Monday, June 21, 2010


    In my last post I asked, what have you got, BLM?  They have answered. They have deceit; they have a blind determination to proceed with their plans to minimize wild horses and remove, castrate, and send them to longterm holding, and no amount of reason or opportunity seems to deter them from this mission. 
     While we sat with BLM officials in Denver, while they made noises about transparency, sustainable herds, animal welfare, and asked for new proposals, they were castrating the age five-and-older stallions who remain at Fallon.  
 © Photo by Elyse Gardner taken 2/13/10              Stallions 
Horses at Broken Arrow facility in Fallon
   BLM's credibility has utterly tanked, to use the vernacular.  They claimed they were entertaining the Soldier Meadows proposal (click on this link to review the easy-to-understand proposal).
     My understanding was that those stallions would stay intact stallions.  The mares, however, were all to be treated with PZP.    What is the hurry to castrate these horses?  How can BLM be giving serious consideration to this proposal, a truly groundbreaking opportunity to manage in the wild and save taxpayer dollars, and behave in such a way? 
     I find it difficult to wrap my arms around the in-your-face manner in which the BLM misstated and misled the public.  I personally had dared to hope things might be different.
     Who is responsible for this?
      Gene Seidlitz, Winnimucca District Manager, is the one Dean Bolstad has repeatedly told me is responsible for deciding who or if any horses will be returned to their range.  I've asked that he return the older stallions. Is Gene is the person who gave the green light to the castrations in the midst of the Soldier Meadow negotiation?

     Here are some of those frightened and bewildered stallions when first they were taken from their families and forced into this crowded temporary pen on January 6, 2010. 

©1/6/10  photos by Elyse Gardner
Photo to right taken 1/26/10. Roundup started December 28.  These are not malnourished horses.  BLM likes to say 30 to 40 percent of the horses  came in malnourished. That is not what my camera and I saw.
 ©Photo by Elyse Gardner

    The BLM website states:
     Gelding of the five years and older stallions took place this week. (While we were sitting in good faith conversation on our part.)    During gelding one stallion was noted with two cryptorchid testicles and was euthanized, one stallion suffered a spinal injury while in the chute and died on his own and one gelding was found dead in the pen. ...
       Why did Dr. Sanford choose to euthanize this cryptorchid stallion and not others?  It is BLM protocol to sometimes eliminate cryptorchid stallions.  \
        We can only surmise since we were not permitted to see.  I know that in the chute, the horses rear up in agitation, struggling to break free.  I've seen them rear again and again and flip backwards sometimes.  This can break a back.  Also, the "padded" squeeze chute is padded except for on top. When the horses rear up, which we can be assured they will frequently do,  there needs to be a pad on top or poll injuries can easily lead to death.
The following photos are courtesy of Pam Nickoles, taken in the Pryors.  Note the force with which this stallion is rearing up and fighting this confinement.
      The chute at Fallon has no opening and does not have padding at the top, so when the horses rear like this, they smash their heads on the metal grating across the top, sometimes flipping over backwards.
       BLM officials have told me, "They're not scared.  They're fine."
       I disagree.  Very simply, this stallion is fighting for his life.  And now we know it's the truth, don't we.


    Found dead in the pen.  Who was found dead?  Who died?  What were the other symptoms?  Was this horse in obvious pain, or was this a surprise?  Did anyone even notice?  With everybody so busy with castrations, who has room or time to follow up on the horses?  
     What happened to posting the tag numbers?   We want to know what stallions have died. We want to know the cause, not BLM's cryptic, sterile statements.
                ©Photo by Elyse Gardner taken 2/13/10 

       Things happen in the chute because these powerful animals are fighting for their lives.  For example, this horse, Great Star, in the Pryor Mountains was the second to struggle out the window during processing.

