Two Stories from Kiger

I put up two stories from the Kiger Roundup on the Blog at Wild Horse Education.

One is of a mare and her foal

the other is titled “Get the White Out.”

I stink. So I’m going to shower instead of copying the stories here.


18 thoughts on “Two Stories from Kiger

  1. margoWolf says:

    Love that bold mare!! Great pictures. Get some rest !! be careful out there tomorrow!!! hugs, mar

  2. arlene says:

    God Bless and Thank You Laura, The one you call the Bird is stunningly beautiful, Just goes to prove Man cannot find what doesnt want to be found, I cant help but say all that unneeded running and the little foal exhausted for what??????? No viable reason??????? All that wasted hard earned tax money that should be used to preserve and protect wasted………All for nothing???????? oh also the gray one is awesome wow what beauties they are…………………….Healthy and Handsome now what after they are in holding pens , diseases, for what ?????? Makes no sense does it?????? The BLM loves to waste our money ????? Demand accountability from the BLM!!!!!!

  3. Paula Denmon says:

    THANKS, LAURA. I HOPE SOME DAY THAT I HAVE THE HONOR OF MEETING YOU. I get so discouraged that the right thing to do is just there…in front of their stupid faces, and greed and power stand in the way. It seems to be my enemy in everything I truly care about. I admire you so much, and with my next closing will send a nice donation to give you the money that matches your heart for this crusade.

  4. savewildhorses says:

    Great stories you shared with us. Thank you. And the photos of the mare, the stallion and the foal. Just priceless. Just wish the 3 of them would have turned around and ran back to the hills. And btw, so now the BLM is playing geneticist? No concern for genes and gene pool in the dwindling numbers of wild horses out there, but since the Kigers are a money maker for them, they play scientist? The Oregon “advocates” most likely push for this breeding program. And they know who they are.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      But the symbol that there is a “greater” authority stood plain as day.
      Something to hang onto… “The Bird” walked right into plain sight.
      : )

      • savewildhorses says:

        I will hang onto that. Tamara Gooch, photographer, had a similar experience the other day photographing a stallion. Don’t know if you are familiar with her work, but she has photographed horses in the wild and horses being chased to the edge of cliffs by helicopters.

  5. Louie Cocroft says:
    Calf called Lightning Medicine Cloud, a reference to thunderstorm marking arrival of birth
    GREENVILLE, Texas ā€” Thousands of people came from miles around Wednesday to see and honor a legend in the flesh ā€” the WHITE BUFFALO born in a thunderstorm on a northeast Texas ranch.
    The rare white buffalo calf, regarded as sacred by the Lakota Sioux, was honored with Native American prayers, religious songs and the solemn smoking of a pipe in a special naming and dedication ceremony at the Lakota Ranch in Greenville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas.

  6. WOW ..He is truly magnificent.. Smart Smart Boy…

  7. Louie Cocroft says:

    Am I missing something here? The Herd viability is at risk, yet the main concern is to “get the White out”? Good Horse Breeders that I have known (even those that bred for color) placed Intelligence,Temperment and Soundness before color.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      This particular herd has been highly managed.

      Soundness and intelligence would be a “given” in every horse I saw.
      Today at the corral they let me get “up close and personal” with the horses coming off of Riddle as they were vaccinated and sorted.

      Kiger actually, in my ever so humble opinion, speaks to a few of the “big” picture issues here.

      Taking this herd down to populations numbers that are below genetic viability in a wild herd is counter to the intent of a “Wild Free Roaming horse and burro act.”

      Yet because of the “range-breeding” program, that could be done on a 500 acre ranch with the numbers we are talking about, also speaks volumes about another section of the Act that addresses “excess” and “selective removal.”

      In Burns the WH&B specialists knows his herds. He knows “who” is out there not just “what.” He knows sex ratio, he knows where individuals move, he knows the history.

      Even if you disagree with the “range breed” we can learn a lot from the importance of keeping good animals on the range to create animals that have a strong foundation for adoption and also for perpetuation of a population of strong animals in the field.

      If we look at this as a “field study” of what can be achieved when the effort is made to larger populations in other HMA’s… it’s really very valuable.

      The “cleaning up the trash” attitude we see at so many roundups and the lack of knowledge of what exists on each HMA is the “norm.”

      I am digesting what I am learning but will give y’all some pics from today very soon.

  8. margoWolf says:

    This ‘Kiger program’ is valuable. If we have fewer wild herds- they must be closely managed to keep them safe and out of roundups and removals. We must consider how to deal with density of population on smaller ranges and genetic appeal. Most of our wild herds are wonderfully conformed and very beautiful horses all worth preserving. Adoptions could become the balance to keep them free. Even if ‘free’ is changing more to a managed horse range. The range needs managing and the horses still have never had their day with good management choices based on science gathered from their home ranges. What can be done in the future could be excellent and allow preservation and protection to dominate.

  9. Blessings to you Laura for all the updates…Crazy stuff….The get the white out really bothers me….Selective breeding is scary scary stuff…

  10. Louie Cocroft says:

    Laura, what do you see that should be done differently?

    • Laura Leigh says:

      WE actually have several conversations that need to take place in the dialogue of the program.

      1. Legislation: there needs to be an accountability to the Act, not a self-policing policy to protect a living being given to a “Land” grab (I mean management) agency.
      2. Range data collection
      3. Range Management and the lack of data on consequence of current protocol
      4. Facilities and the “black hole”
      5. Adoption program

      Each of these conversations are immeshed with the “DUH” factor that is entrenched in prejudice that inhibits and constructive talk toward any problem solving… only finger pointing.

      It’s frustrating.

  11. Louie Cocroft says:

    It seems to me that, as we are pushing to stop the round-ups, we should also be laying the groundwork for the Herd Management program that we DO want. What would that look like? Who would we want to administer and oversee that program?

  12. Louie Cocroft says:

    With $75 Million a year being spent (that doesn’t include government grants that are spent) on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program, you would think there would be adequate range data collection, wouldn’t you?

  13. kara says:

    Laura, there is no easy answer or solution here. I totally understand what your saying when you asked why get the white out. If you read a few of my blog posts I wrote a few years ago, you will get my opinion. It is only my opinion and I truly believe that the powers that be see the Kigers as their cash cow so to speak. The gather from 2007 netted them about $95,000 give or take a few thousand. I believe no other gather comes close to netting them that kind of money, so they listen to what the buyers want, and they do not want grey or white markings, so they rid the herds of them every gather. My own grey eluded capture several times. From what I was told from people out there he was quite frustrating for them in several different gathers Also, a lot of things changed when Ron Harding left the BLM. The Kigers were his project. Here is one:
    Here is another:

    I know you and I will probably disagree with some of the opinions I have and that is okay. I can live with that. Ultimately, I believe we want the same thing in the end.


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