Page 1

october 2011

magazine

Our Buckle Bunny

Lela Reynolds Witness for the Wild ones Standing Room Only

In Pursuit of Passion


Photo courtesy of Bristol MacDonald

www.bristolmacdonaldequinephotography.com

FEATURES 8 Herd roun’ the waterin’ trough 10 In Pursuit of Passion...Matthew R. Bailey 20 Standing Room Only...Laura Allen 26 Witness for the Wild Ones...R.T. Fitch 30 I am a horse...Jim Gath \\

38 Our October Buckle Bunny...Lela Reynolds 52 Anish Gajjar, a Horseman in India...Gina McKnight


Publisher Equine Angle Marketing & Publicity California, USA

Director , Producer & Editor Cate Crismani

Contributing “Wriders” Cate Crismani * Laura Allen RT Fitch * Gina McKnight Tom Doody * Jim Gath

Buckle Bunny Cover/Pictorial Photographer April Visel

Contributing Photographers Christopher Ameruoso * Matthew R. Bailey Terry Fitch * Beth Slagsvol

Advertising Posse Rich Richardson 760.696.6304 “Calamity” Cate Crismani 818.642.4764

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Please take a moment NOW and make your taxtax-deductible donation www.ispmb.org


herd roun’ the waterin’ trough from the Editor’s Desk... October 7, 2011 is a landmark day as the transportation of wild horses via double-decker vans has been outlawed. Naturally, this has to be monitored as we are dealing with some unscrupulous folks in this horse slaughter business. So, if you see double-decker vans transporting horses get the license plate and any info, which highway, direction traveling, auction, name of transport company, videos, pictures and any other pertinent info and send it to Valerie Pringle, Equine Protection Specialist, vpringle@humanesociety.org. We must all be very alert and do our parts to enforce this law. The first International Equine Conference was held in Virginia hosted by EWA and Dr. Ann Marini and Animal Law Coalition to a capacity full venue of enthusiastic wild horse and burro advocates. Some of the speakers included Karen Sussman, ISPMB, Ginger Kathrens, Cloud Foundation, Craig Downer, Madeleine Pickens and emceed by the incomparable R.T. Fitch...read the article by Laura Allen on page 20. As the holidays approach, remember to support the folks who support the rescues and sanctuaries, like Horseworship, and order your holiday gifts early. And do visit our virtual mall in our new “Mercantile Madness” section on page 74! Gracias amigos for being the voices for the wild ones. We are making head way, but we have got to keep the heat on to stop those dangerous and inhumane roundups, oh, excuse me, “gathers”, the BLM’s “PR” spin and leave our wild mustangs, our national treasure, free to live with their herds on the range….its the law! Vivo Los Mustangs! Besos, Calamity Cate

courage


www.horseworship.com 888.60.HORSE


In Pursuit of Passion ...Matthew R. Bailey While attending the University of Oregon, Matthew R. Bailey had the opportunity to take a photography class taught by Ted Orland, former assistant to Ansel Adams. Orland shared his knowledge of photography with an incredible amount of passion. Unfortunately, after graduating, work and other interests limited the amount of time Bailey could devote to this hobby. “I was also having a difficult time finding a subject matter I could passionately pursue”, says Bailey. In 2006, Bailey became acquainted with the amazing wild horse images of Tony Stromberg and participated in one of his equine photography workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “I believe I was the only student who had never taken a picture of a horse”, he laughs. “Stromberg’s strength as a teacher is his mantra that each individual must be true to his or her own vision. I cannot recall there being any discussion regarding the rules of equine photography. Stomberg’s only rule was to take your camera off of the automatic setting, be creative. I returned from the workshop determined to become an additional voice for the plight of America's wild horses. I was starting from scratch as far as equine photography skills. I have never been a horse person so I had absolutely no knowledge of their behavior. What I have learned about the wild horses has been acquired by patiently sitting on rocks and observing them.” At first, Bailey just waited, watched and listened. The flick of an ear, the sound of the stallions. Was that a warning to another herd or an indication that all was clear? “I slowly started to understand the status of each horse within the herd. The body language the stallion uses to direct and command his herd is amazing to witness. I also learned that, not only is there a hierarchy within each herd, there also appears to be herds that are dominant within a particular area and the lesser herds need another stallion's permission to pass through an area”, he says. Copyright 2011 Matthew R. Bailey. All rights reserved.


