Wild Horses of Sea and Sand

Wild Horses of Sea and Sand

November 2016

In October, Ann Evans and I visited the northernmost point of the Outer Banks Islands off the coast of North Carolina. I have wanted to see the wild horses there for a long time.

The island might seem inhospitable for wild horses but, for nearly 500 years, it has been home to a wild herd. Named for the Island on which they live, the Corolla Wild Horses are survivors of shipwrecks on a turbulent coastline called the Graveyard of the Atlantic.  Now, however, the horses are severely endangered. Recent, rampant development of their tiny island threatens to destroy the herd. Fewer than 100 animals remain.

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Photo Above-Ann Evans

DNA work on the herd by Dr. E. Gus Cothran of Texas A&M University confirms their unique Spanish heritage and also their vulnerability to inbreeding. The herd has only one matrilineal line remaining. Plans for captive breeding are underway but uncontrolled development could leave the herd with no room to roam.

If you want to help these tough, little survivors we urge you to contact the Corolla Wild Horse Fund-www.corollawildhorsefund.org. Ask the Fund what you can do to help.

Our thanks go out to Karen McCalpin, Executive Director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, and Meg Puckett, Herd Manager, for guiding and educating us. It was an unforgettable trip as you can see from this video!

Happy Trails,
Ginger

Click here to donate and support wild horses and burros: Donate!

 

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Victory for Wild Horses in Wyoming!

Dear Friends;

On the heels of winning a victory for Oregon wild horse mares, threatened by dangerous sterilization surgery, comes yet another win for the wild ones. The U.S. Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the State of Wyoming against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeking the removal of hundreds of wild horses from public lands across the state including mustangs from the Stewart Creek Herd.  

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Ironically, Quinn and I were visiting the Stewart Creek mustangs with Lynn Hanson, my friend and fellow wild horse advocate, when our attorneys learned of this second victory. Being out here with these beautiful, family and freedom loving icons of the West reminds me of why we fight. Their home is over 230,000 acres of sagebrush valleys and windswept rims along the Continental Divide. (below-Lynn shoots GK filming)

The first time I saw the colorful Stewart Creek wild horses, it was the dead of winter. Ann Evans and I were driving from Riverton to Rawlins, and we were thrilled to see a family band just a short distance from highway 287/789, about 20 miles north of town. 

Winters are bitter and long in Stewart Creek. The foals above didn’t seem to mind. We saw this lone mustang in his huge home during our winter drive-by. He, too, was not far from the main highway. I imagine his friends were just out of sight below him.

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When I left Stewart Creek a few days ago, there was a colorful group of five bachelor stallions only 100 yards or so off the highway. It was grand to see them in nearly the same place as the winter ones.  We encourage you to try your hand at finding them. If you have a high clearance vehicle, you can enter the range on a number of sandy roads.

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Take your binoculars to verify that these often distant dots are real wild mustangs!

Happy Trails!

Ginger Kathrens
For more on Cloud and the world of the Mustangs across the U.S. follow the link:

The Cloud Foundation

 

 

Help to Preserve a Legacy!

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Have you ever had a dream where you were standing before a wild, untouched, untamed horse; a majestic, powerful, intelligent being.  You have no ropes, no chutes, no intention to force him into submission.  Instead, you have communication, mutual respect, and trust;  a trust that you have spent time building… together.  
Finally, feeling the time is right, you reach out… waiting… and this wild heart in front of you says, “Yes”, comes forward, and allows you, a human, to touch him for the first time.  You feel the connection between the two of you and know that, through your efforts and your willingness to see him as he truly is and to be seen, you have created a genuine bond of trust and partnership.
Now know that this dream is not just fantasy but a reality that happens every year during our Reach Out to the Untouched Horse event.  Over the course of 7 life-changing days you will experience what real connection, communication and horsemanship is all about.  You will begin to see the world through the eyes of a wild horse.  As you learn their silent language, you’ll connect and experience what feels mystical and magical but is truly a learned skill that you will find useful for the rest of your life with all your horses, whether they be wild or domestic. 
You will discover how the natural horse communicates, herd dynamics, develop a bond through building a trust-based relationship.  You will uncover their motivation and learning styles, begin the training process, and socialize a group of untouched horses.  
 
