Saturday, January 14, 2012


                 Melanie Mirati, BLM's replacement COR for the Calico Tri-State complex, acknowledges ordering a hotshot be used on an injured, downed horse they struggled for 10 minutes to free from his stuck position in a stock trailer.  A review of my film, below, reveals he got stuck when being packed in like sardines, the last horse forced into an untenable situation, a customary habit among BLM ground personnel and roundup contractors eager to fill up each trailer load for economics. 
             I've put together my film of the incident, below, so I can walk you through exactly what happened as we saw it.  The brief interview is at the end. 
             For the tender hearted (that's a lot of us), my rating of this film is G; this film shows people trying to get a horse unstuck and doing unsavory, upsetting things at times, but it isn't graphic or violently upsetting.  You can only see just enough to know what is going on.  
                   For starters, contrary to Ms. Mirati's statement in this brief interview, this horse was given zero time to rest and collect himself before being hotshotted and forced to stand after being down, injured, and stuck in the trailer for 10 long minutes as those he feared most struggled none too gently to free him and then flagged, poked, prodded him relentlessly to stand.  I doubt he even comprehended what was being asked of him. 
                  She refers to the hotshot being an "acceptable" tool for "livestock" management.  That may or may not be the case for domestic horses, who also are not universally agreed to be "livestock," but certainly the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act treats wild horses as anything but livestock and decrees they are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the American west and are to be treated as an integral part of the natural system of public lands, not treated as livestock.  Additionally, the law states they are to be protected from capture, branding, harassment, and death.  A few minutes here, just a few simple minutes given to this lovely trapped animal who didn't intend to get his foot caught, could make the difference between harassment and compassion, between truly upholding this law and respecting this noble animal, or treating it as livestock, as Ms. Mirati openly admitted she does, whether she recognizes it or not.  
                 It is high time for the members of the Bureau of Land Management to take a personal inventory and reevaluate because Ms. Mirati may well be in violation of the law by treating these animals as livestock, and so would be every member of the elite Bureau of Land Management who does likewise.  
                 Ms. Mirati replaced Ashley Whitman as COR of this Tri-State Complex roundup, who was relieved of her duties after standing by doing nothing while burros were abusively hotshotted when the Sun J crew went into high gear to empty the trap pen for incoming horses rather than tell the pilot to hold off on bringing in more animals, as revealed by Ginger Kathrens' film when she attended the Calico roundup in December 2011.  Candidly, one wonders if Ms. Mirati would have responded any differently. 

Here this unfortunate stallion, whose injured front leg is finally free from being stuck inside the
   trailer, is given no time to calm down, has a rope around his neck and is having his head yanked. 
                I had reported on this in my previous blog post, Yes, It's Bad Enough for Me, and had posted Laura Leigh's video.  After Melanie confirmed her hot-shotting order, I decided to post my video and walk us through the actual event.  
                The day Ginger Kathrens filmed the abusive hotshotting of the burros, a BLM internal investigation and report was released which stated that as part of their investigation, animal welfare experts told BLM officials that electrical prods should be used only as a last resort when human or animal safety is in jeopardy.  
                 This situation, with an injured, downed horse who was shutting down, docile, convinced he was going to die, doesn't come close to meeting that criteria.  He endures poking, prodding, pulling, flagging, with a completely subdued, submissive spirit, surrounded by humans he greatly fears, yet there was no fight, no resistance.  Contrary to Ms. Mirati's statement in her brief interview, he was given no time to collect himself and decide to stand on his own. 
                 The crew makes an attempt to hide the use of the hotshot, but the behavior of the horse gave it away, and when confronted with the question, Ms. Mirati admitted she asked for the hotshot to be used on this horse. 
                 Another concern I want to report on:
                 Farewell to this lovely mare...
                  I saw and photographed this lovely mare on the one day the public was permitted to tour the last Temporary Holding area for this 2012 Calico roundup.  She was down, had been given banamine according to Ms. Mirati, and we were to "keep walking" so we didn't upset her.  
One has to wonder what goes on behind the scenes.  I was under the distinct impression she was to be given time, like overnight, to improve.  I read in the Gather Updates that she was euthanized later that same day. Perhaps I misunderstood the timeline.  But what concerns me is the manner of her death:
                 I'm told she was killed by firearm, and I've been trying to learn why this unfortunate young mare, by the looks of her, was forced as her last living act to load into a trailer, obviously feeling very ill and/or in pain, and be driven off alone to be shot when she could have been administered an overdose injection if she in fact needed to be euthanized at all. I am waiting for her necropsy, as well.  
                 But the very worst thing a person can do to these very social, herd animals is isolate them from others of their kind, especially under stressful circumstances like a roundup.  The circumstances of her death haunt me. 
                 I will update as I receive information.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


 (Photos and videos in this blog are for informational purposes only.  Do not use without express written consent from me.  Feel free to link or cross-post to this blog, however.  Thank you. -Elyse Gardner)

          THE BELOW PHOTO is not what you think...
©2012 Elyse Gardner
Sun J saddle horse makes valiant effort to escape
                  Although what you see above looks like helicopter-assisted roping of a wild horse, the fleeing horse is actually Sun J's own saddle horse.  
                  It was around 9:20 a.m. on Monday, January 9, 2012, when we arrived at the trap site.  We'd been driving since 6:40 a.m., and burro roundup operations were already under way.  I was anxious to get out to the observation area and anxious for Roger Oyler to get up to the trap pen to begin his advisory role.
                 As Mark Wilkening, Roger Oyler, and I were hiking up the dirt road — Mark and I to head out to the observation point, and Roger to head up to the trap pen to advise local BLM and Sun J on the characteristics of burros and how best to round them up -- when we all saw a horse running down the road away from the trap pen out into the vast open spaces.  
                 I was baffled for a moment since burros were targeted on this day (which turned out to be the last day of the roundup since BLM reached its inordinately high goal of  rounding up140 burros). 
                We all realized almost simultaneously what we were seeing, and as I took off my pack and quickly got out my video camera, Mark stated it:  "That's one of the saddle horses."  Wranglers had already mounted up and were in hot pursuit as I fired up my camera:
                  This would be humorous if it weren't so sad.  I'd already witnessed and filmed the "Judas horse" try to escape just a few days earlier, and that video will be up shortly (I will put the link here when it is available as well as post it on the blog about the Judas horse).  
                   Roger is BLM's knowledgeable Wild Burro and Horse Program Lead from Arizona. Roger puts the burro before the horse since he specializes in these amazing little animals and, in Arizona, they outnumber the wild horses.  His "official" title is "Wild Horse & Burro Program Lead.  After 20 minutes with him, I am impressed with this man and his knowledge and was glad he was there.
                  Mark Wilkening is BLM's Public Affairs Officer from Oregon.  Mark and I spent a lot of time together during the Twin Peaks roundup, also.  I was glad to see him again. 
                  After Ginger Kathren's had filmed and publicized the inhumane hotshotting of burros during this roundup, she pressed for remedial action to be taken, and Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz arranged to have BLM's burro expert from their Yuma, Arizona office, come to oversee and advise the contractors and BLM crew on burros and burro roundups.  We also saw no more of the COR present during that ugly abuse of the burros. 
                  I was also troubled that Gene Seidlitz went back on a commitment and did not wait the one day for Roger to arrive despite having initially arranged to do so, and had gone ahead and started the burro roundup the day before, without Roger.  Hmm.  Sigh.  But the effort was made, and Roger was present at least for the last day, and that's certainly better than a kick in the shins, and I'm certain this entire crew learned something from him they could take with them if they care to.
                 In terms of remedial actions taken in response to Ginger's eye-opening footage, even though the COR present during the hotshotting of the burros was removed, she was replaced with COR Melani Mirati who finds it acceptable to use a hotshot on an injured horse to make him stand up if he even could — which was unknown at the time — without having given him even five minutes to stand on his own — or even 10 seconds, for that matter.  I will be posting my interview with Melanie Marati where she acknowledges making the call to hotshot the injured stud who went down in the trailer.

                      The escape effort was made by this horse, who is one of Sun J's saddle horses.  
                  Here is our saddle horse escape-attempter after being roped and captured.  He sure gave a mighty effort.  Of course, once roped he was quite docile (though I suspect unrepentent).  
                  I have now witnessed two of Sun J's horses — their "Judas" horse, who no longer deserves that name since he tried to quit, and this horse they use as a saddle horse — make determined escape attempts to be free.  I will go into more detail when I get the videos up and posted.

CALICO TRI-STATE BURRO NUMBERS REDUCED TO 39 in nearly 600,000 acre complex. 
©2012 Elyse Gardner
Two of the targeted 140 burros being rounded up and removed from Calico and the "Tri-State Complex"
                    Yes, that is not a misprint:  39 burros in 600,000 acres.  Sickening.  BLM is looking to reduce the wild burro population to a mere 3,000 in the entire west.  This would be listed as an endangered species were it anything else.
                    I must check out of this motel and get on the road, but I wanted to be faithful to provide updates to what is occurring in the Calico complex and wild horse program in general.
                    I WANT TO MAKE ONE THING CLEAR:  I am glad BLM called Roger Oyler in to advise on the burro roundup even though they didn't use him at the start.  But this program, BLM's Wild Horse and Burro program, must have an actual Standard Operating Procedure, a legal code to which they can be held to account, e.g.:
                    There must be a distance certain/mile limit beyond which horses and/or burros may not be chased by helicopter or any other mechanized instrument;
                    There must be a distance the BLM and contractors can be held to account for, that the helicopter must keep between it and an animal unless an emergency exists, such as guiding an animal away from a ledge;
                    There must be temperature limits over which roundups must be called/postponed, both for heat and cold;
                    There must be tighter guidelines on the use of hotshots.  
                    These are just a few of the issues; this list is not complete by any stretch.  But I do have to check out of this motel (yes, I'm in another motel, heading for another holding facility to observe the horses and look to see if a particular black stallion has been captured, since I was precluded from being able to see all the horses coming off the range.)
                     Leaving these things up to the judgement of those involved isn't sufficient.  The experience and caring, or lack thereof,  of those involved is too variable; the cast of characters changes all the time.   It is time for a legal standard.
                     This is why the humane case Laura Leigh has filed is so important, and it comes before the Court on January 26, 2012.  Please stay tuned to Wild Horse Education ( for updates on this important litigation.
                    And if you haven't already done so, I urge you to contact respond to requests from The Cloud Foundation, AWHPC (American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign), Wild Horse Education, and me in terms of letters and calls to various lawmakers and BLM.  The wild horses and burros need our voices.
                    That's all I have time for right now.  I will be supplementing posts with video and photos and adding new posts and film from this roundup.
                    I hope to see you along the good trail...

Monday, January 9, 2012


            ( All photos by Elyse Gardner unless otherwise stated.  No use without prior written consent from same.)
             Burro roundup started today.
             Could not see at all at the original observation area we were given. This was it.

                I vigorously requested a better spot.  A visiting BLM official encouraged them to search for a better viewing area, and District Manager Gene Seidlitz, who was present, decided to pursue that and obtained what appeared to be a much better viewing point.  He said he had "called in his last favor," and would not ask for a better viewing spot for this particular trap site, that this was it.
Although an effort was made, we still could see nothing of the burros actually being chased with helicopter-assisted roping. I was, however, able to see them returning with the captured burros and hollow-backed horses.   
                   The "called in his last favor" comment rankled.  BLM is the arm of the American government tasked to "protect and manage" a much loved American treasure, our wild horses and burros.  As Americans, our Constitution is framed as a government by the people and for the people, and it assures us of the permanent right to hold our government, which is to serve the people. to account for how it spends our tax dollars, and to be visible and open in what it does.

                   At this point I will tell you that I have been quietly looking for Freedom, the courageous black stallion who escaped during the Calico roundup of 2010.  If he is captured, I can take adopt him and restore him to some of his mares.
                   Ironic that  I have not been permitted to see a single horse up close except for a very quick walk around Temporary Holding on Saturday only because the private landowner on whose property they have built the Temporary Holding pens doesn't want people on his property more than onde a week.  I have searched Litchfield Corrals, BLM's short-term holding facility in Litchfield (where the Twin Peaks horses went)  to see if he was taken during the Fox Hog roundup, since that HMA abutts Calico where Freedom was captured and escaped.  I have searched the BLM corrals at Palomino Valley Center near Sparks, Nevada, before arriving at the Calico roundup.
                      So BLM's intimation that I should be ever so grateful for a wee bit better viewing area just doesn't wash.  I am not going genuflect because my government takes a step toward doing what it is tasked to do:  be accountable to the American people.  Here I am trying to adopt a horse if they've captured him, yet BLM seems to almost revel in its power to block me from seeing horses fresh off the range.  It's diabolical.  Yet I don't take it personally; BLM has just gotten a bit big for its britches.
                  Along these lines (but slightly different), Laura Leigh's First Amendment case on access goes to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco today.  It is hugely important to the press community, which has joined her lawsuit, not just wild horse advocates.  Laura is accredited print media with a press credential.  The "now you see it, now you don't" kind of "access" given at trap sites, and the total barring of access for the press and for the American public to long-term holding and to America's wild horses and burros because BLM contracts with private landowners to house them must be challenged, and Laura has taken that on.  My hopes and prayers are with her, and I hope yours will be, also.

Friday, January 6, 2012


*(COR stands for Contracting Officer's Representative, i.e., the BLM person in charge on site. -EG)
 ©2012 Elyse Gardner
I watched this bravehearted member of the final five horses being rounded up by Sun J twice defy the helicopter until...

 ©2012 Elyse Gardner
... he finally is able to escape as the helicopter pilot chooses to continue to try to capture his remaining four friends.  

©2012 Elyse Gardner
The final four horses embarking on their hard-won freedom as the Sun J helicopter breaks off the chase. 
             After putting up a determined fight to remain free -- which impressed the Sun J Judas horse so much he tried to quit his job and join them (video soon to come) — the last five wild horses to be chased by the Sun J helicopter retained their freedom today.
©2012 Elyse Gardner
Sun J Judas horse being contained by two wranglers as he makes a break to follow the wild horses.
              BLM COR Melanie Mirati called off the final chase after these frightened, freedom loving wild mustangs put up a valiant fight, breaking away from the mouth of the trap and ignoring the Judas horse, refusing to be intimidated into running anywhere near the jute funnel again for a very long six-minute, full-speed face-off with the helicopter. After intense criticism over the previous day's events when the helicopter continued hazing and flying dangerously low at an 11-horse group of wild horses who at least three times failed to follow Sun J's unsuccessful Judas horse into the final trap pen, and which included a compromised stud who stood weakly apart and even flopped down for about 30 seconds while the chaotic, intense helicopter chase ensued all around him, the BLM finally stepped up to do its job and protect these horses from life-threatening harassment. (Video is being prepared and will be coming soon. ) That was one of the ugliest days I've seen in roundups.
              I am certain that it didn't hurt any that BLM's Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz was present at the trap site observation area today.  Mr. Seidlitz, who manages for multiple use and is not a horseman, nevertheless stated he "couldn't watch" the videos of Sun J's handling practices from Triple B, and told this reporter that he made it clear to his staff and the contractor that he does not want those types of practices happening on his watch.
              Those words seem to have fallen on deaf ears until today, with his CORs having been passive and nonassertive as hotshotting, overcrowding trailers, and long and fierce low-flying helicopter hazing of horses has persisted during this ugly Calico roundup, while Sun J's characteristic fracturing of bands being run long and hard and lathered up during the chase has continued.
               Things have gotten so bad during this roundup that Amy Lueders, the Nevada state lead of BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Program, during Christmas week issued a stern directive to BLM field personnel that the best way to stop horse protection advocates from undermining BLM's roundup policies with video footage of the mistreatment of the animals, thereby making it harder for federal land managers to win the public trust, was to stop abuses when they saw them.  I am saddened that the stated reason for stopping abuses is about saving BLM's image, not about protecting the horses. Nevertheless, I'm all for BLM stopping abuses of wild horses and burros even if it's for self-serving reasons.
                District Manager Gene Seidlitz insisted to this reporter that he felt the Sun J contractors had improved, but he's been busy with other matters and hadn't been in the field much, apparently relying on reports from staff.
                His presence today was felt by staff.  I observed that the fierce struggle of the wild horses yesterday, including the compromised stallion in the middle of it all, was worse,  continued longer,  and was never called by the COR.  So today's calling off this intense, final face-off between helicopter and wild horses today was a smart move if this District office is to have any credibility.
              These five horses have been given a hard-won reprieve since the horse-roundup phase of this Calico Roundup is over, and the helicopter will now be looking for burros.   I am grateful to have been able to be present this last week.  I am grateful that the COR is acting with more leadership.
              I am told Burro roundups may start as early as Saturday, January 7.  God willing, I will be there.