“I truly believe the BLM acts out of ignorance when conducting the round ups. The stallions in each herd know exactly how many horses are in their group. When the herds come together the stallion keeps track of each individual. The grouping of so many horses in a hold pen or corral must put a tremendous amount of stress on them and the stallion. We have all seen the efforts to escape on the Internet. His primary goal each day is the safety of his herd. How can he possibly do that when the horses that are use to roaming over several thousand acres are suddenly confined to an area the size of a football field?” “The ranchers with grazing rights in northern Nevada and the BLM continue to insist that the wild horses are destroying the habitat and preventing other species from accessing the available water. This is very contrary to what I have observed”, says Bailey, “ I have witnessed the horses walk a couple of miles to a watering hole. Each horse then takes a quick drink, then the horses continue on. On one occasion there were approximately seventy-five to eighty horses near a watering hole in Storey County. The water was only accessible to one or two animals at a time. It is difficult to say for certain but my guess is there were eight to twelve herds waiting. Even though it was the middle of summer and the temperature had been in the ninety degree range for several days the horses were extremely patient with each other. Each horse was granted access to the precious water. Each visit was brief. As the last horse in each herd finished drinking the herd moved on. Each herd going a different direction. It appeared that they knew they would need water again the next day. I have yet to see a stallion prevent another horse, deer or coyote from nearing the water.”


“Intelligent, powerful, determined, graceful, beautiful and playful are words that I use to describe a wild horse. I have tried to use my camera and vision to show others the compassion these animals have for each other. Hopefully the images that I have captured show the spirit of these incredible animals. May we all continue working together to save America's wild horses.� www.matthewrbailey.org


Standing Room Only At the first International Equine Conference By Laura Allen The first International Equine Conference held in Alexandria, Virginia was a two-part, three day symposium organized by Dr. Ann Marini, Equine Welfare Alliance and Animal Law Coalition, with speakers discussing issues related to (1) America’s Wild Horses and Burros and (2) Slaughter: the Equine Welfare, Human Health and Environmental Implications in late September. The IEC was filled to capacity with standing room only for the supporters, advocates and public from all over the U.S. and Canada with thousands more following the activities via Facebook and Twitter. Attendees learned from U.S. Representatives Jim Moran (D-VA) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) they have their work cut out for them if the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, S.B. 1176/H.R. 2966, is ever to become law. Moran explained the GAO report has undermined efforts to pass the legislation though he told the crowd the rebuttal to the GAO report prepared by the Equine Welfare Alliance and Animal Law Coalition, will be helpful to Congressional supporters of the bill. Whitfield explained every bill must have a committed sponsor as well as the commitment of the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority leader to bring the bill to a vote. The anti-slaughter bill passed the House of Representatives in 2006 because then Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told the Agriculture Committee that he would take the bill out of committee in three days if they didn’t pass it. The Committee didn’t respond. Speaker Hastert took the bill out of committee and brought it to the floor for a vote, and the bill passed. The bill never came up for a vote in the Senate that session so it did not become law.


Even if the current bill passes committee, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner (R-OH) is not likely to bring the bill to a vote. Not to mention the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), as the architect of the Burns amendment that has permitted the slaughter of thousands of wild horses since 2004, is not a supporter of the bill. Elizabeth Weiner, Projects Assistant for Senator Mary Landrieu (DLA), sponsor of the senate version of the anti-slaughter bill, S.B. 1176; and Jayme Rosandich, aide to Senator Dan Burton (R-IN), sponsor of the House version, H.R. 2966, encouraged attendees to urge their representatives and senators as well as committee chair to support the bill. Sonya Meadows, Executive Director of Animals Angels, told the crowd about their investigations that revealed terrible cruelty to horses at every step in the slaughter pipeline, from the auctions to the slaughter house. The U.S. regulations for humane transport of equines are not enforced; there is only one agent assigned to the task, and enforcement is undermined by the attitude “these horses are going to be slaughtered anyway”. Joanne Normile, Founder and former Executive Director of CANTER, told the attendees about her work rescuing Thoroughbreds that would have been sold for slaughter because they could no longer run fast enough. The crowded room was silent as former Kaufman, Texas Mayor Paula Bacon described the economic and environmental devastation her town endured because of the operation of the Dallas Crown slaughterhouse there: The stench that permeated the town, the waste and blood that clogged the sewers and overran the town’s wastewater treatment plant, the cost to the town in trying to enforce the innumberable violations, the few low wage jobs created, the lack of tax revenues, and general poor quality of life. She explained the town could not attract business because of the horse slaughter plant. Bacon said a community would be better off with a “lead smeltering plant or a sexually oriented business than a horse slaughter plant”.


The good news Bacon brought to the conference is that since the plant’s closing in 2007, citizens report a better quality of life. They can go outdoors, sit on their decks and porches, and not be assailed by the terrible stench, the screams of horses, the sounds of the captive bolt guns or the blood running in the streets. Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D., an organizer and lead sponsor of the conference, discussed her powerful study which confirmed the danger to public health from meat consumption of U.S. horses which are given bute and other drugs banned in animals raised for food. The drug and medical histories of U.S. horses are not tracked,. Kill buyers have no idea of the drugs in the horses they are sending for slaughter for human consumption. The danger is ignored by USDA and FDA as they allow thousands of American horses to be exported for slaughter for human consumption. Prior to the conference, Joan Guilfoyle, the newly appointed director of the BLM’s Wild Horses and Burros Program, contacted the IEL organizers.