You will also have the opportunity to visit the Nokota in their natural environment and witness firsthand the world of the wild horse. 
 
This experience is perfect for those who have recently fostered or adopted untouched horses. Don’t miss this rare chance to meet, work and learn from a truly beautiful representative of the wild, untamed world of Equus.
ABOUT THE HORSES YOU’LL BE WORKING WITH…
The Nokota horses descend from the last surviving population of wild horses in North Dakota. 
 
For at least a century, the horses inhabited the rugged Little Missouri badlands, located in the southwestern corner of the North Dakota and now you have the opportunity to experience these majestic beings up close.
When Theodore Roosevelt National Park was created in the 1950s, some of the wild bands were fenced in, an accident that proved to have far-reaching consequences. While the raising of federal fences provided the horses with a measure of protection, the National Park Service (NPS) does not allow wild or feral equines, and is exempt from related protective legislation. Consequently, the park spent decades attempting to remove all of the horses. 
During the 1980s, Frank and Leo Kuntz began purchasing horses after N.P.S. round-ups, named them “Nokotas,” and started to create a breed registry. Nokota horses are descended from the last surviving population of wild horses in North Dakota. 
Anna will guide you through the world of these unique and untouched horses as you learn the language of Equus, enter the magical domain of the wild horse and begin to understand their communication in the natural world.  
This is a unique opportunity to observe wild horses in their natural habitat. You will begin to understand real communication with the natural world, be introduced to herd dynamics and develop a bond through building a trust-based relationship. The young horses being socialized in this clinic have shown a natural desire to relate to humans. While striving to make their futures less traumatic for veterinary care, foster homes etc., these young horses will be your teachers.
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For Immediate Release: Reach Out to Horses® Offers New DVD Release to Mustang Rescues across the U.S.

Whispers from the Wild Ones DVD Set

November 26, 2014 – Denver, CO

Reach Out to Horses® has just released the 2-DVD set, Whispers from the Wild Ones: Mustangs as Our Master Teachers. It is the 10th DVD in the ROTH collection of equine instructional programs.

During the 176 minutes, viewers will experience not only the majestic mustang in its natural habitat but the exclusive Reach Out to Horses’ highly effective training techniques needed to gentle untouched, traumatized, rehabilitated, sensitive, and fractious horses.

Filmed on the iconic lands of Wyoming, Whispers from the Wild Ones walks viewers through the intricate and subtle world of the language of the horse, explaining the crucial differences between mustangs and domestic horses and how, with a true understanding of the language and behavior of the horse, one can create a true, stress-free, trust-based partnership and gentle the wild mustang.

“This is a must for any horseman or horsewoman with a mind to work with the wild ones. Even the experienced hand does not simply gentle a mustang. They are spiritual and earthly beings at the mercy of humans floundering in their attempts to “manage” this truly indigenous North American species. ROTH methodologies honor every aspect of these wild horses and put solutions to their plight in our hands. I highly recommend this… unique experience that cannot be replicated!”
– Sarah Lockwood, Windsor, CA

In the 2-disc set viewers will discover how to:
• Gentle any horse calmly, safely, and without stress
• Discover the value of visualization, energetic connection and body language vs. roping, choking and the use of chutes.
• Build permanent trust and respect between horse and human
• Recognize, capture and work with the whisper of the horse
• Speak the subtleties of the language of the horse
• Encourage horses in the pasture to come to them (no more chasing or catching)
• Read their horse’s character, personality, history, and learning styles and match the training program to their individual needs
• Differentiate between “flooding” and desensitizing
• Use appropriate feel, timing, and pressure/release
• Acknowledge the “try” to encourage and motivate their horses
• Use new tools and aids like the Horseman’s Rope and the Equestrian Education Rope for life-long lessons
• Introduce their horses to the halter, leading, bathing and other skills
• Eliminate biting
• Use water for training
• Fill holes in their horse’s training
• And much more…

In addition to the training program, Founder Anna Twinney and ROTH remain committed to ending the captivity and suffering of over 50,000 mustang in BLM holding pens, returning them to their lives on the U.S. public lands, as well as helping those who are unable to return. A simple, cost-effective solution to managing the wild horses is within our reach. It is a strategy that could avoid round-ups, bait-trapping, culling, unnecessary distress, death and family break-ups, and may save millions of tax-payer dollars.

It is in that spirit that Anna has decided to create the Donate a DVD program. ROTH with the assistance of many generous donors will be giving away up to 1000 Whispers from the Wild Ones DVD Sets to non-profits and organizations that are committed to the well-being and care of the American Wild Horses and Burros.

“We would prefer to see all the mustangs returned to their families, their herds and their homes, but if that is not possible then we will do all we can to help them and give them a chance at freedom from the unbearable conditions in which they live today.” – Anna Twinney – Founder Reach Out to Horses

Reach Out to Horses was developed with the mission of bringing harmony to horses and humans. In the pursuit of that goal, they have been instrumental in the rescue of hundreds of horses and well over a hundred thousand dollars to the horses and the rescues that we they worked with.

“Although we are very proud of the work we and our partners have done, we do not plan on stopping, or even slowing down, any time soon.”
– Vincent Mancarella – Program Director, ROTH

For more information about the DVD Set, how you can help, obtain a copy for a non-profit or review, contact Vincent at info@reachouttohorses.com.

For Immediate Release: Reach Out to Horses’ Foal Gentling Program Assists in the Rescue of Slaughter-Bound Foals

August 18, 2014 – Centennial, CO

Reach Out to Horses, in partnership with Friends of Horses Rescue and Adoption, Centennial, CO will begin their annual Week of Foal Gentling program on September 8, 2014. ROTH and FOHRAA will rescue 10 foals from the feedlot to give them a chance at a new life.

During this week long event, Anna will guide participants and auditors through her exclusive foal gentling process, introducing the foals to first touch, halter, leading, loading and lots more, in a non-stress, compassionate and effective way! The training they receive is priceless and a crucial step to these young horses getting adopted to the right forever homes and having that second chance at life.

By the end of the week many of the foals are fully gentled and ready to take the next step with a new adopted family.

Did you know?
It is illegal to send a foal under 6 months of age to horse slaughter. However, foals from one day to six months old, are being skinned and sold for high-end leather. Others who aren’t rescued are sent to slaughterhouses. These foals have no chance at life from the start. Their meat is considered a delicacy in some countries. Horrifically, some countries actually believe that if a foal is skinned while it is still alive the meat will be more tender.

“By gentling the foals and introducing them to humans it is our intention to make the better candidates for adoption. It is too easy to just throw these horses away like unwanted refuse. It is our hope to show the world just how valuable they are and help them find their way to new life.”
– Anna Twinney, Founder of Reach Out to Horses

Reach Out to Horses was developed with the mission of bringing harmony to horses and humans. For more than a decade, ROTH has been instrumental in the rescue and rehoming of hundreds of horses and well hundreds of thousands of dollars to the horses and the rescues with which they worked.

Friends of Horses Rescue and Adoption – With over 150 horses currently being cared for, FOHRAA is a 501 C 3 non-profit charitable organization located in Centennial, Colorado since 2001. FOHRAA is dedicated to rescuing good horses and adopting them to good homes, therapeutic riding and community service.

For more information contact Vincent Mancarella at info@reachouttohorses.com or Bill Stiffler at 303-649-1155.

For Immediate Release: Reach Out to Horses’ Untouched Horse Program Assists the Release of Mustangs in Wyoming Holding Pens

August 18, 2014 – Cody, WY

Reach Out to Horses, in partnership with Friends of a Legacy (Cody, WY) and the Bureau of Land Management will begin their annual Reach Out to the Untouched Horse weeklong program on August 25, 2014. During the 7-day program, 10 mustangs are removed from the BLM holding pens and given a second chance at life.

“When I go down to the BLM Rock Springs holding facility I will see over 800 mustangs, crowded into pens, waiting to be adopted – just heartbreaking – which is why I’m so committed to finding adopters for at least some of them. I can personally say that the trust, bond, and partnership that grows when working with a mustang is pure magic!”
– Michaele Dimock, Cody WY

Reach Out to the Untouched Horse is a very specific program designed to work with the specific needs, abilities, and character unique to the mustang. The participants will engage in hands-on, one-on-one work gentling the untouched horses in a stress-free, gentle and genuine trust-based environment. Using these customized methodologies, the group will prepare all the horses for adoption.

Over the course of 7 days the horses will be trained to:
• First touch and grooming
• First halter and preliminary leading
• Intro to pads, blankets, grooming tools
• Picking up feet / Farrier prep
• Yielding, backing, and head drops
• In-hand obstacle course
• Communication between horse and human
• And more…

They will remain in the care of private organizations or individuals until the right adoption home can be found for them. In some cases, they have even been adopted by rescue organizations and allowed to return to the freedom of the open range.

“We would prefer to see all the mustangs returned to their families, their herds and their homes, but if that is not possible then we will do all we can to help them and give them a chance at freedom from the unbearable conditions in which they live today.” – Anna Twinney – Founder Reach Out to Horses

Reach Out to Horses was developed with the mission of bringing harmony to horses and humans. In the pursuit of that goal, they have been instrumental in the rescue of hundreds of horses and well over a hundred thousand dollars to the horses and the rescues that we they worked with.

“Although we are very proud of the work we and our partners have done, we do not plan on stopping, or even slowing down, any time soon.”
– Vincent Mancarella – Program Director, ROTH

For more information contact Vincent at info@reachouttohorses.com or Michaele Dimock of Friends of a Legacy at 307-587-7358.

Press Release: BLM Poised to Eradicate Last Large Wild Horse Herds in Wyoming

Press Release:  For immediate release

BLM Poised to Eradicate Last Large Wild Horse Herds in Wyoming

US Congressman, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), supports listing of wild horses as endangered species

ROCK SPRINGS, WY (July 23, 2014) – The Cloud Foundation (TCF) with 280,000 followers, as well as numerous wild horse and animal advocacy groups, condemns the Bureau of Land Management’s scheduled roundup which will eliminate all wild horses on 1.2 million acre checkerboard land (alternating one mile square sections of private and public land for 20 miles on either side of Interstate 80) within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas (HMA).  The roundup of 946 wild horses is the first step in the planned total elimination of all wild horses in Great Divide Basin and Salt Wells Creek.

“Adobe Town, Salt Wells and Great Divide Basin are home to the largest free-roaming wild horse herds left in Wyoming,” states Carol Walker, renowned equine photographer and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) Board member. Walker has photographed the unique southwestern Wyoming herds for 10 years. “Genetic tests link the Adobe Town herd to horses re-introduced to the America’s by the Spanish in the 1500s. Great Divide Basin wild horses are descended from Calvary remounts,” she continues.  “To lose the wild horses in this vast landscape known by local residents as the ‘Big Empty’ would be to lose touch with our western history, heritage, and the untamed spirit of the West.”

The roundups, aimed at appeasing the powerful Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA), are in compliance with a Consent Decree between the BLM and RSGA, a back door deal allegedly encouraged by then-Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. According to the Consent Decree the BLM agrees to zero out Divide Basin and Salt Wells, arguing that these unfenced wild lands allow mustangs to freely roam into private land in the checkerboard areas. Yet even in the Adobe Town HMA, which contains only a small portion of land within the checkerboard, the BLM intends to slash the herd by 100% leaving only 500 horses on over 400,000 acres of federal lands.

