More about the foal “Sorro”

Going to add a quick post to give y’all some more info on the foal that died at the Broken Arrow last weekend.

Examiner Article Here

I’m out collecting range data… I will report on those findings soon.

“Sorro,” as Elyse named the baby, was overlooked at the Broken Arrow. We were told by Dean Bolstad that the vet is out daily.

A “triage” of sorts was done and three foals given to a wild horse group. The foals given to that group all came from the pen that the weekend observers raised a stink about the weeks prior.

Sorro was not in that pen.

Sorro was in the pen at the rear of the facility. The last pens you see as you go on the tour.

No determination of intervention had been made on that mare/foal pair, none. (After supposedly witnessing that foal for days). The vet came to treat that foal AFTER advocates left that day. By that time it was too late to do anything.

When asked if the vet noted any anomalies (after death) that could have led to the issue, ie. parrot mouth or  other dental or structural issue Dean replied… “I don’t think so, nothing in the memo.” But he was unsure if anything was even looked for.

I’m sure he will answer questions on Sunday.

Discussing the issues at the Broken Arrow is not distraction from the main issue. The main issue is competent management of our wild herds… top to bottom. Any agency or piece of the protocol that fails in that mandate should fall under scrutiny. Just because a horse leaves the range does not decrease the scrutiny needed by the advocate community toward the welfare of that life.

I see faulty practices top to bottom.

A massive gather was done in the harshest portion of the winter. Almost 2000 horses were then trucked to a facility that was still under construction. Hospital pens in January and February did not have wind breaks.

A reported 300 births now brings that total to over 2000 horses. Wooden barriers have been placed to keep the hay near the pens. A piece of wood that forms a 45 degree angle is inserted to keep the hay close to the pen after we were told the abscesses were due to pushing against the fence in order to get hay.

However the 45 degree angle piece that keep that hay close to the animals is missing from the pens that contain the animals with the greatest nutritional needs. No slanted pieces are in place for the mares nursing foals…. but the stallion pen that holds the horses the advocates have named…. has one.

So what exactly is motivating change over there? It is not a “thinking” toward the horses. It is a reactionary response to the “aggravation” of actually allowing the public an opportunity to react to what they see.

If they want to dismiss it by calling it “daily snivel” it shows the continued use of dismissive, derogatory dialogue.

Think back to grammar school… a bully locks a nerd in the locker. When the kid is found by the janitor crying the bully makes fun of him. But the bully is wrong.

Issues that deal with health of the range, viability of herds, numbers of lease holders, adherence to law…. and the life of an overlooked foal… ALL OF IT MATTERS.

Not only the continued smoke screen of “multiple use.” The BLM manages over 262 million acres of land. Horses currently occupy about 10% of that land…. by definition that IS multiple use.

I’m sure when we flood the faxes in DC they have a cute derogatory term for it, too.

And if that means we turn the “daily snivel” into a tidal wave…. good. Maybe then the concept of how much American’s care about EACH LIFE  that is born of a wild horse will finally sink in.


33 thoughts on “More about the foal “Sorro”

  1. cat Kindsfather says:

    In reference to Sorro, aka Feather…….
    I just wanted to say that I was there, as you know, and I asked Dean Bolstad, why didn’t this foal get to go to Shirley Allen’s volunteer rescue facility, as the other three did . His answer to me was, that at the time, they thought this little one would be okay to stay with his mom. He did say this one was considered! The three lucky ones were taken on May 13th. I checked with Shirley on this. So, my question is, if all this is true, would lack of milk and three days time get him into this horrid condition as we found him on May 16th?

    • jan eaker says:

      milk would be his only source of liquid, correct, would he have been drinking water? if not, then 3 days without water, would that put him @ death’s door?

      • sandra longley says:

        I agree Jan-contrary to some other things i have heard-he was not defective-He had a strong will to live to make it that far in the condition he was in..foals at that age perish in a hurry without assistance..unlike an adult where you actually might have the time to observe..once a foal goes down-you are too far behind the curve. and they donot drink water at that age if they did it would cause diareah..and he gave all the signs of constipation .

    • sandra longley says:

      I have read two responses here from Dean Bolstead and another more lengthy with -different details and analysis..I am not even going to address that..What I will say..If they had recognised there might be a problem with that foal on day 1 May 13, that mare and foal should have been moved to a hospital pen so they could have been observed, not left in the general population..i have other observations that conflict with theirs..but this was the first mistake that led to the others. Change your protocols for how you handle a potential problem, so it does not escalate.

      I noticed in the video of the foal, what could be marks on its back from being bit-or they could just be wet stains- could someone who was there clarify that for me?

  2. cat Kindsfather says:

    Great post by the way….

    • Laura Leigh says:

      just btw: the first time folks post I have to approve them. I approve all posters to this blog… however I am in the field so bear with any delays…
      : )

  3. Jan Eaker says:

    I don’t care WHAT they call it in DC, or NV or anywhere, I will continue to contact everyone and anyone who can help clean up this mess. My latest point is “get rid of Salazar, NOW!”

