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…