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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Answers about Faces of the Homeless

There were some great questions in the comments of a couple of my recent posts: "Faces of the Homeless" and "Don't Take My Home." Both of these posts addressed issues with wild horses in America.

What I'm posting here is just my opinion and/or understanding of processes available. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the decision maker for our wild horses as of this date. Many contest their ability to "manage" the wild horses (that's another whole book).

I'm not here to contest or argue what the BLM is or isn't doing. PERIOD. I'm just going to try to answer the questions that my readers have asked to the best of my ability. But, please comment with additional information, if you have any, that may be helpful to readers. Use this information as food for thought.

These faces are awfully cute aren't they...
even though I seem to be
chopping off quite a few ears!

Faithful asked if there would (or could) ever be proper and fair management. It's a loaded question. Oregon Equestrian used a very good analogy (see her comment in Don't Take My Home)...there are so many entities that want a piece of the "public land" pie...who's going to win...

If you've been able to follow along, you know that Dreamsicle and his mares along with another stallion and his mares were returned to their home in the Ochoco National Forest (just yesterday). I'll step out on a limb here, but IMHO the only reason they were returned is because the board of directors of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition stepped up to bat for them. We had some powerful swingers in the background ready to take action if needed. But the Forest Service conceded that the key members of those two bands would be brought back to their home.

I hope to have photographic evidence and will post as soon as I do!

Nikker and hope4more mentioned that they didn't
have any knowledge about gentling a mustang,
and that was a stumbling block for them.
And Merri mentioned if "I were younger."
Here are some options!

In my case 8 or so years ago when I adopted my first mustang, I hadn't a clue as to what I was getting into. I did adopt a yearling (Coyote) which would be easier than an older mustang, but I came upon road blocks after a couple of weeks. I kept at it but I couldn't get past a certain point, and after about a month I called a friend who had mustangs, and she referred me to someone who could help me.

Mustangs are different than domestic, gentle horses in the beginning. But as soon as I got past that bubble with Coyote, it was just like training any other domestic horse!

The good news now is that there are opportunities for people who are not as "in tune" with gentling a "wild horse." You can actually adopt a horse that has been gentled before you take possession!

I'm going to list some websites for you to peruse. I think you might be surprised at your options!

The first option is the Trainer Incentive Program which is sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation (you know...the Extreme Mustang Makeover folks!). There are trainers all across the country who have taken in wild horses to gentle and prepare them for domestic life.

This is a great opportunity for you to find a horse and a trainer at the same time to put you and that special "wild one" together!

The second option are horses that have been gentled by the inmates at the Colorado Canyon City facility. These horses have been gentled and trained by supervised inmates. There have been a lot of great success stories through this program!

Sydney mentioned that if she were closer,
adoption could be an option...well...there
ARE internet adoptions!!!
Jocelyn...this could apply to you too; and if
you'd adopted at Colorfest they would
have delivered to your door for FREE!!!
Serious JP!!

Yep...log on (see the link below)...peruse horses from multiple HMA's (all over the western states), and you can find the perfect horse!!

See this link:

Go to the "Online Adoption Gallery" and you can see horses from all over the western states...available to you to adopt. All adopters must be approved prior to adoption. Make sure you read all of the information available and submit your application within the time frame stated. Many of those cute lil' faces from the Burns Corrals are there (and will be throughout the summer)!

Picking up your new wild horse?!? You can either pick up the horse at the facility or BLM will "DELIVER" your new wild horse to the closest Holding Facility or Satellite Adoption in your area. Honest...they are trying to work with you!

Canadians...there are MANY of you! The red tape
that government fact, I can't find
anything that says you can or can't adopt.
I'm getting into a time crunch here...
I'll be contacting our local BLM office
and get their "official word" on that subject.
I'll get back to you on that.

dibear asked why they were captured...they don't look hungry. dibear...this is another loaded question. And it goes back to the "piece of public pie" that I talked about above. The BLM states that they are taking horses off of the public lands so they won't starve or die of thirst "just in case." But many will argue that the BLM is taking too many horses off of public lands without "justification." The BLM is required to complete an Environmental Assessment prior to removing any horses from any HMA...this is a huge controversy with wild horse advocates. Actual numbers of wild horses on public lands provided by the BLM are I have a hard time with agreeing with their numbers and their EA's.

From personal experience with the Forest Service in the Ochoco National Forest, staff persons of the FS would prefer to "up" the number of horses in the HMA "just in case."

Heather asked how she could adopt some of
the cute lil' faces I had posted. Here's some links:

This is the main page for the Wild Horse and Burro adoption program. I viewed some of the sub links and don't agree with the "government rhetoric" of how holy we are and why we do what we do...another story...

