An Option for Adoptions Kindred Spirits, Wild Horses Americans Oppose Horse Slaughter
Photo courtesy of Bristol MacDonald
FEATURES 8 Herd roun’ the waterin’ trough...Calamity Cate 10 Kindred Spirits, Wild Horses...Sandy Elmore 24 Americans Oppose Horse Slaughter...EWA 28 An Option for Adoptions...R.T. Fitch 34 Our February Buckle Bunny Diane Kazer 44 Tragedy Disguised...Monika Courtney 46 The Wild Horse Conspiracy...Craig Downer 50 Good Reads by Carol Upton \\
Publisher Equine Angle Marketing & Publicity California, USA
Editor in Chief ~ Producer Cate Crismani
Contributing “Wriders” Monika Courtney * Craig Downer * RT Fitch
Buckle Bunny Cover/Pictorial Photographer Flint Burckart Contributing Photographers Christopher Ameruoso * Terry Fitch Laura Leigh * Katia Louise
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herd roun’ the waterin’ trough or from the desk of Calamity Cate I got an email last month from Carla Bowers, a wild horse advocate and friend. She put me in touch with a gal named Linda Redman who put me in touch with her friend, Mara Brown, who has a cable show in West Hollywood called “Living Your Dreams”. Mara wanted to do a show on horse slaughter issues as she had recently learned that a beautiful mare, Sassy , she loved had met her demise in a slaughter plant. Mara was heartbroken but determined to make people aware of what is happening to our horses when owners can no longer be responsible for them due to economics, health or extenuating circumstances. Its tragic, but its happening. Our horses are being sent to slaughter by the very people they loved and trusted. I called my good friend, Katia Louise, who directed and produced the documentary “Saving America’s Horses, A Nation Betrayed” about the horse slaughter industry, its dirty secrets and the beneficiaries of this horrific abuse. As plans to do the TV show progressed, Katia learned of another TB mare destined for slaughter whose name, ironically, is Sassy! “Saving Sassy” become our team mission and mantra. Katia contacted Sassy’s owner to make arrangements to move her to Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue and Caroline Betts in Norco. But first we had to raise enough money to keep Sassy boarded there for one year. Times are tough for rescues and some can only take in new horses with a year’s board costs covered. Determined to save Sassy, we got on the phone to our friends and asked for donations...we got them...enough for one year and then some. We raced against time to save this mare from slaughter. Katia got the sense that Sassy knew she was being saved from death. I believe she did know and I believe if we work together we can save more horses like Sassy. This was a team effort and the reward was Sassy’s life. Priceless! “Living Your Dreams” airs on cable Channel 36 in W. Hollywood, February 7, and runs through May. Enjoy! Besos!
Kindred Spirits, Wild Horses ...Sandy Elmore
Sandy Elmore is a horsewoman and photographer who lives in Potomac, Montana, a small ranching community, about thirty miles from Missoula, with her family, nine horses, two miniature donkeys, seven dogs, four cats and twelve chickens. What is the essence of this woman, now in her 50’s, who has artistically rendered historical photographs of a dying breed’s moment in the sun? Elmore is a champion to these kindred spirits and equine brothers to humanity. “Horses have served us in wars and been our companions for eons. They are our very symbols of freedom”, says Elmore, “I am one woman who is trying to help the wild ones survive.” She has always loved horses, but it wasn’t until her adult years that Elmore was able to do something about that love. Realizing the potential the wild horses held in bringing a deep contentment to her life, Elmore created a lifestyle for their inclusion with over twenty-five years of involvement with the wild ones. Two of Elmore’s horses are wild mustangs: one from Stewart Creek in Wyoming and the other from the Pryor Mountains of Montana. She became passionately involved with the Pryor horses starting in 2009, attending the roundup in September of that year and weeks later adopted her beautiful grulla filly, Valerosa. Elmore would sneak off into the Pryor Mountains to rendezvous with equine friends Cabaret, Duchess, Kalika, Fortunatus, and Jericho, all of whom were members of a wild Mustang family living in the pristine mountains and, now, sadly gone. She knew their histories, bloodlines, \the foals they had, their ages, what challenges they had confronted and the magnificent courage they had shown in a beautiful but unforgiving land.
