FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Fate of the West’s Wild Horses

by JACK ELY

One of the most important national treasurers still available to us here in America are our Wild Horses and Burros. Their importance as symbols of freedom and independence is second to none. Thinking about them running across great open spaces gives smiles to our hearts, but it is their embodiment of serenity, grace, power and stamina that carried our young nation to expansion. If it wasn’t for the horse, we would still be 13 colonies huddled along the eastern seaboard, where only boats and barges could take us distances further than we cared to walk. If it wasn’t for the horse, the American Indian would never have hunted the buffalo and been able to readily feed his family and tribe.

Most people only know of the way of capturing and breaking horses that our European forefathers unwittingly taught us, forcing them into pens, roping them and throwing them down, tying them up and making them submit, in order to get the horses to work for them. But let me here describe how the American Indians of our Great Plains got to be acquainted with his best friend, the horse.

It is written, and has been passed down from generation to generation by the wise men of the tribes, that in the days before Indians even saw white men, they saw horses. They thought them to be “big dogs.” However, they were much more flighty than dogs and couldn’t be readily caught and trained. So, usually one person, who was particularly interested in these new “big dogs,” would sit and watch them for many weeks, and over time, that person learned the horses’ ways. This person would soon be designated the tribe as “the horseman.”

Once the tribe’s “horseman” had learned the ways of the horse, he would position himself by a waterhole, so the horses would have to interact with him every time they came to drink, which was usually a couple of times a day. Over many weeks of daily contact, the horses came to accept the “horseman” as one of themselves, i.e. one of the herd. Once that was accomplished, the horses would allow this person to touch them for the purpose of scratching and bonding with them. Then some of the horses noticed that when they ran, their new “herd member” couldn’t keep up, so one of the more brave horses invited the “horseman” to onto her back so he could be with them all the time. Once this horse was totally accustomed to a rider, that horse would be introduced to a new rider who would then become that horses’ new best friend and the “horseman” of the tribe would go on to secure the friendship of another horse for another family member. And so it went until many were riding. That is the way, without wood for fences or rope for tying or any other form of restraints, the Indians formed a bond with and became best friends with their horses. From then on those horses would do anything for their new partners.

This method is still practiced today by some of the more discriminating horse trainers. The problem with it is that it takes a lot of time and patience and most horse owners want miracles performed overnight by their trainers and don’t want to wait for the real deal to appear. I personally have a young Arabian stallion who was never really trained and yet he lets me ride him anywhere and will do anything I ask. Will he let anyone else even touch him, no. He trusts me. The positive side is that no-one will ever be able to steal him. But I digress.

Today’s educators inform us that children and adults, too, learn most readily from observation. Once the wild horses are all gone, where can we look to learn courage and serenity, freedom and restraint, beauty and form, grace and rhythm, power with lightness, and bursts of speed followed by overwhelming stamina…the God-given qualities of Wild Horses?

Studies have proven that these beautiful horses, if left entirely alone, will curtail their own breeding, consequently limiting their own numbers. But our Bureau of Land Management, BLM, under orders from our Government Accountability Office, GAO, has decided that their 1971 mandate to “protect and preserve” the wild horse and burros includes routinely rounding them up (called gathers) and forcing them into chutes where they cannot move, and then branding them, worming them and injecting them with drugs, all of which causes the wild horses to panic to such an extent that some are killed and even more are deformed by being trampled underfoot by their own kind. And because their “gathers” aren’t in the least bit discriminating, they throw off the whole herd balance by separating horse family members from one another, which causes them to over reproduce just to enlarge their own families in order to protect themselves from future family disembodiments. Remember, this is all done in the name of “protecting and preserving” our wonderful national treasurers, the Wild Horses and Burros.

But the worst is yet to come. At this time the BLM has gathered so many thousands of these beautiful horses off of their home ranges away from their families (herds) that they don’t know how they can possibly keep them any longer, so they have decided to euthanize thousands of them.

WHAT, you say? Yes, that’s right. They are going to kill them unless you rise up as one and let your cry of outrage be heard in Washington. You heard it right. The BLM, under orders from the GAO is, today, by their own admission, gathering even more horses as I write this, and plan to murder thousands of these Wild Horses and Burros as soon as they can, all in the name of “protecting and preserving” them.

Let me see if you can really picture this. They will herd these beautiful animals, stallions, mares and foals (yes foals too) into pits about the size of football fields but around forty feet deep, and then men lined up around the perimeter will open fire with automatic rifles and kill them all as fast as they can. Of course some will take longer to die than others because the shooter’s aim can’t be too good shooting into that panicking herd. Then after all is quiet, they will start up the bulldozers and cover them with dirt and you and I will never see them again, ever.

This should never happen.

Visit the Wild Horse Preservation Campaign website to see how you can help prevent this tragedy.

JACK ELY, the former lead singer of The Kingsmen, is a veteran horse trainer. He lives in central Oregon.

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail