There has been a lot in the press lately on the “massive” round-ups of our country’s wild horses by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). When I say “massive” I’m not exaggerating. These are the largest roundups of wild horses in history.
All you have to do is Google wild horse roundup and you’ll find plenty of information on it. Most people are unaware of the devastation that has been going on, not to mention how our media channels choose to interpret truth versus what is really happening to our wild horse population.
I follow many individuals on Twitter who are advocates of saving our wild horses. These individuals are doing what they can to help you become more aware of what’s really going on and what you can do to help. I strongly encourage you to check out the references I’ve provided at the bottom of this article and to do what you can to get involved.
A Little Background On The Wild Horse
The history of America’s wild, free roaming horses, is not common knowledge for most people. Most refer to wild horses as mustangs when in reality they’re basically offspring of domestic horses that have either escaped or been released into the wild. The more correct term is feral horses.
They are not a special breed of horse, like most people assume.
They’re able to survive in some of the most harsh desert lands and are healthier than any domestic horse I see on a daily basis.
This goes to show that we have much to learn from them and their ability to successfully adapt to a life in the wild where they remain healthy and sound.
Horses are extremely adaptable and that’s why they have survived for millions of years.
My Personal Reasons For Addressing This Issue
I have to admit that the term wild horse referring to feral horses never crossed my mind until around 2002. That was the time when I started researching and becoming involved in natural hoof care. Most of you who have horses probably have had no obvious reason to think about the wild horses in our country.
Some people probably have no idea that wild horses still exist.
I’m here to inform you that they do exist and they are healthy and roaming free. I’m also here to tell you that if you’re not thinking about them then now is the time to start.
The wild horse is our “model” for the optimal healthy horse. Wild horses hold the answers to teaching us ways of overcoming the multitude of health problems we face with our horses in domestication.
Once again, they are a model of beauty, knowledge, and power. They are the most noble of creatures. Have you ever asked yourself why we use the horse as a symbol for so many things in our country? The answer is a no brainer.
Horses got us to where we are today. They helped us evolve as they have evolved. They were there to help us when we had to feed our families but we didn’t have tractors in order to plow our fields. They were there for us when automobiles didn’t exist.
They were there for us when the original mailman road his pony to ensure delivery of our mail which allowed us to communicate with our loved ones across the country, and they were there for us during emergencies when we needed the cavalry to save us.
During the Great Depression there was this unlikely champion who became a symbol of hope to many Americans. His name was Seabiscuit and he was a great champion thoroughbred racehorse. I believe Seabiscuit played a huge role in reminding us that there really is hope and that the underdog can succeed.
Once again, a symbol of our American heritage, THE HORSE.
I could go on and on.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
This is not the first time there has been public outcry over the inhumane treatment of wild horses during roundups and removal. Congress passed two laws, with others to follow, to help protect America’s wild horses.
In 1959 Public Law 86-234, known as the Wild Horse Annie Act was passed. It prohibited the inhumane methods used to destroy and capture wild horses.
In 1971 Public Law 92-195, the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed. This was a much more comprehensive law. In short, it gave responsibility for the protection and management of the wild horses and burros to the BLM.
The “Congressional findings and declaration of policy” from this act states:
Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”
I would like to make it clear that I feel it’s important that our wild horse populations are managed but in a humane manner and without deception.
The problem, like most laws in this country, is that the laws are not being enforced. The BLM round-ups that are going on are some of the most cruel and brutal where many of these beautiful icons of our American Heritage are losing their lives. The BLM CONTINUES TO VIOLATE THE 1971 protection act. Not only that, but our tax payer dollars are being spent on this project.
As a citizen and an animal lover, it’s important to be concerned!
Use New Media To Help Get The Word Out
The technology we have available to us today through “new media” can instigate huge shifts when it comes to any subject. New media is much more powerful than old media because it is instantaneous and will spread a message like wild fire.
Please utilize your blog, Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube and any other new media platform you can access and help with getting the word out to help save our wild horses. Most people do not realize how powerful this method can be… believe me, it is powerful. More powerful than being featured on a televised national news cast!
“I believe, as do so many of my fellow Americans, that the wild horse is an irreplaceable national treasure. It would be a tragic mistake to allow this noble creature to disappear from our western landscape.”
– Robert Redford
I hope this information has prompted you to take action in helping to protect our wild horses.
Keep it soulful,
Reference To Help The Wild Horses & To Find More Information
- The Cloud Foundation – Foundation to protect wild horses on our public lands- they are being “managed” to extinction by the BLM
- Saving The American Wild Horse
- Nevada Begins Wild Horse Roundup; Willie Nelson Cries Foul
- The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
- Wild Mustang Coalition FAQ – Great FAQ On Wild Horses
- Madeleine Pickens – Passionate animal lover helping to save America’s wild horses and burros.