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Terri Farley
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Friday, June 28, 2013

BLM's Palomino Valley Adoption Center

Dear Readers,
I rarely post a BLM press release just as it comes to me. Today, I'm making an exception, but keep your skeptic's glasses on.
 Northern Nevada is in the midst of an over 100 degrees each day heat wave. Wild horse and burro advocates have repeatedly asked BLM to give the wild horses some shelter so that they can follow their natural behavior which is just like your's : SEEK SHADE WHEN THE SUN IS BEATING DOWN!
Ever-responsive BLM communications person Heather Emmons tells me BLM installed sprinklers today in 3 large outside pens and 5 mare/foal pens on a trial basis to see if that will help cool things down.  They're going to monitor them and see how the horses do with them.
She also sent me a press release.
 I have repeatedly marked the BLM PRESS RELEASE as such because I have not been out to Palomino Valley to see these sprinklers for myself.
It is the BLM's responsibility to preserve and protect healthy herds of wild, free-roaming horses and burros as components of the public lands. Above, is BLM's Palomino Valley Wild Horse Adoption Center.

According to BLM press release, photo above is from today

Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center Installs Sprinklers to Mitigate Effects of Heat Wave
Reno, Nev. – In expectation of continued three-digit temperatures this weekend and to address public concerns, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Palomino Valley Center outside Reno is installing sprinklers to three of the large, outside wild horse pens and five mare/foal pens as a stop-gap measure to attempt to reduce heat levels inside the corrals. BLM staff will observe how the animals respond to the sprinklers, which could include avoidance, or chewing on and rubbing against the sprinklers, which are foreign structures to the animals.  
The use of shade shelters in corrals has been considered and evaluated by BLM numerous times. Current policy is based on the following principles: 
- Wild horses and burros are accustomed to open environments and when their nutritional demands are met, they do well against the natural elements, including sun, rain, snow, and hot and cold temperatures.  At Palomino Valley, the animals are fed hay each day; mineral blocks are available in each pen; and a continuous supply of water is available via automatic waterers.
- Open corrals with plenty of sunlight have proven to be the best way to minimize disease-causing organisms.  The BLM's open corrals enable the drying effects of the sun and wind to take effect.  The corrals are sloped to minimize the pooling of precipitation in the pens and to allow it to channel to the exterior of the facility. 
- Due to the temperament of the animals, the social hierarchy between the animals, and their unfamiliarity with shelters, the BLM feels that corrals without shelters are the safest approach.  Shelters could create a potential obstacle for animals running and playing in the corrals, and cause significant injuries. The BLM has wind breaks and/or shelters for sick animals.  The “sick pens” do not have the same safety issues because the animals are in a smaller area with limited pressure from other animals. 
Weather conditions, as well as determining the most appropriate way to address the needs of the animals, vary across the country.  What works well and is needed for a small facility in the Midwest may not be necessary or work well for a large facility in Southern California or Nevada.  Each facility uses methods compatible with local animal husbandry practices to provide the best solution for maintaining the large numbers of animals for which the BLM provides care. Nonetheless, plans are underway for the BLM to consult the scientific research community to inform future options on this issue.     BLM PRESS RELEASE

The Palomino Valley Center, located about 20 miles north of Reno, is the largest BLM preparation and adoption facility in the country with a capacity of 1,850 animals.  It serves as the primary preparation center for wild horses and burros gathered from the public lands in Nevada and nearby states.  Visitors wishing to adopt are encouraged to call the Center prior to arrival at (775) 475-2222. Public hours for visiting are held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and on the first Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-noon. BLM PRESS RELEASE

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Does a 10 year old horse have a future?

