Paint By Numbers

Earlier today I sent an email outlining why wild horse advocates such as myself have a difficult time believing the BLM’s population estimates. It didn’t turnout half bad, all things considered, so I figured heck, I may as well post it here too.

As some of you may have noticed, I have grown quite familiar with the White Mountain wild horse herd in Wyoming.  Documenting the White Mountain herd is something of a pet project of mine which makes using White Mountain as a micro example of why the BLM’s data is really messed up is as easy as breathing.  This is kind of a snooze fest of numbers, so no hard feelings if you can’t make it all the way through first.

 Before we get into White Mountain specifically, it helps to start with talking about how the BLM estimates population.  The BLM claims that a typical horse population will increase by 20% every year.  You may be asking yourself, “Gee, where did they get that rate of increase?”  That question haunted me for several sleepless nights until I finally got my research on!

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A Cougar Amongst Them

There is no male equivalent for the word “cougar”.  The kind of cougar I’m talking about is a euphemism used for an older woman who enjoys spending time with younger males. Tonopah in the Pryor Mountains, would be an example of a proper cougar. At 27 years old, she took off from Duke, a stable & well-established band stallion, in favor of hanging out with the youngest band stallion duo on the mountain – He Who & Fiddle.  Tonopah has not been spotted this winter and may well have passed from old age.  If that is the case, and this past summer was one last hurrah for her then man, what a way to go!  Talk about a great role model for all the ladies.

Tonopah, a cougar in her natural habitat

Tonopah, a cougar in her natural habitat

When an old female sows some oats, it’s empowering.  When an older man preys on the young, he’s generally considered a creeper and the young female a gold digger.  It doesn’t really seem fair.  Why can’t older males be like… mountain lions or something?

Fuego

Bet that title had you concerned we were talking about a real cougar. Nope. Just Fuego.

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As the Mustang Roams

Question: What lies at the heart of every single scene in a soap opera?

Answer: What are you Rachel, an idgit? Love!

But it isn’t exactly love, is it? It’s more like romance.  There is a big difference between the two.  Love is a concept: that timeless, eternal state of emotion you feel towards an individual that you will never be able to rid yourself of no matter how obnoxious, terrible, or infuriating the object of affection may be.  Romance, on the other hand, is the trappings that surround a species biological imperative to reproduce.

And my friends and coworkers think I’m an odd duckling who doesn’t understand how fun and exciting life is. To them I say: Ha!

At the heart of today’s not-quite-Valentines-Day post, we have two major players: Aurora and Flax.  Neither is in love.  Both feel the need to follow wild horse societal norms and to make babies.

Aurora

Aurora

Flax

Flax

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