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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Don't Take My Home"

This video is just too good not to share. The photography of the wild horses is stunning and matched with the magical music of Mary Ann Kennedy...nothing could be more beautiful~

I love my Quarter Horses. I love my mustangs. They both have a place in this world. It's very hard for me to watch the BLM gather hundreds of wild horses at a time as they have done just in the past few weeks in the Calico Mountains of Nevada. The Cloud Foundation has covered the gather quite well on their web site.

There are pros and cons to these decisions to gather the wild horses...kind of depending on which side of the fence you sit. But in the end, it's the horses that take the brunt of it all. The question I pose is: "Will there be wild horses on the range for future Americans to see and enjoy?"

And even on the local level here in Oregon, just last week, our favorite stallion from the Big Summit Herd Management Area (HMA), Dreamsicle, was captured with his 2 mares and their fillies along with a 2 year old stud colt.

This photo of Dreamsicle is from last June at the
annual inventory of wild horses. He and his
band visited our campsite every evening.

This photo from last June shows all 6 horses that
were captured this past week. Currently they are at the
Burns Wild Horse Corrals waiting to be processed.

The Big Summit HMA lies in the Ochoco National Forest and the horses are not governed by the BLM but by the Forest Service, and the FS works with the BLM when horses are gathered. The BLM does the processing of the horses and offers them for adoption to the public.

I am on the board of directors of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, and currently we are fighting to get Dreamsicle and his family back. The COWHC had met with the FS regarding this gather, and the FS has gone back on their word. They were supposed to gather only bachelor stallions (not whole bands) and they were to gather horses that are outside of the HMA (they have gotten through a fence). Dreamsicle and his band was where they were supposed to be. The FS did just the opposite of what was agreed. Sounds like typical government policy doesn't it.

The HMA maximum number of horses is set at 60 horses (which was a number that was basically pulled from the sky back in the 1970's). Currently there are approximately 75 horses that belong in the Big Summit HMA (some are inside the boundary and some are outside). According to all studies on genetic viability, a minimum of 150 horses is needed to have a genetically healthy herd. The COWHC has been working hard to get the herd number increased and bring in new blood from other HMA's to rejuvenate the gene pool...but to no avail so far.

Please wish us good luck in getting our Dreamsicle and his family back home.


On another "wild horse" note, there is a big weekend coming up here in Harney County. The Colorfest Wild Horse Adoption is taking place on Friday and Saturday at the Burns Wild Horse Corrals. More than 100 wild horses are up for adoption using the silent bid process. They are calling it Colorfest because of the multitude of different colored horses that are currently available...pinto, dun, black, appy, roan, get the idea.

Photo courtesy of BLM.
More photos of horses available
for adoption can be seen here.

The COWHC will have a booth set up along with wild life artist Michelle Severe and also Andi Harmon who is just now completing her book "Oregon's Living Legends." If you're planning on attending, please stop by and say howdy.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I'll be going up into the South Steens HMA with Tracey (Desperate Horsewife) from Mustang Diaries and Mustang U searching for wild horses to photograph. Hopefully we'll get some good shots...of course we'll share them with you!



Laughing Orca Ranch said...

So sad. The video made me cry. Seeing the photos of the horses running free in the wild, especially the stallions, and in the next photo, crowded into a corral really is an eye opener into the lives of these wild and majestic creatures.
Besides the land issues, I suppose there are many people who just want to capture some of that wildness for themselves.

I can't even begin tell you how many mustangs end up for sale on Craigs List each year from people who get these wild horses for cheap from the BLM, but then don't know how to work with them. The mustangs on CL are always un-trained, and still wild.

There has just got to be a better way than the way that the government is doing things now. We are doing a grave disservice to these horses that are a part of our history. It saddens me that wild horses will one day go the same way as the wolves and bison, tucked into parks and managed to death.

You're very lucky to live close enough to photograph these beautiful animals while they are still in the wild, K.


jane augenstein said...

Like Lisa said, the video made me cry for the sad situation of these magnificent animals.
I hope by some miracle that things turn around for these horses, they should stay wild and free. but if our government has it's way there will be none left.
So very sad!

Janice said...