www.thecloudfoundation.org


She indicated she would attend to “listen”. She was asked if she would like to speak to the conference goers. Guilfoyle told organizers she would introduce herself but could not talk about the program she is hired to run because she did not know enough about it yet. She also said she would not take questions from attendees. Guilfoyle, however, apparently felt prepared enough the week prior to the conference to give an interview to the New York Times about the Wild Horses and Burros Program. Though Guilfoyle said she wanted to “listen”, she did not attend the conference until the last day when she was scheduled to introduce herself. She did not hear Katie Fite, Western Watersheds Project, discuss the effect of cattle grazing permits on public lands. Guilfoyle did not see photo after photo Fite displayed of western rangeland that BLM is supposed to be managing, destroyed by cattle grazing, not wild horses or burros. Fite said the permits are held predominantly by large corporations, not family ranchers or farmers. go to page 68

www.equinewelfarealliance.org


www.yoursano.com

www.jwbrookscustomhats.com


The Let Em Run Foundation is a non-profit organization in partnership with government, businesses and the community committed to the protection and preservation of the wild mustang and the heritage of the American West. Call 775~847~4777 www.letemrun.org 501(c)3


Witness for the Wild Ones By R.T. Fitch

They know her well out on the public lands. She speaks calmly, watches intently, comments evenly and flashes fire in her written word. The wild horses and burros know her as a friend and as their witness. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) know her as a burr under their saddle while the humane world of equine advocacy know her as their eyes and their heart; we all know her as artist and reporter, Laura Leigh.

Photo courtesy of Beth Slagsvol All rights reserved.

Driven by passion and truth Leigh has spent the last two years following the BLM and their hired contractors from treacherous roundup to roundup documenting the unnecessary cruelty and suffering inflicted upon the very native wild equines the federal agency is charged to protect. The dichotomy is so intense that Leigh and her supportive organization, Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), have filed suit against the BLM on multiple fronts in an effort to bring a much needed stop to the ongoing madness. Legal actions include the organization’s successful attempt to keep the wild horses of West Douglas, Colorado free and not zeroed out as the BLM has long intended. A “First Amendment” suit to gain public access to the deadly roundups and the most latest and controversial suit of “Humane Care” where a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against the cruel actions of a BLM contractor helicopter pilot. Helicopters have long been contested by humane organizations but the BLM’s latest “hotshot” pilot enjoys using his aircraft as a weapon and actually pokes and prods the terrorized horses with the very aircraft itself. “The BLM has standards of conduct they simply chose to ignore them.” says Leigh.


Leigh has been documented, by the BLM itself, with spending more time at BLM wild horse stampedes than any one BLM employee. A true testimony to her commitment and the breadth of sincerity and concern. “This is all about the horses,” says Leigh, “There’s no room for ego, agendas or human misconceptions out here, there is only the horses and one day, soon I hope, they will catch a break due to our efforts and these amazing creatures will be around for my grandchildren to revel in. It is my passion to make that dream come true.” Putting her life aside Leigh has virtually lived out of the back of her truck to ensure that she can be on-site and on-hand to photograph and video the questionable activity of the BLM and their associated contractors. “I don’t know how she does it”, comments R.T. Fitch, long time friend and President of the supporting WHFF, “In reality she makes me feel guilty that we are not out there more with her and giving the hands-on and in your face support that she needs. Her fortitude and dedication is one in a million and she is a true inspiration for the entire Wild Horse advocacy.” Fueled with passion and the limited support of private citizens everywhere Leigh and WHFF plot their strategy to affect the BLM policies and actions for the betterment of both the treatment and the future of wild horses and burros on public lands “We need a moratorium on these dangerous helicopter roundups,” says Leigh, “take an accurate and legitimate assessment of the numbers of horses/burros left on the range, validate the numbers in holding and formulate a management plan, if required, that will maintain genetically viable herds, in the wild, for future generations of Americans to enjoy and view...it’s as simple as that. The dialogue must move forward” Meanwhile the cards are on the table, the legal actions are in the courts, it’s just a matter of if the BLM is listening while far out in the distance, you can hear the sound of Laura’s shutter clicking as it resonates across the open range. She is watching.


www.rodeogirl.com


I am a horse By Jim Gath

You know me. We’ve known each other since you were just a child. Remember the pony rides at the Field Days? Remember Fury? And Flicka? And Silver? And Trigger? And Black Beauty? And me and my brothers and sisters at the Fair? And that little figurine of me that you kept on the shelf in your bedroom? And do you remember when you got a little older and you came to ride me one day? How scared, but excited, you were when you first climbed up on my back? And how that fear went away when the two of us marched off? I knew you were a little scared. That’s why I took such good care of you. We ended up having a ball that day, didn’t we? Now you’ve gone and grown up and made a life for yourself. A lot has happened in your life since that day so many years ago. You moved or you got a job or you went to college or you raised a family or a hundred other things. But I know you remember me because I remember you. I’m still here. And I miss you. We’ve always had a great relationship, you and I, going back hundreds of generations. Our histories are inextricably tied to each other. And it’s a bond that can’t – and shouldn’t – be broken.


