Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Cowpony

I cornered Curt. He was hurting...his shoulder was giving him problems. But I was NOT going to back down or lay off. Nosireebob! I wanted to work that bull! Having more stamina than the old man, I got my way, and out came the hydrabull!

Sandy trailed it beautifully, keeping pace with it rather nicely for his first time. Curt said he'd expected that he'd be afraid of it, but he wasn't. He trotted around on the inside of the circle, keeping his nose tipped out towards the bull as he kept an eye on it. He didn't understand the stop and turn stuff; we mostly just did circles. But a couple of times he had to turn and came nose to nose with the bull. His ears were forward and he wasn't too sure what this was all about as that thing came within breathing distance of him, but he never tried to shoot in a different direction. All in all, I was right proud of my boy.

That was last week. I drove back down again today for lesson number two. This time, Sandy began to figure out the stopping thing. The bull stops, the Sandy stops. He only got it on his own a couple of times, but that's a couple of times more than a lot of horses do on their second lesson, and Curt was pleased. Me, too! Sandy, however, just wanted to finish up so he could go eat grass.

I'd love to have photos for you, but again...who's going to take them? Me? Sandy? The Hydra Bull??? Darling may have to come along next week to satisfy your curiosity!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Simply Magic

The new boys are settling in around here. I've been having so much fun working so hard out on the trail with Jet and Sandy that I've not spent much time behind the camera lens photographing them, sadly. I thought about hauling my camera out at feeding time this morning as the sun hasn't quite poked it's sleepy head up over the hill yet and the lighting is fantastic...but some little skunk head borrowed my camera yesterday and left it in the trunk of City Boy's car...which is now 50 miles south of here. So no new photos. Yet.

In Molalla, aside from getting into trouble for hauling four horses home, I also met up with a friend from a northwest forum named Skittles. Okay, that's not her real name, but it's what she goes by online, therefore it's what she shall be called here.

Skittles wanted a horse, and for some reason all my romantic talk of mustangs had her thinking she absolutely MUST adopt. And of course, being the friendly enabler I am, I was more than happy to help her out in that endeavor. We spent the better part of Saturday morning moseying up and down the alleyways between the corrals looking at the horses. Her husband was partial to darker colored horses, as was she. They also preferred geldings, and they wanted something stout.

We found a super little yearling gelding, but decided it'd be a couple years before he was ready. But up in another pen of geldings stood a chunk of a brown three year old. He had a few nicks and dings from the other horses and was definitely the bottom of the pecking order in this group of four. Darling had liked him Friday night and Saturday morning told me that if I was getting the bay, that the brown really needed to come home with us as well because they were best buds. So when Skittles and her husband saw him and liked him, Darling was quite happy.

Skittles and her husband named the gelding Simply Magic, and he's been sent home with me for 30 days of gentling. Magic is not a hugely tall horse, but there's no doubt as to the drafty influence; this boy is mammoth! Huge shoulders, humungous hiney, and heavy neck. Thankfully he has no clue just how big he is or he'd steamroll right over me. As it is, he shares with Sandy a bit of timidity and isn't too eager to get up close and personal.

The goal for Magic over the next three weeks is to get him relaxed and easy to catch. He wants to be my buddy. He wants to be brave. But he hangs back and prefers to stay safe inside his bat cave, aka stall, rather than joining me outside in the sunlight. He has, however, learned to give to the pressure of the lead and is now following me, although a bit reluctantly, around his pen. Last night he was brave enough to let me touch him, even outside of his bat cave.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Who's Who's Horse?

Otterkat left a comment recently about being confuddled around here regarding who's horse was who's. As in, at one time Darling and I talked about trading Firecracker for Jet, and Jet would belong to Darling. Otterkat also recalled that it was Darling who'd decided that Quiet Storm was too small and she needed a taller horse.

Congratulations, Otter, for paying attention! Gold star to you, girl!

Quiet Storm learns to carry a bit

Yes, Darling had decided to pass QS along, but it was impulse shopping while in Burns that spurred her into that decision. For a solid month afterwards she moped and cried about selling her best friend. She'd break out in tears walking through the mall and climb out of bed in the mornings and come sit in my lap and shed more tears. I had a lot of wet shoulders. That little horse meant a lot to her, and they were best friends. She hadn't known that QS was going to be at the adoption, I'd not told her in advance. Perhaps I should have, just to get her heart prepared.

Thing is...I'm finding my heart being wrenched around now, too, since she's come back into our lives. There's something terribly special about that little horse and I'm struggling just as much as Darling.

Darling's boy, Dude Lee Doright

As for Jet...Darling enjoys her immensely, especially now that she's able to be ridden a bit more, but a few days after the 'trade' she said she didn't really know if it's what she wanted to do. Then she picked out Dude while we were in Pasco last month, so that is her true horse.

City Boy enjoys Jet, too, and has staked a claim. Of course, we told him it was his horse when we drove into the driveway with her last year. What a super gift, eh? Not all wives and daughters would have been so considerate! So of course she belongs to him...he's just gracious enough to let me ride.
Jet Storm

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Out of the Dog House and Up on the Trail

City Boy brought me breakfast. He's working nights, so gets home at 7 am. He brought me a package of Rolos and a Diet Pepsi. He loves me...

Yesterday morning I saddled up Sandy and took him out for a trail ride. This was his second journey around the tree farm and up onto one of the trails. It's not the easiest trail as it's pretty steep; same one I started Jet out on. He does well, however, and I've been pleased with how he handles himself. When he sees something that he feels may be threatening he doesn't bolt or spook, but rather stops and stands his ground, then slowly approaches like he's trying to scare it off. So far he's not been able to intimidate the shadows or tree stumps; they've stood their ground as well!

In the afternoon it was Jet's turn to head out. We've been venturing further and further, and yesterday I decided she was steady enough for me to have my camera along. Depending on your connection, this could be a good thing, or a bad thing! Either way, sit back and take a journey up into the foothills that I call home.

Jet wonders if she should target my left knee, right knee, or perhaps both as we go between the knee knockers ahead!

The trail is steep. Steeper than the photo eludes to. I put the camera away as we headed up this section of trail, closed my eyes and hung onto her mane!

Yes, this is the hill I just climbed up over the top of!


The view is fantastic! No wonder I had a hitchhiker!

Looking down, I see the valley below where I live.

It was an overcast day, but you can still make out Vancouver Island (Canada) way, way out in the distance.

Hope you enjoyed piggy backing with Jet and I...and that little green worm! I gotta go finish my breakfast now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Trouble with a capital T

Oh, we've got trouble.

Right here on Carpenter Creek.

With a capital T that rhymes with me,
that stands for Molalla!

Okay, so here's what happened this past weekend. Or before, really, as that's where the trouble began.

I was ready to drive down to the adoption when City Boy informs me that my truck isn't fit to drive that far. Maybe, maybe not, but why risk it? He's been waiting for a part and it's been on backorder. He'd forgotten this was the weekend I was going to be gone, and me...well, I'm the world's worst communicator and hadn't said anything of late about going. So when I thought I'd be pulling out on Thursday, it ended up on Wednesday I was calling the BLM in Oregon in a panic over what I was going to do without horses for my gentling demos at next months fair.

I love my BLM! I'm going to print up a bumper sticker saying that, because the head of the wild horse program there told me he'd haul the horses for me. That's right...from the southeast corner of Oregon to the northwest corner of Washington. Who says those folks aren't caring about the wild horses? I love my BLM! Still, they said, they were very short handed and could use all the help they could get, so was there any chance I could drive down in another vehicle?

City Boy, with what I decided must have been a sigh of resignation, said I could take his car. And so Darling and I were off on Friday morning, making our way to the town with the funny name that's fun to say. Molalla!

Tom, the manager from the corrals, has hand picked a pretty bay gelding that he thinks I may like. A nice moving horse and a little bit curious. He's got silver streaks in his mane and tail which make him a rabicano. Yes, another funny word but much less fun to say than Molalla! I had to agree; Tom has good taste in horses. He pointed out a couple others that he liked and Darling and I pulled out our shopping list and began to make a short list of horses we liked.

Tom handpicked this lovely bay rabicano for me.

The plan was to wait until after everyone had an opportunity to take the horses they liked at Saturday's adoption, then we'd select from our short list of 4 horses. There were several that we liked; this year's 'crop' was good. Lots of big behinds and sloping shoulders, things this quarter horse person is drawn towards.
Red dun gelding has lovely blond streaks in his mane (why is it on the other side?)

One of the geldings on the list was a 2 year old red dun. It's always difficult to judge just how tall the horses are when they're in the pens on uneven ground, but our assumption was that these boys were all 15 hands and up, and the dun looked like he was roughly 15.1 with a back end just a wee bit higher. I anticipate he'll end up over 16 hands when he's fully mature.