        Thursday, January 5, 2012:  Sun-J and BLM reached new lows.
        Speaking of just one of the several mishandled, abusive chases of wild horses at the Paiute Meadows trap site which began today, for over an hour the horses ran, evading the trap four times with the Judas horse running in with no one following.  
        In the midst of this melee, one of the studs being chased stood apart, obviously compromised, at one point laying down, displaying signs of colic or "tying up," common parlance for the condition rhabdomyolysis, the result of massive muscle destruction, where the physical toll of great physical exertion causes the breakdown of muscle tissue that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobulin) into the bloodstream.  Myoglobin, harmful to kidneys, often causes kidney damage.  
        Despite observers' alarm and firmly asking that the BLM COR call this chase off, the chase continued uninterrupted.
        Several horses escaped the trap this day.  Here is Laura Leigh's video of this day.  This was bad.  It was very bad.  However:
         For the tenderhearted:  I rate this video a "G" for general audiences.  It is always hard to watch horses being run and run, but this contains nothing grossly violent.  The way these horses are rounded up is inherently violent, but you will be all right and can watch this, and I hope you will.
         BLM, this is an example of what Amy Lueders does not want to see.  Thank you, Amy, for your new guidelines.
calico wild horse roundup/ one stallion from Laura Leigh on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


            I'm spent and preparing to get up early to witness the roundup continue but wanted to share a few images and a clip from today to keep us all aware of what is happening across the west to America's wild horses.
      Here's some of what I witnessed today.
             Today (Wednesday, January 4, 2012), the last frightened horse forced into the trailer went down just after being loaded.  He was observed immediately, so they backed the trailer up, and we watched people unload all the wild horses and struggle with the downed horse whose leg had gotten caught on something inside. It was pitiful and a bit nerve wracking. You can see in my footage, below,  that after unloading all the horses that had been crammed onto the trailer, they struggled to free his front leg — which had become wedged in the trailer and caused him to go down — and dragged him out. 
          [As soon as he was freed from the trailer, the crew immediately began flagging him and prodding him to stand.  He laid there,  an  injured prey animal in the presence of numerous predators, unquestionably thought he was going to die.  They wanted him to get up so they could reload the trailer with the horses and assess his condition.  The right thing to do would have been to remove as much pressure as possible from this frightened, injured horse by having all extraneous people step back as much as safely possible, turn their bodies away from staring, have all but absolutely necessary people step way out of range, and let unfortunate horse collect himself and stand up.  

             Instead, while the BLM COR ("Contracting Officer's Representative," meaning the BLM person in charge on site) and APHIS vet looked on, in efforts to get the horse to rise to his feet, the Sun J crew did a lot of ugly poking and prodding, and actually tied a rope around this poor stallion's neck and yanked on it, causing his face to bang on the trailer as he lay there.  I can't believe the COR and APHIS vet never extended a hand to say, "Hey, wait a minute, don't do that."  Instead, they just stood by watching.  The horse just meekly laid there with what looked to me like a broken spirit and did nothing to protect himself. (UPDATED:  The COR has acknowledged having ordered the hotshot).
             It appears very strongly that he was hot-shotted, not only from the wranglers' appearing to pass something to each other, but the way the horse suddenly stands is out of character with how a horse in that situation would finally arise.
              If they did in fact use a hotshot in this circumstance, there was no life-threatening situation; it was simply for expedience so they could hurry up and load the trailer.  Using a hotshot to see if a horse is well enough to stand because you are too impatient to exercise a modicum of compassion and wait for the animal to rise on his own is disgusting beyond measure.   The BLM COR and APHIS vet are standing right there.  If he was hotshotted as it appears, they went right along with it as did the COR and APHIS vet when the burros were liberally hotshotted repeatedly in front of them. 
             They got him up, reloaded him and the other horses, and made the trip to temporary holding.  I am reassured every day that he is "a little sore" but "doing fine."
              Here is my video from this day (January 4, 2012) on site.  
              Of course, we the public are not permitted to go to temporary holding except on Saturday, so I had no way to personally see or photograph or videotape (called "documenting") this horse's condition, and am relying solely on representations made by BLM.  This is not acceptable; we will only be able to see the horses captured on Friday since they ship continually to Palomino Valley Center in Sparks, Nevada.
              The trap site is moving tomorrow (Thursday, January 5).  Horses continue to be the focus this week. Burros will be rounded up in the following week.
              Saw these beauties along the road today.  They are so great, so right.  They animate the land so beautifully and quietly.  I will talk more about the numbers of burros soon.  Must get some sleep.
              Keep the faith...