My ancestors carried your ancestors from the big port cities in the east across mountains and plains and grasslands and deserts to places where they ultimately settled down. Your ancestors farmed the land and my ancestors pulled their plows and their wagons to market. As a team, your ancestors and mine built big cities. And together, they delivered all the goods and services to the people who made those cities their homes. Together, our ancestors made this country what it is today. My ancestors were big and strong and worked hard for your ancestors. And, in return, they were well cared-for and fed and housed to the best of your ancestors’ ability. They worked and lived together in war and in peace. In good times and in bad. Under the blazing sun and in blinding snowstorms. They were happy together, sad together, scared together and triumphant together. They were brothers and sisters. And neither of them could thrive, let alone survive, without the other. Maybe that’s why Mother Earth put us together in the first place. We’re still brothers and sisters. And when a member of a family has a problem, he or she turns to his brothers and sisters for help. And I’m turning to you now for your help. All across this land, too many of our four-legged brothers and sisters are suffering. Some are starving. Some are in pain. Some don’t have a home. Some are being slaughtered. Too many of us are in jeopardy. And it pains me to tell you this, but much of this suffering is being caused by our two-legged brothers and sisters. I don’t know why that is – maybe it’s ignorance; maybe it’s indifference; maybe it’s a loss of the sense of the history we share; and maybe – and I hate to say this – but maybe it’s greed. You see, too many of us are being born. Too many of us are being forsaken because we’ve gotten old or injured. Too many of us are being ignored or forgotten or dismissed in favor of more material things. The reasons are as varied as the colors in the rainbow. go to page 36


Bureau of Land Management Gather Schedule 2011 www.blm.gov Herd Management Area

Gather Date

Planned Planned Gather Removal Number Number

Kiger

7/6/11 – 7/12/11

132

85

Outside Paisley Bait Trap

7/1/11 9/29/11

10

10

Outside Warm Spring Bait Trap

7/1/11 – 9/29/11

10

10

Buck/Bald Complex Triple B Cherry Creek Maverick/Medicine Antelope Valley West

7/16/11 8/31/11

1,687

1,579

7/13/11 – 87 7/17/11

54

Jackies Butte

8/2/11 – 8/8/11

210

135

Three Fingers

8/9/11 – 8/15/11

250

175

Little Colorado

8/17/11 – 9/6/11

280

241

White Mountain

8/17/11 – 594 9/6/11

455

Riddle

go to page 34


BLM Gather Schedule 2011 continued from page 32

Herd Management Area

Gather Date

Planned Planned Gather Removal Number Number

9/2/119/5/11

54

54

Winter Ridge HA

9/10/11 – 9/14/11

200

200

Barren Valley Complex Coyote/Alvord Sheepshead/Heath Sand Springs

9/10/11 – 9/30/11

626

258

China Lake Navy

Spring Creek Basin

Piceance/East Douglas HMA

9/15/11 65 9/18/11

45

9/20/11 – 9/30/11

300

300


www.wildhorserescue.org


from page 31

I just want you to know it’s happening and I’m scared. And I’m reaching out to you from across the years and across the memories for your help. Don’t worry – I’m not asking you for much. Just a little. I’m asking you to call your representatives in government and tell them to put and end to our slaughter. I’m asking you to donate a little every month for food and care for our brothers and sisters who live in sanctuaries and rescues. I’m asking you to refrain from breeding so many of us. I’m asking you to volunteer your time for us once in a while. I’m asking you to teach your children about us and give them the opportunity to experience the joy we shared. I’m asking you to treat our lives with the same love and respect with which we’ve always treated yours. The way we’ve always treated each other. I’m asking you to, once again, be our brothers and our sisters in deed. To be a part of our lives in whatever way you see fit. In whatever way you can. I’m asking you to make me proud, once again, to say: I am a horse.


Saddle up, Subscribe! Help Support Our Mission to Save Our Wild Mustangs & Burro www.truecowboymagazine.com


“I have always been an actress”, smiles Lela Reynolds, our statuesque October Buckle Bunny. “I have always loved dressing up and becoming someone else or anyone I wanted to be. Its mysterious. I guess that’s why acting is one of my passions…I have many, but acting is at the top of the list.” Reynolds began acting around the same time she began riding horses and both fit her like a tightly laced corset. “I started riding hunter jumpers and then moved on to Arabians. “I’ve shown Arabians for years in the hunter, western, English pleasure, and halter classes. I had a very successful youth career winning some regional's as well as World Stallion/Gelding ATH with my halter gelding.” “I have met so many great horses and through them so many great people”, smiles Reynolds, “friendships I will always have and treasure.”


When asked how she felt about the plight of the wild mustangs, Reynolds bright eyes dull and she becomes quiet. “I have been in awe of mustangs since the first time I saw “The Misfits” with Marilyn Monroe. Not much has changed for them except that its gotten worse. Their story of survival is very important and is my inspiration to keep going because no matter what hardships you face, or what others try to do to you, you must persist and keep living. A smile crosses her lips and all is right again. Our October Buckle Bunny, Lela Reynolds, an inspiration for us all.


