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Terri Farley
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuscarora Mustangs off the Range

The Tuscarora mustangs neighed, screamed,rumbled in strange lionlike roars I've never heard before -- for one hour and forty minutes.

I don't know how long they'd been crying before we reached the Palomino Valley Wild Horse Adoption Center. I don't know if it's still going on now that I'm home.

I do know it's legal and I could do nothing about those sounds, or the collisions of horseflesh and bones with something that sounded like thunder, on and on and on.

Photographer Cat Kindsfather and I went to Palomino Valley to check on the captive Calico horses and to get a first look at the Tuscarora horses that Alan Shepherd had said, under oath last week, were available for public viewing.

Sixteen mares and six foals were visible. We were not allowed to enter certain areas because other Tuscarora horses were being freeze branded ad processed.

The sixteen mares and six foals called to those in distress. With foals tucked tight against their sides, mares patrolled back and forth in such tight formation, neither Cat nor I are positive of our counts.

These horse are a few days off the range, bewildered and stunned. And this is legal. BLM is doing what it is allowed to do. I don't dispute that, but it is far from humane to confine wild animals who've spent their lives escaping predators and subdue them so that they can be attacked.

An old boyfriend returned from war saying that he always heard distant gunfire. In the grocery store, in church, in his own bedroom at home, an endless tape of combat played in his mind. I hope he got over it.

My ears ring with horses keening, men shouting and the thunder of bodies trying to batter their way to freedom.

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Posted by Terri Farley @ 6:28 PM

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Comments: I am always moved with your way with words Ms. Farley. This is how I picture many of the roundups..

"They run and they run.. for what choice do they have? To be plowed into the earth by a metal monster from behind or trampled under the hooves of their own brothers and sisters from all around. They run in fear because all they know of that moment is the terror of the unknown. Then when they are finaly allowed to stop, they are pushed and pushed together until their is one mass of sweaty, frozen horseflesh. Some die now, some later.. its really only a matter of time."

  Terri, your description of the noises the horses were making is unforgetable , especially the lionlike roaring.Never in my life have I ever heard horses make such a horrifying noise. I think they were in terrible pain or dying. It is for sure they were suffering. Thank you for being a witness. It was very brave of you.
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