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Terri Farley
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Phone Interview with Jeb Beck, Acting Manage PALOMINO VALLEY

Dear Readers, 
What follows is only a transcription of my notes. 
You've seen plenty of my opinions other places, but for this blog post, I put on my objective journalist's hat, asked questions and wrote down the answers. If you see quotation marks, that means this is a direct quote which I took down like dictation, word-for-word.
Since I am sitting at my kitchen table and was not looking at the horses as we spoke, you'll find no judgement here from me. 
I attempted to focus on concerns from Facebook and Twitter posters, but of course I didn't cover everything.  Best, Terri

Sale Authority and Three Strikes Horses: 
Purchase of Sale Authority horses must go through D.C.  This may be a slightly longer process than before because D.C. doesn’t just sign off. Checks and balances have been added to avoid Tom Davis – style disasters.
Sale Authority mares with foals at side can’t be purchased until foals are of an age to be branded.  Then, foals may be adopted and mare may be purchased outright.  
So, it’s 2 transactions, not a two-for-the-price of one sale.

Three-Strikes: According to Beck, horses at PV don’t get a strike just for being there, available for adoption. They may get one if they’re featured in an Internet adoption. After they get that "strike," they're usually shipped further  East for adoption at another facility. 
The horses move are based on what other BLM facilities need. Example: if they facility has all mares available for adopters, they might ask PV to send geldings.
Brands: U mark on horses’ necks (in some photos, it  looked like a sideways F to me) means the horse is – on arrival at PC – a sale authority horse because s/he is 11 years or older. 
Hip brands - AC is a common one -- are tied to fertility studies and indicate when/where horses received fertility shot(s). 
There are currently 1800 horses at PV.

Although these aren’t “fresh” horses (fresh off the range), they are all at greater risk when they are moved – to have feet trimmed, for instance. Risk is higher than when they’re just standing in pens because crowded horses will kick and spooked horses may run into fences. 
Hooves are currently being trimmed on a most-needed basis.  Staff moves from corral to corral and trims hooves of all horses in that corral based on which corralhas the MOST horses who need their hooves trimmed.
Beck said is safer than taking them out one at a time and stirring up all of the horses in multiple corrals. It also ensures all horses in each corral will have attention to their feet. 
At this moment, they were “halfway through yearling geldings." 
Hoof trimming is sandwiched between other chores and may be delayed if horses have strangles or are sick.

Dead Mustangs: between June 28th and July 8th  four horses died or were euthanized.

1.  Mare in pen with other horses in preparation for hoof trimming presented with “wobbles” one morning, meaning there was swelling around spinal chord, possible neck fracture. She was euthanized.

2.  Horse died of Bastard Strangles (different from standard Strangles because it presents in body, not neck), 2 weeks post-diagnosis and treatment 

3.   Yearling from video “passed overnight” and was found dead in her pen on the morning of July 2. Her body was removed by 8:30 am July 2.
“Unless there’s clinical signs of cause of death, horses have to be listed as undiagnosed,” said Beck.

4.  3-year-old was found dead.  Cause of death undiagnosed.
“No animals have passed since July 2,” said Beck. 

Injured horses: Horses which appear lame from a stone bruise, kick or other minor injury are observed in their corrals and not immediately moved to sick pens.  "If they're eating and drinking, we watch them,"  because this is safer than stirring up all of the horses in the corral.  
If the injury worsens or horse seems sick, s/he is evaluated by vet and a determination on whether it should be taken out of home corral is made.

Sunburned horses:  Beck commented specifically on a gray and white pinto, sunburned and peeling across the withers.  This horse, he said, has been at PV for six months and had been diagnosed earlier with a food allergy which caused skin peeling according to a vet report. That peeling patch got sunburned.  

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