Palomino Valley Stallions

Today we arrived at Palomino Valley to be told we had 15 minutes. They decided without posting that they were closing early for the holiday weekend.

Lightening is keeping the other horses from the fence line. My guess, from his posture and extreme aggressive behavior, is that there is at least one mare on the other side of the fence. Problem here is that the only water source in the pen is on that side of the pen.

General tried twice to lead the group to water and both times was chased off. The second time Lightening separated General (25 years old) out of the group and became aggressive.

We have two band stallions in this group, Lightening and General. General is leading the boys around…. Lightening has chosen the horses on the other side of the fence.

A horse is now limping in that pen that was not on Wed.

Move the water tank…. or better yet move the mares.

When we tried to point it out we were told “they will work it out.”
And then they waited for us to leave. Not just leave the facility, but they waited until we left the public road the facility is on. And then the two employees present left for the holiday weekend.

These stallions have been under considerable stress. Every stress… every single one… will contribute to the potential difficulties any adopter will face. Every stress contributes to the possibility of injury.

Feel like I’m banging my head on a brick wall.


27 thoughts on “Palomino Valley Stallions

  1. Jan Eaker says:

    WHen solutions are so simple, I don’t understand this mindset, I just do NOT and NEVER will get it, why not make it easy for the horses, and easy for the handlers as well, this type of situation will only cause more injuries, i want to believe that ” the BLM people on the ground are good guys, doing their best in difficult situations,” but this type of pigheadededness just is not good horse sense.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      That’s the issue that is really getting to me.
      A simple “Thanks, we will check it out.” Followed by a look to see if mares are on that side of the pen…. moving or adding an additional water source… instead of the continued view that all advocates are “outside city folk with no horse knowledge or business” dealing with the issues in Nevada. It is a pervasive attitude here.

      • savewildhorses says:

        Does anyone ever say we’ll wait until you do it? That you can’t leave for a week not knowing that they can get to water? I would not trust the people who allow a foal to starve for days to put another water source out before they go to their little holiday week-end. I don’t think I would have left until an additional tub of water was place on the other side of the pen.

        • Laura Leigh says:

          This is occurring at Palomino Valley not Broken Arrow. Same entity (BLM) but not same people. I expected more at PVC.

          • Laura Leigh says:

            “More” simply because they are better established. “More” eyes because the facility is open to the public. “More” awareness of public relations.
            All I found was more of the “same.”

    • savewildhorses says:

      Separating band stallions and adding multiple sources of water is not a “difficult situation.” It is a no brainer with an easy solution. This has nothing to do with being “good guys.” This has to do with idiots taking care of wild horses.

  2. Linda says:

    I can’t believe they have only one water source in any of the larger pens, especially a stallion pen. These band stallions have maintained their status through continuous competition throughout their lives. “They will work it out” just an excuse for poor husbandry.

    Denying water, no matter what circumstances lead to that denial, is neglect and abuse. How hot is it out there? Do they clean the tanks, or are they filled with algae? Is the water FIT for the horses to drink?

    The holding facilities’ mission under the BLM program is to ready these horses for adoption. Obviously there is little thought given to keeping them calm, fit, or even ALIVE, until the adoption events.

    And 15 minutes observation? Laura, I know you have to keep your temper for the sake of the horses, but all this “making nice” must be taking a great toll on you. Try to get some rest over the weekend.

    • Suzanne says:

      It would be terribly stressful for me. In fact, I doubt if I could manage to do it after a couple of things like this.

      Like Jan, I’m trying to believe that “people on the ground” are nice folks just doing what they can, but it’s getting harder and harder to give them the benefit of the doubt. Really now. Surly anyone could do better than THIS.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      On the 24th I saw the stallions in the small pen and serious aggressive behavior. Food had been placed only along one edge of a small pen. Lightning was biting the curly maned fellows… and General had already been singled out as a rival.

      They did move them to the larger pen. It appeared to alleviate the issue.

      However a “discovery” appears to have been made by Lightning on the other side of the fence. A new issue.
      The stallions looked (felt) stressed again.

      If you watch the video you can see part of what we saw. I did not have the video camera up as we were told they were closing…. we should have had over an hour until they closed. Lightening came racing across that pen, ears back and struck at he group… singled General out and he tried to flee. He turned to confront him and then scooted past him off to the other side of the fence. It was NOT a simple “get out of here” gesture… he was seriously protecting his territory.

      The facility is on “holiday staff” now until Tues.
      Needless to say I’m extremely concerned.

  3. Jan Eaker says:

    This is a potentially (already is???) dangerous situation. I have a gelding who refuses to let another gelding join the little (3 horses, 2 geldings, 1 mare) group out in the pasture, to the point that I fear he will seriously injure this other gelding, and these are GELDINGS.I have totally seperated the one gelding from the others. I cannot imagine stallions with a mare somewhere near. especially one or more in heat, which being near stallions will bring on. I hope BLM rectifies this situation soon, before there is serious injury.

  4. savewildhorses says:

    They are going to allow no access to water for 3 days? Are they going to add additional water before they go? And why are they putting 2 band stallions in the same pen? What is wrong with these people?

    • Laura Leigh says:

      They waited for us to leave and then drove off for their weekend.
      Holiday staff will be there… but if anything changes? We wont know anything now until Tuesday.

  5. savewildhorses says:

    I don’t think this issue of water can go unaddressed until Tuesday.

