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Terri Farley
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

To the Strong Ones

Cat Kindsfather photo

Older Mustang Stallions at the Fallon Livestock Exchange

Scar-linked blood brothers

Stare through scent memories


From   sage   rain   herd-home

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mustangs Behind Bars: What did they do wrong?

Dear Readers,

I don't know if the Calico Mountains foal, above, is the same young horse on the right. Both gaze through the bars of BLM's Palomino Valley facility.

I do know the expression on these pale face is the same:

Why am I here? My life is out there.

The capture and carnage must stop.


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013


If you have time to whine, you have time to ACT !
Media outlets judge public interest in topics by the number of "clicks" the story gets. And if it gets written responses -- whoa, baby! -- it's a HOT topic and must be covered.



Read more »

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013



Dear Readers,
LIVE TWEETING feels like a cross between fast-breaking journalism and haiku poetry.
It allows me to cover the most disturbing stories with controlled emotions.
Many of YOU were disturbed because you don't know how to Tweet and weren't following the slaughter sale of wild horses on Saturday August 17.
Below you can read my liveTweet coverage from Nevada's Fallon Livestock Exchange.
If you need clarification of some of my funky abbreviations, just ask. Please forgive me misspellings and non-nimble fingers. I was trying to get the info out as soon as possible.  
As you may know, Twitter only allows 140 characters (letters, numbers and spaces) in each entry.
This is what came before and during the auction. After the auction, hundreds of horses were saved. Hundreds went to slaughter.  Tomorrow, we learn the future of the unbranded horses, as decided by a Federal judge.   

August 17  six a.m.

divided into sale lots last night before TRO but on scene at dawn

17 Aug
Come to Fallon livestock exchange. Get a bidding # so u can help search for unbranded going into ring

  auction property
17 Aug
Sorting mares and goals w hot shot

 Lots of neighing Still on property

17 Aug
Guy just came out of cafe joking haha "best horse I ever had." Hilarious, dude

17 Aug
Lots of limping . Bad enough I can see from a distance

Terri Farley @Terri_Farley 17 Aug
Owner auction says lawsuit cost homes, may truck them out of here 2 have" heads chopped off"

Kill buyers: rallying of the clans 2 combat diminished income. Every buyer I have ever heard about
17 Aug
Sheriff deputies getting sick of auction staff sicc-ing them on advocates using their cell phones...Not shooting photos. Honest

17 Aug
Kill buyers are getting really rude just walking by and sniping at anyone they even suspect of liking horses. @Fallonslaughter
I just heard your name mentioned w anger by a clump of kill buyers Badge of honor.
 Kill buyers claim horses look better than they would've thought. Jok ing that tribes went to pal valley and took their pick

17 Aug
Office still locked. Need bidder # to tour horses . None issued yet? Parents w kids here, trying to explain

  17 Aug
Lot of these guys in a quandary: blame Indians or wimmen(no matter that me advocates are here 2)?

Wish I could photograph the huge, ominous truck ready to head for the border full of
  17 Aug

Huge HUGE legal fees involved in TRO that will likely save unbranded . Help pay for it please

Got my # to bid

17 Aug
Recharging cell and eating almonds. Should guarantee auction starts. No way am i spending money in cafe

Interview w BBC. Super.Still no auction but more big trucks#fallonslaughter

  17 Aug
Finally walking thru pens. Every girls dream horses.
Denis Suzanne and laura Lee found unbranded horses among branded. They've been pulled

  17 Aug
About to start auction.

17 Aug
Arlo of ft McDermitt clarified these are all native horses

  17 Aug
Palomino. Mare and foal sold. 800 dun pony w bay colt 200

  17 Aug
Brown mare w buck foal 325 . Appy mom w dark foal 325. Both saved

 Interior of auction.looks about the same as one I was able. 2 photo in Jan. Little. Cleaner
17 Aug
Frantic mare and foal sold 225 to killer
Horsepower buying horses. Yes. Also bidding for many
17 Aug

Perfect Indian paint w paint baby 300. Palomino and ivory paint with golden foal 300

  17 Aug
Horses are very banged up, face an chest esp. Some so damaged that Advocates think they should be put down out of humanity
 2 orphans. Auctioneer checking w Deniz to see if they can be sold even though unbranded. She said ok but lots of pressure

Orphans bought togetr. Now adult horses. Footsore yearling 100to. Killer  

  17 Aug
These beautiful horses are selling for Starbucks money.z
Sorry for the gap in N coverage. being sold in lots of 12 now.

17 Aug
Almost all mares w foals and young horses have been saved. Advocates are really stepping up

17 Aug
Have a mission: a grandmother wants me to find a young buckling for her grandkids to learn from. On it

17 Aug
2 geldings- - paint w black swatches over eyes and his honey palimino buddy- - were in one of the big lots bought by killer

 Someone talked the kill buyer into selling her the b n w paint w swatches but buyer didn't take palomino.

 Kill buyer got a pen of mares and foals why on earth?

17 Aug
Auction over. Horses loading. Most for the better

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Friday, August 16, 2013

My First Trip to a WILD HORSE Slaughter Auction

Rambles, a dwarf mustang with her mother

Rambles in the ring at the Fallon slaughter auction

Dear Readers, 
I'm counting down the minutes. 
Federal Judge Miranda Du set a hearing by teleconference for 1:30 p.m. today to decide whether to grant a temporary restraining order suspending the auction of over 400 wild horses. 
It's 3:35 p.m. 
I don't want to return to the Fallon Livestock Exchange tomorrow.  My heart hasn't mended from the first time.

  My First Trip to a Slaughter Auction

For years, I've known that wild horses and their tame cousins are sent to livestock auctions where they face "kill buyers." I wrote such an auction in GIFT HORSE. It was based on interviews and research.
On January 9 of this year, I attended a slaughter auction. My heart falls heavy in my chest when I think about it and my throat aches like it's full of splinters when I try to talk about it.

I went to this auction to find 41 wild horses which had been trapped by the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Members of the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Preservation Campaign hoped to use donations -- from people around the world! -- to buy back the wild ones.

But the horses that I can't forget were domestic horses. Trailered for miles and then left in strange corrals, they neighed and whinnied after their owners. Before the auction Shannon Windle and I walked around looking for the mustangs, but the horses that came up to fences, puzzled and friendly, were cow ponies, race horses, a burned-out endurance horse and mounts that had helped children learn to ride.

Herded down a chute and into the auction ring, many realized they were in danger. So, they did what they'd learned to do. They trotted up to the edge of the auction ring and nudged at boots of audience members.
Those horses had been raised as pets or at least, trained to trust humans.

They didn't know where they were. They didn't understand what was expected of them. They didn't know why they were in an unfamiliar place that smelled of fear. Ironically, they turned for help to the species that had betrayed them.
I think the only thing that kept me using my head during that long, long day, was doing a series of live posts via Twitter, for horse lovers far away.
I hope I don't ever have to do it again. 

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Teachers & Librarians: Free books for you

Dear Teachers and Librarians, 
Multiple copies of the Phantom Stallion and Wild Horse Island foreign language editions pictured here are sitting, unloved, in boxes.  
The French translations are soft cover and I have no Spanish editions, but the books shown above are

free to good homes !

Education Tip: When I do school visits, I bring along American originals and foreign editions. Then, because cover art differs so from country to country, I ask students to compare/contrast cultural perceptions of today's American West. Even the little ones love looking for clues to make matches.  
If you’d like to check your libraries for HarperCollins copies you already have, these books are, from left:
TOP Row: Phantom Stallion 2, 3 and Wild Horse Island 1
MIDDLE Row: Phantom Stallion 3, 4, 8, Wild Horse Island  2
 BOTTOM row: Phantom Stallion 4, 6, 5, 6

Feel free to shoot me a personal email  from your school or library email address if you’re interested. 
Have a wonderful school year,

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Welcome to Palomino Valley, where Free Spirits Go to Die

Dear Readers, I'll post my own notes and opinion soon. Until then, I want to share Monika Courtney's editorial with you. Monika is an elfin Swiss woman, now a resident of Colorado, who stands up for the wild horses. Best, Terri 

Palomino Valley captives grieve over filly dead of "unexplained causes" in 105 degree heat 

August 9, 2013 11:20 am

By Monika Courtney, Evergreen, Colo.
Was the quick organizing of a BLM workshop in Reno a courteous act or another PR stunt – pulling a hand brake on bad publicity pertaining to animal cruelty at Palomino Valley government holding facility?
I fear it is the latter.
The workshop’s structure defined biased control, a la Delphi style. Time restraints and biased input by “experts” recruited by BLM, rendering opinions rather than integral advice on current lack of shelter in higher climatic heat trends… reflected disregard for horses and us.
Despite Joan Guilfoyle’s (Division Chief) welcome gospel of “engaging with public”, most left with a sense of non-accomplishment.
You may see a shade going up over the sick pen, the sole objective of PhD, UC Davis recruits insisting on lack of shade studies on wild horses, therefore forfeiting the benefits thereof to the confined, suffering equines in their care. They even claimed shade increases insects, when the contrary is pointed out by reputable equine veterinarian experts.
BLM's barren Palomino Valley Wild Horse Center as seen from the air.
These vet recommendations, shelter/heat stress /nutritional info, NWS weather charts, photos of wild horses in shade on the range were submitted. Common sense of roof structures as they have over hay stacks but none for horses does not exist. It is dispelled with biased scholar magic geared to halt public pressure of increasingly concerned tax payers. Moreover, sequester excuses garnish the agenda. While monies are allocated to continued “emergency” round ups to stockpile more horses, non-existing “shade research on wild horses” is discussed to deter from the goal.

The neglect is real. 7 inch long curled duck feet hooves of limping horses in the “trim” pen (just when?), foals baking, the suffering and inhumanity are a disturbing whopper to digest. Anyone in doubt, take a trip to PVC.
The ghostly broken spirits trapped onto 160 acres of hell are prisoners of a self-serving agency, demonizing them since decades. With a self-inflicted crisis, the budget pie is off the rocker as tax funds go to round ups, holding, and administrative overhead. Little to none is given to welfare or more sensible on the range management.

On the range, these hooves would be trimmed by volcanic rock
Neglect may render this mustang lame & she may be destroyed
The one size fits all quick fix scriptures of BLM, evicting more horses as I type, causes unspeakable suffering. Yet, BLM creates horse mills resembling feedlots, with absence of modernity and wellbeing to animals, which would label any private person a sadist.
The saddest chapter in this book of misery is that those in charge are outlandishly detached. Federal guidelines to holding do not currently exist– but agony and suffering. Policy handbooks with strict quality care to be implemented are needed now. Life on the range, as the 1971 Act intended, with mustangs’ contribution to the balance of the eco-system where they also help prevent wildfires, seems to be a science BLM is not willing to consider.
Surely, life in the wild is more humane than the equine concentration camps and death pens. Thinking of the pleading horses I met at Palomino Valley… I think they would agree.

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