             One year and a day after I photographed Freedom's capture and escape in this same HMA, this brilliant sorrel stud suddenly escaped from just inside the mouth of the trap pen only to turn around and stare and call to his family, who remained captured.  He refused to leave for a long time.  

 He eventually walked over by the trailer, stood there watching helplessly, calling occasionally to his mare now in the trailer.  He kept starting to leave, then turning around, "Surely there must be something I can do..."

               Spotting us, this amazing stallion trotted toward us, approaching to within probably 50 feet of us.  He called to us a few times. It sounds funny, but it genuinely felt like a plea for help.  By the way, that is white foam from excessive lathering.  This horse is drenched with sweat.  Fortunately, it is a beautiful day, temperatures no lower than 45 or even 50.  
               This was a hard day as I watched band after band fracture before they reached the capture pen.  Many times the Sun J pilot can't seem to keep them together.
               Video will be coming... cannot get much done at all except bare bones basics when doing a roundnup.  But it is again evidence of the nature of the close bonds these horses have with their bands.
              I am calling him Bond 007 because of his connections both with his family members and other horses, who followed him readily, taking shelter in his skill.  It appeared that, after he finally disappeared into the distant hills, he was once again being chased among a group of 13 horses Josh Helyer, the pilot, was bringing in.  But Bond, this remarkable horse, guided them very adeptly around the mouth of the trap, and they took off running away from the trap.  He refused to be maneuvered by the helicopter, and the other horses followed his lead.  It was exhausting because pilot Josh Helyer would not let up, and the BLM COR did nothing to call him off.   I understand he has a job to do, but we are looking for humane parameters.
              What I found very disturbing is  the length of time the pilot chased, hazed, pushed,  this group.  They evaded capture to the point of disappearing out of view after almost going into the trap funnel.  I have never seen anything like it before. I was half expecting horses to collapse from the running.  The BLM COR (Contracting Officer's Representative, i.e.,  the person in charge) did not seem to intervene, certainly not that I saw or heard.  This is the same person who said to me she felt "the longer they're out there the better."  Incredulous, I had asked why?  Her answer, "Then they come in walking."
               I drove over 200 miles today, just over 2.5 hours each way.  Not much time to put up a thorough post as I prefer to do.  Must rest, will do my best to keep information coming your way about what I am seeing.   I did manage to put together a snippet of the story of another little wild horse family,  the last run of the day.
              Of most concern:  we are barred from seeing the horses at all because temporary holding is on a privately owned ranch, and the rancher does not wish to have the public on his property.  It is my contention that it is BLM's responsibility to include a few members of the public among the necessary BLM entourage at a roundup, period.  I am virtually certain that if BLM was okay with our being there, the private rancher would be, also.
               So the upshot is I have no way to determine if Bond was ultimately rounded up today. And I'm virtually certain people would want him if they saw him.  So working with us in this way would help the adoption program.   By Saturday, when I will be allowed into "temporary," today's horses will have been long gone, shipped to Palomino Valley Holding in Sparks, where they have over 1800 horses and where Bond will be immediately assimilated.
              I believe that we have a right and responsibility as members of the public to view every horse that comes in, and to see them running wild and free.  Happy new year to all.

Monday, January 2, 2012


               Here is an uncharacteristically short blog post.
               I just had to let some of the Gerlach wild horses tell their stories.  After being told by the BLM COR Melanie Mirati that their roundup was "easy as pie," and "a piece of cake," and, "They went right in" [into the trap pen], only to go and see them myself an hour later looking...well, please watch this short, informative video of what the horses have to say, and judge for yourselves.
              I had to bring this straight to you.  I am tired of the minimizing and marginalizing of these animals.
              I will probably get comments from naysayers saying to toughen up; the horses aren't made of china; the horses are fine.  My point:  this is about the horses' wellbeing, and about communication and credibility.  This was no "piece of cake."  BLM, let's develop some credibility, please.
              I could not ignore the misrepresentation, completely negating the obvious drama and major exertion these horses experienced.
              I will ask for an update on the Gerlach stallion tomorrow.  How much can I trust what I'm told?
              Getting ready for Calico roundup resuming in the morning.