PVC 4/6/2011

HI all.

Hung out a PVC today with some of the Antelope Horses. Babies are cute no matter where they were born…. but I wish it were “home.”

Trying to get two more chapters completed in the guide on www.WildHorseEducation.org but it I needed to go sit with these horses for awhile. Trying to get through the photos and digest all that I have seen… it leaves a knot in my gut.

I am hoping to be back on the road soon. Field data needs to come in… I dread July.

But it’s adoption time of year. May 21 will have an adoption event at Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City, Nevada. This program has had really well-trained horses in the past. These horses will be some of those taken last year from Twin Peaks. I will poat a reminder as the date gets closer.

Horses at PVC from Antelope are also available for adoption but will not be released until at least May. Strangles is still at the facility and all horses will continue to be swabbed before they leave.

I wish I could hit the lottery.


Let me simplify…

Let me try to simplify the “foal incident” of the second of March. Seems there are a number of folks that were not present that have taken it upon themselves, for one reason or another, to determine what actually occured. To determine (as they were NOT present) that my information is not correct. (You all know I am fond of questions… particularly the “why?”)

copyright Laura Leigh

“Chance,” was all he needed…

So let’s take emotion out of the equation and discuss timeline:

11:25 arrival at PVC. Checked in at the desk with Tim, as always. John Neill was in the office at that time. Asked Tim where mares and foals were and he said in the front pen and also in back somwhere. (The exact location of horses at this moment seem to be a difficult question to answer simply).

11:30 began to walk around facility and photograph horses as I usually do. Mare foal pen observed the day before had the same pairs (still not present were two mare and foal pairs previously photographed). Documented very pregnant mares and noted tag numbers for future reference.

11:45 documented the few “hospital pens” that the public can actually see. Large puddles of water present as we had precipitation and melt off recently.

11:50 began the drive around the facility. Noted water truck spraying the pens in the back. Note there were high winds but no need for additional water as the roads were flooded and the pens had significant puddles. No dust present to go “airborn.”

12:00 documented large “caravan” of manure trucks leaving facility and returning, apparently filled with manure on departure.

12:05 water truck had returned presumably to refill and roadway was now clear. Made my way down to see the area he had sprayed (and caused horses to run).

12:09 discovered the “foal in question.” Photographed and returned for video camera as foal was in apparent distress. Foal and area wet.

After observing the situation as “unchanged” for about 20 minutes, determined baby was not “just fresh from the womb,” but in unmistakeable distress. I went to office. On my way to the office I made two calls to find out if there was someone that was interested in taking the pair.

At the office I informed Tim that a baby was in distress and I knew someone to take the foal/mare that was approved adopter. I told him about the water truck and location. He said someone would go out.

12:35 returned to foal. Water truck was again starting to spray the area. I stood at the point where foal was to indicate he should not continue.

1:42 John Neill and female wrangler drove truck into mare pen. When John got out of the truck I thanked him. He hardly looked in my direction and over his shoulder said that she gave birth first thing am and they knew about the baby… it was weak at birth. I told him I had observed baby and he was still fighting, I was “dismissed.” They removed blue liquid from cab, put baby in cab, drove off.

1:44 I took one last photo of babies mom and drove back to the office to check on babies condition.

John Neill and wrangler were out of the truck but got back into cab when I pulled up. They drove to the back of the facility where the dump trucks were removing manure and a few pens are hidden from view.

I went into office and repeated to Tim that I knew someone to take the pair. I left my number to please call me.

John Neill does not talk to me much after a discussion we had last spring that involved the specifics (who, what, how) of release of “orphan foals” and the photographs of the colt that died at Broken Arrow after his feet fell off from Calico.(That colt had an adopter prepared to cover all medical expenses). So my expectation was that John would pass info to Tim and then Tim would tell me.

The gal that wanted to take the pair called me not ten minutes after I left PVC, she was in tears. She told me the baby was put down. Tim called me a moment after she did to confirm what she said. I thanked him for telling me.

NOW that is the “what is.”

Reasonable inference: That the water truck was never notified of the foal born in the corner area. As the truck sprayed the horses ran (they always do). The foal (if actually seen early that am) was seen at around 8 am when personnel began rounds to feed. Foal was there for a minimim of three hours before I saw it, most likely more. If the foal was observed to be new (weak) but simply waiting for bonding, it was left to bond. If an injury (or other issue was observed) foal was left in place until I “pointed it out.”

The question would be “why?” on many of these observations.

Draw your own conclusions. But that is the “what is.”

Note: completing compilation to be available soon. You can view video by scrolling to two posts back. That post describes how I felt… ill. Helpless and sick… it is not a good feeling. I can bring this information to you. This is still the US and law forbides me to act in any other manner… but for now… our Constitution allows me my voice (sort of).

Support the suit to open facilities and stop the secrecy of the hands on care of our horses. http://wildhorseeducation.org

Hang in… hang on… and raise your voice.

Death of the Antelope Foal

copyright Laura Leigh

"Chance," was all he needed...

Didn’t I write this last winter? Didn’t I tell you all about a baby that I knew someone would take that died after a roundup?

Little Hope died after his feet sloughed off from being stampeded during Calico. I said that I would take him and it would cost BLM nothing… but they let Hope die after his vet report (if you remember it had no intake or treatment dates) said he got horsey ibuprofen by the experts as treatment while his hooves literally separated from the bone…

Well today I saw a brand new baby that had been born in the filth of holding… he struggled in the slippery surface with wind gusts of over 35 mph to stand… I don’t know for how long. I decided he needed help and went to the office to get it. He (and mom) needed to go to drier ground and he needed fluids… mom was attentive.