Photographed by April Visel All rights reserved. www.aprilvisel.com


The “Freedom Collection” from Horseworship Apparel Horseworship, an independently owned apparel company based in Malibu, California, today joined the growing chorus of individuals and businesses working to stop the eradication of America’s rapidly diminishing wild horse population with the announcement of its “Freedom Collection” line. A portion of the profits from sales of the line will support the California-based Return To Freedom, American Wild Horse Sanctuary. With the unveiling of her “Freedom Collection” line, Horseworship founder and designer Pamela Robins has created a series of stunning short and long sleeve tee shirts, delicious thermals and warm hoodies for both young girls and women. The collection merges graphic design, verse and the fine art photography of renowned equine photographer Kimerlee Curyl to create unique fashion that raises money while raising awareness for the cause. The Horseworship Freedom Collection, available online at www.horseworship.com, includes an array of hip, striking apparel that represents a radical departure from the status quo of equestrian oriented fashion. The photo realistic printing and bold color strikes require as many as five separate print screens on the fashion cut shirts, creating a finished product that is a one of a kind piece of wearable art. An avid equestrian and daily rider, Robins’ inspiration for the project began with seeing Kimerlee Curyl’s photos of wild horses (www.kimerleecuryl.com) at an opening. Comments Robins: “I was taken by the majesty and independence of these incredible animals in Kimerlee’s photos. She has a romantic eye that allows her to capture both the subtle and dynamic interactions between the horses in a way that really spoke to me and I wanted to learn more.” Robins learned from Curyl that the subjects in her images were photographed in their natural environment at Return to Freedom, a non-profit wild horse sanctuary in Lompoc, California (www.returntofreedom.org).


In subsequent conversations, Robins was told that America’s wild horse population—once numbering nearly two million--has been reduced to less than thirty thousand, more than thirty-eight thousand more stockpiled in holding facilities and long term holding ranches at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $50 million annually. Founded in 1997 by Neda DeMayo, Return to Freedom is the realization of her life-long dream: to protect the freedom and natural lifestyle of America's free ranging wild horses. On the Return to Freedom’s collaboration with Horseworship, DeMayo says, “Horses have inspired artists in all mediums for thousands of years, in a very generous gesture, Pamela Robbins is sharing her appreciation and inspiration with the public to benefit the horses.” Kimerlee Curyl commented on the Freedom Collection project saying, "Pamela's creative spirit and sensitivity to horses, as well as her willingness and dedication to participate in raising awareness for Return to Freedom can be seen and felt throughout this collection. The beauty she has created is exciting, fresh and fashionable...art has a voice!" The Freedom Collection joins Horseworship’s signature line featuring dynamic images, bold colors and verse celebrating the equestrian disciplines of Dressage, Stadium and Cross Country Jumping. While drawing her inspiration from the surrounding beauty of the Malibu canyons and “all things horse,” Robins describes Horseworship t-shirts as “fun, versatile fashion that transitions seamlessly from a day in the saddle to a night out on the town.”

www.horseworship.com 888. 60. HORSE


Anish Gajjar, a Horseman in India By Gina McKnight

The crowd at Chawlas in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, is top-drawer this evening. Gajjar is dining with His Highness, Maharana, H.H. Mahipendra Singh, who is the proprietor of Bhavani Villa Palace, Danta, India. Gajjar begins the conversation with His Highness’ current configuration of Marwari horses stabled at the legendary Danta Stud Farm. His Highness Singh’s luxurious hillside Villa is open to tourists worldwide and is revered for its royal ancestry and hospitality. It is one of Gajjar’s many congenial conversations of the equine kind; Gajjar discusses the future of the endangered Marwari with Singh, sharing innovative ideas and equine interactions until the last aromatic sip of masala chai. As the sun rises the next morning over the beautiful Ahmedabad skyline, His Highness Singh and visitors from Mumbai meet Gajjar for a revitalizing early morning horseback ride through sandy dry riverbeds, fragrant mango groves and windswept tundra. It is one of the prettiest spots in the city landscape. The morning is hot and humid, a sign of the ensuing monsoons, bringing the hint of the end of summer. Their mounts are from the Equestrian Club of Gujarat, of which Gajjar is a co-founding member. The Club stables six gorgeous Marwari horses: stallion Humayun; mares Zubeida, Cordelia and Laila, Kyra and Sajni. All four horses have been expertly trained and skillfully condition by Gajjar. The riders experience the comradery initiated by elegant horses, ancestral charm and pleasing countryside aesthetics. At the end of the day, the horses return to their brick and mortar stables while riders return to their respective homes, relishing the time spent amongst enthusiastic equestrians and kindred friends.