While BLM and RSGA contend that 1,912 wild horses overpopulate the 2.4 million acres within the HMA’s, TCF and WHFF research reveals that 356,222 cattle and 45,206 sheep graze the same lands under federally subsidized grazing leases. While cattle and sheep are not on the range year round like wild horses, the monthly average of 68,740 cattle and 10,741 sheep is staggering compared to fewer than 2,000 wild horses.  Livestock, not wild horses overpopulate and degrade the rangelands

TCF and other advocate groups question the legality of BLM’s Decision to reduce herd levels far below Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) set in their own Resource Management Plans, and without an Environmental Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“Wild horse and burro herds and the federal lands on which they roam are under fire from those seeking to control land currently owned by the American public,” states Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of TCF.  Since 1971 wild horses and burros have lost over 20 million acres of habitat. 339 wild horse herds were designated for protection on western ranges when the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed. Today only 179 herds remain. 70% of the remaining herds are no longer genetically viable due to their small herd sizes. The intent of the forward thinking, environmentally sound and unanimously passed 1971 Act has been totally ignored by the agency charged with protecting wild horses and burros.

As recently as July 10, Utah Representative Chris Stewart introduced HR 5058, The Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014 which, according to a Salt Lake Tribune article, “could allow states to sell wild horses to slaughter.”

“Apparently, Congressman Stewart is not satisfied with the sweetheart deal welfare ranchers have had for decades, in which they pay virtually nothing to run their cattle and sheep on land owned by the American public,”  Kathrens says. She also attributes the dire situation to BLM’s bungling of the Wild Horse and Burro Program. “BLM has turned their back on management practices that would allow for the animals to live out their lives in freedom, rather than languishing in costly holding pens and pastures.”

“Wild horses are between a rock and a hard place.  The BLM wants to eliminate them in Wyoming, and Utah Congressman Stewart wants states to have the authority to eliminate them on federal rangeland,” states Paula Todd King, TCF Director of Communications. “This is why The Cloud Foundation joined Friends of Animals in filing a Petition to List North American Wild Horses under the Endangered Species Act.”

“With the myriad of threats posed to the remaining wild horse herds in America, it is past time that we look to science to guide their management on our public lands,” states US Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ).  “I support The Cloud Foundation’s call for wild horses to be federally protected under the ESA.”

The ESA petition’s introduction states:

The primary threats to wild horses on federal public land are habitat loss, inadequate regulation, and excessive round-ups and removals. Overall, wild horses on federal public lands face the threat of extinction due to at least four factors identified in the ESA. First, habitat loss, particularly from cattle grazing, mining, energy exploration, and urban expansion, endangers the distinct population segment (“DPS”). Second, human utilization threatens the species, specifically removal and sterilization to reduce the population and allow commercial grazing. Third, existing regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to manage the threats that face wild horses and may, in fact, constitute an independent threat to their survival. Finally, other natural and manmade factors also threaten the continued existence of wild horses in the United States, including their artificially fragmented range and small population size. Thus, it is vital to the survival of this population segment of wild horses that it becomes federally protected under the ESA

LINKS:

Livestock far Outnumber Wild Horses Targeted for Removal in Wyoming, Chart by TCF & WHFF

http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/images/7.23.14prwyru.pdf

BLM Schedules Wild Horse Removal from Checkerboard Lands

http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2014/july/18rsfo-removal.html

Decision Record and Categorical Exclusion

http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rsfo/Checkerboard.html

Federal Court Sanctions Gov’t Plans to Eliminate Wild Free-Roaming Horses from Wyoming Checkerboard

http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/news/press-releases/217-federal-court-sanctions-gov-t-plans-to-eliminate-wild-free-roaming-horses-from-wyoming-checkerboard

How the Department of Interior Sold Out America’s Wild Horses

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/03/how-the-department-of-the-interior-sold-out-americas-wild-horses/274159/

Ranchers are Scapegoating Wild Horses says BLM Scientist

http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/news/press-releases/247-ranchers-are-scapegoating-wild-horses-says-blm-scientist

Wild Horse Oversight Act

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr5058/text

Bill: Allow Utah, states to more aggressively manage wild horses

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58190806-90/horses-bill-wild-stewart.html.csp

Petition to List a North American Distinct Population Segment of

Wild Horse (Equus caballus) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act

http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/images/pdf/Final_Petition_Complete_As_Filed.pdf

Media Contacts:

Paula Todd King

The Cloud Foundation

843-592-0720

paula@thecloudfoundation.org

The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a Colorado based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.