There was a short, stocky bay who reminded me of Dude. Another bay had a very sleek body. There was a splashy looking sorrel who had a sabino pattern and looked a little bit drafty. So many little room! This was not going to be easy.

But that's not all.

No...that's not all.

I'd received a panicked email from Stephanie, Quiet Storm's owner, just a couple days before we left. She was in a difficult spot and they'd decided that they needed to place all three of their horses in new homes. She was really struggling with this decision, and I couldn't help it...I had to help. I told her Quiet Storm could come home with us.

But wait! Now I didn't have my truck and trailer. So I called the BLM again and they said..."No Problemo!" (City Boy does not love my BLM...and he's not very happy with me, either, as I managed to leave out that little detail...)

While there, we met with Jenifer and her husband. They live in southwest WA and we'd met online. She'd wanted a mustang, and in fact had considered Cricket. Jennifer fell for a very nice tank of a horse, a 3 year old with some Appaloosa traits. I knew there was no way I could bring home four horses, so we decided that Jennifer's boy, Quiet Storm and the bay would be who came home with us.

Jennifer has named her boy Simply Magic

Darling was beside herself with joy at the thought of her best friend coming home. I told her we needed to find her a new home, that we couldn't keep her, but I'm not sure she understood just how soon that would be. While there we spoke with a woman who thought Quiet Storm was just the cutest thing. She was looking for a pony for her son. There was a farrier there giving demos; he knew the sister of this woman and vouched for their love and good care of horses. It seemed like a great fit. Darling cried and resisted. The woman told us she was running to town and we could think about it.

It was so difficult. Darling was sobbing. Pleading. Calling her dad (who'd forgotten his phone at home) to beg him to let her bring her baby home. But in the end she managed to pull herself together and we called the woman and told her she could buy Quiet Storm. The woman was thrilled, but Darling went to the car with red swollen eyes and refused to speak to me.

Happier times from last fall

With Quiet Storm having a new home, I decided to go ahead and grab a third horse. Not the plan, surely not the space, but since one was already spoken for I figured I may as well grab the other and see if I could get it adopted out as well. The adoption was over, the paperwork was in hand and the three horses were on their way through the loading chute when my cell phone rang...

"Hi...I hate to do this, but I've decided this was an impulse buy. I really can't take your horse. I really need to be able to have my son ride before I buy...I'm so sorry...please tell your daughter I'm so sorry for putting her through this..."

And there I sat, three wild horses in a trailer and Quiet Storm in hand. And a smiling Darling. And a heart filled with dread because, well, let's face it; I was pushing the envelope with three horses, and City Boy was not going to be happy about all this...and I can't say that I blame him.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Girl Got Spin!

Darling rode Jet last night down around the tree farm while I led Sandy alongside. I'm in need of another snaffle bit so that we can both ride together, or so City Boy and I can go for a ride once Sandy's ready. But for now, Darling rides while I walk, and that's okay because I could use the exercise.

Jet behaved herself for Darling, although at one point she jumped into a trot without being asked, and while Darling broke out with a big grin, mean old mom told her to walk. No point in the big black horse making decisions such as when to take off on her own while carrying someone who wouldn't know how to get out of a jam should something happen.

The rest of the walk was uneventful. We chatted and moseyed and the horses did great out in the evening sun. As we headed around the last bend, Jet picked up the pace but as she was behind us she really couldn't do more than stretch out her long legs into a nice trail horse walk. Darling commented on how she'd picked up speed and wondered why, and I told her the ground was a bit softer along this stretch. Both Sandy and Jet are barefoot, but Jet's slightly more sensitive to the feel of rocks beneath her feet. Even so, they both do wonderfully and aside from a wee bit of chipping on her first ride out, neither horse has had issues.

I glanced back at Darling and noticed her reins were ever so long and asked her how she thought she'd stop her horse should she suddenly spook or jump forward? Immediately the reins were shortened, and a few minutes later Darling was dismounting at the trailer and both horses loaded up and hauled home.

It was last nights ride that was on my mind as I was sitting atop my filly this morning. We'd headed up a new trail, one that had an iron bridge that crossed the creek. I'd dismounted and led Jet across while she listened to the strange echo of her hooves each time they landed on the metal beneath her. She wasn't too sure about what I'd asked her to do and stuck pretty close to my side as though I'd be able to catch her in my arms should she jump into them. She'd have been sadly disappointed to know there's really not much I can do to protect her massive size.

Back in the saddle and after quite a steep climb, my reins were loose and noodle like, dangling down and swinging with each step Jet took. And at the precise moment the memory of Darling's loose reins crossed my mind, Jet's head shot straight up into the air and a deer dashed out across the trail in front of us. Jet wasn't going to stick around to see what that flash had been. In her mind, it was a cougar or bear or some other horrible creature about to devour her whole, and she spun so quick and fast that one could say she spun on a dime and left you some change.

Thankfully she spun to the right, which meant that as my body was flung to the left, my right hand was able to reach out and grab first the horn, then up to the rein and pull her to a stop. For a brief moment I'd wondered if I'd be able to stay on, but thankfully the old reflexes came to the rescue and I was able to convince her to stop and turn back to face her fears. The doe was gone, but the horse wasn't convinced, so I dismounted and led her past the scary spot, mounting up 50' further up the trail.

The rest of the ride was uneventful, but I surely know that this girl needs a few wet saddle blankets up in the hills before she can be trusted not to spin out from under Darling!

For those who read the last post regarding euthanasia and have decided to purchase some soap...I'm posting a new button here as the last one had the wrong price. As shipping included. Smart me, eh?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wild Horse Euthenasia...and Soapy Six Packs!

A couple weeks ago the BLM announced that the budget cannot afford to feed all the horses that are currently in holding facilities here in the west. 30,000 mustangs are running free on the ranges, while another 30,000 are in long term holding facilities. Those in holding are literally eating up the budget.

While there's not much most of us can do single~handedly to solve this issue, there is something you can do to change the lives of two wild mustangs.

This weekend I’ll be driving down to Molalla, OR where I’ll pick up two mustangs and transport them back up here where I’ll be giving gentling demonstrations, then adopting them out at our fair in August. But I need your help! Fuel is costly, and my budget, much like the BLM’s, has been greatly diminished with all the hauling I’ve done this year.

If you’d like to help make a difference, please consider purchasing a Soapy Six Pack! Regularly $6 bar, you can purchase the six pack for only $20, plus priority flat rate shipping of $9.80 between now and Wednesday, July 9. In fact, to sweeten the deal even more, I'll toss in Cowboy Kisses, the lip balm featuring my favorite Forgetful Cowboy from the Wild Horse Corrals in Oregon on the label!

Please join me in helping to place America's Living Legends!

Last Night I Met John

Jet has been doing extremely well out on the trail this past week. We graduated from short rides around the tree farm to over an hour up into the hills. There were a couple of women who showed up in the parking lot just after I did on Friday morning; they invited me along on their little jaunt and I was thrilled to be able to accept. Finally, someone to ride with!

Jet followed along as they led us up what was supposed to be a new trail recently cut. The two horses ahead of us were a bit slower than she is, but we managed to stay out of trouble and not crowd the little quarter horse mare too badly. We weren't far, perhaps 20 minutes, when we ran out of trail. So around we turned, and now Jet was in the lead. Considering this was her first time in the trees, and first time with other horses, I must tell you I couldn't have been more pleased! She stepped right out, crossing logs and mud holes and never once looked back to see why the others weren't right there with her. The quarter horse mare had a hard time keeping up, and she balked at the mud in one area, so I stopped Jet and we waited for them. Jet stood patiently until they caught up, and off we went again.

The following morning I was alone again. I headed up the steep mountain road until I came to a new trail off to the right. There were moguls, or gully washes, that rose up, then dropped down and rose immediately back up; four foot drops that took some thought to cross. Jet sized them up and then up and down we went! On the trail were shadows and logs and twists and turns. The only time she hesitated was when we came to a drop over a big rock, which had tree roots jutting out around it and a big tree on either side. She stood patiently and waited for me to tell her what she should do. Considering her inexperience on the trail and the fact that I was alone, I opted to turn her around and head home. No point in getting her into a spot that might scare her, although I sincerely doubt she's have had any issues. Better safe than sorry, and we ended our ride on a very positive note. I don't believe I've ridden seasoned horses that were as much fun or willing to head out like this girl is!

After four days of good rides with Jet, I gave her Sunday off and pulled Sandy out of his semi-retired state. This is the first time I've saddled him up in three weeks. I lunged him in the round pen a few minutes, then climbed on board. He was fine. Relaxed, walking and trotting with his head low. I tossed him into the trailer completely saddled and headed down once more to the tree farm.