I'm with Lisa on this one. Right or wrong my side of the fence is with the horses.That music and the lyrics are incredibly haunting, I almost wish I hadn't seen and heard this video, but I have and so my fingers are crossed that you get Dreamsicle and his family home where they belong. Keep taking lots of pics Karen.

Callie said...

Wow, My husband just found you. What an awesome post.........I know a contraverseal (spelling?) subject, but I find it all very sad. I know Tracey is very involved as well. I just find it sad and I think although there may need to be some regulation of our wild horses. It seems lately it's gone too far.

C-ingspots said...

The entire situation involving our wild horses is just so tragic. I don't know what the answer is but they deserve to live just like every other species, and they deserve to live as they always have - free and wild, as God intended. There just has to be a way to continue letting wild herds exist because surely if we as a people continue to disregard their value, we will all be diminished and we will have lost something of incredible beauty, strength and grace. This is just so unbearably sad and unjust. Our government continues in its' immoral and despicable ways just as it always has. Liars undeserving of anyone's trust. I hope and pray that you are able to get Dreamsicle and his family back to where they belong and that they are ok.

Jocelyn said...

I sure hope Dreamsicle gets to go home!

I cant believe that the FS went back on their word like that. Government BS once again!

lisa said...

I am praying and hoping that you can make a difference and get things turned around for Dreamsicle! I actually have a couple of Mary Ann's CD's. She is really good.

Oregon Equestrian said...

Wonderful photos in the video clip. I got to see free-running wild horses a few years ago when visiting near Fields.

I worked for a government natural resource agency for 24 years. The problem that the land managers have (government and private) is that you can only cut so many pieces from a pie. Eastern Oregon is occupied by mule deer, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mt. elk, bighorn sheep, wild horses, domestic cattle, domestic sheep, etc. Some of these species graze and browse on different species, but there's considerable overlap -- and they all need water. Land managers walk a tightrope trying to provide a piece of the pie for each species while receiving conflicting demands from the public. Hunters want more deer, elk, and pronghorns -- ranchers want them out of their alfalfa fields. Ranchers want to increase their AUMs, we want wild horses left alone on the same grazing lands.

That said, I hope Dreamsicle and his band are released. And I'm glad you're speaking up for the wild horses during the battle for limited resources.

Merri said...

Dreamsickle is gorgeous. I once applied for a job with the BLM in Ridgecrest, CA dealing with the mustangs. glad I didn't get it.
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Shirley said...

A very hauntingly beautiful video, thanks for sharing.
I hope you are successful in getting Dreamsicle and his herd released.
The only way to deal with the government is to be loud enough and persistent enough that they have to pay attention. Doesn't hurt to get a few big name stars to back you too. I know Ian Tyson is concerned about the mustangs.
Keep fighting for them, Karen!

Rain said...

I hope you can get the government to do what is right for Dreamsicle and his herd. I too have seen the wild horses both in Oregon and Nevada and it would be incredibly sad if they were not to be there for future generations to see.

lopinon4 said...

Thanks for fighting for the wild ones, Karen!! WOOHOO!! :)

Here's hoping Dreamsicle and his family can return soon...I'm sure they're scared to death.

Faithful said...

I, like you, am torn over the issues of the Mustang. Having lived with them in my virtual back yard throughout alot of my life.. seeing the herds running wildly or having them come onto our grass to feed. I can't bear the thought of these animals no longer being in the wild... but I do believe in proper and fair management. (Is that possible?)

I do hope your Dreamsycle is returned to his rightful place and things are treated fairly there. Good luck, Karen.

Breathe said...

People forget that these are OUR horses - they were bequeathed to us, just as park lands were. Yet we let the BLM select cattle over our heritage.

If we don't fight, nothing will be left.

If there's a number locals can call to protest, or if you can list the name of the local congressional office, perhaps constituents could call.

I hope the band is returned as they should be.

Mom said...

Very beautiful video! I pray for Dreamsicle and his band. I despair that writing letters to our representatives will do any good although I will continue to do so. Is there anything else you can recommend that we do? Thank you.

gtyyup said...

Thank you everyone for your concern for Dreamsicle and his family. As of today, I don't have any suggestions as to what you can do to help his situation. But, we should be getting some news by the middle of this coming week.

Stay tuned...I'll keep you posted with our progress and let you know how you can help.

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