General’s Saga (Part I)

Yesterday I went to the Bureau of Land Management’s website to check the gather activity update. The list does not identify specific animals in inventory from the recent Calico Complex Herd Management Area gather, but it does list injuries and deaths. The BLM does not define individuals in inventory. They use the word to describe the entire lot. This definition makes little sense to me. (Example: A retail store orders six dresses for spring, and then they track the lot but not each piece. This would create a database that has little use).

That’s another piece, for another day.

Reviewing the BLM update my thoughts returned to an amazing horse I have met. I worried about his “status.” (His picture is the one in my header). I will share his story with you. This is Part I.

Calico Complex

General’s Saga (part I)

Today began much like any other. The sun rose from the east over the mountain, shades of yellow and red. The red meant that weather might be moving in so today he would lead his family to a sheltered place as he guided them to food and water.

He is a stallion of what man calls the Calico Complex. The Calico Complex is an area where the Bureau of Land Management combined Herd Management Areas to create a complex. The complex consists of over half a million acres. But what the stallion did not know was that this agency, tasked with the welfare of wild horses and burros for the American public, had decided that only 800 horses could remain free.

From over the ridge he began to hear an ominous sound. It increased in volume as his heartbeat increased in rhythm to match the sound. His job was to keep his family safe. The sound grew louder and louder until it’s source appeared racing through the sky. The strange object, a metallic predator, was headed directly at his family!

He cried out, “Run!”

Threat from above

The band thundered over the frozen rocky terrain. Up mountainsides and through the valleys that once provided protection to the band. Yet nothing they did could stop the relentless pursuit of this predator.

They ran and ran. They ran and ran until he could feel the sweat pour down his muscled neck. They ran and ran until his lungs began to burn from the cold air. They ran and ran until he knew his children were struggling to keep up.

Struggling Calico Foal

But the family needed to continue above all else. So he called to them “Run!”

Racing through the gully he had led his family through in an attempt to gain shelter from the threat from above, he stumbled. But he could not stop. He saw the valley open up and he increased his pace.

As he fled across the frozen valley floor another horse appeared before his band, an unfamiliar horse. But this horse was running too. Perhaps this newcomer knew the way to safety so he followed the sorrel down the corridor.

Driven into trap

Then the threat increased! Coming in from behind were screaming two-legs waving long poles! His heart thumped as he again increased his pace.

He had to pull up fast to stop from crashing into a metal gate! His family collided with each other in fear. Circling hard to address the new threat from the rear he found himself facing another set of metal bars. He could not get to his mares and foals! He could hear their cries and he answered, but he could not protect them!

In an instant he was crowded into a small area with other stallions. His colt from two springs ago appeared at his side as the screaming two-legs waved their sticks and forced them all up into a metal box.

Immediately separated and loaded

The metal box was crowded. The floor was cold under his feet. A loud bang and the light from the back of the box was gone. A hard jolt and they were moving! He was not running anymore but he was moving! The others swayed and struggled to remain standing as the box bumped up and down and continued to move forward. He knew if he fell he would not be able to regain his feet on the cold slick surface, so he fought to remain upright. The air rushing in began to freeze the sweat that moments ago poured down his neck as he raced over the rocky ground with his family… his family!

He let out a loud cry!

The box jolted once more and came to a stop. The opening at the back flew open and screaming two-legs started poking and waving their sticks through the box. The stallions rushed toward the only way out.

Down a narrow chute they went into another area enclosed by metal bars. More loud two-legs pushed some into another enclosed space. And then the two-legs stopped yelling.

The predator from above was gone. The two-legs were no longer chasing them or screaming. His family was no longer there. He had failed them.

Calico Stallions in holding pen

Calico Stallions (after gather)

He could feel the soreness begin in his body. His lungs hurt. His legs and feet throbbed.

He wandered the edges of the enclosure. There was no way out. He did not understand.


More two legs arrived. These two-legs were not screaming. One of them came very close.

