The Importance of Having a Like-Minded Team

BY: Katie Dixon ~ Renegade Equine

In the fall of 2015, I was connected with a small but mighty rescue group called the Warm Springs Horse Rescue Network, who at the time had helped place over 500 foals in homes. This August, I was fortunate enough to coordinate and host the ROTH Foals Clinic in Sisters, Oregon. I was thrilled to bring the ROTH team of students and people who were interested together in central Oregon, as finding holistic and like-minded horsemanship had been a challenge.

 

The auditors, students, healers, rescue network, foals, and Anna (of course), contributed to a wonderful week of strong team building and brought awareness to holistic horsemanship in central Oregon, as well as connecting like-minded professionals living in the area .

 

Although we may be able to create positive change for our horses and clients on our own, it truly takes a whole-horse approach to be successful in rehabilitation of horses, or even if its not a rehabilitation case, to take them to the next level of physical health and performance.

 

It has taken a little over a year of stepping out of my introvert comfort zone and pushing myself to network with equine professionals to find and build my “dream team” here in Oregon.

 

The results of this year of work building connections and then hosting the clinic are multidimensional. This is the amazing holistic-minded equine team we have here in Oregon :

 

  • A barefoot trimmer who sees the whole horse and how to help them move better
  • Several body workers who can help the horse’s body release restrictions and move more fluidly, and also provide feedback as to how our physical conditioning plan is working from the body’s perspective
  • A few different veterinarians who are open to a holistic perspective or are practicing holistic medicine
  • Several saddle fitters who work to keep the horse and human comfortable to achieve their goals
  • A Nutrition expert to guide us through basic supplementation and feeding practices specific to our area
  • Quality hay providers
  • Local feed companies
  • A team of holistic trainers working together to better horse’s lives around us

 

Without permission from the horse and their human, the team isn’t able to get much done. It its inspiring to me, each day, when we give the horses we work with the ability to communicate and have an opinion about each aspect of their life how much information we are able to obtain.

 

You see, in order for harmony in your horse, you have to create harmony in your team. Some team members may have expertise in multiple areas, and each member of your team needs to be able to respectfully communicate and work together to help you accomplish your goals with your horse.

 

What I appreciate most about building a great team is having a community to discuss new cases with, and also having a group of people I can refer to that can be trusted and will be working for the good of the horse in their area of expertise.

It is our due diligence as equine professionals, to look at the information from our trusted team with open eyes and ears. We need to be willing to shift how we are approaching different aspects of our horse’s unique experience in the world. The balance of a horses psychological and physiological help depend on us being open to look at all areas of our horses lives: what we feed our horses, their living environment, what we ask them to do physically (and emotionally), how we balance their bodies, how we engage their minds, and how we support their growth.

 

When we utilize a multi-faceted approach, examined with a lens of honesty and integrity it is amazing how much we are able to help horses find balance and happiness in their lives.  When we are willing to communicate for the good of the horse with other professionals instead of pointing the finger of blame, we are able to solve the puzzle with that horse and help them to live a comfortable and happy life.

 

Although it takes some effort in networking, a little shedding of ego, a bit of rallying the troops so to speak to get “your team” built, I would encourage you to do so! ROTH as an approach to horsemanship encourages us to look at the whole horse when we are training, and there are some really great equine professionals out there who can help boost your team and ultimately help magnify the great work you are all already doing. We can only benefit from like-minded collaboration, and grow into more skilled and knowledgeable equine guardians.

 

You can’t go wrong having ROTH on your team!

BLM Director Announces No Killing of Wild Horses in Captivity

Points to TCF/AWHPC Lawsuit as reason for Halting Wild Mare Sterilization

WASHINGTON, DC – (September 15, 2016) – Yesterday, BLM head, Neil Kornze announced that the BLM was not accepting the recommendation from their National Advisory Board to destroy wild horses in holding and to offer wild horses that had been passed over for adoption for sale without limitation.  “This recommendation met a firestorm of outrage across the country and caused our phones to ring off the hook,” states Ginger Kathrens, Humane Advocate on the Advisory Board and Volunteer Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (TCF), the sole dissenting vote to the board’s recommendation.