              ©2009 photo by Elyse Gardner                    Pryor Mountain Roundup

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(If you have trouble viewing this video, it can be seen on

      In the Pryors, BLM closed down my close access to the chute processing the day after I shot this video.  
     In Calico/Fallon holding facility, doors closed on advocates the week before these castrations began.  We cannot show you what's happening because it's all behind BLM's closed doors.
   But we can see the handwriting on the wall:  BLM chose only the young horses to show the public on Media Day, but the week before castration of the mature stallions begins, we the public are locked out because BLM knows how hard this is on the older stallions.   They do not want the public to see it because it looks bad;  because it is bad.  
And they are planning a true assault on the wild horse population starting July 1, when the roundup of 7,500 more horses begins.  Bear in mind, many babies are only weeks old.  And they are already using the "private land" song to stiff-arm the public away from the trap sites.
      It would be effective if every letter we write to BLM or anyone about the wild horses, we cc our Congressperson.  
      And we need to be there -- "there" being anywhere our wild horses are, i.e., on the range, at the roundups, in the holding facilities.  
      We cannot let BLM shut the door and then talk to each other about how sad that is.  Write and call your Congressional representatives  and the President (202)456-1111, and insist on public access to our wild horses at all public and private facilities.
       BLM is as transparent as MUD.  Nothing, absolutely nothing has changed.   As Andrea Lococo from Animal Welfare Institute pointed out during the "workshop," BLM has been singing the same song for two decades, but where are the results?
       They say they want to hear from the public yet keep cotton in their ears, AND continue with their plan to take record numbers of horses off the range only to shock and awe them like they've done in Calico.  
Facility Death:  3 (i.e., this week, cumulative Death total: 99

More to come. I must go now.  We are on the road.  Heavy heart. 
For the wild horses, captive and free, alive and dead, and their humble burro friends,


  1. Elyse - I'm trying to get in touch with you - I"m going to write an article about these horses for a newspaper in WY where I'm a staff journalist. Can you contact me? or 307-315-3535

  2. Elyse, you mention everything I said in my email to Gene this morning, but have yet to send. The stallion with the spinal injury (ie., broken back) was said to have died on his own. What does that mean? Died on his own. Suffered in agony for hours? Why was he not euthanized? Why euthanize a crytorchid that most likely was sterile already. Why are they not sharing the tag numbers? Because they know when the ones the advocates have become attached to die, there will be an uproar. And I guess this means they never were going to seriously consider the Soldier Meadows proposal to keep the horses intact. They just couldn't wait to do this. It is sickening beyond belief as these genetics are now gone forever.

    And the Denver meeting was a sham. If they were truly interested in change, it wouldn't have been in the 2 minute comment format to hear all the comments they have heard and ignored in the past. They would have had a 2 days of intense discussion on the various issues in separate break out rooms, all with individual moderators. They only way to shut them down is to work around them.

  3. Hi Elyse
    I'm going to the Pryors this summer. I'll QUIETLY tell Cloud you say hi. I can hardly wait.

    I'm apaulled by rhe Stinking Water fiasco. Who determines when foaling season starts and stops??? Have any of these "experts" (I use that term loosely) ever heard of "out of season" foaling? Besides which why in the world are they once again going to run the hooves off of the babies?

    I know I'm not alone when I express absolute dismay at the BLM's callus attitude they took with those two colts. When Ginger wrote her piece on "The Death of the Calico Colt" it drove me to name him Courage. Now that he had a name and an identity I could mourn him.

    I can't imagine the horrors that these horses have been undergoing. Ginger told us that Trace still doesn't like things above him, sticks or plastic bags. Gee, I wonder why... And yet at some point I have to hope that someone will take pity on these horses and properly adopt one. And then as you taught me to properly gentle them vs. breaking.

    BLM really should stand for Bureau of Lies and Mismanagement.

  4. Can we please start publishing in major newspapers full page ads of BLM horrors.

    something even a non-horse person could understand is BLM abuse.

    We have to go over their heads and move to the side. We must gather overwelming public support.

    I say hidden cameras in trees and round-up areas. Place out hundreds of them and collect them later. Hire PIs on blm people and find their dirty laundry. Catch them in the act and that will be their downfall.
    They have no respect for the wild horses and seem to hate the horses and their advocates. I feel like we need to play hardball to get them to stop. Talk is cheap with the BLM, they use 'talk' to delay and lie. We need to cut to the chase and one by one, expose criminal activity.
    Make thousands of FOI requests on everything.

  5. Right now, I'm just speechless. NOW we know why Gene didn't bother to answer our letters. Well, he - and all the others - are getting another letter from me, and believe me, this one's NOT going to make nice.

    Good idea to cc all communications to the BLM to our Congresspersons AND Obama. Can't hurt anyway. Heck, I don't even HAVE a Representative. He resigned over a sex scandal, and the state decided a special election was too expensive, so we don't get a replacement until we vote for one in the General Election in November!

    No real loss - he voted against the ROAM bill in the House...

  6. I can't even bear to think of Tomahawk not passing on his genes anymore. Do they not think of the history and the future of these horses and the gene pool? They are wiping them out forever.

  7. This is animal abuse of the worst kind! These animals are some of our countries most important. They are so helpless. The contractors are out of control. These contractors are having such fun roughing up the Mustangs-it is how they seem to get pleasure. It is so absurd that OBAMA is not putting an end to this horrible torture.

  8. I am BEYOND infuriated. THIS HAS TO STOP NOW. I am brainstorming ways to fight this, but somehow I feel like the only way is to hire people to round up these assholes and use your imagination for the rest of that. We must unify and fight...we need (1) a centralized web portal of ALL horse rescues in the nation; we need to pool resources for each other; (2) all charity forms that are passed around at corporations and companies need to include donations for horses: rescues, wild mustangs, etc.; (3) we need a centralized emergency management to (a) funnel donations and provide list of emergency shelters across the nation; (b) recruit stars with money - get them out there. (c) Congressmen that voted for this need to be totally harassed to the point of near Civil Protection Orders; (d) we need to initiate bills for protection (e) like the Greenpeace boats, we need something - I don't see how this will stop unless we forcibly remove these sociopaths. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS THESE SOCIOPATHS ARE DESTROYING ARE PLANET. DO YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND? WE ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE HORSES OR WATER OR ANYTHING. THIS ENDS. THIS ENDS. THEY ARE COUNTING ON US JUST BEING OVERWHELMED WITH OUR DAILY LIVES BUT WE HAVE TO TAKE A STAND. THIS IS A HOLOCAUST OF HORSES. THIS IS WAR. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? THIS IS WAR. GET YOURSELVES INDEPENDENT - INDEPENDENT FROM DEBT, FROM THE GRID BUT ALSO TAKE ACTION NOW. HARASS CONGRESSMEN. BUY A SHIT LOAD OF LAND. IF YOU HAVE A HOME AND BOARD YOUR HORSE, DITCH YOUR HOUSE NOW SO YOU CAN BUY ACREAGE. THEN TAKE ON AS MANY HORSES AS YOU CAN. GET ARMED. PROTECT YOUR ANIMALS. WOMEN WE MUST MUST GET TOUGH. WE MUST STAND UP. OUR WHOLE COUNTRY IS A DISASTER. WE HAVE SOCIOPATHS AND NARCISSISTS RUNNING OUR COUNTRY. THESE PEOPLE ARE SICK, POSSSESED OF PURE EVIL AND THEY ARE DESTROYING HORSES BECAUSE THEY ARE PURE GOOD. THESE ANIMALS HELPED US FIGHT WARS, BUILT SOCIETY. WE MUST ALL BE COURAGEOUS. NO MORE FOLLOWING RULES. DO WHAT IS RIGHT. BLM - DON'T WE PAY FOR THAT WITH OUR FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS? HMM THE FEDS SURE DON'T DO THEIR JOBS, DO THEY? THEY DO THE OPPOSITE. WE SHOULD STOP PAYING FEDERAL TAXES AND BUCK THE ENTIRE SYSTEM, PUN INTENDED.

  9. Elyse,
    I am writing about the BLM for my senior project and could really use some good information on the program. If you could please email me at It would help me out a great deal.


    p.s.-I watched the video you have posted and that is just cruelty to those poor horses.

  10. Don't horses control their population by themselves? There is a natural rule! Ginger Kathrens said that 1/3 of the foals are killed by pumas every year. Besides, the land doesn't belong to us humans, we should share it with everybody!I don't see why horses don't deserve to live free... It's not fair! Does the BLM HAVE to torture horses by separating families and making foals run such long distance, to be killed because they almost broke their legs. The land is HUGE, why is there only so little wild horses on it? I think we should just let them live their lives in peace, with natural selection, their population will not grow to much.

  11. I forgot to had:
    I think there are three different cases to exam:
    1. The mustangs of course
    2. the Brumbies in Australia who are persecuted as much (if not more) than mustangs
    3. Horse butcheries all over the world (the conditions are scary

    About the brumbies: the brumbies' population is too big, they destroy the land. I though that maybe, instead of using them for pet meat, we could set up a programm to make australian adopt horses, or to use brumbies in city, to collect trash, deliver mail, use as taxi. And every body would either donate a carrot, or money to take care of the city's horses.

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