Wednesday, January 4, 2012


             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.


  1. This seems to be a good point at which to share this. This one paragraph from Debbie Coffey’s letter pretty much sums up the entire BLM Wild Horse and Burro program:

    Open letter to the BLM:
    Debbie Coffey (c) copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved
    RE: Comment on the Bullfrog HMA wild burro gather
    1.3 also states that this gather is needed “to restore and maintain a thriving ecological balance.” (page 5 of the EA) BLM’s interpretation of a “thriving ecological balance” seems broad at best, and by comparing these few burros and any damage they might cause to other projects/uses, and the damage to the environment those uses cause, it seems BLM is PERPETRATING FRAUD on the American public. It seems like a local residents have been more concerned about other projects, like Solar Millenium’s Amargosa Valley Project, just 30 miles south of Beatty, NV, which is in the Bullfrog HMA:

  2. Is this the same private ranch...The Broken Arrow (now called Indian Lakes)?

  3. they nheed to leave the wild horses alone. natural selection and survival of the fitest will control their numbers much better than man can. esp. the blm.

  4. Take the heliocopters away to help balance the budget!from Lucille Perez

  5. To answer Louie, the private property on which temporary holding pens are located for the wild horses and burros is in a different place and has no connection that I know of to Broken Arrow/Indian Lakes.

  6. Thank you, Elyse.
    The use of this private ranch is, most likely, being funded by Taxpayer Money, in one way or another.
    So, taxpayers are picking up the tab for the roundup which removes their Wild Horses and Burros from their Public Lands, where they can see them any time they want... but now, a private ranch has exclusive rights to see them. One does wonder how this all comes about.

  7. I did NOT agree to have MY tax dollars spent this way. Between the BLM,FDA,EPA and just about every other Governmental agency there will be NO animals left in this country in the very near future. AND talk bout PATHALOGICAL LIERS!!!!