Living in the heart of one of India’s largest, fastest-growing metropolitan areas, Gajjar finds space for his passion amongst the city streets and byways. Wearing his signature cowboy hat, confident stance and contagious smile, Gajjar is the topic of countless equestrian articles, press releases and equine conversations. An eighteen-year veteran on India’s equestrian scene, Gajjar is a freelance equestrian trainer, riding instructor, a breeder of India’s indigenous Marwari, as well as an advocate for horse-welfare throughout India. A debonair gentlemen and influential entrepreneur, Gajjar is the quintessential urban cowboy. He is world renowned as India’s ‘Horse Man’ and is famous for his diverse equestrian portfolio; an impressive horseman, providing support and encouragement for youth and amateurs as well as the seasoned rider. You can find Gajjar at six am on most mornings at the Equestrian Club of Gujarat. After exercising the Club’s sleek equines, he prepares for his first student of the day, a six-year old girl learning basic equitation skills. Her horse, Cordelia, is a classic Marwari with grand disposition and good looks. Students learn that horses can recognize anxieties and desires through physical messages and focal movements; that physical and focal cues act as communication tools to achieve the desired response from their mount. The large riding area adjoining the stable provides adequate room to hone basic riding techniques as well as the value and wonder of quality horsemanship. It is hard work, but it is Gajjar’s ambition to help others fulfill their equestrian dreams. He states, “Hard work has no short cut and success is not achieved overnight. One should not get disheartened at short-term obstacles, but should focus on long-term gains.” go to page 58


Cinch Up for The Cure Buckaroo Leather goes Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Buckaroo Leather is donating $20 from every Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Cincha sold, to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure, Buckaroo Leather and Susan G Komen for the Cure,Boise Affiliate are proud to support Breast Cancer Awareness with a custom piece of western horse tack. "The Vaquero cincha with the pink ribbon is an ever vigilant symbol of victory over Breast Cancer and a reminder that early detection of breast cancer saves lives"- Vicki Geretschlaeger (one of the owners of Traditional Mohair Cinchas, who hand weave the mohair cinchas). Buckaroo Leather is proud to be able to bring awareness to breast cancer with the spirit of the cowboy and traditional western horse tack. The pink ribbon traditional mohair cinch is handmade by Traditional Mohair Cinchas. The inspiration for this unique piece of horse tack came from a Breast Cancer survivor. It was a special gift to herself, a reminder, of her second anniversary of recovery. The cinch has the pink cancer awareness ribbon with the colors pink for breast cancer, white for purity, and black to honor those who have lost the battle. Buckaroo Leather has been manufacturing quality leather horse tack for over 30 years. Buckaroo Leather offers the finest in western horse tack, including quality leather reins, breast collars, training equipment, traditional Vaquero horse tack and more. Buckaroo Leather only uses the finest cowhides from here in America. For more information contact Buckaroo Leather owner John Brand at 530-545-0139 or buckaroojohn@sbcglobal.net


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from page 53 Anish Gajjar

Dedication makes a true horseman, which is evident in Gajjar’s articulate training and intuitive approach. He says, “Training is a lot harder than people perceive it to be. It is hard work that takes finesse, patience and passion. Experience, skill and compassion are required to break a green horse and to teach a novice to ride properly.” As a skilled horse trainer Gajjar says, “The foundations for horse training in India need to improve and the attitude of training a horse in five minutes has to go! Patience and persistence has no short-cut and horses cannot be dominated.” According to Gajjar, “If you have bought a horse for the joy of riding, then you must know that 70% of your time will be spent on horse keeping and 30% for horse riding. Bonding and compassion for your horse is very necessary if you want to learn horse riding. It is not as expensive as it is often misunderstood and a horse can be maintained within a reasonable budget, but one needs to dedicate time and interest into it.” Gajjar’s philosophy is that we are obligated to be responsible equestrians; that each rider must understand the need for basic riding skills and techniques to optimize the riding experience for both horse and rider. Gajjar advocates the promotion of horseback riding in India for pleasure riding as well as sport activities. When he began training, there were less than 50 horses in his community. Currently the number is over 300. Many new stud farms have been constructed on the outskirts of the city due to the rise in equine sports and the desire to be on horseback. Horseback riding in India is a centuries old tradition, but to bring the thrill of riding to the confinement of the city has been a challenge and a goal for Gajjar. Slowly, the goal is being realized and equines in the city are growing. Organizing and sponsoring local horse shows and competitions to showcase the splendor and grace of India’s indigenous horses, Gajjar plays a key role in promoting equine sports. He organizes endurance races as per EFI rules with renowned horsemen and horsewomen judging them. Riders from all over India congregate in Ahmedabad for the competitions.


