OPEN LETTER TO THE HORSE COMMUNITY

OPEN LETTER TO THE HORSE COMMUNITY

“I was drawn to horses as if they were magnets. It was in my blood. I must have inherited from my grandfather a genetic proclivity toward the equine species. Perhaps there's a quirk in the DNA that makes horse people different from everyone else, that instantly divides humanity into those who love horses and the others, who simply don't know.”

Allan J. Hamilton, Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horse

A friend introduced this quote to me a few years ago, and I have never forgotten it. The term “horse person” is a funny thought to people who aren’t horse types. But to us, it’s the most natural thing in the world. Even though there are plenty of things that divide the horse community, we can’t deny our conditional love for the animal that means so much to us.

I want you to do me a favor and close your eyes and think back to when you were 4 years old.  At that age, a horse was just that, a horse. A beautiful, whimsical, creature that made your eyes light up and your heart pitter patter in excitement. Their smell was exhilarating and gave you big dreams. You didn’t care if the horse was a hunter prospect, or had a killer roll back. All you wanted was to reach out and touch their soft muzzle, while you imagined what it was like to fly away while riding on their back.

To me, once you are a horse lover, you’re always a horse lover. You can’t just give it up. You can try, but it will always be nestled deep down in your soul, the affection trying to escape and make itself known at the least expected moment. When you are driving down a road and see a horse grazing in the field, you can’t help but lean forward and look, that love comes back out and grabs you. Why? Who knows! But we are connected to them, like the quote above says...we are drawn to them like magnets.

Where am I going with all this? Now that I have hopefully reeled you in with nostalgia and all the feels, I want to encourage you, the horse community, to give back. Even just a little. If not for me, do it for your horse, do it for their species, do it for the animal that carried history on their back and gave us our freedom, dreams and happiness.

There are many issues that need to be addressed in the horse world, but today I’m going to concentrate on one: Wild Horses.  

Tomorrow the senate subcommittee will vote on the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior Spending Bill with a recently added Stewart Amendment, allowing sterilization procedures on our wild horses & burros. The Full Committee will vote on Thursday.

The Stewart Amendment states: The secretary of the Interior may hereafter manage any group of wild horses or burros as a non-reproducing or single-sex herd, in whole or in part, including through chemical or surgical sterilization.

"The Cloud Foundation states: The BLM is advocating the use of a procedure called “ovariectomy via colpotomy," which rips the ovaries out of mares and jennies, and has shown to be extremely dangerous even in sterile conditions. The procedure has a high complication rate and causes behavioral changes and loss in bone density, according to expert equine veterinarians.

And Dr. Don Moore, Equine Veterinarian says “In private practice, colopotomy is considered an inferior procedure with likelihood of post-surgical infections and complications (i.e., colic) especially in unsterile conditions. Post-operative care usually lasts several days to often weeks and mares are monitored and in most cases are monitored in box stalls or cross ties, which cannot be accomplished with wild mares.”

If we allow these permanent types of procedures to happen it would threaten their well-being, disturb wild herd behaviors & dynamics and ruin any chance at preservation.

So what what am I asking you to do? I want the horse community to come together as the voice of the wild horse.  I want you as a “horse person” to become aware of the situation. I want you to research, find the truth, and help in YOUR own way.   Something you can do right now, literally right now, is contact your senators and representatives in regards to tomorrow’s voting.

 

Click to enlarge (from the Cloud Foundation)

Follow this link for guidance on what to say and who to contact:
How to find your Senators:

Tuesday June 12 - 9:30 a.m. EST
Subcommittee Hearing
Watch Live 

Thursday June 14 - 10:30 a.m EST
Full Committee Hearing
Watch Live

I’m reaching out to my fellow horse community because you are brave, passionate and compassionate people. You are willing to get on a 1100 pound animal and say “I trust you” and that takes a special person, a person who is willing to go above and beyond to cherish that bond between horse  and human. So why not harness that energy to help the underdog of horses: The wild horse.

I understand we all have our own issues, horses, and families to look after. I’m not denying that, but if you can take a moment to educate yourself on this subject it would mean the world to us. And just think, if the millions of horse people could come together for our wild horses & burros, they can have a voice bigger than any other and hopefully be a force to be reckoned with.

If you’re reading all the way down here, I want to commend you for making it all the way through this post :) On behalf of the wild horses, thank you!

