Wild Horse Education

Barren Valley (Roundup Update, phase 1)

The BLM began the Barren Valley Complex removal on Sept 8 and plans to remove up to 1900 wild horses. The Barren Valley Complex operation area spans nearly 1 million acres in Oregon. Three Herd Management Areas (HMAs) are managed as a “complex”; Coyote Lake/Alvord-Tule Springs, Sheepshead/Heath Creek and Sand Springs Herd Management Areas (HMAs). BLM says they counted 2500 wild horses in the complex in June and say 459-892 horses is the “Appropriate Management Level.”

Wild horses are being shipped to BLM’s off-Range off-limits-to-public-view Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Bruneau, Idaho.

At this time the BLM says they will release 100 horses back to the range with mares being treated with GonaCon, a fertility control vaccine.

Most recent updates will appear at the top and this page will update frequently.

To date: Overall, a hand-full of wild horses have come in thin for this time of year, but the majority do not represent a condition that would justify a label of “emergency.” We did see cow-bashed landscape and have concern that the agency is not taking stronger measures against livestock during drought years. If the agency does not address livestock, in years to come we will see massive die-offs of all wild things, including elk and deer. (Action item here)

BLM halted the roundup and will begin again on Oct 15.

Phase 1

Cumulative totals: 1124 wild horses captured, 1097 shipped, 16 deaths.

Deaths: 3-year-old mare BLM said had clubfoot was put down, 4-year-old mare, 3-year-old stallion and a 2-year-old stallion (BLM said all 3 had a physical defect “eye abnormality/blindness,”), 15-year-old stallion BLM stated pre- existing condition/physical defect of blindness/hematoma in eye, 7-year-old mare with “pre-existing condition/physical defect of fractured fetlock,” a 16-year-old mare BLM said was blind, 3 stallions were put down for “club foot or other deformity,” a yearling stallion BLM said physical defect/deformity( hernia; an 11-year-old stallion and a 4-year-old stallion BLM stated had “pre-existing condition/physical defect club foot were euthanized;” 4-year-old mare was put down due to a club foot, 4-month-old filly for “pre-existing fractured fetlock,” A 20-year-old mare was put down BLM said due to poor condition/unlikely to improve. A 6-month-old stud was euthanized due to a large hernia and a 3-year-old stud due to preexisting blindness or eye abnormality.

No capture through Oct 6.

BLM has postponed the rest of roundup until Oct 15, “phase 2”

Oct 2: 3 horses (1 stallion, 1 mare, 1 foal)

Oct 1 and Sept 30: no capture

September 29: 86 (21 stallions, 43 mares, 22 foals) captured

September 28: no capture.

September 27: 12 horses (5 stallions, 4 mares, 3 foals) captured and shipped 0. Deaths: A 6-month-old stud was euthanized due to a large hernia and a 3-year-old stud due to preexisting blindness or eye abnormality.

September 26: no captured today. A 20-year-old mare was put down BLM said due to poor condition/unlikely to improve

September 25: 41 horses (18 stallions,14 mares, 9 foals) captured. 1 death: 4-month-old filly for “pre-existing fractured fetlock.”

September 24: 54 horses (23 stallions, 18 mares, 13 foals) captured.

September 23: 51 horses (22 stallions, 18 mares, 11 foals) captured. 4-year-old mare was put down due to a club foot.

Injury seen at temporary holding corrals. The purple is a “vet spray” over the wound.

Temporary holding

September 22: captured 33 horses (15 stallions, 10 mares, 8 foals) and shipped 41 (10 stallions, 19 mares, 12 foals)

September 21:

Deaths: 3 – a yearling stallion with physical defect/deformity of large hernia; an 11-year-old stallion and a 4-year-old stallion with pre-existing condition/physical defect club foot were euthanized.

67 horses (17 stallions, 35 mares,  15 foals) and shipped 35 (15 stallions, 15 mares, 5 foals). Gather operations ended at 3:15 p.m. Sunny and clear, high 72F. Three stallions were euthanized for club foot or other deformity.

September 20: 67 horses (17 stallions, 35 mares,  15 foals) and shipped 35 (15 stallions, 15 mares, 5 foals) were captured. Operations ended at 3:15 p.m. Sunny and clear, high 72F. Three stallions were euthanized for club foot or other deformity.

September 19: 27 (9 stallions, 13 mares, 5 foals) captured.

September 18: no operation today due to high winds

September 17 76 (25 stallions, 39 mares, 21 foals) wild horses captured. Animals shipped: 40 (3 stallions, 35 mares, 2 foals to Fallon, NV)

September 16

12 (1stallions, 9 mares, 2 foals)  were captured.