Prior to the Sept meeting TCF learned that the BLM decided to drop Wild Mare Sterilization Research Experiments in which wild mares (and fillies as young as 8 months) would be surgically sterilized. BLM Director Kornze indirectly referenced the TCF and AWHPC lawsuit requesting to be present to view and record the sterilization procedures, as the reason the experiments in Oregon were cancelled.

Other lawsuits and thousands of emails, letters and phone calls from concerned Americans played a significant part in bringing a halt to the experiments as well as halting the recommendation to destroy captive wild horses.

Kathrens warns, “this does not mean the horses in holding and on the range are out of trouble.”  Kathrens recalls the documents that came to her office in late 2008 revealing  BLM Secret Meetings in which the agency discussed how many horses could be killed each year and how many psychologists would be needed to counsel BLM employees asked to kill healthy wild horses.     In June, Kathrens was asked to speak before the House Sub-Committee on Federal Lands.   “It was clear that the Western congressional representatives had no interest in hearing what I had to say,” she states. “They wanted the horses gone, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming purred that euthanasia of thousands of captive wild horses would be such ‘a lovely way to die,’ Kathrens states.

When asked, “where do we go from here?” Kathrens replied, “it is imperative that we continue to speak up, encouraging BLM to use humane tools to limit births in our wild horse herds. The ultimate goal is limiting reproduction to natural mortality. And to reduce the number of wild horses held in short term corrals, we should return these non-reproducing geldings and mares to available BLM lands designated for wild horse use, but where no wild horses currently live.”

This victory is due to thousands of advocates and concerned Americans’ expressing outrage and presenting a united voice for the wild horses.

LINKS:

BLM DirectorAnnounces No Killing of Wild Horses in Holding 

 BLM won’t euthanize wild horses it cannot adopt — Kornze

Lawsuit Filed toUphold Right to Observe Controversial Wild Horse Sterilization Experiments

Republican Led SubCommittee on Federal Lands

Mare SterilizationResearch EA

BLM Secret Meetings2008 

 

Media Contact:

Paula Todd King

The Cloud Foundation

843-592-0720

paula@thecloudfoundation.org

Investigation Confirms BLM Sale of 1,794 Wild Horses to Slaughter

The Cloud Foundation presses BLM to focus on keeping horses on the range

Washington, DC – October 25, 2015 – After 3 years of waiting for the Office of the Inspector General to complete an investigation of Colorado rancher and livestock hauler, Tom Davis, their report has finally been completed and confirms what The Cloud Foundation (TCF) has been saying publicly since October of 2012. The report states, “During our investigation, Davis admitted that most of the horses he purchased from BLM went to slaughter.” The report also states that between 2008 and 2012 BLM spent more than $140,000 in taxpayer dollars transporting wild horses to Davis who admits to paying only $10.00 for each horse.

BLM’s performance in this deadly incident is completely unacceptable. Who is being held accountable here?” asks Paula Todd King, TCF Director of Communications. “It appears everyone gets off—BLM, Davis, the Vet, the Brand Inspector and everyone involved.”

The Report states: “We referred this investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, who declined both civil and criminal prosecution. The State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office also declined to file charges against Davis. We referred the public health issue concerning a USDA-certified veterinarian signing IHCs without inspecting the horses (false statements) to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico. The District of New Mexico formally declined prosecution.”

 

The OIG report also indicates that BLM law enforcement officers who looked into the background of Tom Davis “found no evidence of Davis selling the horses to slaughter.”

 

“This is surprising as Davis is well known in Southern Colorado and it is common knowledge that he buys horses for the purpose of selling them for slaughter,” states Ginger Kathrens, TCF Executive Director and producer of the Cloud films for PBS.  “The law enforcement folks dropped the ball leaving wild horses and the American public to pay the ultimate price.” 