  6. Laura Leigh says:

    General is also working off his tag again. They have it tied so tight this time I’m worried about him getting a rope cut.

  7. savewildhorses says:

    I called up there and spoke to a Lisa Reid, public affairs, and she laughed out loud at my concerns twice. She said she’d be happy to send a video link to me proving there is no problem with Lightning keeping the others away from the one water trough. I asked her if it wouldn’t just be simpler to address the issue by putting another source of water in on the opposite side, and she laughed again. She said because there was no reason to do so and she had the video to prove it. I said to her that by the time she had taken the video tape and would email it to me and the phone calls she is getting on this, she could have had several troughs of water installed.

    Can someone explain to me this mentality? I am at a complete loss for absolute disdain for the taxpaying public. And this is their public affairs person!

    But, yes, by all means we need to keep being polite to them when they laugh in our faces because they have such nice folks on the ground there. Right.

    • Linda says:

      So, according to the “Palomino Valley Stallions Update”, they fixed a problem they didn’t consider a problem until someone with two eyes and good sense (Laura) identified it as a problem? Many thanks to Dean Bolstad, but how much hand-holding do these people need?

  8. Jan Eaker says:

    well, have her send the link, then, and let’s see what we are being so stupid about,

  9. Jan Eaker says:

    FYI, it says on the BLM site that the final public tours at Indian Lakes(that’s Fallon, right?) will be June 3 and June 10

  10. Jan Eaker says:

    Laura, did you know about this?????that we can no longer go see these horses after the 10th??? Is there anything to do about it?

  11. Lisa says:

    Hi Sue –

    I just wanted to follow up with you and others what happened today since there was no one there from this group to update the concerns you are discussing.

    I was notified last night that there were concerns that the palomino horse was guarding the water source in the Calico stud pen. So first thing upon my arrival (approximately 7:50 am), I located the pen as this was my first time to PVC since these horses arrived. What I observed at approximatley 8:10 am on my first observation is that the studs were quietly feeding. No footage taken at this time.

    I revisited the pen at 9:25 am, this time taking my flip camera and recording my observation. What I observed this was the pinto stud at one set of feeders and the other studs including the palomino still feeding. No one at water trough.

    I revisited at 10:20, this time I found the horses still feeding and no one near the water trough.

    I think this is about the time that Sue called.

    At 11:15, I revisited the pen to find the palomino stud standing on the small hill located near the water, but it didn’t appear that he was guarding the water source, he just seemed to be standing there dozing. The pinto stud was still in the same location with the other studs still feeding.

    At 12:15, I revisited the pen to find the palomino next to the water trough with all the other studs still in their same proximity.

    As I said I would do….if I thought there was concern then I would address it. In keeping my promise, the wrangler and I took a water trough and placed in on the opposite side of the pen, near the feeders and a water spickit, primarily to see if the other studs would rush to get water or what. I did not want to leave without seeing at least one of the studs drink. While waiting for the trough to fill, it appeared that the palomino was placing claim on the mares located in a nearby pen which happened to be the same side the water source is located. Once the new trough was full, the truck was moved and we just watched the studs. After a few minutes, a roan walked over to the over-flow sniffed, then sniffed the trough, then walked away. About 15 mins later the roan walked back with 2 bays following. The roan did drink from the new trough but the 2 bays sniffed around then walked back to the feeders. I filmed the roan both times. The second time, when he drank, took about 2 1/2 minutes. I did notice the palomino stud watching but not concerned. The wrangler and I finally left the pen about 1:30 pm.

    First thing tomorrow morning (by 8:00 am), the wrangler will move the nearby mares hoping to eliminate any more concerns.

    Yes Sue, I did laugh but not at you nor the issue but at the fact that you were not interested in anything I had to say nor that I was infact monitoring the concerns.

    I realize that you do not know me, in fact, none of you do…..I hope that you will come to realize that I am in it for the horses and when I say that I’m going to do something…I am….if at all possible. I did take footage to show anyone that was interested…in hopes of easing their concerns.

  12. Laura Leigh says:

    Hi Lisa.
    The first time anyone posts the post needs to be approved. After that you can post freely. I’m in the field so I did not have time to check the blog last night.
    I want to thank you for taking care of these guys.

    What I saw occur in the brief time we were there was alarming as I had seen the palomino take a small chunk out of one of the bays earlier in the week. The Palomino we call Lightning, in any enclosure, removes himself from the group and very infrequently socializes except to “scoot” the other horses over when he wants food. The rest of the group gets along well.

    We couldn’t stay as PVC closed early for the holiday without notice.

    I enjoyed our conversation at The Broken Arrow on Thursday.

    And thank you for having the presence of mind to document via video the resolution of the issue as the facility would not be open to the public until Tues.

    Feel free to post here. I don’t edit comments.
    I just ask that we all keep it civil.
    Thanks again.

  13. Jan Eaker says:

    Lisa, thank you for this update and for fixing a problem, I appreciate that you did this; we too only want the best for horses that have been through a lot and now are in a difficult and totally unnatural situation.
    If we sometimes get testy, it’s because we are ver very concerned for these horses well-being.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Yes… simple fix.
      It also should have been simple communication.

      “WE” are very concerned about our horses held in trust for the American people by out federal and state agencies that manage them Simple recognition of how much Americans love their horses is important.

  14. Miss Denise says:

    They are just plain mean, cruel, and malicious. There is no sense to be made of the behavior of the BLM and their unskilled contractor labor force. What a waste of taxpayer money.

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