 

References:
Fiscal Year 2019 Interior Spending Bill

Amendments to FY2019

Video of Amendments

Report to Congress: Management Options for a Sustainable Wild Horse and Burro Program

This Oregon Sterilization Project

The Cloud Foundation

Moving Forward: A Unified Statement on the Humane, Sustainable, and Cost-Effective On-Range Management of America's Wild Horses and Burros

A WEEK IN UTAH

A WEEK IN UTAH

My recent trip to Utah was filled with emotions. There were so many highs and lows, twists and turns, my head was spinning. But, in the end, I wasn't there for me. I was there for the wild horses in hopes to bring their issues to light and help promote adoption, and with that comes the good and the bad.

A Mustang On The Jersey Shore

A Mustang On The Jersey Shore

Three big, bay, geldings, and a butternut squash of a mustang mare walk onto a beach…

I actually don’t have a joke for this, but for anyone who knows what Flax looks like, it was a hilarious sight to see her chumming around with such big horses.  

Now Flax is from the west, The Pryor Mountains in Montana to be exact and now she lives with me on our little farm in New Jersey.  Being from the shore, I wanted her to see the beach, and feel the power of the ocean.  I wanted her to experience the sand under her hooves, breathe in the salt of the ocean air, and feel the wind through her mane as she gallops on soft white sand. Romantic right?  Derrr.  

DAY 1<br>THE HEARTBEAT<br>OF THE LAND

DAY 1
THE HEARTBEAT
OF THE LAND

4 women from all over the country, 1 hotel room, 5 days of constant interaction, well isn’t that a terrifying thought?  Hah! It was anything but. Why? Respect. Love. Passion. Strength. Individuality. Humor. These traits are all a common thread among us.  A thread that will bind us in a friendship that few people will ever understand. And why were we thrown together? We were on a mission, to find all 163 horses in the park. Did we succeed? Nope. But we were damn close!  Between laughter, stories, sadness, and 4 AM wake up calls we found and felt the heartbeat of the land, the land that the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park call home.

A MOMENT WITH <br>NEALI AUSTIN

A MOMENT WITH
NEALI AUSTIN

“GUYS! Do you hear thunder?!”   We stopped talking and listened.  We heard hooves. Pounding hooves moving at a fast pace from behind us, but couldn’t see below the hill.  

10 QUESTIONS WITH Deb Lee Carson

10 QUESTIONS WITH Deb Lee Carson

This Mustang’s Life is kicking off a brand new series “10 Questions With ______” with the one and only Deb Lee Carson! Deb, an accomplished wild horse photographer sure has a way with words and the camera. She lures you in with her stories and takes your breath away with her images.

Deb was kind enough to answer my questions, and I was blown away with her answers. Enjoy this post, because I surely did :)

How Bout A Little Flax History

How Bout A Little Flax History

Everyone please welcome my first guest blogger, Jonathan! Jonathan is a mustang advocate who knows the subject in and out. Whenever I forget the name of a horse in the Pryors he’s the man to go to!  Which is perfect for me because I wanted to learn about Flax’s past, and I only had to ask him. Enjoy a very in depth look into my little Flax’s life on the mountain when she was wild. Let’s see if you can read all this info in 30 seconds and in one breath!

Flax was born in 2005 to Looking Glass and Tonopah's 1996 golden dun son Baja and Sitka and Shaman's 1994 golden dun daughter Washakie. Flax is their first offspring. She left her parents in early 2007 as a two year old and found herself with the dark bay stallion Morning Star and his band where she spent the entire summer...

MAKE THE RIGHT FRIENDS

MAKE THE RIGHT FRIENDS

I’m not an expert in horsemanship, but I’m learning to speak the language. I’m 33 years old, and for 32 years I thought I “knew” horses. But the truth is, I only knew what the textbooks told me. For years I drove to a barn, got on a horse, rode around for a bit, jumped off and went on my merry way.

I'M THEIR HUMAN

I'M THEIR HUMAN

For my first post I want to tell you the story of how I came about adopting Flax and Valor.

You see, I was only suppose to adopt one horse and one horse only. But according to fate, it had a different plan for me. Flax and Valor ended up in my life at the same exact time, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  This is how my herd of 3 (Matilda, Mike and I) became a herd of 5.