Shipped: 78 (17 stallions, 17 mares to off-limits-to-public-view Bruneau, ID; 27 mares, 17 foals to off-limits-to-public-view facility in Fallon, NV)

16 year old mare captured previous day put down. BLM said she was blind.

News media and another org present. WHE conserved resources and will return when there are no eyes. There are a lot of roundups to watch and WHE does not run on a big budget. : )


106 (37 stallions, 52 mares, 17 foals) wild horses were captured.

We began the day observing loading at temporary holding of wild horses being trucked to short-term holding facility.

Note wrangler sitting high on panel in open view.

When we got to trap, there was a long wait until the first run came in at 11:45. It appears there were several bands the chopper had been moving as a group of about 35; several young foals.

As the day wore on handling at trap became more aggressive and rushed with a lot of crashing and chaos from wild horses as a result. The hot shot was not seen today by observers, but it appeared the contractors were literally hitting wild horses with the baggy whip.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One wild horse refused to move and BLM said she was blind in one eye and may be fully blind. They did not drag her onto the trailer as they did yesterday, they used a rope behind her to urge her along onto the trailer. (After yesterday our support team sent BLM a notice that included a reminder of certain actions that had resulted in court orders in the past.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During the last, run a mare and foal broke away and were pursued. The mare evaded capture and the chopper pursued a lone foal. The mare watched for a moment as, even before she vanished, 4 horseback riders lined up as if in a competition and set off to rope her foal.

This was not a “zero out” and the foal could have rejoined the mare. BLM simply said the colt was old enough to wean.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

News crews are expected at Barren Valley tomorrow. Our team will take a couple of days elsewhere, conserve funding and regroup, as this operation will continue for weeks and there will be observers at this trap tomorrow to watch the operation. We can return when eyes are needed back at the operation.

At the Jackson Mountain roundup our team are the only observers.

Four Mile team reports continue from holding. Our observer appears to have been the only representative from a wild horse org at trap. Visit the Four Mile horses in captivity with us and take a moment and take action to help pass the SAFE Act. 

Sept 14

Captured today at Barren Valley: 87 (33 stallions, 34 mares, 20 foals)

Shipped: 73

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There was use of “hot shots” (electric cattle prod) at trap during loading. The use of hot shots appeared to simply be used to “speed up” loading and used for convenience. This is not allowed under current policy. We are reviewing documentation and have reached out to BLM leadership about the matter.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In one instance, they drag a horse by a rope using saddle horses onto the trailer. No explanation of any injury has been provided except it simply appeared he refused to load. An action very similar to one that transpired at the Triple B roundup of 2011 where there was an internal investigation and the court granted a Preliminary Injunction. 

Colt escaped and is roped.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Observers were taken to view loading first thing in the morning of wild horses heading to the facility.

Mare hung up on panel and gate

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The roundup at Four Mile in Idaho began today. You can see reports here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sept 13

88 wild horses captured (38 stallions, 32 mares, 18 foals).

On-site notes: Very long day that ended near 5 pm. Second run saw all horses escape and third run saw a partial escape where the chopper then pursued the band for about 40 minutes using a loud blaring horn sound (not just in the final approach to trap, non-stop). Video will be loaded later.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ground at temporary holding (alley and pens) appears filled with many large rocks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sept 12

Captured: 8 (3 stallions, 4 mares, 1 foal) Shipped: 43 (26 mares, 17 foals) 

Observation was far from trap and drive. Trap was located down on a draw. Observers saw 5 attempts at trap and 3 escapes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Observers were given a walk around at holding. Technical difficulties have caused a delay in receiving files from our volunteer in the field. We welcome a new volunteer, Linda Greaves, to the WHE team.

1 death: BLM says a 3-year-old mare had pre-existing condition/physical defect of a clubfoot and they put her down.

Only two observers at trap, both traveling with WHE.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sept 11: 86 wild horses captured, (25 stallions, 39 mares, 22 foals).

Sept 10: 24 captured, (9 stallions, 9 mares and 6 foals).

Sept 9: 100 captured, (45 stallions, 37 mares, 18 foals)

3 deaths:  4-year-old mare, 3-year-old stallion and 2-year-old stallion BLM said all had pre-existing “condition/physical defect of blindness/eye abnormality” and they were put down.

Sept 8: 98 captured, (30 stallions, 49 mares, 19 foals)

2 deaths: a 15-year-old stallion BLM said had “pre-existing condition/physical defect of blindness/hematoma in eye” and a 7-year-old mare with a “pre-existing condition/physical defect of fractured fetlock.”

Stallions just captured from the Antelope Complex in eastern NV (click here for team reports from Antelope)


CLICK HERE to learn about the BLM updated “Guidelines for Euthanasia” 

Simple Action Items HERE.

Help keep us in the field and in the courts. 

Thank you. 

Categories: Wild Horse Education