  4. sandra longley says:

    I agree-there is the BIG overall picture and results we are working for-that DOES NOT mean we ignore the ongoing consequences of these roundups -in particular-the Calico-because it represents what is wrong with doing large gathers in the winter-when mares will be foaling in feedlot situations. I donot subscribe to the idea that because in the wild many foals don’t make it-it becomes acceptable that they should die when they have been removed from the wild..Once removed they are no longer able to use their instincts to protect themselves and their foals. mares go off from the herd to foal quietly and by themselves, they allow themselves that time for the pair to bond, the foals nurse-the foal has the mares smell to know who she is and to follow her. The BLM has assumed responsability for the care of the horses..Did they intentionally do this to the was missed..with foals..time is always of the essence-the speed at which you can lose a foal is requires 24 hour observation, experience and manpower. This is not the last of the roundups-every effort must be made to have these things corrected now before the rest unfold..Or better yet concede to a moratorium until we get this worked out instead of trying to go on like a bull in the china shop.. I recoginise they are trying to do the best they can given what the powers that be have dumped into their lap…BUT..that does not change the fact…I came to this to try and help the horses and to give them a future that involves being treated fairly..I am not here to crucify the people working at the facility..I am here to protect the interests of the horses and especially the most vunerable-the foals.

    • sandra longley says:

      FYI-BLM workers at fallon, I am very nice to you compared to the dressing down I give to those who write the EAs-they truly deserve my scorn, scathing remarks and bad attitude..I hold them responsable for the misinformation, manipulation and outright corruption that has brought us to this..right along side the politicians who use and abuse- our public lands, minerals, resources, water and wildlife to stuff their political coffers and capital..

  5. savewildhorses says:

    I received a response to my email from Dean Bolstad that this foal was observed the day before it was euthanized (Saturday) and determined to be nursing fine and that it would be ok. So, how is it less than 24 hours later, after being pointed out by tour visitors, this foal was deemed too far gone by the vet and was euthanized?

    I am terribly concerned that ailing and suffering horses and foals are needing to be pointed out to the staff at Fallon. I need to stress once again that the hours the facility are open to the public are not adequate and the veterinary staff is not adequate. This vet needs several assistants and this vet needs another vet or two. This job is just too much for him and no one there will admit it.

    We need to demand that our taxpaying dollars go toward better care of these horses after round ups. I agree 100% with Laura, Fallon is not a distraction. Fallon is integral to the entire argument why we cannot continue to round up wild horses. Fallon is the reason we need to stop the round ups. They are not demonstrating the capacity, ability or compassion to care for them in the manner in which they deserve and require. As for the daily snivel, I assume it would stop when the daily gather reports stop reporting needless suffering and deaths. They spend more time talking about the weather conditions in their Daily Gather Reports than they do on the health and causes of death of these horses.

    If is also time to press them to arrange for sunbreaks for these horses for the summer.

    • sandra longley says:

      The Humane Society addressed the sunbreaks situation when they visited the facilities..Perhaps we sould be asking them-persistently-to follow up on that..who exactly do we contact there to have the most effect?

      • savewildhorses says:

        I do believe, correct me if I am wrong someone as I can’t keep the players straight, that Dean Bolstad is where the buck stops at Fallon. His number is 775-861-6611. Email I don’t know who his boss is. Laura probably knows.

        It always helps to put CC: your senators, the President and Salazar on your emails if you want a response. Otherwise you may not get an answer.

      • Laura Leigh says:

        Gene Seidlitz

      • savewildhorses says:

        P.S. we also need to make sure they keep the dirt and sand hosed down in the summer to decrease the dust.

  6. jan eaker says:

    Does anyone know? are there sunbreaks @ Palomino Valley?, as some of these horses will be going there for the internet adoption

  7. cat Kindsfather says:

    They definitely need some shade as summer comes. It was very warm on this day and one of the visitors had trouble walking the entire tour and needed to be picked up in Dean’s truck. That could have been partially a personal problem in tolerating the temps. I can attest that it was the hottest day so far since February on my visits. I think it got to about 85. I too felt weakened and a bit dizzy toward the end of tour. So adding this factor to the foals problems of dehydration/starvation, I am surprised he was even standing at all when we all saw him!!

    If ANY horses are residing here in summer months, I think it is imperative that they have shade options. It gets extremely hot. So, I guess we need to unite in this request as we did for wind breaks, that were finally built for the sick pens.

