Thursday, November 18, 2010

Warm Springs Gather

Two posts today, as I just spotted my friend Maggie's recount of the Warm Springs gather. Two lies being told include the roping and dragging of a foal, and the death of the 'blue roan stallion'.

Commentary below photos are by Maggie, who was present during Saturday's event.

The foal that got separated on the hill, coming in pretty much by himself. No whips, absolutely not one moment of dragging. It took 41 minutes to get him from the top of the hill in to the catch area and he is now with his herd.

The foal did come in quietly and not appearing to be stressed and never dragged.

The helicopter holding the herd in while the guys close the gate. The bay roan mare (called blue roan stallion by media) remains fairly calm, no flags no whips. The helicopter leaves the second the gate is closed. When she needed to move over so they could bring in more horses is when she tried to make her escape. Very sad and very unexpected.

Bay roan mare, no panic, no sweat...watching them close the gate. Never did we see whips, abusive flagging....the loss of the mare devastated even the wranglers. You could see in their body language, they were affected just as we were.

She seemed calm until she needed to move over for the next horses to enter. The crowd of guys on the right are trying to close the gait. No flags, no whips, no panic at this time.

Because most of what you see on 'Advocate' sites is a lot of negativity and sensationalism (if not downright lies), I felt it important for those of you who read my blog and are concerned for the welfare of these animals to witness the passive, quiet and tranquil moments as well. A foal quietly walking down a hill (not roped and drug as has been said), and a mare who appeared to be just as settled as the rest of the horses until her moment of panic.

There is a video that claims the pilot hit a horse as well, but it was a horse jumping up in front of the helicopter, not a pilot running into a horse. Other video footage always shows a well trained pilot who moves livestock for a living and knows how to minimalism the dangers by keeping a safe distance, while also putting pressure on when needed. Nothing else I've seen has shown contact...I believe it was simply a matter of the camera angle in the one video by the Animal Rescue Unit.

I was asked in a comment last week about the BLM's plan to zero out all HMAs except for a select few. I've done some asking around, and there is an element of truth to this story. There had been a suggestion earlier this year to keep only 'treasured' herds, such as Pryor and Kiger, but that didn't appear to have a whole lot of support and the idea has been dropped.


Dom said...

So glad I found your blog. I work with a woman who buys all the rumors about what goes on out there and I find myself constantly saying things like, "No way in HELL the BLM would allow that to happen."

I'm a little confused about what happened with the roan mare.

Tracey said...

The mare panicked, Dom, and slammed herself into the panel facing the cameras. She broke her neck and lay thrashing for a few minutes before they got the jute up in front to block the view, and then shot her.

When she panicked and tried to turn back, the wranglers got busy with their flags and tried to push her forward through the gate. The helicopter was pushing a new group in just at that same moment, which created an extreme sense of urgency on the part of the wranglers, and some say they pushed too hard. But I'm not entirely certain what they could have done differently? They needed this small group to move forward, and the mare went into a panic. Hind sight is always 20/20, but in the moment, what do you do?

We are reading some very crazy stuff right now, from "The BLM is secretly breeding mustangs", to a recent report that they're cloning mustangs (huh?), to 'proof' that they've been hauled directly to slaughter in Canada (but where is the proof, other than everyone saying it's happening?)

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Thank you Tracey and Maggie. The truth needs to be told. So much blather and falsehoods that drive me nuts. It might not if I didn't know those fellows but I do and KNOW the truth. Thanks for your inquiring about the rumor.

Becky said...

I hadn't even heard of this event until your blog. I googled it and found the story. It's a sad story, but WOW, is it ever being blown out of proportion.

The problem was trying to find what REALLY happened while pawing through overly emotional, illogical accounts of "Blue Moon" the "rugged stallion" who was "murdered" while trying to escape abuse and "flee back to freedom" "for his life".

Even if I didn't have an opinion on the subject it would have been idiotic. The black foal in question disappears behind a rock, and reappears later.... and "We believe the colt was hog tied on the ground until they went back for him". ?!?!

Well, I believe they bought him a McDonald's Happy Meal and gave him some time to finish his fries and play with the toy before they brought him out. My story is just as plausible and contains just as much evidence, so therefore it's the truth.

