The first day of active trapping (day 3 of the operation) saw 43 (16 Stallions, 20 Mares, and 7 Foals) wild horses captured. Temperatures reached 95 degrees during operations. There were 4 members of the public and BLM personnel ranging from trainees to assistant field manager at observation.
The trap is set very close to the edge of the rise. As wild horses run up the hill they appear to see trap panels and wranglers (the one at the Judas horse with a big white hat). There were multiple instances where it appeared there may have been issues at trap mouth (we cannot see, but can see flight pattern) and, in the video above, it takes three attempts to get the horses to go into the trap after they turn around and run out, twice. A young foal laying in trap pen and a wrangler have to jump up fast or get run over.
Public lands is not “open range” as many people believe. The HMAs exist in a series of fenced grazing allotments. Many of these allotments contain additional fencing to segment what is referred to as “pastures” within an allotment.
In the video above you can see the chopper land to open a gate. It was confirmed by BLM COR that the chopper is opening gates; it looks like that is what he is doing here. Wild horses, including young ones, are driven in. You can also see pronghorn flushed out, confused and running.
Note: We are doing our best to drop down background sound. When you are observing a roundup there can be a lot of chatter from the people onsite as we try to track movement and fracturing of bands and watch for any issues. We may have missed one or two segments editing todays runs. We are not using professional sound editing software and cannot isolate voices in a group at a public event and remove them all.
There were 5 runs at trap.
At the end of the day, after processing completed, we were given a “walk around” the temporary holding corrals. The corrals are placed in an area used before at Triple B, on private property.
Due to the time of the visit, we cannot report on any actual handling during sorting. We could see the horses captured that day, but through the snow fence from a distance. Many of you want to see clearer photos. Please remember we are not able to shoot through the fencing or approach the panels; we are getting what we can for you to view.
We could see one injury and evidence of how hard the youngsters were run by looking at their pasterns. A horse hoof at birth is shaped a bit like a cone. The pointy end (toe) is where a newborn carries their weight. Over about 4-5 weeks the weight bearing shifts as the hoof begins to grow downward. The foot and limbs of baby horses have a wide variety of what is considered “normal,” as much of what you see is based on position in the womb and the pass through the birth canal (much like head shape of a newborn human; some look pretty normal and some look like cone heads). Some babies have lax tendons at birth that make travel through the birth canal easier, they tighten in the first two months of age, but can show an appearance of dropped fetlocks (some as low as ground level) or being “toed out.” Running on those lax tendons can, literally, equate with running on the pastern.
Compared to other operations in this area, Triple B began with a comparatively slower pace.
These horses will be transported to Sutherland, an off-limits to the public facility. After the first 900, at this time, BLM will ship the rest to Indian Lakes (Broken Arrow) in NV, another off-limits to the public facility. No adoptions are done at this facility. Wild horses will be sorted and shipped to events and other short and long term facilities.
Our team is back onsite today.
You cannot change something if you do not first document what needs to be changed. WHE works hard to be as thorough as possible in our daily reporting to the public. WHE was founded in the fight to gain the first humane policy under the 1971 Act and a massive First Amendment battle to open roundup to daily viewing to achieve that change. We still have a long way to go to create accountability in on-range management, through capture, holding and into the adoption and sales program to protect our wild ones from slipping into the slaughter pipeline. But change is not impossible… you just have to keep trying to do what people tell you is impossible… and make it possible.
Trivia: Today is the anniversary of the hanging of a portrait of our founder underneath that of the Federal Judge who brought down his gavel and gave wild horses the first concrete step toward stopping abuse…. (Throwback post HERE)
Help keep us in the field and in the fight.
Categories: Wild Horse Education