“Photographing the wild ones was really more of a technique for me to keep records of the horses”, says Elmore. “It initiated me into a practice and a deep study of the authentic bloodlines of these bands; linking them directly to Spain’s Conquistador era, through the Indian wars, and into the present and they need our help to assure their survival in the refuge mountains.” Elmore brings her cameras and camps among the remaining wild horses: talking softly to them, laughing with them, and merging blissfully into this timeless unbridled aura of freedom that thrills to the very core of one’s being. Her capabilities in video production and her keen artistic sense could not have been more appropriately directed than to land her in the Northwest and the tranquil mountain life where her reflections run deep and her inspirations nurtured so fully as to feed a heart as big as the stunning backdrop that is the Wild Montana sky. Four years ago, Elmore picked up a video camera with no idea of the passion that would inherently unfold for her. Not only did she begin to take beautifully inspiring footage, but she also uncovered a talent for editing and producing her work as well. She began her “YouTube” debut by recording her oldest daughter Ambers’ mountain bike race. From there she was enticed by Alex Brown to enter his “Horse Slaughter” video contest. At that time in 2009, Montana was trying to introduce a bill to re-install horse slaughter there. She not only made several videos on that subject, but also testified in Helena against the bill. (Canada’s government in the northwest currently has an open season policy on the wild mustangs) One of her videos “America’s Wild Horses, A Living Legend in Peril” screened at The International Wildlife Film Festival as an Honorable Mention in 2010.
Elmore travels to the Pryor’s several times a year now, camping at the very top of the 8,500-foot mountain. Her current entry is a video project with singer/songwriter Sharon Anderson. Together along with Randy Nagel and Chas Williams, they produced a beautiful music video: “Wild Caballo”, to honor the wild horses. It can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0nbx4WjjEaI The song and footage of these horses is an amazing peek into their days of leisure, play, confrontations, wanderings, and sheer love of running the wide-open landscape to their hearts content. Because of her intimate knowledge of these horses, Elmore occasionally has been assigned the heart-wrenching task of identifying some of the horses that have died. Fifteen horses are no longer on the range including Cabaret and his band. She was able to see his herd alive in the fall of 2010 for the last time. On her trip to the mountaintop in July of 2011, she set out anxiously searching for them and again in August but the search was in vain and she was unable to locate them. When she returned in September, Elmore and her husband located the carcasses of some horses that they finally identified as Cabaret and his band. You can see footage of this band in her “Wild Caballo” video. This project is Elmore’s way of honoring those horses.
“It is sadly ironic that after serving mankind for so many years, the best our government can come up with is to punish them for having the fortitude to survive the severe climate and perils of such an unforgiving place’, says Elmore, “they have made these mountains their home yet we have not embraced their presence. These herds contribute to our ecosystems in many ways as well as having a deep link with humanity.” On a brighter note, Elmore also guides people up the mountain to catch a glimpse of the wild mustangs there. “The excitement on their faces when they see the horses for the first time is a memory to treasure for a lifetime”, she says. Her goal with her photography and video work is to share her experiences and allow as many people as possible to get a glimpse into the lives of these beautiful animals and communicate with all the people involved with them. Elmore’s many video productions can be seen at her YouTube channel (http:// http://www.youtube.com/user/sandyelmore490? feature=mhee) including one with Canada’s favorite son, Cowboy singer/songwriter, Ian Tyson, performing his wild horse tribute song entitled, “La Primera”, as well as her newest effort “Wild Caballo”. When Sandy Elmore is not camping in the Pryors she can be found playing with her horses or riding in the mountains on the miles of trails surrounding her home. To contact Sandy Elmore email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hands Down, Americans
Reported by the Equ
A poll conducted in January by Lake Research Partners for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) found that 80% of Americans are strongly opposed to horse slaughter. The highly respected research group based its survey on 1,008 voters giving the results a 3% margin of error. The poll found opposition was consistent across all sectors, including horse owners. The findings are all the more remarkable given the huge media effort that was mounted by the horse slaughter lobby following the closing of U.S. based horse slaughter plants in 2007. While the effort appeared to have worked on Congress, causing them to restore funding for horse slaughter inspections, it had the opposite effect on voter opinion. A similar poll performed a decade earlier indicates that opposition to horse slaughter has increased by almost 10%. The slaughter lobby, supported by some of the most powerful agriculture groups in the country, including the Farm Bureau, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Pork Producers Council (PPC), the American Veterinary Medicine Association and the American Quarter Horse Association has engaged some of the top lobbying and PR firms in Washington in a concerted effort to push back against what they saw as a victory for “animal rights” supporters. EWA’s John Holland explains “The horse slaughter issue has unfortunately become part of a much larger battle between big agriculture and animal welfare advocates. Big agriculture has decided to protect itself with an aggressive in-your-face strategy designed to preemptively crush its opponents, real and imagined.”