Okay, if you have a problem with roundups, that's one thing. But seriously....

"He fell back nearly missing the traumatized filly, who just witnessed the entire event. He staggered to the left, sat on the fence and finally fell on his side, kicking out and desperately trying to lift his head as the wranglers snapped a crop at the filly, causing her to jump over her fathers shuddering body."

It reads like really bad fanfiction. I keep expecting Edward Cullen to peek around a corner and sparkle at them.

arlene said...

What the hell did these god damn idiots from the BLM expect?

I'm disgusted beyond words that they have no better sense than to have a helicopter hovering above trapped and frightened horse.

They are asking for a disaster to happen!

How the hell can you defend such mindless and cruel action? Now I remembered why I avoid you and your kind. You are pure evil!

Tracey said...

Arlene, my mustangs could care less about helicopters hovering...they sweep down pretty close here at the house on a regular basis. And if you watch most footage and look at the photos, you see that the horses here are the same way. They come nearly right up to the chute at a walk or trot, and only when there is pressure needed to move them into the pen does the pilot move into position and apply more pressure. I'm sorry if you're upset, but this, to me, is a lot swifter and more humane than starvation. It's unfortunate that none of the 'advocates' bothers to fill you in on that half of the story.

Jeni said...

I'm still laughing at the Edward Cullen comment.

Tracey thank you for the information. I stopped reading all the media crap out there about gathers.

Media crap is over sensationalized either side your on, and plays with human emotion.

Deb said...

If you looked at the photos you will see that the helicopter was not hovering over the catch pen after the horses were in it. As soon as the horses were in the pen he left and the gate was shut behind the horses by people on foot. So I am not sure why you say that they were "hovering above trapped and frightened horse".

The MARE had been standing quietly with the other two and paniced and ran back and into the fence panel when the wranglers were moving the 3 into another wing pen to make room for more horses that the heli was bringing in.

Open your eyes and form your own opinions from the honest photos don't just parrot what the AR people put out there. They are now claiming that the pilot hit a horse with the heli and that did NOT happen either.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I try to stay out of the various debates regarding the handling of the mustangs. We've been having problems with wild mustangs wandering out on highways and getting hit by cars. I think between that and the starvation, they are better off under the care of the BLM in pastures and pens. But accidents do happen. I visited the mustangs in Palomino Valley and watched the aftermath of a round up. The cowboys were getting more beat up than the horses. But there was one horse with a front leg dangling. I pointed it out and the cowboy just shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "It happens."

Tracey said...

NM, that is a good point about the horses out on the roads and being hit on the highways. I'm sure most people haven't got a clue as to how severe the problem is in the state of NV, which has over half the wild horses all to themselves. I saw a photograph once of horses standing on a corner in a suburb beneath a street lamp. Just not sure how people don't 'get it' when we say there's an overpopulation issue?

Catherine said...

The people feeding the fires of emotionalism with lies are the same ones NOT having to deal with the everyday realities of too many horses(some dying worse deaths at the hands of Mother Nature) supported by tax payers dollars that have to be managed. Get real.Wild horse care isn't for the faint of heart. And guess what, accidents happen! Even with the best of intentions/plans, freak accidents occur with my own domestic horses. The BLM are good people doing a thankless job the best they can. It ain't perfect--what is? Maybe those inflating this story would like the opportunity to "perfectly" manage an enormous population of wild animals with few dollars and fewer adoptive homes all while satisfying the demands of every armchair expert with computer/television access. Good grief.

Patricia Barlow-Irick said...

Five wranglers on the fence, one with a plastic bag on a stick is too much pressure for a just gathered horse. It only takes one person to get a wild horse to move. It kind of looks like several of those helpers are mustang neophytes.

Rising Rainbow said...

I wonder if this whole thing will ever get worked out in a way that is good for the horse.

Sorry to hear about the mare. People must remember they are horses and sometimes they just do stupid things, no matter how hard we try to protect them.

I have a friend whose horse just broke her neck. Same flucky kind of thing. Sometimes sh*t just happens. I'm sure everyone involved feels terrible, just as my friend does. That doesn't make it their fault.