 

“What is also shocking is Colorado’s failure to follow through with the prosecution of Tom Davis,” addedAnn Evans, a founding Board Member of TCF, “and that New Mexico too has turned a blind eye to the wrong-doing of the veterinarian who falsified documents, an action clearly out of compliance with his New Mexico State Veterinary License.”

 

BLM believes they have eliminated the possibility of this crime being repeated by limiting the number of wild horses that can be purchased at any one time. But what does it say about how we go forward if no one is held responsible for the suffering that occurred to animals that only wanted to live their lives in freedom with their families?” continues Kathrens.  “The best way to avoid a repeat of this tragedy is to keep wild horses on the range where they want to be, and where they are clearly the safest.”

 

The Colorado non-profit believes that field darting with the safe, reversible fertility control drug PZP will keep mustang populations at zero population growth and eliminate the need for removals.TCF has offered to work with the BLM to implement those fertility control plans to preserve genetically viable herds in the wild and reduce the cost of managing wild horses in less than humane holding facilities.

“Misstatements and untruths must stop,” adds King, “including covering up the inhumane treatment of wild horses by helicopter contractors during roundups, failure to provide adequate shelter to thousands of wild horses already in captivity, sterilizing vibrant, healthy herds of wild horses on the range, and skewing environmental analyses that blame wild horses for range damage caused by livestock grazing and energy development.

It is past time for BLM to turn the ship around and fulfill their responsibility to the American public to manage healthy herds of wild horses on public lands in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way,” Kathrens concludes.

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Links:

Investigative Report of Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Buyer

OIG Report – Oct. 23, 2015 

Federal Report: Colorado Wild Horse Buyer Sold Mustangs for Slaughter, The Denver Post, Oct. 23, 2015

The Case of the Missing Mustangs; What Happened to 1700 Wild Horses? NBC News, May 14, 2013 

Ginger Kathrens, Salt Lake City Press Conference,  Oct. 2012

Fate of Wild Horses in Hands of BLM, Colorado Buyer, Sept. 30, 2012

Using Science to Improve theBLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward

Media Contact:

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.

Meet the Mustangs 2015!

With eyes wide open, Aura surveyed his surroundings. His tangled tail, black as soot, was swishing to and fro in anxious wonder. He’d never been touched. He was gathered last fall, in Wyoming, during a roundup of his herd. He belongs to the Bureau of Land Management, and his future is uncertain.

Anna Twinney knows she can’t help every mustang caught in the unfortunate web of population control of the wild herds in North America. Her effort is as steadfast and sure as the mustang’s iconic image in the American West.

Recently back from her annual “Reach Out to the Untouched Horse” event, held in Cody, Wyoming at the Dimock Ranch, Anna talks about Blackjack, Downtown, Augustus, Ohanzee, Mr. Dean, and Aura. “I’ve been teaching people how to listen to their horses for more than 20 years. Horses have a language of their own, no matter if they are wild or domesticated. It’s imperative that mustangs, newly collected into captivity are supported. Every year, we take a group of students to work with mustangs that have been gathered and to observe those still free to roam.”

The BLM’s herding process is a traumatic event in the life of a mustang.  Anna works one on one with a group each year to help aide the transition.

“We show the horses that we are here to support them. We use gentle but effective methods to prepare them for domestication; first touch, grooming, haltering, leading, visits from a veterinarian, farrier … for baths, loading in and out of a horse trailer. Remember, these horses are truly “untouched”. They’ve barely seen people and it’s likely that their first encounter was detrimental … being handled is a big deal. It must be done with correct techniques and a heart for helping them. When they have a good beginning, their chances of finding a good home soars. Some of them are not so lucky.”

Ohanzee found a home, but his five herd mates still wait.