28-year old Quarter Horse with pal

If you're a horse, how old is old?
BLM sells wild horses over 10-years-old  "without limitation" ; they can be killed and sold for slaughter, just like young horses which haven't found families. 
 from their website:
"In addition to placing wild horses and burros into good homes through the adoption program, the BLM directly sells animals that are more than 10 years old and those younger that have been passed over for adoption at least three times.
 After looking at the chart below, why do you think they choose that age?
Does your > 10 horse have any value?


        created by Katherine Blocksdorf  read more about how this chart was made on

Horse Age Stage of Life Human Age Stage of Life
1 Foal, Weanling, Yearling 6.5 Infancy, Babyhood, Toddlerhood, Preschooler 
2 Two Year Old 13 Adolescence, Puberty
3 Three Year Old 18 Teenager
4 Four Year Old 20.5 Young Adult
5 Physcial Maturity 24.5 Adulthood
13 Middle Aged 43.5 Middle Aged
20 Senior 60 Senior
30 Extreme Old Age 85.5

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

50 Months of State Images: What Will They Say about USA?

Christophe crosses a Nevada field to capture wild horses with a camera

Christophe Kutner is an artist with a camera. He lives in Paris and New York. If you follow him around the Internet, you'll spend hours exploring exotic, eccentric, unique fashion images, but when I met him, he was searching for wild horses in Nevada. 

February 2013 he began an adventure that will go for 50 months.
Christophe has challenged himself to reveal the real United States by publishing an image a day, creating a sort of collage portrait of each state in his Lost and Found Diary 

Wild horses will show one part of Nevada, but I can't wait to see what else Christophe captures. I'm sure it will reveal secrets of the state where I live.

State of New Jersey,
time to put your shoes on…
New Jersey photo by Christophe Kutner

 "No matter the artistic point of view," he says, "It will meet with an undeniable sociological testimony, that will give us to reflect on what really is the state of united states today."

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Top Model has a Heart for Horses


Top model has a heart for horses


Sojourner Morrell is a professional fashion model from the U. S. The daughter of a British father and Swiss mother, she was the first women ever to be accepted into the prestigious Spanish Riding School of Vienna. She got into modelling by sending her pictures to various agencies when she started studying at the New York University. She is represented by Wilhelmina Models in New York, Marilyn Models in Paris, and Why Not Models in Milan...and if you believed in stereotypes, you'd insist she's NOT a young woman who'd travel across the country to hang out with wild horses.
And you would be wrong. 
Sojourner and her friend Christophe (more about him, tomorrow) are ricocheting around Northern Nevada because Sojourner loves horses and wanted to see Nevada's mustangs.
Lucky me! I was tagged by the Cloud Foundation to make that happen and was excited to give Sojourner copies of PHANTOM STALLION books in French and English.
Over lunch with Shannon Windle of Hidden Valley Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, we made a plan to find wild horses and talked about world affairs.
It was an eye-opening day in many ways.  I so admire people -- like Sojourner and Christophe -- who are fluent in several languages. Really. We discussed American politics, mad cow disease, the treatment of mustangs by BLM vs. Nevada Department of Agriculture, at-risk teens, dressage, old-time Nevada divorce ranches and Cajun cooking.
Following a back road through pine trees, we visited wild horses that had been rescued from kill-buyers in Fallon, Nevada.  This rowdy bunch galloped around, putting on a Wild West show to prove they were still every inch MUSTANGS.
Next, we found wild horses that well-meaning people have been hand feeding. It was nice for our visitors to see them close up, but as Sojourner said, "They're very accustomed to humans. That's not good, is it."
I took a few snapshots with my phone, but Christophe is an internationally renowned photographer, so when some of HIS photos pop I'm, I'll alert you.
In the meantime, you should know that Sojourner is determined to find a way to use her considerable skills to help save wild horses and I have a feeling that something magical may happen.
Watch for updates!   Terri

Sojourner turns the tables, photographing wild horses near a Reno neighborhood

Shannon Windle and Sojourner Morrell under wide Nevada skies
Sojourner loved the buckskin's coloring, but she was scoping out mustangs as dressage prospects. About ten minutes later, she spotted a black mare with the right conformation.
Look over Sojourner's shoulders and you'll see wild horses saved from slaughter. "Blustery" would be an understatement for the stormy afternoon, but Sojourner kept asking to see more horses!

