A Report From the Field: Laura Leigh Reports a Club Footed Horse Ws Saved

BLM Trap site adoption a success at Stone Cabin

Story and Photo by Laura Leigh, Horseback Magazine

RENO, (Wild Horse Education/Wild Horse Freedom Federation) – On February 18, 2012 the Bureau of Land Management offered the public an opportunity to adopt horses directly from their home range. The event was held adjacent to the temporary holding facility utilized during the roundup operation that ended February 17.

Potential adopters were given opportunity to view animals and talk to agency personnel and advocates working onsite in cooperation with BLM.  The animals were then freezemarked, haltered and loaded onto trailers.

In spite of the cold temperature the atmosphere at the event was warm and inviting.

Seven out of twelve animals offered were adopted in private care during the event. Among the animals offered to the public was a youngster that had clubfoot. This young horse was adopted along with his friend and went to a rescue group.

Another adopter took a pair that had been removed from the range together and a motivating factor in her choice was to “make sure they stay together.”

Nevada Horse Power, the non-profit group partially funded by the sales of vanity license plates, was on hand and helped provide transportation for some of the adopters.

“I am against excessive removal of horses,” said Elyse Gardner, wild horse advocate that has a blog titled “Humane Observer, “ but when they need to come off the range this is a great option that may avoid additional trauma as long as all compliance checks are done.

The five youngsters that were not taken during this event were driven in a BLM trailer by Shawna Richardson, wild horse and burro specialist, to Palomino Valley Center north of Reno where they will be available for adoption.

All requirements of BLM adoption program apply.

The Tonopah field office will be removing burros from the Bullfrog Herd Management area starting March 1. An adoption event has been proposed at some point during this operation. To find out more contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Dustin Hollowell: dhollowe@blm.gov

4 comments for “A Report From the Field: Laura Leigh Reports a Club Footed Horse Ws Saved

  1. dun being wild
    February 21, 2012 at 10:57 am

    There were 500 horses removed in this operation and there is a big deal over 7 colts finding homes. Give me a break, if more work was done by some of the advocates on the positive of adoption instead of the small problems that crop up on the roundups then we would see a lot more horses find homes. Considering the fact that every rescue group within a 100 or so miles was contacted I am not too impressed. There are a lot of people who would like to see a more positive approach from people who call themselves Wild Horse and Burro Advocates and a little less self promotion. There is a tremendous number of grass roots organizations out there that promote the horses and burros and little is heard about them. How about looking into the high school kid who puts up a display at her local horse event or the person who travels 7 hours each way to pick up a nine year old TIP horse so that it can be gentled and find a home. How about branching out and finding out what is happening in the real world with the wild horses and burros.

    • admin
      February 21, 2012 at 11:53 am

      The wild horse advocates we have come to know have their feet firmly on the ground. There focus is to stop the roundups, stampedes, and killings, dead in their tracks so the BLM can focus on things other than ridding the west of wild horses to “give” more land to welfare ranchers. With 245 million mostly wilderness acres under the agency’s control there is plenty of room for all. Predation will take care of overpopulation as well as a reasonable adoption program

      The Editor

    • Lisa L.
      February 26, 2012 at 4:04 am

      Maybe the adoption numbers are less than impressive, but the work this woman did – actually partnering with the field offices responsible for the removals – is.
      These 7 horses were spared the endless miles of multiple transports; several were adopted together. Any steps forward that can lessen the trauma these animals are subjected to is a step in the right direction.
      And a working, mutually beneficial partnership between wild equine advocates and Bureau agents is likewise a step up. Policies regarding wild equines are made by people so deeply entrenched they can simply ignore the harm caused, so their sympathies are minimal. Others have had antipathy toward wild equines so deeply ingrained, they simply don’t care.
      This was perhaps not a rousing success but it may well be a beginning. As for ‘self-promoting’ – without this kind of press (and maybe even the controversy it generates) there are a lot of people who would still be uninformed about what goes on in the field – the good as well as the bad.
      None of the advocates I know are pulling in what could be even remotely construed as a living wage for their work, aside from allaying the cost of the expeditions – food, water, gas and sometimes, lodgings. Some have to rely on (or borrow) ancient laptops and equally aged camera equipment; others, on vehicles running on oil and prayer. Most ‘promotion’ is done by friends and supporters. A very few even survive on grants.
      These are the advocates I know. We don’t usually hear from the ones makin’ money at it.

  2. Christie
    February 20, 2012 at 1:01 am

    This sounds like a positive start for these young horses.

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