But the "Adoption Information" link will give good info and links to the adoption application, BLM adoption schedules, and adopter qualifications.

If any of that is confusing to you, please contact me. It's really not as difficult as they may make it out to be.

manker asked where the "Faces of the Homeless" were located. Actually all of those horses are located at the Burns Horse Corrals in Oregon. All of the horses are from Oregon Herd Management Areas. You can visit the Burns Corrals website here.

Janice asked what happens to those that don't get adopted. Well, there is a place called "long term holding." More than 30,000 wild horses are currently in long term holding...yes, your tax dollars are paying for the care of these horses...this again is another "management issue" that has tempers flying. Thanks to the ex-Senator Conrad Burns (who sneaked in a rider in the appropriations bill in 2005 without public input) the BLM must relinquish ownership of all horses over the age of 10 and those who have been put up for adoption unsuccessfully three times to the highest bidder. Yes, horses have gone to slaughter. But the BLM says they are now making sure that horses are not going to slaughter. You be the judge...

thecrazysheeplady asked what else could be done...IMHO...just be aware of what's going on and give your input when you can. Watch updates from the Cloud Foundation and other wild horse advocate groups. They have a very good handle on what needs to be done (such as calling or emailing your state representatives).

I'm sure I've got you all confused by now...or miffed off...either way...I hope you stand up for the horses that can't speak for themselves...they need you to be their voices!



GunDiva said...

You are like a wild horse encyclopedia; thanks for sharing your vast knowledge.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Those horses' faces are very expressive and inquisitive. I especially love the last one of the thick coated, bay yearling.

mj said...

Once again, thank you for all that you do to "help the homeless", and for the information that you try to honestly relate on your blog.

Babygoose said...

The BLM in bascially in a no win situation. As you mentioned, everybody wants thier piece of the public land pie. So no matter what decision are made, not everyone is going to be happy. So the BLM does round ups to try and keep numbers within the carrying capacity of the range so they won't starve, and sure the horses don't look like they are starving now. But the next drought could occur at anytime and it would be worse to wait until the horses were starving. The BLM gets criticized for rounding up healty horses, but if they waited until they were starving, they would be in trouble for not rounding them up when they were healty. No win situation.

There are A LOT of mustangs. Between horses on the range and those in long term handling, there is not way to find home for that many horses. Especially when most of them are not the ideal beginner horse. There is a limited market and there are A LOT of saddlebroke, sound, healthy, kid safe horses out there that aren't even finding homes. I have seen too many mustangs get adopted by people who knew nothing about horses, just thought they were getting a good deal. They end up not being able to handle the horse, the horse ends up neglected, or at the first auction they can get it to after they get title, and the horse likely ends up on a killer truck.

In my opinion, mustang numbers have got to be reduced for the sake of the horses. There will never be enough people to adopt these horses. They can't all stay on the rangeland. They can and will damage the rangeland if the numbers are left too high. They can't be left to their own devices or they will exceed the carry capacity of the range, starve, damage the range and hurt wildlife species as well. It is a tough situation. A hard one for me as I love horses and hate to see them suffer. I don't want them to starve on the range and I don't want them to end up in bad homes. I also am an advocate for healthy rangelands and too many horses is bad for the range and (again my opinion) I feel that the horses are a non native feral animal that has the potential to negatively impact native wildlife if not managed.

Thank you Rough String for helping get the word out. Maybe some of these guys will find homes. Love visiting your Blog as I lived in John Day and La Grande years ago. I live in New Mexico now which is home for me. But eastern Oregon is a wonderful place and still holds a spot in my heart.

Vaquerogirl said...

Lots of good information and very exact. I appreciate that you are using your resources to help the situation. Check out Terry Farley on my blog- she is a big advocate in Nevada of the Calico Horses.

Anonymous said...

Lots of good info! We had a similar situation on a huge track of land the army uses....they finally ended up rounding up the whole works of the horses and selling them then replaced them with elk. Stupid! Now the antelope, which followed the horses in the winter aren't doing well, the elk have raised havoc with the local ranches.....STUPID!

Jocelyn said...

OH KAren! You are such a fantastic advocate. Those horses are lucky to have you !

Sarah said...

This was an amazinly informative post. After visiting you and the gang a few weeks ago, I was insired. I told Malcolm that after I get re-acquainted with horses and more confidence, I would like to adopt a mustang, and he was in agreement. Maybe I'll get an Oregon horse and can drop in to see you when we come pick him/her up.

Tracey said...

Canadians cannot adopt. They can, however, purchase sale authority, or take horses who have already been titled.

Anyone interested north of the border? Come see me =)

Janice said...

Thanks for answering my question. I think you guys could get a lot of horses adopted to good homes here in Canada.

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