I made two calls and at least two approved BLM adopters would take the pair. I went to the office….

John Neill and a wrangler went out (after I went back to the pen and started photographing again). They drove the truck between my lens and the baby… took a liquid from the truck and drove off… baby in the cab. I looked at mom and she looked at me…

I went back to the office area where Neill and the wrangler were… they got back in the cab and drove through a mare pen and back to the “off limits” area where you can’t see anything.

All day dump trucks were leaving in a caravan taking what appeared to be manure from the back.

I walked in and left my number with Tim Greene to call me with the foals prognosis and repeated that I knew someone who would take the pair.

I got a call from a very upset friend… not ten minutes after I left… she said Tim was going to call me… they euthanized the baby.

I thought I was getting that baby help… but instead they “took out the trash.” (this is my BLOG and that’s how I see these animals treated… like garbage.. not an animal protected by an act of Congress).

I edited this to get it out… it’s not the best edit… but I feel like I’m goung to puke.

Baby never had a chance…

BTW: I have not seen the new babies I photographed two days ago… they are “somewhere in the back.”

WE all know BLM will come up with some statement about the baby… that he had an anomaly or was sickly… I can tell you a horse in the Antelope complex would never choose a muddy fecal filled hole to give birth in… an open area in 35 mph winds… I saw those mares run and run at a time of year that they never should be run.

I heard the raidio transmissions one day from the spotter saying horses were by the “cattle guard” and used my vehicle to determine those horses were at least ten miles away regardless of what the BLM “update” says. In that group of “about 14” spotted only 9 made the area of the trap… three heavily pregnant.

When will BLM stop using a published fiction to facilitate ease to ranchers and contractors to determine when the safest time of year is to stampede our symbol of freedom into cages?

2/28 Antelope Complex… full update soon


Palomino Valley Center: Antelope Complex

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… I have more than a “thousand” for BLM on the subject of “foaling season.” This issue WILL be addressed before the second “leg” of roundup season starts in July… trust me.

copyright Laura Leigh

Newborn being run by wranglers for separation out of general population 2/28

Next BIG questions to ask…

How come there were so few pregnant mares making the trap as the pilot was flying in a manner that spurred an investigation? AND How come there were no new foals two days ago in the wild when there are at PVC?

Edited to add: The photo of this foal born on 2/28 was added to show it’s umbilical cord and recent birth. If the foal was an orphan I would have written it was orphaned. Please don’t jump to conclusions without asking questions. Thank-you.


Working on photos and video… and an “end of roundup wrap-up” report.

Just came across this sequence and thought I’d share it… and explain a bit why I love these horses so much.

I am an American. My forefathers experienced great oppression… as did so many of the people of this world. They came to a new land of hardship to find freedom from that oppression and continued to experience it. So they wrote the “Declaration of Independance” and followed it with the Constitution of the United States.

The ideals of a free society of expression and thought… of a place where survival was not based on “pedigree” or station… but in theory everyone by his own will could build a life of their making. In practice it hasn’t worked as well as it could… but the premises are alive and well and as Americans (in theory) we defend those premises with our lives around this globe.

The spirit of the mustang… not based on pedigree, but on a tenacity and flexibility almost unrivaled by human or animal… an ability to adapt… a spirit of… well…

I’m an American… “Don’t tread on me”…. and if you do…. “Have a nice day.” (My fellow Jersians will understand that reference… for the rest of you it has a four letter word involved).

This mare was captured by violent stampede (just what it is), has had family ripped away, is in absolute unfamiliar ground surrounded by beings that are predatory and … I’ll leave the rest of my opinion out.

She stands in line to be branded and treated with a drug that will screw with her hormonal cycle for the next two years as she is pushed and prodded by these predators. She is curious and scared. She touched the metal… only to have her nose squeezed hard (look at the face of the human)…. but watch her reaction.

She could pay with her life in an instant by those that hold the powerful position… and then the (caring experienced horseman… where?… has to use the gate to control the wild horse) man squeezes her behind the door… wonder what would happen if cameras were not present? Just asking….?







let go!


so ya' wanna play?


you hurt me


you need to understand


Don't hurt me!


Then she gets her face squished for it


treated and released today

If that isn’t a “living symbol of the pioneer spirit of the west” what is? Hopefully soon she will begin to live with the respect and honor she should have had after Congress passed the 1971 legislation… maybe this program can evolve into this century?

I will have the full report as soon as I get through pics and notes…

It’s OVER!

BLM will send out a press release this afternoon but the Antelope Complex roundup is OVER!

Lesli Coakley just sent me a text… but I think I owe the Elko district office lunch? Y’all wanna chip in?

Tomorrow we will document a treat and release and get that out to you…

More info when I have it.

2/25 Antelope Complex

2-23… on and on

Copyright Laura Leigh

Fight for Freedom (Leigh)

Keep up the pressure…. storms moving in tomorrow afternoon. This needs to end now. More heavily pregnant mares…. more small family bands. Horses coming in so often in the roundup under 40 animals a day is NOT an over populated range. Warned BLM there could be trouble for days the way the trap was set… happened but (thank god) not fatal. More small families fractures… and I can show you what I saw but honestly can’t “tell” you much. Still can’t get respiration or get close enough to evaluate injury….


27 today…