FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Fate of the West’s Wild Horses

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:
Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail