Sunday, October 25, 2009

November 1st Clinic

Please join us on November 1, 2009 at Shiloh as we welcome Extreme Mustang Makeover participant, Joe Weitekamp, for a special clinic.

A perfect opportunity for those who have horses who need some help. Joe will be teaching his techniques of handling and gaining the respect of a difficult horse on the ground and building a stronger relationship with your horse.

Please click here to find out more and to sign up! Auditors welcome as well!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The "Not So Scary" Horse Eatin' Ball

Just some more fun pics of my boys and that big ol' greeen ball, haha. They decided it wasn't as scary as before, and after checking it out, they pushed it around a bit. Today was just a fun playday though. Lots of running around, bucking, farting, rolling, and being a horse. I hope you enjoy these pics as much as I do. Have a great night!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Augustus, Sawyer, and the Horse Eatin' Ball

Today was a fun "playday". Not too much to write can basically look at the photos and see all the excitement. I introduced a big, green ball to Gus and Sawyer today...and they had no idea what to think, haha. Guess we will have to work on desensitizing with gigantic green play balls in case we encounter some while out on trail. Lots of snorting and never taking their eyes off the ball.... :) Fun day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Augustus, the Hillbilly

Augustus had an awesome day today. He has been feeling kinda jealous the last few days since I went on a long trail ride with Sawyer and have been working with Iceman for longer periods of time. So, today..after Iceman was trimmed for the first time, I took Gus out and we spent the rest of the day together. Just some good quality bonding time. Lots of walking and exploring, just hanging out. We came across the ranch's "Wanderer" herd out near the Mesquites, so I let him loose to be a "Wild" Mustang again. He must have had some Tonapah range flashbacks because he ran, and ran, bucked, and reared all over the place with his new herd, haha. He was having such a great time and it put a smile on my face to see such a "Happy Stang." As I was rinsing him down at the end of the day, he wanted to drink from the hose as usual and when he opened his mouth, I saw that he had lost another TOOTH! Another tooth that I don't have! Dang. I just wish I could be there when he loses one so I can keep it. I guess the good thing about it is this...I have discovered that Gus can whistle perfectly with missing teeth. :)

CBS News / The Stampede to Oblivion‏

Special report by Peabody award winner George Knapp -- A hard-hitting and eye-opening investigation into the wild horse issue and BLM's management practices. This is a must see! Please circulate far and wide.
Watch the 5-part series (Video Gallery, upper left on the page)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Salazar's New Wild Horse Plan‏

On Wednesday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a plan to revamp the federal Wild Horse and Burro Program and establish government-run preserves in the Midwest and East. While we agree that the Program is in dire need of an overhaul and we applaud the government's commitment to avoid the mass-killing of horses in its care, the plan outlined by Secretary Salazar raises several concerns.

The underlying premise used by Mr. Salazar to justify his new initiative is itself flawed. His statements perpetuate BLM's spurious claims of overpopulation and range degradation: Mr. Salazar assures us that wild horses, who were deemed to be "fast disappearing from the American scene" when the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed, "have returned to rapid growth," with a population estimated at 33,000 head, from a supposed 25,000 in 1971. In fact, BLM's first census, conducted in 1974, found 42,000 horses. In a later study, the National Academy of Sciences found BLM's population estimate to have been "undoubtedly low to an unknown, but perhaps substantial, degree."

How can a 25% net population loss amount to "rapid growth"? How can a species that constitutes only half a percent of large grazing animals on public lands be scapegoated time and time again for range degradation? As a rancher himself, surely Mr. Salazar is aware of the millions of head of private cattle that graze the same public range as America's few thousand wild horses.

Based on this dubious overpopulation claim, Mr. Salazar wants to continue removing wild horses from their rightful Western range: Over 30 million dollars will be spent in fiscal year 2010 to capture over 12,000 wild horses and burros!

Removing thousands upon thousands of horses from their legally allocated range to move them into government-run facilities is not in keeping with the intent of the '71 Act, which aimed at preserving the horses "where presently found." This was reaffirmed last August by the US District Court for the District of Columbia in its decision to prevent the capture of Colorado's West Douglas herd. The Court stated in part: "Congress did not authorize BLM to manage the wild horses by corralling them for private maintenance or long-term care as non-wild free-roaming animals off the public lands." The Court deemed removal for long-term care to be contrary to Congress's intent to protect the horses from capture "as components of the public lands."

On a more positive note, we applaud Mr. Salazar's acknowledgement of the horses' value as an ecotourism resource. But wild horses should be viewed in their natural Western environment and expressing their natural social behavior. Captive, gelded, non-reproducing herds hardly convey the majesty of these icons of the West.

Of course, the devil is in the details, and we are withholding further comment until the specifics of Mr. Salazar's plan are fleshed out: how will the new "preserves" differ for BLM's current long-term holding facilities, also located in the Midwest? Will the preserves be established for the benefit of the 32,000 horses currently held by BLM, or will they constitute an outlet for further roundups? Will the remaining Western herds be managed in the wild at genetically viable levels?

While we applaud the government's efforts toward a more humane approach, Secretary Salazar's new initiative is another step toward the privatization of America's iconic wild herds and away from the survival of the American wild horse in its natural state as an integral part of the Western landscape. More than ever, a moratorium on roundups is in order until actual numbers of wild horses and burros on public lands have been independently assessed, and legally-mandated range studies have been conducted. The ROAM Act needs to be passed so that the horses can reclaim the more than 19 million acres they have lost since being granted federal protection.

On behalf of America's wild horses, thank you for your support,

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gus and the Longhorns

Great day with Gus today. Nice, sunny, and in the 70's. We took a long walk out in Sandy Valley and explored some new territory. We walked through some awesome Mesquites, found some really nice soft sand perfect for rolling (always fun), and even came across a random hoof. We also met up with some nearby Longhorns, and as usual Gus didn't let them out of his sight. He did "cowboy up" a bit and decide to venture closer to check them out...but snorting all the way. He is getting used to seeing them, but its obvious that they can't be trusted.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

An Awesome Sunday

We had a great day today. Lots of wind in the Las Vegas valley, but luckily most of it didn't make its way over the pass into Sandy Valley today. It was very cool and nice this morning, the wind picked up right before lunch, but then died back down for an enjoyable afternoon. Gus and I watched the sunrise this morning and spent about an hour playing chase, running around bucking and farting (well Gus was, haha)and having a great time in the cool air. We took a nice walk in the early afternoon and spent some time in the grassy areas so Gus could have a tasty snack. It was very relaxing until the sprinklers came on and caught us offguard, but even then you could almost see the smile on Gus' face as we ran away, haha. Gus is so cool.