s Oppose Horse Slaughter
uine Welfare Alliance
The promotion of horse slaughter is just one of the proxy battles being waged by the Ag giants. In July of 2011, the NCBA and the PPC opposed a plan already agreed to by the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to replace existing battery cages with equally efficient environments that create better living conditions for laying hens. The move showed a willingness to attack even other animal agriculture associations who appeared to be bending toward better humane standards. Perhaps the most bizarre example of this aggressive strategy is SB 610 introduced into the Virginia Legislature this year by State Senator Dick Black. The bill called for working dogs to be reclassified as livestock, effectively removing their humane protection as companion animals. Following an avalanche of criticism, Black announced he was pulling the bill and admitting that he had introduced it “to aid the agriculture and farming community at their request.” He went on to mention the Farm Bureau and the Agribusiness Council by name. “This newest poll should serve as a warning to politicians who have yielded to big Ag bullying” says EWA’s Vick Tobin, “Voters are not with you on the horse slaughter issue.”
The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 220 member organizations and hundreds of individual members worldwide in 18 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.
AN OPTION FOR ADOPTIONS By R.T. Fitch
The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) will be conducting a removal operation of wild horses within the Stone Cabin and Saulsbury HMAs. The Tonopah Field Office (TFO) is planning to conduct trap site adoption for people interested in bringing a horse from these ranges into their homes. This trap site adoption could be considered a “home range” option for adopting wild horses or burros. This option allows prospective adopters to bring their horse home from the range instead of obtaining the animal from a short-term holding facility. Bureau of Land Management Battle Mountain District Manager Doug Furtado believes that integrated trap site adoptions are the right thing to do. Mr. Furtado states “In the past, BLM has conducted satellite adoption events as well as trap site adoptions. Integrated trap site adoptions are cost effective as no additional expense is incurred as the wild horses and/ or burros are adopted on site prior to shipment to a temporary holding facility. Secondly, and most importantly, adopted wild horses or burros are taken directly from the gather to their new homes.” This is an option that may facilitate a faster adaptation to ‘home’ life minimizing trauma of transport and the movement that occurs at the holding facility. This will allow the new owner more control of stimulus presented to the horses. “Having an adopter come to the animals home range has other benefits as well” states Laura Leigh, a wild horse advocate and founder of Wild Horse Education and VP of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, “the new owner may gain an appreciation of how this animal has lived and survived that may also facilitate a deeper understanding and relationship.”
Wild horses and burros removed from the range are offered for adoption to qualified people through the BLM’s Adopt-a-Horse or Burro Program. Potential adopters must have the proper facilities and financial means to care for an adopted animal, and we always hope that they have experience (or experienced assistance) working with a wild horse or burro, which will help ensure the gentling process. All animals adopted in this “home range” option will be subject to compliance check and all provisions will be identical to those adopted at a facility. No horses will be “sale authority” through this adoption. If you do not have an approved application and are interested in this adoption option please begin your approval process as soon as possible. To facilitate the public and assist with questions and paperwork wild horse and burro specialists from the BLM will be on site. Wild Horse Education will also be present and available as a resource for the public. “This option is being done with the intent to offer the public and horses something that may prove beneficial,” said Leigh “toward that end I have volunteered to assist the BLM by helping to answer questions, offer input on problem solving and follow through.” http://rtfitchauthor.com
“Working together to find options presents many new possibilities,” said Furtado. “Perhaps through this process we can begin to expand dialogue into the future.” “The focus of our advocacy work has always been to improve conditions for each horse and improve communication,” states R.T. Fitch President of Wild Horse Freedom Federation “it is with sincere hope that actions like these begin to facilitate that end.” If you are interested in adoption please contact Thomas Seley, Field Manager, Bureau of Land Management Tonopah Field Office at (775) 482-7801 or Wild Horse Education at WildHorseEducation@gmail.com
Wild horse photo courtesy of Laura Leigh. All rights reserved.
