Monday, September 19, 2016

Three days in the Black Hills

The groovy little community of Spearfish, South Dakota hosted a mountain bike race that Chad rode in. The annual Dakota Five-0.

Man, that place is sweet! I spent the whole day mingling alongside the friendly people that live there and had time to explore the area which took my breath away.

I was wishing I lived in a town like that.

That evening after the race, we drove to The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary and literally fell into bed inside The Prairie Cabin.

Twice in the night we heard coyote's laughing and whining.

"Did you hear that?" Both of us love any wild sound in the night.

Just before the sun came up, I heard the sound of a whinny.

Then I remembered where I was.

Scrambling out of bed I peeked out every window in the cabin. With every window, my eyes and smile got bigger and wider.


"Chad! Come on! We're surrounded by horses!"

And they are wild.

Even though there are fences between us, they've all been given a second chance to roam and live free.

With a view.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Long May They Run


Hello friends.

Here is the letter of good news I received from Ginger Kathrens right after the announcement from BLM Director.

There will be no killing of Wild Horses in holding!

As most of you know, she is the founder of The Cloud Foundation.

Protecting Wild Horses and Burros is her goal.

She is also on the National BLM Advisory board.

She is the lone one on the board who said "NO" to murdering the 45,000 wild horses they have stockpiled in pens around the West.

Ginger is my mentor, my advisor on mustang etiquette and know-how. She's the one who encouraged me, who guided me with confidence to get trained and certified in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.

I am now ready to aim, shoot and fire my trusty PZP filled dart gun.

Fewer foals equals fewer roundups.

I hope you will read this. It may seem lengthy but it's really important to know what's going on in the wild horse world.

They're YOUR horses, too!

Announcement from the U.S. Government

BLM Director Announces No Killing of Wild Horses in Holding

-Points to TCF/AWHPC Lawsuit as Reason for Halting Wild Mare Sterilization.


Dear Friends,

Today the BLM announced that it was not accepting the recommendation from their National Advisory board to destroy the horses in holding and offering the horses that had not been adopted after three adoption events for sale with out limitation. This recommendation met a firestorm of outrage across the country and caused our phones to ring off the hook. I voted “no” on this recommendation.

Most of you know that in March of this year I was chosen by the Secretary of the Interior to serve as the Humane Advocate on this nine-member board. Just last week I flew to Elko Nevada for my second BLM National Advisory Board meeting. It was eventful to say the least.

Before the meeting began, I learned that BLM decided to drop all three sterilization research projects that were to be conducted on wild mares (and fillies as young as 8 months). In announcing that the horses in holding would not be killed, BLM Director, Neil Kornze referenced our lawsuit (TCF and AWHPC,), requesting to be present to view and record the sterilization procedures, as the reason the experiements in Oregon were cancelled. Others lawsuits and the thousands of letters, emails and phone calls from concerned Americans certainly played a part as well. Great job advocates!!!

But, this celebration was short lived. On the second day of the meeting, my colleagues on the Resources Working Group (we have five working groups) recommended to the entire Board that the horses in holding be destroyed and those offered for adoption three-times unsuccessfully, should be sold without limitation (i.e. buy as many as you want). The Board then voted on this recommendation. I was the only dissenting vote. In fact I said “Absolutely not, no.” It was an easy decision.

Today we learned that BLM voted “no” as well. This does not mean the horses in holding and on the range are out of trouble. I remember the documents that came to my office in late 2008 revealing secret BLM meetings in which the agency discussed how many horses could be killed each year and how many psychologists would be needed to counsel BLM employees asked to kill healthy wild horses.

In June, I was asked to speak before the House Sub-Committee on Federal Lands. It was clear that the Western congressional representatives had no interest in hearing what I had to say. They wanted the horses gone, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming purred that euthanasia of thousands of captive wild horses would be such “a lovely way to die.” See our press release.

So where do we go from here. It is imperative that we continue to speak up, encouraging BLM to use humane tools to limit births in our wild horse herds.

TCF board member, Sandra Sell-Lee, in collaboration with BLM, has developed an On the Range Management Guide, in which volunteers get out on the range and apply infertility vaccines to wild mares as recommended by the National Academies of Science in their 2013 report to BLM. The ultimate goal is limiting reproduction to natural mortality. And to reduce the number of wild horses held in short term corrals, we should return these non-reproducing geldings and mares to available BLM lands designated for wild horse use, but where no wild horses currently live.

I hope you will join us and support this effort. It will be hard. It will take time. It

will take a lot of energy and tremendous persistence. But it is ultimately a way to keep our wild horses where they belong. . .in their homes, with their families, living in precious freedom!

Happy Trails!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Just Another Day


It's just another day for us here on the prairie in Wyoming.

Sadly, it's not just another day for some wild horses I know.

I was going to talk about this:

Instead, I will let my friend, Carol Walker, tell you the story.

I'm too outraged to even try.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Curious Horses

"Animals hold us to what is present; to who we are at the time, not who we've been or how our bank accounts describe us.

What's obvious to an animal is not the embellishment that fattens our emotional resumes but what's bedrock and current in us: aggression, fear, insecurity, happiness, or equanimity.

Because they have the ability to read our involuntary ticks and scents, we're transparent to them and thus exposed-

We're finally ourselves."

-Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces



Tuesday, August 9, 2016


When the hearts of the givers are filled with hate, their gifts are small.

Chief Plenty Coups, Crow, 1848

I went looking for Cloud.
The wild stallion who lives in an isolated corner of the Rocky Mountains known as the Arrowhead's, near the Pryor Mountain range.
I thought about this place I had come to, and all the horses I've read about who live there. It is Indian country.

Ginger Kathrens named a blue roan stallion Plenty Coups in honor of the last Crow Indian chief.

I felt the sacredness in the crags and nooks of the ancient rocks. I sensed their secrets. I smelled mustangs.

But, I didn't see Cloud that day.
Even through binoculars, not a single horse was spotted.
But, I did see a family of Big Horn sheep.
Janis is still belting out her songs through my stereo.
Track #11 Maybe is my new favorite.
Annie Oakley?
Mustang Sally?
Well, what'd ya know. This old broad passed her Zoo and Wildlife Medicine training exam. I am now certified to administer the birth control PZP into wild mare's on the range. Allowing them to have only one foal per lifespan is a good thing.
I can't emphasize this enough.
Our friend Beast is alive and well! Since he doesn't seem to mind my presence, I hope to dart his mares so his family can remain wild and free.
With a little help from his friends.
One of Beast's main squeezes.
Little Green, Beast's new filly.
Chad always finds me stuff on the prairie that I scream & shout about.
This is Pronghorn shed butt fur.
And a deer antler and sun bleached ribs of an unknown.
Mop head.
We call him Luna.
He is as special as any illuminating moon that ever came up.
You should see his battle scars!
Luna's close knit family.
A poem from
This Human Shape
By Chad Hanson
A meeting of the minds. This band loved Chad.
They came up to him. I heard him talk to them...they responded.
One of my dearest friends had a baby boy. I tie dyed this infant shirt for him.
From his hippie "aunt."
One of Chaka's kids stopped by for a treat. Her saga and habit lives on.
Siesta time for Skye.
(It's always siesta time for Skye)
I snuck this sunflower seed in..
Chad: "I wonder how that got there?"
Sherpa's new sleeping arrangement. Table and chair.
While visiting a friend in Cody, we drove past this road.
It reminded me of a certain Alaskan fur baby.

Here is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud.

We need the mud in order to make the lotus. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh