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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Have it to the Full

This isn’t the blog post.  That one is coming.  It is half finished and I can’t really put it off much longer, but it isn’t the kind of thing you throw at people on New Years Eve.  There is also the minor detail that it’s just plain hard to write.  I don’t know how I am supposed to make sense of a single decision made by humans that has such a huge impact on life and how it functions in our “modern” world.

And really, that’s been the story of this entire year.  Life.  Figuring out how to live life through all the chaos. Watching new life taking its first steps.  Seeing lives completly change.  Watching with bated breath and trying to figure out whether or not those changes will be for the better.  Watching life fade.

00 june

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Custer: The Stallion, The Mystique, The Legend

Custer is the greatest.  No really  Find me doesn’t like Custer.  Oh, that’s right; you can’t.  That is because everybody loves Custer.

Custer the horse, that is.  Not the human.  It's understandable if you aren't too keen on Custer the human.

Custer the horse, that is. Not the human. It’s understandable if you aren’t too keen on Custer the human.

Our story begins in 1996.  A small dark colt was born to Sitka and Shaman.  You may have heard of them before.  They were only the Pryor power couple of the nineties.  Custer is the second of five of their offspring who are still wild and kicking.

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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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Pantless in the Pryors (As It Should Be)

So first of all, I sincerely apologize for my lack of updates these past months.  I have this tendency to take September and October off.  I think it has something to do with how busy summers are and the challenges of being an extreme introvert to the point it is borderline ridiculous.   Whatever causes it, I spend these months relaxing with my own horses, watching football, catching up on my reading, etc. and forget to do basic things like read and respond to emails, log on to Facebook, blog, etc.  So if it seems like I’m a total jerk and I didn’t answer a question or reply to an email, well, I am a total jerk.  I am also really really sorry.  I either never saw it or meant to answer but completely forgot.

(Actually now that I think of it, I do think Puller sent me an email.  I’ll look for that after I’m done with this!)

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The next thing I need to briefly address is the Divide Basin and Salt Wells roundup.  I did try to write about that a few times, but the words would not come out.  They still won’t.  It’s hard sometimes, forever opposing an enemy that plays with a stacked deck.  It isn’t quite fair, how the wild horses (and their advocates) can never quite catch a break, – even a well deserved one.  But the concept of fairness is nice, but it doesn’t really exist in the real world.   I am surprised and disheartened, but it is not time to give up the ghost just yet.

I received a request to write about my visit to the Pryors in early October.  It was a quick in and out visit, which means that the only real way to talk about the trip is chronologically.  That … isn’t exactly my strong suit.  I have a computer folder filled with no less than 6 failed attempts at chronological stories, but hey, 7th time is the charm?

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Imperfect

Well, I found Gladiator.

And maybe we should just get this out of the way right off the bat:  Gladiator is a terrible band stallion.

Gladiator - lots of beauty & brawn, but maybe not as blessed with brains?

Gladiator – lots of beauty & brawn, but brains? Not so much.

No really.  I love Gladiator, but he is simply dreadful at his job.  I cannot blame Fibonacci, Belle, and Spitfire for finding a different stallion to join.

But maybe I should start at the beginning.

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The Quest for Gladiator

gladiator ii

Man that title sounds really over dramatic.  Unfortunately, I went on a pun-filled Cream binge earlier today (the band, not the dairy product though I had some of that too) and consequently used up my allotted number of song references. Sorry, not sorry.

I like to think that Gladiator stays on the top of my list when it comes to visiting horses in White Mountain.  The reality is that most of the time, Gladiator hardly even counts.  I don’t find him so much as wake up, put my contacts in and bam! There Gladiator is.

 

Gladiator

One Sunday in October my truck broke down.  So I walked up to White Mountain from Green River.  Even in the most ridiculous of times, Gladiator has a way of showing up

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On Either Side the River Lie

Elaine of Astolat was something of a tragic figure.  Stick with me here, because I swear this is going somewhere. Probably. Probably.

 

Elaine was this beautiful, young woman who made one critical mistake.  She fell hopelessly in love with Lancelot.  You can probably see where this is going.  Lancelot had devoted himself to the service of Queen Guinevere, and rejected Elaine’s advances and her love.  Elaine did not take this news too well, and died of a broken heart.  Now before you go feeling all sorry for this girl, as the story draws to a close we learn that Elaine was just vindictive enough to ask her father to put her dead body in a boat and float it down the river to Camelot just so Lancelot can see the results of his actions.

 

Unrequited love is a common theme in literature for a reason. Elaine’s story has passed on through the generations because we can all relate to her.  I know I’ve been there. More than once, in fact.  Now I would like to think that I have made better life choices than Elaine.  Rather than dying, I fully intend to be an independent single woman who eventually turns into a mildly eccentric hermit.  Some of us just aren’t meant for love.

 

Elaine of White Mountain had some unrequited love of her own to deal with.  Much like her namesake, it didn’t end so well.

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Quick and Semi-Dull Update

So I’m working on a proper blog post and uploading photos for it as I type this.  But I wanted to take a separate post to say wow you guys.  Just… wow.  As of Wednesday afternoon, your purchases through my Etsy shop have all helped to raise nearly $700 for The Cloud Foundation. I don’t exactly know what I expected when I decided to hold an impromptu lawsuit fundraising fire sale, but I definitely wasn’t expecting that.

And that is not counting the $180 from my Divide Basin canvas print or the lovely gal from Texas who donated to The Cloud Foundation directly.  Thank you so much for opening up your hearts (and wallets) to help the fight to save the beloved Adobe Town, Divide Basin, and Salt Wells horse herds.  Trust me, they are worth it.

Verity

Verity

You can read more of the current updates in the press release found here.  The BLM has agreed to delay the roundup for two weeks so the judge can have time to rule on the lawsuit that was brought.  This is a promising start!  Keep praying/thinking good thoughts that the advocates lawyers with Meyer Glitzenstein  & Crystal bring a strong argument and that the judge will rule in favor of upholding the law and doing what is right for the wild horses.

Octavien

Octavien

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