“My heritage may be barely over 5% Chippewa, but my spirit is 100% Native American”, laughs our striking February Buckle Bunny, Diane Kazer. “I was raised with an appreciation of nature and leadership of a chief.” No stranger to competition, hard work and dedication to obtaining her goals, Diane went from playing soccer professionally both in the United States and Germany, to the consuming regiment of her financial investment company to a world-class body builder and always rooted in her Chippewa heritage, love of life and respect for all living creatures, especially horses. “I fell in love with horses millions of years ago and other lifetimes...seriously”, says Diane, “I have had a love of horses in all forms; with wings, horns, hearts on their gluts, since I can remember.” “I started a financial investment business after my soccer career, that I later sold to pursue a career in fitness and nutrition and that led me to body building and personal fitness and nutrition consultations to help others. My current work is multi-faceted and fulfilling. I had no idea when I sold my investment company, that I would come this far as a personal trainer, nutritionist, yoga instructor and owner of a wellness and vitamin company. I own a franchise of ‘Market America’, whose products I utilize in my practice to help clients completely revolutionize their health from weight loss to energy increase, pain elimination to anti-aging, non-toxic household items to mineral make up. I receive dozens of notes daily about how my advice is helping people feel better, think clearer, look younger, and love deeper. I’m a totalitarian in that I counsel on every part of the body, unifying the mind, body and spirit just as the Chippewa do”, smiles Diane.
“I have a beautiful horse named Deco since 2008. Deco loves speed and Gymkhana events, as his father was a million dollar thoroughbred racehorse in France. We love trail riding together in the Anaheim Hills. In fact, he has helped me through my toughest life transitions. NO money or therapist could give back to me what he has”, smiles Diane, “and I recently became aware that although U.S. horse slaughterhouses were closed in 2007, Congress recently failed to continue defunding horsemeat inspections, making it legal for horse slaughterhouses to reopen. . I am involved in a program called Helping Hooves, that connects horses to those less fortunate and have witnessed the positive impact and benefit these horses have on spiritually needy individuals.” “I’m organic and raw, the same way I enjoy my food”, laughs Diane, “I hold nothing back and speak the truth, which is the very blessing that our horses give to us. If a horse is in fear of something, they show us, if they don’t like something, they tell us, if they’re hungry, we hear about it. Perhaps we should let horses inspire us for once, and let them be our guide. I talk to my horse, Deco, all the time, like he’s a human. I do believe he and I shared past lives together at some point, and denying our connection would rob me of my practice of connecting with other humans. I put horses in the same spiritual playing field as dolphins…intelligent creatures brought to us by God to teach us something…we just have to open up our hearts to listen.” ‘Live your truth is my theme for 2012 and get out of your own way”, smiles Diane. We couldn’t have said it better and are honored to have Diane Kazer participate in tCmag and anticipate we’ll be hearing more from her and her quest to raise awareness of our mighty horses! For more info and to contact Diane Kazer, you can visit her website at www.dianekazer.com and email her at email@example.com
Shot on location at Anaheim Hills Saddle Club, Anaheim, California Photographer: Flint Burckart Videographer: Evan Hesse Wrangler: Byron Mantooth Creative Director: Cate Crismani Uber Horse: Deco Hats by Peter Grimm supplied by Hollywood Hat Lounge On Cover: Black fringe top by YASB Apparel
here in the wide world can man find
Nobility without pride, Friendship without envy Or Beauty without vanity? Here, where grace is laced with muscle, And Strength by gentleness confined. He serves without servility, He has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful, Nothing less violent; there is nothing So quick, nothing more patient. All of our past has been borne on his back. All our history is his industry, We are his heirs, he our inheritance. Ladies and Gentlemen â€“ The Horse. ~ Ronald Duncan ~
Saddle up, Subscribe! Help Support Our Mission to Save Our Wild Mustangs & Burro
Tragedy Disguised By Monika Courtney A story, long overdue to be told, reflects the survival plight of America's last wild horses and burros. The proof of their evolution in North America is evident thanks to the works and painstaking research such as Craig Downer’s, a nationally renowned wildlife ecologist who reveals their archeological and fossil evidence and how they contribute to both the ecosystem and humanity. The very officials charged with their protection have over the course of decades inflicted grave injustices towards these magnificent icons on whose back this nation was built. Special interests have taken over the agenda and whole herds of wild horses have already been extinct, whilst cattle leases are taking over the very habitat assigned to our mustangs by the 1971 Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Protection Act. Mining, drilling and monopolized water control have played a significant role in pushing our last mustangs and burros into extinction. Fairy tales of range deterioration, forage depletion and starvation have greatly added to the deception tactics applied by those assigned to protect these equines. It is clear: the cruelty inflicted during these stampedes have shocked the nation with recent footage filmed by press members who not only have to fight for our mustang's survival, but their very own rights to be present near a round up to observe the “operations”... which unfortunately are being dismissed with the clever excuse of “safety issues”. Video footage of foals run to death, mares collapsing under helicopter and stallions breaking their necks... is not a benign affair and, certainly, the agency does not want you to see. Most Americans do not know what is being taken from them. The mustangs, evicted from their rightful range and our public lands, are auctioned off to cattle use.
Their damage has far more caused harm on the range, yet the few horses which are enhancing our ecosystem by keeping wildfires in check thru consumption of nutrient-poor, flammable grasses, herbs and shrubs for example - are being driven off by helicopter chases whose inhumane substandard have caused a public outrage. This administration is continuing the same secretive and destructive war on wild horses as Bush started - and Obama's promise on change rings hollow. BLM increases cattle to run on same public lands where they are removing horses, despite a congressional mandate to protect them. BLM ignores its federal mandate to remove livestock from federal horse management areas and if this continues, your grandchildren may never see a wild horse in the American West again. You, the American tax payers, are funding this gross injustice. The likely illegal continuance of these round ups is not only inhumane at best, but is challenged with litigation and increasing public pressure. It is a sad day, when the truth is cleverly disguised to benefit special interests and BLM keeps spending millions to quickly eradicate an irreplaceable piece of American history. Biased press coverage is no help either. The traumatizing of the horses is real; the suffering by cruel treatment a fact, the deaths and killings are not a fabricated John Grisham thriller, but the story of the reality, which must be told. You and your grandkids deserve to know, and it is high times we do something before it is too late. America's mustangs are the victims of a conspiracy, and you, the tax payer, the product of a scheme which not only uses your funds to sponsor this tragedy, but is fooling the American public into a major cover-up which affects us all. For more information, read Craig Downers latest book, which includes beautiful photos of wild horses and burros. The title is â€œThe Wild Horse Conspiracyâ€?. Help save and restore America's last wild horses and have pride in keeping them in the wild, on our public lands, where they belong. Photographs courtesy of Terry Fitch. All rights reserved.
THE WILD HORSE CONSPIRACY Craig C. Downer This stirring and amply illustrated book fully justifies America’s magnificent wild horses and burros while countering the biased machinations against them. Written by ecologist Craig Downer, who grew up observing these animals in the West, it presents new evidence concerning their history and evolution in North America then describes their many positive contributions to soils, plants, animals and people. Many of the author’s personal experiences with these animals, their diverse herd areas, and the multicolored people involved with them are herein vividly shared. Urgently required now at the 40th anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is a strategy to reverse the negative schemes that are causing their demise the wild. As described, Reserve Design provides a way for establishing self-stabilizing populations through intelligent and caring programs executed with enthusiasm. Their lesson for humanity concerns how to share freedom and the land with such paragons of nature. Soaring beyond mundane pettiness and with an inspired vision for the future of all life, the elevated perspective and compassionate spirit of this book will prove key to accomplishing its critical goal. In the wild the vigor of any kind is preserved. And the entire horse family—as the Earth itself—needs America’s wild horses and burros to continue at vital levels into the future here in their evolutionary cradle and worldwide.