    Everyone was gathered together observing this poor little one. Most people on the tour moved along at some point to see the rest of the pen, further down the row. I stayed by this foal and with Dean. He made phone calls right then. I asked him then why this one did not get to go to foster care like the other three did, to Shirley Allen. He said that this one had been considered and at that time, it was decided he would be okay staying with the mom. Regarding the foal being considered, I do remember Dean saying the vet saw him on Saturday. He was not sure of the birth time frame. Information came from some online, that the 3 that went to rescue, had been removed on Saturday and I knew that could not be right, as I had received an email from Shirley Allen via Bonnie Matton, sooner than that, regarding their pick up by Willis Lamm and arrival to Shirley’s care. So I checked directly with Shirley and she sent me all the information and photographs too, a mailer they are sending out now to members and those who request it. I will come back and drop this link.
    So, since Dean’s answer was that this foal was considered and it was decided that if would probably be okay to stay with mom, there may have been some confusion on dates, as many seemed to think the 3 that left were taken on saturday the 15th, but it was the 13th that they left to Shirley’s care @ Lucky Horse Rescue. Anyway, thats it. Being said that this foal was seen on Saturday, I cannot understand why the pair was not put into the sick pens for observation as stated by Sandra Longley. It just does not seem viable to me that the poor baby could deteriorate to this state in 24 hours time from the time of a visible exam consideration!
    Seems we continue to be shocked by many situations involving the care of our wild horses and their babies.

    Laura, can we unite on this shade problem with a plea for letters or start a petition. Your expertise is needed. Thank you for all you do.

    P.S. I also name this baby on the spot. “Feather”, came to my mind as he was a light as one and a delicate beauty too. Just FYI.

    So if Sorro/Feather, was not seen on the 13th also, it seems even more ludicrous that it was decided he could stay. Could he get into this state of poor condition in just one day. Point is I stated he was seen, considered and it was decided he would not go to foster care rescue.

    • sandra longley says:

      Thanks for your clarity and information, it is much appreciated!

    • savewildhorses says:

      I don’t believe the vet saw this foal on Saturday. I believe it was completely overlooked. The only alternative is that the vet did see the foal on Saturday as a walking skeleton and did nothing. Either way, it points to a vet who is having difficulty doing his job.

  8. cat Kindsfather says:

    A horse woman, one of my flickr contacts and an administrator for a Horse photography group on flickr, stated that her filly was a foal in very poor condition and she cared for it diligently, and it survived, feeding every 2 hours and special additions to normal nursing. Her feeling is that they did not want to deal with the problem. I want to come back with her info of the actual diet.

  9. cat Kindsfather says:

    She stated, she fed her foal every 2 to 3 hours, adding pediolite and yogurt.
    She looks great now!

    • Jan Eaker says:

      Cat, when I have to nurse sick puppies, I use pedialyte, also, even injecting a bubble under the puppies’ skin as it will be absorbed and help prevent dehydration.
      I feel really sad for this poor baby, and also his mama, she knew he wasn’t doing well,

  10. cat Kindsfather says:

    Laura, so you noticed some favoritism on the hay feeding, the slanted boards only in the pen where favored and named horses are kept for future internet adoptions. I think they are hoping for big digits in the online auctions, from the popularizing of certain ones. I will add that about 2 or 3 weeks ago, I noticed this same pen had been partially cleaned, manure had been raked into piles anyway, where the other pens had none of this attention that I witnessed.
    I can provide photos to you from this time frame and it will also tell me the exact date taken. I actually have some shots of Tomahawk sniffing some big piles. So it does seem they are getting some percs in that pen.

    • sandra longley says:

      That is probably the stud pens you are talking about..older studs keep a nice clean pen because they make those poop pyramids to mark their territory. My domesticated studs are in individual large pens and have it marked off to keep out the “other” evil spirits..its kinda cute..and they really get upset when you remove their markers..LOL .its a guy thing.

  11. cat Kindsfather says:

    Here is the link from Shirley Allen.


  12. cat Kindsfather says:

    trying for the blue link once more…

  13. Jan Eaker says:

    A yearling gelding was euthanized today, found in his pen with a fractured neck, tag # 1036,
    Is there anyway to name more of these horses? or is that too massive an undertaking, it just seems as if they get more consideration when they have names instead of just numbers.

  14. cat Kindsfather says:

    I agree! Also, I have been giving some names to them, even if just on my flickr site, to honor them and for better identifying purposes.

    This tag sounds familiar, but not sure. I will look in my photo files tonight and see if I can find him. This hurts, more death, too much of it. When you cannot find certain ones that you have seen, and then you look for them on following weeks tour, you wonder if they are still around. It is a lot of horses to keep track of when you only get a two hour visiting slot per week!
    We all try.

  15. cat Kindsfather says:


  16. cat Kindsfather says:

    Could not find any photos of #1036 Sorry.

  17. Suzanne says:

    Laura and friends ~ I agree that Fallon is not a “distraction.” I don’t even understand how anyone could think that it is. As I posted on your eXaminer page, Laura, if this isn’t about the horses – the individual horses – what IS it about?

    Maybe I’m missing something, but how can you advocate for the herds if the individuals that make up the herds are not important enough to be concerned about? That’s what we’re fighting for isn’t it? If we’re not concerned about every life, we’re just like the BLM.

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