Sojourner, 17, was the first woman accepted into Vienna's Spanish Riding School. Read the story announcing her selection British Teen Shatters 436-year men-only tradition

Want to see the story that goes with this photo? click here

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Love & Groceries Turn Dead-end Arabian into Dream Horse


Dear Readers, This is an update from Palomino. Anything I added is in bold print. 
When a horse is "given away for free, or sold for a very modest price", how sure are you where they actually end up?  Many people are not aware that there is a huge, sadistic and ever growing market for cheap and free horses.  Here's how people looking for these horses appear like the perfect new owners --
People "rent" part of someone's ranch to show the perfect new home for your horse, but they are in kahoots with the ranch owner. Both buyer and property owner share in the profits. 
 "Husband and wife" or perfect "couple" appear to be such animal people, but they're skilled kill buyers
Buyer claims to need a number of gentle horses for a 4-H, church, at-risk kids program

When someone sees a horse that looks like Magic did when we got him, they don't see his potential.  Many horses that end-up in the slaughter house were just in need of some TLC.

Knight was advertised "for free to a good home".   I did not see the ad , but was told about the horse.  Since we are having a such a crisis nationwide where "free" horses are picked up and sent to slaughter, we jumped at the chance to pick up this Arabian. We had not seen him, but committed to picking him up the very day we were told about him.  We changed his name and now BLACK MAGIC is at home with us, and doing very well, thanks to our local vet, but he might have ended up in the slaughter pipeline.
So, if any of you out there are looking for an equine friend, check out those "free horses".  They may l need training or special supplements, but look at how Magic looks compared to when we brought him home.  He is a wonderful horse and has an enormous amount of potential.

P.S.  Groceries, vitamins and medicine aren't free. If you can't take in a needy horse, please help Palomino do it ! You can donate here:

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Anti-Mustang Mafia?

Captive Mustang at Indian Lakes, private ranch (Cat Kindsfather photo)

 Dear Readers, 

Sometimes what's NOT said is as important as what is said. 

 "The National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition," for instance, sounds like it might help wild horses and wild burros. 

No way.   

Ann Novak of  Protect Mustangs says it best. "Notice how they avoid using the word 'wild?' We have heard they appear to be lobbying to get all the wild horses & burros in holding to be classified as non-wild."

Coalition members are listed below. I've seen many of them in court, offering legal a$$istance to BLM.

  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Masters of Foxhounds Association
  • Mule Deer Foundation
  • National Association of Conservation Districts
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • National Rifle Association
  • National Wildlife Refuge Association
  • Public Lands Council
  • Public Lands Foundation
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Safari Club International
  • Society for Range Management
  • The Wildlife Society

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Writing by the Light of Western Stars

Writin' Riders is an authors' conference on horseback. 

Writers and riders of varied experience rode through 5,000 acres of northern California's Wild Horse Sanctuary.


 We wrote setting at our first break and character under the tree that shaded our lunch.
The plan was to create conflict after dinner and before we lost the light, but we didn't stop there.


  I urged writers to focus on their senses.

I didn't count on Western stars to create a sense of wonder.

At daybreak, this young mare gave me a story idea. As I wrote it down, I glimpsed something across the meadow -- too long to be a dog, not tall enough for a deer. It undulated at the edge of the woods before fading into the trees.
Cougars live here.
Warmed by sun, the horses donned creative expressions.
What kinds of stories will grow out of this journey? Come along next time, and you can decide. 

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Palomino's Miracle Mustangs & Other Friends

Dear Readers,
Friday I left home to drive to Shingletown, California.
For lots of us, it's the center of wild horse rescue.
First, I visited Palomino Armstrong's Miracle Mustang rescue and became reacquainted with:
Romeo and Collins, rescued mustang orphans
HONEY BANDIT -- after his tough start, it's hard to believe this beautiful, glossy, friendly 3 year old was heartbeats away from death many times 
Donk, burro head of cougar control
Bear and Soldier, rescued Dobermans
Magic, rescued black Arabian
A piggy whose name I missed (but I did snap his photo)
Snickers, sweet Aussie
TRAVIS -- Palomino's son!
One of the coolest things at the rescue is the wild horse nursery.   I thought I was walking into a bedroom -- and there is comfy bed, but there's also a cozy corral in one corner and a wall opens so that threatened foals that need food and care through the night can be "inside" where Palomino leaps from bed to tend them with round-the-clock care.
Talk about dedication!
More later,

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Just What are the Perks of being an Indigenous Species?