Order Craig Downer’s groundbreaking book today. Visit www.andeantapirfund.com and click on PayPal. Contact the aurthor for book signings & speaking engagements at (775) 267-3484 or (775) 901-2094. firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “Freedom Collection” from
featuring the Wild Horse photography of Kimerlee Curyl Designed by Pamela Robbins
GOOD READS Reviewed by Carol Upton www.dreamsaloud.ca
Half Broke Horses A True Life Novel By Jeannette Walls Since I grew up listening to Dad, I always understood him completely, and when I turned five, he had me start helping him train the horses.~ Jeannette Walls Anyone who has spent time around horses will appreciate the historical tales of Lily Casey Smith, a character based on the distinctive grandmother of author Jeannette Walls. The chapters are short and the style is nononsense, almost like a journal whose author did not have a lot of time to write – and time may have indeed been very scarce. Lily lived her early childhood in a Texas dugout, a home with a packed earth floor made by shoveling out a big hole in the side of a riverbank. The reader is treated to details of what was required just to keep life going in such a space, where the walls turned to mosquito-infested mud each time it rained, and goats grazing on the roof regularly put a hoof through and got stuck. Tornados, droughts, and flash floods were also simply a part of life. Daily chores were done by hand, as electricity had not yet reached west Texas, and so children were recruited for every job imaginable. That included helping to break horses that had been running in the pastures until two years of age. The dramatic vignettes contain descriptions of hopping on bareback and basically hanging on for dear life, learning to let go and roll off to the side if you couldn’t right yourself. As a grown woman, Lily married and ran a large Arizona ranch while raising two children, one of whom is the author’s mother, Rosemary Smith Walls. Life continued to be an extraordinary challenge, but Lily was never one to back down. This book, written by an excellent storyteller, is a deeply engaging read. Jeannette Walls was born in Arizona. Her award-winning memoir, The Glass Castle, is an international bestseller and has been translated into twenty-three languages. She is married to writer John Taylor and now lives in Virginia. Available at local bookstores and Amazon.com
COWBOYS? by Jeff Hildebrandt Do cowboys still find time to rhyme when cattle’s bedded down? Or do they just hop in their cars and beat it back to town? Do cowhands still swap stories like those hands did years ago? Or is that bit of history gone like the buffalo?
The romance of the range lives on around the campfire’s light in the minds of all the wannabes who spend each day and night doing what those cowboys did a hundred years ago. And it’s up to full time buckaroos to let them think that’s so.
They long to ride Ben Johnson style with smooth and flowing grace. Have a showdown with a grizzled cur and spit right in his face. They’re living out a fantasy in hats and chaps and vest, pretending to be real cowhands in the wild and wooly West.
Say what you will of tenderfeet, of dudes and wannabes but if the West is to survive it’s up to folks like these. Cause, were it not for wannabes, why use a horse at all? They’d round up cows from ATV’s while making cell-phone calls.
There’s a Mare By Rob Pliskin There’s a mare flying ‘cross the range Mane tangled in the wind That’s blowing ‘cross the vast Nevada steppe Her tail’s an endless banner A riffling in the breeze And she’s far from being close to winded yet You won’t see words as she flies by Upon that silky tail But pictures painted in red filaree Of all the mares and their bands She’s running to protect with Des colores of her heart to keep them free Under the moon this desert night She’s circling with the herds No dallys taken nor none gave away Outrunning all the hungry men With money in their eyes Giving peace to her remuda one more day So if you look inside your heart Des colores you will see and If you find they seem to be the same Splash them on your wild flanks And wheel into the wind To follow the mare with the tangled mane Cause she can’t do it by herself It‘s never just been one To hold back the howling hounds of hell Make your peace and join her give Your courage as a gift For the mares and their herds I wish you well
trueCOWBOYmarket for y
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