Horses are prey animals, meaning they are hunted in the wild by natural predators. Given the round up process, “man” falls squarely in the predator category. The horse’s reaction to being preyed upon is to either run away (generally the first instinct) or to fight. Often times, newly gathered mustangs are put in to holding pens from which they cannot escape. Given that they can’t employ “flight” all that’s left is “fight”. Because of this circumstance and the disrespect and ignorance in how the horses are treated, they react as nature equipped them to do and then they are often branded as “crazy” or “dangerous”. While all horses have this innate response to fear or danger, the mustang’s reaction times are in milliseconds; in the wild, it’s the difference between life and death.

This is why ROTH is dedicated to working with the mustangs each year and also why Anna created the Whispers from the Wild Ones DVD.

“Education is everything with these horses. People must understand that “untouched” truly means the horses have never had a human hand on them. As people, we don’t even like strangers touching us!  It’s rather intimidating to have an animal that walks on its “hind legs”, smiling at you with its teeth and reaching for you with its “claws”. I teach students about keeping themselves very “quiet” so that facilitating that first touch is smooth and welcome.”

To learn more about what the American Mustang has to teach us and to understand their plight, please visit https://youtu.be/aBI-VGNZBgY to watch the trailer for Whisper to the Wild Ones!

To meet Augustus, Mr. Dean, Downtown, Blackjack and Aura please watch our video below.

Meet the mustangs adopted and still available.
Meet the mustangs adopted and still available.

If you are interested in adoption, please email us at info@reachouttohorses.com.

Court Gives BLM Green Light to Destroy Colorado’s Historic West Douglas Wild Horse Herd

Zeroing out entire wild horse herd not viewed as constituting “irreparable harm.”

                                                                        

Washington, DC (Sept. 15, 2015) – Today, Federal Judge Christopher R. Cooper denied a Preliminary Injunction to stop the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from carrying out its decades old quest to remove the entire West Douglas wild horse herd. Tomorrow the BLM will begin a helicopter roundup and removal of wild horses in and around the herd area with the ultimate goal of zeroing out the herd (area).

The lawsuit was brought by The Cloud Foundation (TCF), Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (CWHBC), Dr. Don Moore and Toni Moore of Fruita, CO., and Barb Flores of Greeley, CO, to protect this herd and the neighboring Piceance East Douglas herd. “Sadly,” states Toni Moore, “the courts did not view the loss of an entire herd of wild horses as ‘irreparable harm.’ “

“Wiping out the West Douglas herd erases a whole distinct set of genetics, separate from nearby East Douglas horses,” states Linda Hanick, TCF Board member who testified in the Sept. 11 hearing on the case.  “The roundup disregards the importance of the historic recorded documentation of these horses since Sept 1776. This roundup closes the door on an important piece of Colorado’s wild horse history.”

“We’re very disappointed of course,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “Wild horse families that have shared a history with this rugged Colorado landscape for hundreds of years will be swept away, while the real public land destroyers, the thousands of head of welfare livestock remain.  It is terribly unfair, but we continue to fight for those wild herds that remain!”

“Rangeland impact of livestock in West Douglas is greater than 10 times the impact of wild horses,” states Barb Flores, plaintiff in the case who also testified in the Sept. 11 hearing. “Both use the area year round. While cattle are moved from pasture to pasture, wild horses migrate throughout the herd area on their own.”

“The BLM does not consider mortality rates in its population estimates,” Flores continues. “While we all expect the death of old, sick and injured wild horses, research shows that foal mortality is often 50%, and in many herd areas it is even higher. This means that less than half the foals make it to their first birthday. Shockingly, BLM’s 20% population growth rate assumes all foals live and no wild horses, of any age, die.”

“To add insult to injury, the helicopter contractor chosen to round up the West Douglas herd, is noted for their cruelty,” adds Hanick who personally witnessed a roundup in 2010 conducted by Sun J Livestock in which 12% of the horses were killed.  “We will hope for the best and attempt to record what happens this time around if granted adequate access.”

“Sadly, we did not prevail in stopping the BLM from proceeding to zero out the West Douglas Herd,” states Carol Walker, Director of Field Operations for WHFF. “We continue to fight the mismanagement and decimation of our wild horse herds. Our voices count, and are the only hope they have.”