Darling and I had been there earlier in the afternoon with him, and I'd led him around last week once as well, so he wasn't completely unsure of where he was. I started out on foot, then climbed on board as he seemed quite settled. It was a very brief ride; just around one tiny loop that went from the service road, down a little trail through the trees, and up to the parking lot. Probably not even five minutes. Sandy trotted right out when asked and was pretty relaxed for the most part. The wind was blowing the trees about just a little and I thought maybe that would have him thinking things were going to pop out of the shadows, but he did fine.

Back in the parking lot we met John. John is a young man of about 12, I'd guess, who asked his mother as they were walking past if he could touch the horse. She said no, but I turned and told them it was okay with me and I led Sandy over to them. The mother smiled and asked John if he wanted to pet Sandy.

John said yes, but looked unsure. John, you see, is autistic. His gait was lumbering, his legs somewhat stiff and he came hesitantly forward. His arm was outstretched and rigid, like a branch more than flesh and bone. Many horses would have looked with concern at this boy, but Sandy dropped his head as the young man reached awkwardly out and touched his forehead. John's mother probably didn't realize it, but she had a smile that out shown the sun at that moment.

I told John that Sandy was a mustang, but I don't know that he understood what that meant. His mother did, though, and she was amazed when I told her that four months ago this horse was still quite wild and fearful of people. Her sister (or was it cousin?) has horses, and she thought Sandy to be beautiful. John wandered away, then came back with the same stiffness to pet Sandy again.

I think Sandy may have a future with kids like John. It's something I saw in him while training at Curt's; when the sweatshirt was over his saddle and slipped off, he'd come to an immediate stop. I wondered then if he could become a therapy horse, and I'm even more inclined to think so now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jet Hits the Trail!

Oh, how envious I've been of those who could take shots like this from the backs of their horses! To have those two little ears at the bottom...sheer bliss!

The other day I hauled Jet down to the tree farm. It's a mere 1/2 mile from the house, and I used to lead Sunny along the road. But Jet is a different creature and just a little bit silly from time to time while being led. I never felt comfortable walking down to the trail head with her, so up until now had avoided it.

I'm also not a big advocate of riding alone...especially on a first trail ride! But there's something special about my Jet girl, and after a week of riding around the house I felt confident she could handle the outing so I loaded her up and away we went.

Our first trip down was in the evening, and I led her on a short, 20 minute loop so she could get her bearings. She cared more about the long grass than the change in scenery, so the following morning I hauled her down again and climbed on board. She was everything I'd hoped. Moved out willingly, wasn't all silly and crazy, and we had an enjoyable 30 minute ride.

So happy was I that I loaded her back up in the evening and went again! And just like the morning, she stepped out nice and relaxed. We even did a fair amount of trotting this time. I'm beginning to think I may have to take up endurance riding with this girl. I'd suspected so earlier, but now I'm kind of getting hungry for it. She's full of so much joy when she gets out there!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Sandy withdrawals? Okay, since it has been mentioned by a couple of you, I shall give you an update. He is living the good life. The best of both worlds at the moment. I've not been on him in over a week, but lead him daily down to the pasture where he grazes most contentedly in a field of buttercups. Not that buttercups are supposed to be good for horses, but they seem to be everywhere after our wet spring, and he doesn't appear to be suffering from eating them. Why, I don't know. They're supposed to not taste good, and he's supposed to avoid them. I guess he never read the online article I did, eh?

Yes, that is a little red rope you see hanging off his neck. I was a bit leery the first few days of leaving him with nothing to catch him with. The halters all appear to have other jobs on other horses...Dude wears one in his paddock, Firecracker needs hers while I'm working her at home. Jet has one left on as well as a dragging lead while in the pasture with Sandy. So early on, Sandy had this little catch rope. He no longer wears it as he's just as easy to catch out in the pasture as he is at home.

Because the field we use belongs to the neighbor, we need to lead the horses over. We cross the creek, go through another neighbor's field, then down the road a small stretch to get to Donna's place. On the way home, Darling insisted she got to lead the pony with the string around his neck. 222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222q34444

Oh...excuse me...the kitten felt the need to type there for a moment.

