Allegiance

This beautiful horse broke out (jumped the panel after capture at the trap) and stood by the jute… moving forward and back… forward and back… as his family loaded.
After the trailer (with his mares) went past him he shot up the hill behind us… then eyed the trap from the other side of the hill calling to the babies… he moved off as vehicles came in but stopped as a trailer came back up the road… and called to see if his family had come back.

Off in the distance you could see a chopper… he briefly headed toward the band being chased and then so very slowly… with head down… went down the road… and over the horizon.

I have seen thousands and thousand of horses loose everything they have. I don’t normally name them.

But this horse is “Allegiance.”
It is what he demonstrated and what we owe him.

I will edit video and get images together as soon as I can… but I am exhausted… have hours of tape and pics to log of over-driving, atrocious flying, BLM admits hotshot use and more.

As well as a few tears to shed tonight.

A local auto shop fixed my truck today even though I couldn’t pay… he said to bring the money when I get it… but to get out to the range and keep an eye on “our” horses….

Tears for many reasons tonight… these people that live here love these horses… but they are not a mine or ranching interest… they are just people that read the local paper and live their lives in this hard, but beautiful place… and cherish the ideals of Freedom and survival that “our” horses represent.

Allegiance.

Driven into the trap

Allegiance... I pledge to you...

8-6 preliminary vent

There are days and then there days.

August 6th was one of those days.

As I sit and try to edit video to tell you all that was seen I am hit with an inability to edit. Every basic concept of humane treatment was broken. Every basic concept of common sense went out the window. Every basic demonstration of the simplest concept of equine behavior was non-existant.

The drives were long, no matter what is placed on the BLM site. Drives were well over ten miles. One group ran for over an hour and had a foal. They were run. The horses were confused and panicked.

A horse was left pinned between the trailer and the trailer door (after getting it’s head caught in an inappropriately set panel) while a group of horses are driven into the trap.

Exhausted foals are chased.

In holding evidence of injury.

The same issues with the bare minimum of feed that is NOT distributed in a manner to the best interest of the horses, but to convenience of the contractor.

The same water games with the foal and adult horses.

On this one let’s do the math one more time… 15 gallons a day is what BLM states a horse drinks. A 50 gallon tub filled 2 times each day is 100 gallons. 45 studs, in July and August, need more than two tubs. A nursing mare needs more than 15 gallons (according to BLM).

BLM according to the law YOU are responsible for making decisions on the ground. That includes determining that in the heat the horses need water. That includes determining if horses, and tiny babies, are being over-driven. That includes making the call that handling is too rough and counter intuitive.

BLM you can make the calls that include leaving a horse lost while horses are driven in. BLM you can make the call that a horse remains “wedged” for over ten minutes as other horses are driven in. BLM you can also actually make calls that are for the welfare of the horse… not just the “expediency” of the operation.

I am trying to edit video down to appropriate lengths. Youtube takes ten minute clips. I am sending the rough edit (over 25 minutes) to someone that may be able to get it cut into sections. I am trying to get everything logged… but need sleep.

Blew a tire and spun out after over an hour driving fast on gravel and dirt to try to catch a trailer…

If you can help get the truck fixed and keep gas in the tank it is appreciated.

http://WildHorseEducation.org

some pictures from 8/6, video soon

Third horse to try to break through panels sloppily set against the trailer. This one got her head stuck.

Rope around her neck they use a horse and rider to pull on her neck.

Left wedged while another group is driven in

Any horse owner knows feet and legs speak volumes (holding)

Why?

Getting it together

Launching a new project today: http://wildhorseeducation.org

Take a peek and feedback is welcome. Content is being edited and added… and a free booklet is in the works.

For those of you that followed my artwork and have sat silently but learned an awful lot watching my “wild horse” travels you will be glad to know I have been painting… hope to have my hands in clay some day soon. New works will be available and showcased shortly.

Thank you all for your patience… it has been a long, dusty,  lonely road and the love and respect I have for our wild herds has grown so much…

I have been asked for my report on Antelope to include with public comments and to fax. Here is the report in the version I wrote: http://wildhorseeducation.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/final_antelope_leigh2011.pdf  use it … fax it…

Downloading…

Just downloading some of the pics and video I’ve taken over the last two weeks.

Sometimes when you see all the pics in one place you see stark contrast… contradiction… beauty…

Don’t get me wrong here… I think a relationship with a wild horse is an amazing thing. Smart, beautiful, spirited companions that teach us so much as they join our personal lives.

But the fight to protect them in their “fair share” as mandated by Congress is a task buried under mountains of diverse methodology and historical prejudice. “Multiple Use” is a standard catch phrase when asked about management in HMA’s. Horses currently occupy aprox. 10% of  BLM land. So in a sense simply by mathematics multiple use has been met. Yet in many wild places herds are being brought down as the “multiple use” line is used within that 10%.

So many of those areas are really beginning to look managed for a dominant use, not horses. Many look managed as cattle have become a priority species in wild places. Yet there is another use that is gaining priority status… energy.

I made this slideshow just to get the “yuck” out of my system.

Until a single data collection methodology is utilized on all public land, and decisions made in a truly public process,the “yuck” will return.

But for now I feel like I can finally crawl into bed.

Popcorn?

I have re-edited the piece “Calico Complex In Retrospect” for viewing on the web.I was approached to provide video for a group pressing DVD’s for DC. They ran a test group and went only with my footage. I felt that the project I had begun was important because it told a more complete story of Calico.

I researched distribution and each option was expensive. This would slow down getting the images to the public in a manner that was timely. These horses need our attention now more than ever. So I created a public viewing option (click on Theatre)  here at a site devoted to the project.

A CD is still available and the edit is a bit different for anyone wishing to have a hard copy of the project. They are available on my website here.

Not sure if you want popcorn… but the piece is up for viewing.

In Retrospect

Calico Retrospect

As I prepare to head off to DC to join other advocates to raise our voice for the wild horses and burros I am putting the finishing touches on many projects. The one I am most proud of is a new video of the Calico Complex gather. The pride stems not only from the piece itself, but from the process of creating the piece.

This effort came together very quickly. It required fast communication and a real cooperative effort from many people. The process truly speaks of the effort that is needed to be that voice for our horses and burros. This is an effort made by “just people.” People that devote their time and resources to stand for something they believe in.

In that space personal differences become meaningless… self transcends into a collective space of “voice.”

The complete DVD will have a short film and history of the gather as well as personal statements by those that contributed to the piece. Distribution information will be available within the next 24 hours.

Once more I want to remind you that even if you can’t make the trip to DC set the 25th of March aside and contact your local media, set up a table with brochures, wear a ribbon, a t-shirt… start a conversation… for our wild horses and burros.

General’s Saga continued



General’s Saga Part 2

His story

She had no answers for him. She could not tell him why he was there.

Yet he knew she had heard him.

She turned to leave. He sighed. She had her freedom.

He joined the other stallions that were milling around the pen. The younger ones were attempting to gain position in the ranks and needed to be reminded that this was not the time or place. The older ones were lost in their fatigue. Many, like him, listened to the confused calls from their family members through the metal bars.

Foals at the Holding Area

View the rest of General’s Saga Here.