Sunday, May 9, 2010


                   ©2009 Photography by Elyse Gardner

     I bring you Mother's Day greetings from Nevada.  And there are many mothers:  As of this date, 280 foals have been born at the holding facility in Fallon, Nevada. 
     I've been away from my computer and missed updating while out with a small group of people touring the Twin Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area north of Susanville, California, where the Bureau of Land Management is planning to remove 2,300 horses from this 798,000-acre HMA ("Herd Management Area") beginning in the first week of August 2010.  BLM states this huge area can only sustain 448-758 horses and 72 to 116 wild burros.  This amounts to 1200 acres each per wild horse and burro.  
                           ©2010 Photography by Elyse Gardner
1200 acres per horse.  Zowie.   
Twin Peaks Herd Management Area, Northern California
     I went to observe the range conditions and horse population for myself.  It looks spectacular,  lush, and I documented with video and still camera and will be reporting on that in detail later.  We hiked and drove a 30-mile perimeter, especially covering the northern and eastern sides of the Skedaddle Home Range and the eastern side of the Dry Valley Rim home range, and saw only 74 horses.  I did get some beautiful footage I'm eager to upload. More on this later.
Gelding is continuing at the Broken Arrow holding facility in Fallon, Nevada.  I've been there each week.  As of this date, 350 young male horses age four and under have been castrated.  There is one reported death from anaesthesia complications.
Another young recovering gelding yearling was suffering a disabling hip or hind leg injury and could place no weight at all on his right hind leg, which was swollen throughout.
                          ©2010 Photography by Elyse Gardner
                      Young recovering gelding with a bad hind leg/hip injury.  What a price these living conditions exact on these horses.  He was in no shape to meet the little challenge of this older horse.  Other more sympathetic friends soon showed up. 
Most of the rest of the horses seemed to be enjoying the weather on Saturday.  Most have lost their winter shag and are sleek and gleaming.  More photos later.
     (Adding to the post)  In rereading this blog, I must add:
    Good weather or not, after seeing wild horses on their home ranges, the demeanor of the horses in the feedlots is distinctly different.  Someone commented that living in these pens is easier for the little ones who have never known freedom; that the adult and yearling  horses seemed so depressed, lost. The stallions were very touchy at the feeders with a lot of pretty nasty kicking and squealing, the worst I've yet seen and heard, actually.  They need to be free.
   Here's Legacy as of Sunday.
                                ©2010 Photograph by Elyse Gardner
                           ©2010 Photograph by Elyse Gardner
Legacy, recovering from gelding and chest abscess.
       Legacy is doing relatively well.  He is recovering from a chest abscess while he is recovering from his gelding ordeal.   This little boy must dream passionately about his first six months of life in the wild.  
I know animals have happy dreams.  My beloved late Sienna, rescued standard poodle, was sleeping on my bed in the early morning as I was doing my hair in the bathroom.  
       I heard an unfamiliar but steady, dull thumping.  I looked in the bedroom, and Sienna was fast asleep wagging her tail (she had her full, gorgeous, undocked tail), which was thumping soundly on the bed, clearly having a very happy dream.
I hope Legacy dreams well, because he will likely never see freedom again.
But for now I want to focus on wishing all, especially the precious captive mares, a Happy Mother's Day.  
     I have prepared a treat for you, I hope.  I'll be updating more soon.
     I hope you enjoy the slide show.  Double-click inside the viewing area to see the full picture. 

I'll be traveling to California and am working on several video projects and hope you'll stay with me as we chronicle and witness on behalf of the wild horses, captive and free.  I love keeping you updated and will do my utmost to do so.  
I remain, 
For the wild horses and their humble burro friends,
                                      ©2010 Photography by Elyse Gardner
Captured burros at Palomino Valley holding facility in Nevada


  1. What a lovely and moving presentation, Elyse. There really isn't anything like a Mother's love.

    Keep up the good work. You are doing exactly the right thing - presenting the HORSE'S point of view. I think some don't WANT to see things that way, because they might have to admit that - like slaughter - there is NO WAY to do this humanely.

  2. It sure looks like Calico Twins to me!! That is one in a million!! What a wonderful thing to have occurred in that dreary holding prison!! And another baby has been adopted by a mare when she was left orphaned? No one noticed her? The advocates did... mar

  3. Thank you Elyse for sharing and for all that you do to help save our mustangs and burros!