R.T. Fitch, President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation responded: “For years the American public has attempted to keep these herds free on their rightful range and with a stroke of a pen their freedom, families and lives have been shattered. Once again American taxpayers have been betrayed by big government, big agriculture and big business; it is shameful.”

“I feel a deep sadness for any wild species on the brink of disaster,” concludes Kathrens. “These lovely wild horse families have no idea that the end of their wild lives is coming.  They are simply the innocent victims of greed and power.”

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Media Contacts:

Paula Todd King

The Cloud Foundation

843-592-0720

paula@thecloudfoundation.org

Carol Walker

Director of Field Documentation

Wild Horse Freedom Federation

303-823-6642

www.LivingImagesCJW.com

www.WildHoofbeats.com

 

LINKS:

 

Legal Documents andPrior Press Releases

WestDouglas Herd Area Final EA 

BLM PressRelease July 29, 2015

 

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.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a Texas based registered 501(c)(3) non profit which puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction.

 

 

The Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition (“CWHBC”) is a non-profit Colorado corporation, organized to educate the public and wild horse and burro adopters about wild horse issues and to protect wild horses and burros

 

Ms. Toni Moore is a resident of the state of Colorado and is the Secretary/Treasurer of CWHBC and the Special Projects Coordinator of The Cloud Foundation, Inc. (“TCF”).

 

 

Dr. Don Moore is an equine and small-animal veterinarian and has live in or near the WDHA and PEDHMA most of his life.

 

Barb Flores, a resident of Greeley, Colorado is chair of the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition and has photographed and documented Colorado’s wild horse herds for over 20 years.

BLM Plans Annihilation of Colorado’s Historic West Douglas Wild Horse Herd

Remnants of Ute Indian ponies have 300 year history in the area

“The owners of these cattle pay the government $1.69 per cow/calf pair per month. At the most, the BLM receives $15,656,” Moore states. “The Federal Livestock Grazing Program costs American taxpayers $123 million yearly.” Removing the cattle would actually save taxpayers money. The plannedhelicopter removal of wild horses will cost nearly 10 times more than the revenues received from livestock grazers. “The continual damage to the land from cattle and sheep grazing and the yearly drain on taxpayers who foot the bill for welfare ranching has to stop,” Moore concludes.

BLM’s Jan. 2015 Environmental Assessment, states “that all wild horses within or adjacent to the WDHA meet the statutory definition of excess animals, and therefore, consistent with the authority provided in 16 USC § 1333 (b) (2), the BLM shall immediately remove excess animals from the range.” This would reduce wild horse herds in Colorado to four, and the number of horses to 1150, compared to the many thousands of mustangs that once roamed the state.

“We have battled the destruction of this historic herd in the courts for decades,” stated Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of TCF, a Colorado based non-profit which advocates for the protection and preservation of wild horses on public lands.  “As recently as 2009 the courts ruled against the BLM when District Court Judge Collyer enjoined the BLM from removing any wild horses from the herd,” she states. “BLM’s historic scapegoating of wild horses is a smoke screen,” continued Kathrens.  “Western rangeland damage is caused by millions of head of privately-owned livestock, not our publically owned and theoretically protected wild horses.”

“Grazing of livestock on public lands is considered a privilege, not a right, and permits can be reduced or revoked per BLM Regulations (43 CFR § 4710.5).” mentions Paula Todd King, Communications Director for TCF. “Until the BLM finds the courage to address the real culprit – an overpopulation of welfare livestock – our historic wild horse herds will continue to be managed to extinction.”

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Links:

BLM PressRelease

West DouglasHerd Area Final EA

Media Contact:

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.

Prayer Circle for the Mustangs

A friend of ours recently attended a course in which a link to a prayer circle on behalf of the mustangs was shared. It is a small act of “sacred activism” and we invite you to add your voice, energy, prayers, and love to help the Mustangs and Burros of the West.

http://www.corelight.org/sacred-activism/mustangs/