“Stand by me, as I stood by you”

Broken Family (Twin Peaks 2010)

Sometimes small pieces of conversation stick with you. Sometimes for a very long time…

I was recently asked by a reporter from the New York Daily News (that has not published their story yet) what the wild horse means to me. He was looking for the “advocate” to give him the emotional response. He wanted very few statistical statements or basic “this is” what is happening out here explanations.

He asked “Is the wild horse like the bald eagle or a dog?” I laughed because I knew what he was looking for.

“He is greater,” I said “Like the bald eagle he is a symbol of freedom (although Franklin would say the turkey is a better American symbol, maybe Franklin was right?) and like the dog he can be a loyal companion. He is capable of doing just fine without us yet can be a willing participant in our world. As a matter of fact our country would not be what it is without him. We owe him so much more.”

I went on to explain why…


“In 1899 the Boer War in South Africa and later the Spanish-American War created a large demand for military mounts. Many wild horses were rounded up and shipped overseas.

During World War I, ranchers such as Harry Wilson went into business with the federal government raising horses for the Army. Wilson provided Standardbred mares acquired from the Miller and Lux ranches and the government furnished Thoroughbred studs.

Over 1,700 head of Wilson horses ran from High Rock Canyon north to the Oregon border, including all of the present day Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge.” (from “MUSTANG COUNTRY)


The horses from Sheldon through High Rock and into Calico and Twin Peaks (and many other areas) are the horses that fought our wars. They stood beside my grandfather and yours as they defended freedom in World War I. Then we left them behind.

“You put a mask on him before you put on your own” said grandpa “He can carry you out, you can’t carry him.”

Today, in the name of “progress,” we are pushing what is left of these animals that truly represent a symbol of Freedom and the will to fight for it, into the pages of history.

Can’t you stand by them as they stood by us?

In every public relations piece our government puts out on the new fast track of progress in industrializing public land they claim to “protect” the interests on that land. Yet they continually fail to recognize our wild horses as the truly American Heritage species they are.

Videos of the treatment our government chooses to give these animals are all over the web. The agency tasked with humane care for forty years has no standard for that care. Even animals bound for slaughter have a standard, if not enforced.

Instead our government will argue our rights to “interest” of the most important animal in the history of our nation as it turns it’s back in the name of “progress.”

I need your help to watch over these horses. I need to track the High Rock Release and be able to stand at Calico.

I am adding this video to give you a flavor of what we owe these horses.

And this one to remind you of what we give them instead.

and one more…


10 thoughts on ““Stand by me, as I stood by you”

  1. Paula Boynton says:

    Powerful words Laura..lets pray they are printed and the powers that be have a conscience…

  2. Tears and gratitude, thank you Laura..

    Kim Sheppard

  3. Mar Wargo says:

    Why do these politicians and corporate giants choose to ignore these wild wonders who bring joy to us? No Profit margin? To me their presence is a huge profit margin for my heart and soul. Undeniable.

    Keep the fight going and pursue a future with wild horses and burros on public lands where they belong!

    Keep this fight going!

    • Mar Wargo says:

      Laura Leigh and Cat Kindsfather were at Calico today. There were 51 horses removed. One mare has a knee injury they are treating before shipping to PVC? (I am not sure where they all will go yet.) LL said it is cold. They are returning to Reno and she will have something up for us ASAP. “Just so you know!”

  4. arlene says:

    Those words were ever so true Laura, no one has fought on site as long and as hard and diligent as you have, We in the way that we can from wherever we all are have backed you 100 per cent and we have tried to help also in the monetary sense , giving whatever we can afford to……………, and we wil never stop !!! It is ever so true that are horses built this country, without them where would we be ………..their contributions to this Country are and were given without a single reservation and still they are plagued by and made to suffer, they do not need us to survive they need us to let them be ……………….. The people who harm them are not True Americans they are ruled by greed , the True Americans know and understand their purpose and our need for them………………. and what they have already have given to us……………..I and every American owes them allegiance and their freedom………………….This cannot be denied……………………I will stand fast for them always in any way ………………………

  5. Paula Denmon says:

    Wonderfully touching. I’ve used the trailer to this movie to try to move people to stand up against slaughter. How could they compare this noble creature to cows (though I like cows and don’t eat them either). I just know when a $ sign replaced a ❤ sign in people's minds and actions. It is more critical than ever that the Wild Horses and Burros are accounted for. I fear that Horse Slaughter in those very Western states is just around the corner…

  6. cfwarde says:

    I hope that the NY Daily prints your words just as you’ve expressed them – beautifully said, and painfully true.

  7. Marge Mullen says:

    Wherever man has left his footprint
    In the long ascent from Barbarism to
    Civilization we will find the footprint of the horse beside it.

  8. I agree with Arlene’s comments. Keep the fight going Laura.I hope the NY Daily prints your words too………..

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