The Worst Kind of Gods

Boy, has it been a month or what?  Such a month necessitates that I crawl out from the rock I was hiding under.  Don’t get me wrong, I realize that I’m not going to offer any monumental, mind-blowing commentary.  It’s more of an … itch.  Some folks in the wild horse realm are wrong, wrong, wrong and my skin is crawling to call them out on their garbage.  Better late than never?

So I’ll start this blog off by talking about the jerkiest thing of all to happen this month.  The BLM’s Advisory Board met and in the course of the yammering and complaining 8 out of 9 members voted to recommend the BLM euthanize the horses in Long Term Holding… aka they wanted the BLM to kill about 45,000 of them.


Marty here was released in 2011 and now has a thriving band of his own, but he just as easily could have been one of the horses trapped in Long Term Holding right now.

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White Mountain Roundup & Spaying Scoping – The More You Know

Well, the day I have been dreading for over 3 ½ years has finally arrived.  I suppose I should be thankful they waited so long instead of having it show up in August, but really, I would have been perfectly fine waiting forever only to have it never show up.

What am I talking about?  The BLM has released a scoping statement for the White Mountain Wild Horse Herd.  This is the first step of the process.  Basically, they are announcing their intentions.  The public has the opportunity to comment, at which point the BLM goes back and write a more detailed Environmental Assessment.  There is another comment period on the EA.  After that the BLM, having done their bureaucratic due diligence, proceeds to do whatever they want.

vimes band

Vimes’ Band.  Left to right: Striker, Guinivere, Saran, Chasma, Bink, Nova

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Mercuria & Paquita Update

Adendum:  I take it all back.  Since the letters were given, the BLM has not only not made a decision on Mercuria but have also taken Montana (only non-inbred offspring of his dam Fresia) and Moorcroft (one of Brumby’s two remaining kids – a mare who has now seen 4 out of 5 offspring removed and 3 out of 5 grandchildren removed, with another likely to be removed next year).  Jared is a lazy moron who is taking horses just for the sake of removing them, with no further thought towards the importance of their bloodlines.

Great job everyone! Brigitte delivered 39 letters to Jared early this afternoon supporting the release of Mercuria and Paquita. She currently is busy enjoying her time in the Dryhead – she’s earned it! So here is the update:

Brigitte delivered the letters and had a nice conversation with Jared Bybee (Pryor Wild Horse Specialist) explaining our position on Mercuria and her filly Paquita. Jared was described as being a good listener and semed like he might be receptve to the idea.

So now we play the waiting game. One I know what will happen to Mercuria one way or another, I will let you all know. If I had to take a guess, I would say that the odds of Mercuria’s release are 50/50. The letters and the manner in which they were delivered should give Mercuria a chance. At the same time, the odds are stacked against her.

Win or lose, though, I know in my heart that this did matter. So lemme explain:

Mercuria, taken 08/22/15

Mercuria, taken 08/22/15. She looks a little thin, like you’d expect of a growing three-year-old mom, but overall I’d say her body condition is good.



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Enough is Enough

As a general rule, it is a very big mistake for me to start running my mouth off online when I am overly emotional.  The problem with that is that we are only 1/3 of the way into an emotional year that feels like it is just going to keep building and building until everything spirals out of control.  When you are faced with such a time, it seems logical to get it all out in the open while you still have the chance.

Because the fact of the matter is, we were snookered folks.  And the most ridiculous part, is that we were conned by the same people that con us over and over again without remorse.  It’s almost like an abusive relationship.  You tell yourself that this time it will be different, things will get better.



Spoiler Alert:  IT NEVER DOES

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Wait. They Wanna Do What When with Whom?!

So the time has come again for another episode of Rachel Has Loads of Feelings.  The BLM released a new Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the PZP management of the Pryor wild horse herd. You can find it here.  I highly recommend that you read the EA yourself.  It is less than 20 pages long and a lot of those pages can be skipped, so it is a quick read.

It feels a little early for me to be writing anything about this subject.  But frankly, I suspect that the stud piles will soon be hitting fans on both sides of the aisle with the ‘Big Boys’ weighing in, so I figured that if I get my say out right away I might have just enough time to duck for cover.  Also, I did not want any of my conclusions to be biased by the opinions of others before I had a chance to take a hard objective look at the information myself… and isn’t that just a little hypocritical of me?

graciana and foal

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The Red Desert Lawsuit Sale!

Quick housekeeping: Lauryn & I are going to White Mountain this weekend to celebrate my slow descent towards senility and osteoporosis, so hopefully I will come back with some inspiration and new blog fodder. I know I have been distracted and done a very poor job updating the blog through July. I am deeply sorry and will try my best to find the time to make it up to everyone this August.

And now… to the pitch!

Feeling Bolder 8x10 CPR low

Feeling Bolder?

So I have this problem.  I am currently tapped out.

Of money, that is.

Okay not really.  I still have enough money in my bank account to buy hay tomorrow (the boys have exacting standards) and Runza on my birthday, but I’m past what I can feasibly donate to The Lawsuit.  And by “The Lawsuit” I mean the litigation to try to stop the Adobe Town, Divide Basin, and Salt Wells roundups that are supposed to start later this month.  You can donate here, but you may wish to finish reading my post before you hop on over there.

So as I said, I’ve donated what I can to The Cloud Foundation to help fund the lawsuit to stop the roundup and ultimate destruction of the Adobe Town, Divide Basin, and Salt Wells herds.  But it is one of those things where it still doesn’t feel like quite enough, you know?

