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Terri Farley
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving for the Pine Nut Mustangs

Release of two Pine Nut Range mustangs
photo by Cat Kindsfather
Dear Readers,
Most wild horse advocates settled for the compromise. BLM would "catch-contracept-release" mustang mares from the Pine Nut herds in northern Nevada instead of taking them from their homes forever.
Many members of the public were at the round-ups daily, before frigid dawn broke, but it was announced that no mustangs would be rounded-up or released on Thanksgiving.
A few watchful folks dropped by anyway, and that was lucky for 22 foals. Already penned away from mothers for 24 hours, the youngsters were trucked off to BLM's Palomino Valley holding facility.
The public protested the action and,showing BACKBONE and the power the Federal government gives them, two BLM staffers took control, ordering the contractors to load up the foals' mothers and ship them to Palomino Valley to join their babies.
This is to be a temporary solution to a bad decision.
Friday, with wild horse advocate Dorothy Nylen -- who'd been present on Thanksgiving-- I walked around the Palomino Valley facility to check on the disrupted families.
I can't swear that the correct number of horses were in the pens. The mustangs were understandably spooky and hard to count, but I couldn't come up with 44 mares and foals. The mothers and foals I did see had reunited. Only one bay -- estimated 10 months old -- faced a back corner of the corral, apparently alone.
We were concerned that the Pine Nut horses were steps away from the big pen holding horses with strangles. We heard their coughs and labored breathing.
Dorothy and I were surprised to see 8 Pine Nut stallions in an adjoining corral. Even PV office staffers weren't sure why they were there.
The mares and foals (and stallions?) are scheduled for release tomorrow. We hope they don't take any breathing problems along with them.
Hold a good thought that they are freed near their home range and are reunited with the rest of their families.

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Posted by Terri Farley @ 8:38 AM

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Comments: Hi Terri,

Thanks for checking up on them @ PV. Are you positive on the release date being tomorrow? I want to document that one!

BTW, this trailer had quite a load of mares, maybe 14 or so. These were the last ones off. I will share another image to you. About ten minutes later, a smaller trailer unloaded six more. Love the carousel look of the horse jumping out! I was lucky to catch her in flight!
We talked with Tim Green in the PV office & he said mares & foals couldn't return until Monday because John Neill was out of town.
This could turn into "Monday at the earliest."
I really hope they're out of there tomorrow at dawn so that their herds are no father away.
Yes, I LOVE the carousel horse leap you caught :)
thanks for letting me use the photo!
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