Gajjar is trying harder to motivate enough people to buy their own horses. He states, “I provide a beginner’s session to aspiring riders to take up riding more seriously so they can be keen enough to own their own horse, ride regularly and get to competition level. I want to help people to stable their horse in the easiest way. When they stable their own horse, it gives them a sense of responsibility and level of commitment. When stabling their own horse, people tend to ride more dedicatedly for longer periods of time, creating a bond with the horse and maintaining an enjoyable ride.” Gajjar provides his community with the means and motivation to pursue owning a horse. “My goal is to make horse keeping and riding so easy for the average Indian that they are rid of all fears related to horses and I act as a facilitator to dispel the myths related to horses. People think horses are too expensive to maintain, or a big hassle or maybe uncontrollable…all that is gradually changing.” Passionate about horses since an early age, Gajjar keeps his favorite fiveyear old black Marwari stallion, Nawaab, in the backyard of his home. It is a non-traditional method of stabling a horse, but is the most convenient. When not at the Equestrian Club for morning rides, Gajjar and Nawaab can be seen along Ahmedabad’s sleepy streets, taking a morning jaunt to the adjoining farmer’s field. As is traditional with Marwari, Nawaab is sleek and gorgeous, wielding a kind disposition with a stallion’s attitude. One of the distinguishing features of the Marwari is their arching ears, sometimes compared to an ancient lyre, delicately curving inward. “When annoyed their ears lay back like every other horse. When alert the ears turn forward and usually touch at the tips forming an arch,” says Gajjar. Arching ears are just one of their natural traits. They are also revered for their quiet ride, gentle disposition and resilient nature. Riding in classic English tack the urban cowboy rides Nawaab through the morning crowd. The city is fascinated by Gajjar and Nawaab, a rare site in the busy metropolis. When describing Nawaab, Gajjar replies, “Nawaab’s disposition could be described as content, curious and an explorer. He’s got one of the best temperaments; a little assertive, as a stallion should be, and always very friendly.” go to page 72


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W

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 – The Horse.

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from page 23

Fite also showed photographs of fencing and other obstructions to grazing and water sources BLM has allowed on public lands to benefit cattle ranchers or developers, but threaten wild horses and burros and other wild animals such as the sage grouse. The cattle industry receives a substantial taxpayer subsidy from livestock grazing on public lands. The industry pays only $1.35 per animal under 18,000 grazing permits and leases on 258 million acres of public lands. Grazing livestock on public lands is a “$132 million loss to the American taxpayer each year and independent economists have estimated the true cost at between $500 million and $1 billion dollars a year.” Despite this, only 2-4% of beef production is from grazing cattle on public lands. Guilfoyle also did not see award winning filmmaker Katia Louise’s brilliant and powerful film, Saving America’s Horses – A Nation Betrayed. Guilfoyle arrived at the conference with Dean Bolstad, Deputy Division Chief of the Wild Horse and Burros Program, and Ed Roberson, BLM’s Assistant Director, in tow. She was visibly nervous as she rose to speak to the crowd. Yet she basically stuck to her script, regaling attendees with her resume – she is a longtime government employee and enjoys yoga - she did get in a few BLM chestnuts like “BLM is not managing the wild horses and burros to extinction”; “I hope you will read the information BLM publishes”; and “You should come and see a ‘gather’”. Her words rang hollow particularly when later filmmaker James Kleinert who screened his film, Wild Horses and Renegades, at the conference, told conference attendees he had to file a lawsuit against the BLM to stop the Spring Creek Basin roundup in Colorado where the agency is zeroing out the herd to make way for uranium extraction. Other lawsuits have been filed by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation to stop the “zeroing out” process and to attempt to gain access to BLM roundups.


Guilfoyle repeated the phrase “multiple use”, savoring it like a child with a bag of Halloween candy. Indeed, the concept of “multiple use” is the bedrock of BLM’s wild horse and burro policy; it is the justification for the massive stepped up roundups over the last few years. The problem is “multiple use” to BLM means the cattle ranchers, oil and gas, mining and other development interests are arbitrarily given priority in the giveaway of our public lands, never the animals specifically protected by law. Guilfoyle spoke of using Mustangs in therapy or rehabilitation programs. Many attendees wondered why she wasn’t talking about ways to keep the wild horses and burros on the range. Indeed, the concept of “multiple use” is the bedrock of BLM’s wild horse and burro policy; it is the justification for the massive stepped up roundups over the last few years. The problem is “multiple use” to BLM means the cattle ranchers, oil and gas, mining and other development interests are arbitrarily given priority in the giveaway of our public lands, never the animals specifically protected by law. Next to the podium was Ginger Kathrens, Founder of The Cloud Foundation. Kathrens looked directly at Guilfoyle as she said, “The BLM is managing the wild horses and burros to extinction.” Kathrens explained BLM arbitrarily sets lower and lower “appropriate management levels” or numbers of wild horses and burros the range can support. Kathrens said the BLM then only allows the number on the low end of the AML to remain. She said, to make matters worse, BLM does not have an accurate census and exaggerates the birth rates, claiming it is 20% each year. Kathrens, who spends weeks in the wild with Cloud’s herd, confirmed a report released last year that indicates there are far fewer horses and burros than BLM claims. Kathrens laid out a 10 point plan for humane management of wild horses and burros with a goal of keeping them on the range. next page