He asked her, “Why?”


Part II coming soon.


11 thoughts on “General’s Saga (Part I)

  1. Ah, why indeed? I can only wonder what is going on and what does BLM want for the freedom of the horses? Can’t they all see there are alternatives and good people to take up the management? They want to be rid of horses they have been entrusted with for their land. Bottom line it is illegal and we will get that declared by some one at some point. Then BLM can let go. Then we will save lives and families. Heritage. But for now, WHY? Why go on, BLM, we are not going away.

    We need to hear about these horses because you have seen them and they have seen you. They are waiting for you, Laura, and all of us to save them from BLM. mar

  2. R.T. Fitch says:

    Why is the operative word.

    Very moving, Laura.

  3. Trish Kerby says:

    They are treating them and looking at them as tho they are a commodity, on the hoof. That is the mindset of the BLM, pure and simple. I hope they do peruse our blogs, they can cringe a little as they read what asses they are!

  4. Anne says:

    rt fitch wrote: Very moving, Laura. a.’s comment: “i second that emotion…ps esp. when you see the face of General !(great name !”; thank u…for the insight into their feelings…A.

  5. Anne says:

    update: just wanted everyone to know;

    the hearing between the Appropriations Committe and Ken Salazar “the Mustang Czar”; which was supposed to have been held on Tues. “was canceled until March 5th;

    this is good so I can send other Calico Videos to Senators !
    (like I say; every Mustang who has “gone done in the line of duty…is a document of 1,000 words of the blatant mustang abuse; I’ll post the Senate Appropriatons list; Anna

  6. Laura Leigh says:

    I’ve gotten a few e-mails.

    I have not forgotten to add to General’s story.
    He has his own page now.
    Third installment by tomorrow night!

  7. Anne says:

    hi; the appropriatioins commitee hearings begin today; 03/03; not 03/05 as I said; I just “faxed” (via the IDA website this email to over 20 Senators and a few others privately…

    comment: if the Calico Colt Video doesn’t “melt their hearts:

    then nothing would ! thanks ever so much Laura; I meant that!
    anne conn. usa “striving to save america’s wildlife and lands…

  8. Anne says:

    Dear Senators and Representatives of the US Congress:
    PLEASE COPY THIS E-MAIL TO ANY SENATORS OR REPRESENTATIVES; A. HADLEY;Fairfield County; Connecticut 1951; “Striving to Save America’s Wild Life/Lands…
    The Calico Colt is seen alive at end of video; the BLM Vet. left the Colt “to perish in a sand-trap with no food; water or shelter; after the Vet. went to check on the Colt after 3 days; the Vet. then actually “shot this Colt !
    the mare seen here is giving birth; Vet. was wrong; this is a red-birth delivery; the foal could have lived… Press the first video with the “W”;

    hey where’s the BINS OF HAY ?

    DO YOU SEE HAY ? see mostly “wet grass clippings!

    Horses do not eat Sand; either my friends; “ever ! ps you don’t throw Hay at a mustang!

    Summary: The BLM is not saving America’s Mustangs from starvation; on the contrary; the BLM is “starving some of America’s Mustangs +(and foals) by leaving the sick ones in sand traps ! Hay is to made avail. in big bins in pens
    (with no hay visible in the pens; only outside where the adult Mustangs can get to; FIRE THE VET; the young foals cannot reach the Hay either!
    and mares and young foals are “going with too little hay at this very moment as I type this; pls. get HAY inside the pens where the mares and foals are asap; thnx.; THE MUSTANGS HAVE TO HAVE HAY (in the pens where they can reach the Hay ! (not hay outside as a placebo to try to fool us ! ps the sick mare never got any Hay ? Anne USA

    my comment: the whole point is: Videos don’t lie ! ! ! luv ya’

    ps to Laura if this letter is not appropriate; please delete; A

  9. brent reese says:

    laura, please send me your email address. i want to put gas in your truck.

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