Coyotes -- a species indigenous to the United States -- displayed in death on an Oklahoma farm

Please explain to me the advantage of being an indigenous species in the U.S., because I'm confused.
The "They're not even native!" protest surfaces as people fumble for why wild horses shouldn't be left to roam.
That argument grows shakier with new levels of  DNA testing and recent fossil discoveries, but let's say it's true.
 Just what are...


Prairie dogs, skunks, raccoons, badgers, rabbits and ravens are considered vermin. As such, they don't even qualify for a hunting season most places. Plink away at will at those native varmints. Bears, bobcats, gray wolves, deer, elk, fox and pronghorn are indigenous, but I can knock on my neighbor's door and see them hanging on the wall, dead and taxidermied with ingeniously cast-from-fresh glass eyeballs.

To be fair, I hardly ever hear of nuisance hummingbirds.
They're not only natives, they can fly backward. Mustangs should work on that.

Native Alligators are spurring economic recovery in Louisiana. Swamp People-wannabes will pay to take to the bayous with guns, but I wouldn't call that a perk for the 'gator. Native centipedes and scorpions appear on reality TV, too, but they're likely to be Fear Factored to death. 

Yeah, so, I'm probably missing something, because I can't see what wild horses will gain if they are proven to be a native species of animal. 

Eaten, shot, hung on fences, walls...
And don' t get me started on the treatment of indigenous people.

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Friday, June 07, 2013

Nevada Legislators Vote to Protect Our Animals

Dear Readers, 
We have lots to celebrate! The Nevada Legislature just concluded its 2013 session and Kevin O’Neill of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says 


Thanks to Beverlee McGrath, lobbyist for animal protection, Carrol Able and Shannon Windle of Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Campaign for providing this information.  

SB 72, ANTI-HORSE TRIPPING; substantially amended


SJR 1, WILD HORSE RESOLUTION RE TOURISM; Encourages tourism of horses in their NATURAL environment, encourages cooperative agreements between the Dept. of Ag and rescue organizations. 

AB 264, PENALTIES FOR FEEDING ESTRAY HORSES; First offense - discussion only re illegal feeding, Second offense - gross misdemeanor.***
Man-handling of this new foal mobilized a grassroots movement to form a cooperative agreement between Nevada Department of Agriculture and wild horse advocates  (photo by Bo Rodriguez)

 SB 82,BEAR HUNT STUDY RESOLUTION; Watered down from a prohibition of a bear hunt to a 3-yr study to be conducted after the 2013 scheduled hunt. 

AB 110, PROHIBITS DOG BREED DISCRIMINATION; watered down from original bill, but should be good news for those of us who like to kiss German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, etc. 
Many Pit Bulls are quite lovable and like to dress up as pirates

SB 73, PROTECTS THE IDENTITY OF A PERSON WHO REPORTS ANIMAL CRUELTY; clarifies that the person who reports should be withheld/protected, not the entire report. 

SB 213, TRAPPING; watered down from original bill, currently requires some form of ID on the traps that are set.
SB 245, PROHIBITION OF PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF EXOTIC ANIMALS; This was a great bill - it has been dramatically watered down to suggest “counties MAY adopt an ordinance pertaining to exotics”.  The amendment which prohibited private ownership of great apes was rejected.

SB 371, PROHIBITS FEEDING BIG-GAME MAMMALS; will prohibit 'baiting' mammals for hunting purposes.

AB 168, REQUIRES COUNTY COMMISSION TO APPOINT A 'PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE TO WILDLIFE COMMISSION since hunters are the only members who serve on the County Advisory Board for the Wildlife Commission
AB 246, SWAP MEETS; A compromise bill, due to varied issues across the state.  Prohibits the sale of live animals at swap meets/flea markets/open air markets unless an ordinance

AB 345, PREDATORS; Requires wildlife commission to establish policies for predator programs and activities and 'manage' according to the BEST SCIENCE AVAILABLE. PASSED



***AB 264 calls for increased penalties against people who think it's fun and perfectly okay to feed horses in inappropriate places which may put wild horses at risk. A change to the law replaces the word “controlling” with the word “managing”.  This small change opens the door that will bring wild horse advocates and the NV Dept of Agriculture together to develop humane methods of managing the wild horses of the Virginia Range – a cooperative agreement!

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