City Boy got the gauges replaced in my big truck yesterday, so now I'm able to haul to the arena and will begin riding once more. But I'm certain that Sandy has much enjoyed his time off grazing under the sun!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Wild, Uncontrollable Beast

Yes...untamable, untrainable, wild beastie! Watch the amazing video of a four year old as he conquers the wild mustang! This is Tanner Lauman, son of Rick and Kitty Lauman. You may recall that Kitty trained Ranger in the Extreme Mustang Makeover last year. Something tells me Tanner will be following in her footsteps...whaddya think?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Difficult Choice

Too many horses, not enough funding

The horse world is abuzz right now. What to do with 33,000 mustangs that have been standing in long term holding facilities when adoption numbers are down, drought has destroyed rangelands, and there are 32,000 more wild horses that need to be managed?

This is not an easy fix.

I hear the complaints far and wide. "The BLM has mismanaged for years!" "We knew this would happen!" "Get those dang blasted cattle off the ranges!" "Just send them to slaughter, it's where they belong!"

Oh,'s been a lovely couple of days out there for mustangs.

And if for some reason you missed the article in the local paper, the national news, or here online, let me just recap the whole thing for you.

Wild horses running through chutes before being loaded for an upcoming adoption.

The BLM is facing a major crisis. For years, of course, these horses were sent to slaughter by any means a person could get them there. Velma Johnson spearheaded the fight to save our national treasure. Her grandparents had traveled by wagon across the US when her father was a babe. Her grandma's milk went dry, but one of the mares had foaled and they used her milk for the infant. That mare had been a mustang, so Velma of course grew up with a special bond and love for these horses. So when on her way to work one day, she came across a truck dripping blood out the back, she was horrified to find out it was jam packed with injured mustangs being hauled to slaughter.

I'm of the mind that Velma was raised in a much harsher time than we are now. I can't imagine that slaughter in and of itself probably was shocking to a farm girl. But to see them cramped and cooped up, and then to sneak out and follow these men and see exactly how they went about abusing the horses while capturing them...well, I think any of us would have turning stomachs.

And so it was that she fought the good fight and legislation was introduced to stop the slaughter of these symbols of the west. The BLM went from paying whomever could round them up to get rid of them, to developing an excellent marketing plan for our Living Legends.

And it worked.

Sort of.

The concept is good, but the horses breed well. And then we've got the cattlemen out there on public land. Oh, good'd think they were public enemy number one! Or maybe they're number two behind the BLM, I'm not sure. I just know that many so called wild horse advocates hate cattlemen, claiming there'd be enough grazing land if the cattle were just gone.

One of the many 'three strikes' horses now at the corrals.

Which of course is not true, nor will it happen. Cattle are there to stay. Contracts are written and will be upheld. And the cattle are there to stay. Did I mention they're staying? No point in arguing as it won't change a thing.

But in the meantime the horses are still multiplying. Herds double in size every four years. A herd of 100 is a herd of 200 in 2012, and in 2016 it's a herd of 400! That's a lot of Living Legends vying for a wee little bit of grazing land in the desert.

People like myself love these horses enough to adopt them. Not everyone loves them that much. Some people don't like them at all. Some say they admire what I do, but mustangs would never be able to do what they like their horses to do. To which I reply that's a load of bull you know what, because of course there's a mustang who can do it just as well as your horse can. You just need to figure out how to find that mustang. But I regress. Point is, you can only adopt out so many. The rest are just...there. They've been captured and pulled off the range. Now what? What do we do with the horses that nobody wants and can't be sent to slaughter?

We put them into long term holding facilities. Ranches that have enough land to house hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of wild horses that no one wants. And how many did I tell you were there? That's right...33,000 wild horses in holding facilities living out the rest of their lives, which can easily be 15-20 years!

And hay prices are going up. Yes, you knew that because you're scrambling to find feed as well. So is the BLM. In fact, three quarters of their budget this year is now going towards the care of horses in holding facilities. Which means they haven't got money to head out and do gathers. And if they don't do gathers, they leave horses on the range where there is nothing to eat because of drought. The result, of course, is a slow, agonizing death by starvation.

Filly born a the Burns Wild Horse Corrals this spring

The BLM has a possible solution. Of course, it makes people angry. It doesn't even matter what the solution is, someone will be angry somewhere. And while I wince, it appears to be the best option. Euthanasia. They haven't said how many, or how they'll dispose of the bodies.

You can't make everyone happy, though. Some folks are hollering that no animal should die. Others say send them to Europe for dinner.

Naturally, I have an opinion. But I'd like to hear your's.