten just how valuable those things are.

Our wild horses represent a gateway to history, a gateway to the natural world, a gateway to a strength, beauty and resilience that has extraordinary value to our hearts, minds and spirit. So do the humans we as a society continually minimize.

In the spirit of that parallel we are reminded of a film project we had the honor of participating in a couple of years ago called “When the Dust Settles.” 


Click on the image to watch the film.

This film is about pairing our wild horses with inner city youth. Our wild horses pairing with these beautiful young women tells an amazing story of parallel and together they overcome a label forced on them through hardship and imposed fictions.


At Palomino Valley Center for the interview for the film. “Incredibly lovely people!” is how Leigh, center, described the crew and the founder of Mustang Leadership in Tennessee, Sue Anne Wells, whom she met at a roundup near Caliente, NV. 

Our founder, Laura Leigh, said she was honored to be a part of a project of healing that spoke directly to her. Her life was not one of privilege and she had to overcome the scars and stigma of living in a rough neighborhood with little opportunity.

If you need a “Sunday moment” of gentle empowerment and priority, click this link and watch. https://filmfreeway.com/1325030

We do not agree with a few of the soundbites used to justify the actions of BLM in the film, but they really are downplayed. The idea that “justification” is not the same as “reality” is more than understood.

Our founder found the director, filmmaker and the person that runs the program Sue Anne Wells, to be a joy to work with. All of us at WHE wish this program great success. 

Get ready. Take a breath before diving back in, it’s a long hard fight ahead. 


Help Keep Us In The Fight.




Categories: Wild Horse Education