Top 10 Ways To Help
Adoption, adoption, adoption. We hear that all the time. Adopt a horse, adopt a dog, rescue a cat! But what if you cannot adopt or rescue? Your heart is filled by the spirit of the wild horses, of America and you want to get involved. So what can you do? You live far away, you do not have the finances, you cannot get out of the house, but you love wild horses just as much or more than most people.
Here are some ways to get involved. A lot of them can be done right from your home:
By Jamie Baldanza & Deb Lee Carson
1. BE VOCAL
Contact people! The right people! When a story moves you contact your local radio and television stations, call the newspaper, write your favorite online magazine, etc. and say you want to hear or read more about these kinds of stories on the news. Make people pay attention. Tweet at celebrities and ask them “Did you know about this?” (You might even get a Retweet!)
2. SPEAK UP—RECOMMEND A MUSTANG TO SOMEONE
To contrary belief mustangs are not junk. They are smart, beautiful, athletic and incredibly loyal. Trust me, there is one out there that is right for you. I’ve seen reiners, eventers, dressage, cattle horses, western pleasure and trail horses. I’ve seen mustangs do it ALL. So when you meet someone who has a horse, or you have friends who have horses…it never hurts to plant the seed….slip in there “Have you ever thought about a mustang?” What do you have to lose? Show them examples of how awesome they are. Share stories of what you have seen and heard.
3. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE
When an organization or horse needs help, SHARE their story. If the right person at the right moment sees a post, it may change the future of one horse. Here is a prime example: A person living in New Jersey shared a story on Facebook about a BLM mustang in a kill pen in Texas. Her friend from Alabama responded to the story and ended up adopting the mustang! If the story wasn’t shared to the right people at the right time, who knows what could have happened to that mustang. So bottom line, please SHARE! Social media can be an amazing asset to horses in need, especially the wild horses.
4. FOLLOW ORGANIZATIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Who are they? There are so many! There are two groups who work tirelessly to be a national voice for the wild horses: The Cloud Foundation and the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign both have Facebook pages and websites. They continually stay up on events related to the wild horses, they work directly with the BLM and actively pursue legal action that has resulted in positive results for the wild horses. In addition, there are many regional groups who act as the voices for the wild horses that roam free in their region. Search those groups out and follow along!
5. DONATE TALENT
So you’re sitting at home and you would love to be involved and help with the wild horses, but they are thousands of miles away. Maybe you can’t physically help or even monetarily help, but you have a talent. What are you good at? How can you use your talents to help benefit a legitimate organization? Organizations need help with websites, graphic design work, fund raising, PR, legal…you name it. Any bit of help is always appreciated. It starts with special individuals who have hidden abilities and aptitudes. They just have to be willing to lend a hand.
6. DONATE MONEY
If adopting a wild horse is out of the question for you, it’s completely understandable. There are legitimate rescue organizations who can take in wild horses and a vast majority of them need ongoing funding. Small increments add up—$5, $10, $20. Research the organization first and make sure your donation is going to where you want it to go and then donate when and where you can. There are also organizations on regional and national levels that are legitimately fighting for the wild horses. They and ongoing funding to accomplish their important goals.
Become a volunteer at your local Bureau of Land Management office (BLM) or Theodore Roosevelt National Park hosts one of the few wild horse herds on NPS lands. You can search out other facilities, sanctuaries, or rescues that may work directly with the wild horses but have limited funding. Good volunteers are the heart of strong organizations!
8. WATCH DOCUMENTARIES
Grab some popcorn on a cold, rainy evening and put in The Cloud Series. Ginger Kathrens will take you to the Pryor Mountains near Lovell, Wyoming and share the stories of the wild ones. This renowned documentary will stir your heart and take you right to the range where the wild horses live. Then pop in “Wild Horse, Wild Ride” where brave trainers from all over the United States take a BLM mustang and train them for competition in an allotted amount of time. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event in order to recognize and highlight the value of Mustangs through a national training competition and showcase the beauty, versatility and trainability of the rugged horses. After the competition each horse is put up for adoption! Some of them have been sold for thousands of dollars and have gone on to amazing athletic feats!
9. DO RESEARCH
Why do we have wild horses? How important are they to America? Why do wild horses get rounded up in the first place? There are many theories on this; pressure from ranchers, overgrazing and destruction of land, overpopulation, special interests. But what is the truth? It’s important to make due diligence, know the true story, avoid making decisions based on what you see or hear in a brief headline. Knowledge is POWER.
10. CREATE A DEDICATED SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE
How passionate are you? Do you believe your passion needs a voice? There are never enough voices for the wild horses! By creating a social media page dedicated to the wild horses you help create a bigger voice. You become their advocate. It doesn’t have to be wrapped around art, maybe it’s a story you want to share about a wild horse you encountered in the past or hope to meet some day! The sky is limitless, let your voice soar and your imagination free, be a voice for the wild horses!
BONUS: WRITE GOVERNMENT
There are many ways to reach local, state, and national politicians—emails, Twitter, Facebook, phone calls. If they are as busy as you and I are, give a gentle reminder of how important the wild horses are to America. Write about wild horses even when there aren’t burning issues. Write to say thank you for caring. Your voice goes a long way.
In summary—your voice is powerful, your passion even more so, find a way to make a difference no matter how small it may seem to you. It really will make a difference! The wild horses of America need you (us) to speak for them and to become involved