Edited to ADD:
HUGE misinformation alert!
There is a circulating rumor that no horses are in Riddle and Kiger anymore.
Animals are being released (and a few left) to create a breeding population that will continue to give the adoption program “Kigers.” It is how this “Kiger” thing works.
This has been, and will continue to be, more akin to a “range breeding program” than managing a wild population. In order to maintain that you need “breeding stock.” The herd was rounded up to remove the “white” in an attempt to create a specific outcome for the next foal crop.
My photos are being circulated with this rumor. Please be aware that these photos are copyright protected as stated on this website. Any insinuation that they come from another individual is against the law. Expressed permission is required from myself to include in any newsletter or publication. If you put the pics on a message board you must link to the source and not imply you took them. If it becomes necessary that I take the time to watermark I will. I have avoided it because it takes away from the content and focuses on author… but I will slow my process down if needed.
Just quickly adding a bit more about conversation at the Burns Corral.
There were major philosophical differences but many areas of agreement.
Personal opinion on the wild v. feral debate is irrelevant.
That concept is not understood by many that support or work in this program, Burns was no exception.
Wild Horses are more appropriately reference as a “returned native species.” This makes them compatible with the ecosystem.
Wild herds of horses are not the same as European cattle on a range or a pack of golden retrievers. However if Congress said the retrievers were to be managed as “wild” then that would be the law.
But back to the Burns Corral.
While I waited for the first load of Riddle horses a couple pulled in with a trailer. They were returning a horse to the BLM.
They explained to me that they had taken two horses (8 year old geldings from Stinking Water) hoping to have two saddle horses. One worked out but the other did not. Their trainer said he was not ever going to be a “good candidate.”
They plan on adopting two younger horses at an event where the horses have already had some training.
Here he is:
I was told that they would not have trouble finding him a new home. I was surprised. An eight year old gelding that now has one strike, in this three strike system, that was returned “untrainable.” No problem?
I was then told a story about an old grey. Returned and needing a place to go. An “unofficial” email adoption chain was started and the boy now has his own website: http://argosjourney.blogspot.com/2008/06/history-of-kiger-mustang.html (link posted here, but I do not agree with the “feral” mindset of the adopter)
OK… an extra mile. I was told other stories about horses with “no where” to go. Including those that made their way to employees home corrals.
Then I meet the grey. The grey that wanted to jump the panels in holding. The grey that showed real fear. I said that if they can’t place him to let me know and I would give it a try. I was told that he will be adopted at the fall event, confidently. I will check back on him, though.
Wanted to add a picture of the padding. It was nice to see this. It will be nice to see this at Temporary. If I have a competent BLM wrangler proudly express that they cut down “significantly” on injury there is no reason BLM contractors should not be using them as well.
To me this is an example of how a “simple” discussion gets turned into “battle lines in the sand” because of an obstinate connection with the past and prideful ways.
This is why it’s needed
To me this is a clear example of most of the dialogue that occurs within this program. Simple conversations are met with an obstinate attitude that if you are an “advocate” you have no knowledge worth listening to. If you care about a foal that suffered hoof slough after a winter roundup over volcanic rock, you are an “emotional” responder without comprehension of horses. I’m getting tired of it.
I was not received that way at the Burns Corral and for that I thank them.
There are other horses at the Corral that need adoption. This sweet young thing saw me pull around and cautiously came to the fence line. After a minute to reassure I was touching a velvet muzzle. Cute bug.
Another couple pulled into the lot. They were looking for a horse, maybe two. I also believe they were looking for information on the program itself. We talked and I showed them horses and talked about making sure they choose a horse suitable to their purpose and not just for color. We talked about the prison training programs and other HMA’s. They took an adoption application and asked for my card to help them find a horse. I then had to explain who I was.
They asked if I did training. I explained I live on the road but.. for me things can take two months, six months a year or never happen. For someone like me it’s about the journey of relationship and not the destination.
They shook my hand, took contact info and left. I think I will hear from them. When I do I think they will have adopted horses from Twin Peaks.
I will write more soon…
I’m tired and I apologize for the unedited rambling that may be a hard read. Yet I wanted to get these out before they are buried in the next chapter.
I am working on a piece that addresses the phrase most often used to dismiss an advocate: “Wild and Free”