Like a hazy dream laced with coffee beans and unicorns dancing on rainbows, the answer to my dilemma dawned on me while staring at the clock at work, half buried in paperwork and moving way too slow. I’m out of money, but that doesn’t mean I’m out of capital.  Not entirely, at least.


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A Call to Arms (More or Less)

Great Divide Basin cpr

Starting today, the above photo will be in a gallery for the month of August as part of the Cloud Foundation Art Exhibit & Fundraiser.  It is not my most popular photo, but I’m really proud of it and glad that it made it into the gallery.  It’s my kind of photo, you see – plain bay mares in the Great Divide Basin casually strolling towards water on a serene Sunday morning.


Yet all I can think about is that while that print is hanging around on a wall, those mares may finds themselves galloping across that range in terror, chased down with a helicopter, taken away from their home, and separated from their family band forever.

third group 12

Adobe Town Roundup, November 2013


A couple weeks ago the BLM released their roundup schedule for the rest of the year.  There was no small amount of hullabaloo over three specific herds – Adobe Town, Salt Wells, and Divide Basin.  For while the rest of the schedule was fairly tame (for BLM standards) and primarily consisted of smaller removals of horses that were outside the boundaries of the established herd management area, the planned removal numbers for the Red Desert herds were downright shocking.  The numbers on the chart read that the BLM was going to zero out Divide Basin and Salt Wells, and take over 1/3 of the remaining Adobe Town horses.


The plan looks a little something like this:

WY BLM Adobe Town HMA  w/ Salt Wells 8/20/14 8/24/14  177 177 Horses  WY State Office
WY BLM Salt Wells HMA w/ Adobe Town 8/24/14  8/28/14  228 228 Horses  WY State Office
WY BLM Divide Basin HMA 8/28/14 9/10/14  541 541 Horses  WY State Office




Reading these numbers, it felt a little like the world was crashing down, like I was stuck on a calving glacier just waiting for my feet to fall out from under me so I could hit the icy punch of the water while the ice crashed down on my head.


And yet, how much worse is it for the horses?  They don’t even see it coming.  The horses are busy living their lives as best they know how.  They will be busy storing up fat for winter and then suddenly BAM!  Running for their lives, permanently separated from their families, spending the rest of their lives in government holding.  If they are lucky the horses removed won’t be euthanized or slaughtered by an organization that was ordered to protect them, but who now is looking for easy escapes for a problem that they themselves created.  It’s sick.


If you are me, the only way to combat that sickness is to dive into the numbers and type out a few feelings.  Let’s break all of this information down in a comprehensive way.  This roundup is a little more confusing than others, after all, which is exactly why it must be stopped and stopped quickly.

Divide Basin Bachelor

Divide Basin Bachelor

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Stop Frontin’, You’re Just a Puppet

I don’t want to shock anyone, but I am a giant flake.  I completely forgot to get part 1 of my Advisory Board feelings up.  So now I am at work with zero new photos to put in here, but in our 24 hour news cycle, the Advisory Board is already old news so I can’t wait any longer.  So since I will be in Nebraska all weekend and this is my only chance, I’m tossing it up reallyquick.  I apologize for the shoddiness, as well as my apparent inability to name a blog post something other than a random line in a song on my BLM playlist:

Someone, who may have been Benjamin Disraeli once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Before you think I am turning away from my Mathematical roots, let me explain. This quote comes from the same place as me pointing out the very true and well documented fact that 38% of all statistics are made up.

Numbers don’t lie. They are incapable of doing so. People, on the other hand, lie all the time. When it comes to Math, people will manipulate statistics and data as a way of making their lies seem more legitimate. The average citizen is less likely to question someone with numbers, because they immediately come across as having researched the subject and thus they must know more than you. Right?

But what does any of that have to do with horses? Horses cannot lie the way humans do, and last I checked, they hadn’t developed a passion for statistics. So why am I talking about liars? Because of the BLM’s most recent Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board. For those of you who are not in the know about this event, you aren’t missing much and may I please swap bodies with you for a little while?

Divide Basin bachelor

Divide Basin bachelor

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Such a Comfortable Liar

I would like to compare the BLM to mules, but it hardly seems fair to besmirch the good name of such a fine species as the noble mule.

When I last updated this blog, I discussed the lack of wind breaks or adequate shelter at the BLM holding facility in Rock Springs.   At the time, the Cloud Foundation offered to pay for and install wind breaks for the wild horses help in the facility. The BLM refused this offer saying the horses did not need such luxury. I had feelings about this decision, as winds can regularly gust in the 30-50 MPH range and temperatures in the winter month are consistently below zero. Still, nothing could be done without the BLM’s permission and they put their foot down.  Rock, meet other BLM shaped rock.

The issue came up again at the BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting on Monday, April 14th. Halleluiah! It was a pleasant surprise that quickly turned into an infuriating example of the bull headedness of the BLM. I wrote the conversation down to share with everyone.

gladiator bw 3 cpr

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You Can Lead a BLM Employee to Water, but Can’t Make Them Not Be a Jerk Face

I’ve kept pretty quiet about the matter of providing shelter to captive wild horse horses kept in short-term holding faculties.  It’s not that I don’t care – quite the opposite in fact.  There are so many eloquent people out there with betters ways of organizing their thoughts, and a larger audience than I could ever dream of having. It seemed like there really wasn’t much I could add to the subject.

Well that’s all over now.  News broke over the quest to put up wind breaks at the holding facility in Rock Springs.  Bad news. Now I have feelings, and darn it, those feelings will not fester in Facebook comments.

At the time this photograph was taken, the temperature was 22 F out with winds gusting at 42 mph

An older mare acts as a windbreak for a younger mare. At the time this photograph was taken, it was 23 F and wind speeds were at 42 mph.

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