Wild Horse Education

Triple B_Day 8 (2 foals died and tension)

Off-loading at temporary holding

37 (15 Stallions, 14 Mares, and 8 Foals) wild horses captured as BLM squeezed a last day out of the trap and two foals (BLM is calling 4 months old) died. BLM is saying they are both due to pre-existing conditions and they are both “4 months old..” One BLM says was “pre-existing fractured right front leg,” the other “pre-existing deformity — congenital lax flexor tendons.”

To date: 285 captured, 205 shipped to Sutherland UT (off-limits to viewing) and 6 have died. You can see ongoing team daily log HERE. 

EDITED TO ADD NOTE: Today BLM is not flying. Today, 7/23, there is no capture operation.

BLM conducted day 8 operation in a manner we often refer to as “squeezing a trap.” This is usually on the 3rd or 4th day, a day too long, at a trap location. These operations are NOT “zeroing out a herd.” The previous days at this location showed long drives, in days that heated fast, bands fracturing and small foals. BLM could leave this location after 2 days, allow it to settle, and then if they needed (based actually on data after the area settled) return. Instead, BLM NV is notorious for “squeezing the life out of a trap location” before moving.

WARNING: This report will be disturbing to many of our readers. The videos in this report even shook up some of our seasoned team members. 

In the video below is a long watch so you can understand a bit about the time and distance involved. You can see the distance the baby is run, when the leg first appears injured and lags behind, and how baby tries to head toward the trap, eventually turning back home. Then the baby is roped and is walked at least another 1.3 miles back to the trap where he is euthanized; he was not carried, no trailer came for him, he is walked all the way to trap. Our observer saw the leg blow (as the foal all of a sudden could not keep up) and stayed on the foal as the band was captured. Her extended video lasts more than 30 minutes in total. We edited only for file size so we could load. This foal was injured in the drive up the valley toward the trap after running at least, the very least, 3 miles from the trees down toward the maze and up to the trap.

This baby did not have a pre-existing fracture, we saw the injury happen. Nor, did this baby have pre-existing deformities.  This foal did not die because it was “wrong” somehow already. It died because it was run hard… before being given a chance at life. (More HERE)

This video may be the foal BLM is saying had a pre-existing fracture, not the ligament/tendon issue death. We edited at 2 a.m. before BLM gave color of horses on their report this morning and it appears that this is different than what BLM discussed with our observer, a “tendon” issue. We are adding this to clarify label on video.

In the video below a foal is found alone, pursued and is roped and brought to the trap.


Below: A trailer with babies in the rear compartment. BLM slowed down the speed of trailering by observation since yesterday… and after the foal was brought in.

Below: As BLM did the final drive from about 1 p.m. to 1:40 p.m., a mare a foal broke off and started to go back home. But after driving the group in, BLM went after the mare and foal and brought them into the trap. This was particularly hard to watch on a day that was so hard on the babies as BLM squeezed wild horses on the last day at this trap.


BLM did make an attempt to communicate today, unlike other days in our reports (often people at home know details of a death before people onsite).

BLM did give us some information at trap about the incident in the first video and the “leppy” (left on the range) foal that was brought in. It should be noted this type of incident has been viewed at this trap in the past (when we can see the entire drive through a valley and exactly the same method, trap and activities occurred) and these incidents are far too common.

Trap will move in the morning.

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BLM did give us a tour of holding. We want to thank the personnel onsite for the professional tour and the additional law enforcement to cut down on the disturbances of previous days. We hope this is due to addressing issues and not just to add something after 2 foals had died. We will add additional footage later today of the tour.

Our team is onsite at roundups for one purpose. We are there to continue to work on the policy (CAWP) that our litigation drove the creation of. We are there to collect data sets, continue to push for revision and enforcement, and to litigate if all options fail. We are there to monitor the welfare and handling of wild horses and burros.

For some reason it seems to be forgotten (perhaps an inconvenient fact) that both the CAWP policy and daily access IM were brought about due to relentless litigation. Many advocates do not understand these policies did not even exist until the last decade. We know it is hard for advocacy today to think things were worse, they were. Both have slid backwards since around 2017 as BLM began a “preferred partner” strategy and lobby effort that led to the 2020 plan began. However, our purpose has not changed and we are more than “familiar” with CAWP and the access “issue.” We are onsite to continue that work. Improvements are desperately needed in both of these areas. (note: IM stands for Instruction Memorandum. It is basically the policy directive. Most of you know the phrase from the Euthanasia Policy IM.)

In other words: The welfare of wild horses and burros during capture is not a bargaining chip. 

Policy, NEPA, range management, holding, adoption program… there are other channels for our team to address these issues. We will not engage at trap with those intent on arguing during a roundup. We will not engage, needlessly, and increase tensions in situations where non-policy and non-decision makers want to argue. There are multiple agendas, opinions and more at trap, where days are long and hard. A trap-site is not the place for “Facebook behavior.”

Unfortunately, we feel the need to add this due to background circumstances at this operation. BLM is usually one of the first to read a new article we publish during a roundup; so do other orgs., media, etc. We hope the advocate public understands our readership is broad and we need to write to reach many, for many reasons.

It is, simply, foaling season. 

For those of you that want a data-based foaling season (and for this particular madness to end) you can sign onto our letter heading to BLM leadership HERE. 

For those of you asking, this operation is led by BLM, Ely. 

Our team is compiling files from this operation (and others) and are sending them to our extended team and partners. We will be in conference this afternoon and announce our next steps as it is prudent to do so. 

Our teams need your support to continue comprehensive coverage of roundups and range. We need your support to continue to address on-range through holding. We are small, but take on big tasks as thoroughly as possible.

Categories: Wild Horse Education