Madeleine Pickens once again offered to enter into a partnership with BLM to move captured wild horses from short term holding facilities to the range in both reproducing and non-reproducing herds. Guilfoyle and Bolstad made no response to Picken’s offer. Guilfoyle then fled to the back of the conference room. Economist Caroline Betts, Ph.D., M.A., a professor at the University of Southern California in international finance and macroeconomics, said the BLM numbers don’t add up. She said BLM simply assumes the number of horses doubles every four years, which would mean there are a million horses on the range today. Even BLM says there are less than 40,000. Dr. Betts explained, “Either the removal data is wrong or the 20 percent population growth is wrong”. Dr. Bruce Nock, an expert in wild horse captivity, emphasized the terrible stress and suffering these wild animals endure during the “gathers”. Contrary to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, they are stampeded by helicopters, subjected to “capture”, “harassment” and inhumane treatment, injury and even death, separated forever from their families and bands and then locked up in government holding pens that are akin to feedlots. Dr. Nock challenged that none of the BLM veterinarians have expertise regarding stress in captured animals. Quite different from Guilfoyle’s comments prior to the conference when she told the New York Times that only “one in a thousand… bumps up against the gate“. She said all the other horses and burros “[come] through more or less agreeably.” She dismissed the terrible suffering of these animals as a public relations problem. Maybe she is not aware of the recent injunction issued to stop BLM’s cruel and inhumane abuse of horses during a roundup. One attendee said Guilfoyle took a “lot of notes” during her one day at the three day conference. Let’s hope it wasn’t her grocery list.


GOOD READS Sometimes what appears unfortunate turns out to be a good thing. For me, it was a cracked rib falling off my horse that laid me up for ten days or more. With limited mobility and lots of quiet time at night, I was able to catch up on my reading “hardcopy� books. The book du jour was The Bone Trail by Nell Walton. The Bone Trail is a modern day work with a true-life and contemporary twist....the plight of the wild mustangs and burros. Replete with murder, mystery, romance, secrets and government cover-ups, The Bone Trail is a page-turner. Investigative reporter Kate Wyndham is hot on the trail of a mystery which not only includes the BLM and the mustangs but two wild horse advocates, two women, that have disappeared without a trace in the Nevada desert. I was completely absorbed in this story, its characters, the relationships between them and the far more sinister truth that is discovered by Kate. Nell Walton nails the current sentiment of the round ups, penning, slaughter and propaganda surrounding the mustang issue. The Bone Trail is her first novel. www.allpetspost.org/allhorsespost


from page 59 Anish Gajjar

Nawaab is comfortable in his backyard stable and has become accustomed to the sounds of Ahmedabad. When asked about Nawaab’s beauty, agility and expert performance, Gajjar states, “The gaits are soft and he’s quite sure-footed. I’ve brought him into a well collected ride. The trot and canter are both quite soft and comfortable.” The connection between Gajjar and Nawaab is evident. It is a magical image of dedicated loyalty and friendship between horse and rider. Gajjar is not only an equestrian and riding school facilitator, but also provides guidance with equine training, procurement, breeding and nutritional/health management. He is famous for his work with local veterinarians and horse experts, advocating the need to educate horse owners of the need for optimum horse care, including the use of the correct bits. Barbedbits are an issue in India and the International Friends of Marwari are making strides to alleviate their use. Gajjar indicates, “I'm also in touch with Caroline Moorey from the United Kingdom who comes to India with her team and distributes free bits to horse owners.” Most of the free bits are distributed at the annual Tilwara and Pushkar horse fairs. Gajjar is instrumental in helping to educate and inform horse owners about the dangers of using barbed-bits. He states, “We never use any of these [barbed] bits on any of our horses. Some people in villages do though. Recently I’ve seen many small dealers begin to provide steel snaffles at good prices. Gradually, with increased awareness, the demand for snaffles is increasing and they are available at almost the same price of a barbed bit. This means that hopefully the Desi ‘chokda’ bits will disappear in a few years if we all work together on it. We can only hope the trend changes for the better.” As a horse breeder, Gajjar interacts with local stud farms and breeders. Like all horse breeders in India, he knows the value of the Panchkalyanis; Marwari with a black coat, four white socks and a white blaze. Due to the rarity of Panchkalyanis and their promise of good fortune, they are very expensive and difficult to secure. The fascinating Marwari hold a prominent position in India’s horse culture. There is no denying that the Marwari image emits a powerful influence on equestrians around the world. The indigenous Marwari is one of India’s most precious resources; progressive, resilient and unique. Currently, due to low census, Marwari are confined to India (with very few in the U.S.A., France and Spain, which were transported prior to the ban); however, as their numbers increase, the export ban may be lifted.


In addition to his busy schedule, Gajjar can be seen at the local horse shelter helping to guide shelter leaders with students who come to ride and visit with the horses. Gajjar donated four retired thoroughbred mares and one Marwari mare to the local horse shelter, confirming his role as equine advocate by stating, “We started saddling the horses and kids began riding the horses at a walk; they all loved it. I was there to ensure that everything equine was in order and that the new mares were tested before the grooms took the kids for rides. I checked and approved every horse for its soundness and then let the facilitator in charge explain horses to the kids.” It is Gajjar’s way of sharing his equine passion with his community while supporting and promoting horse welfare, rider ethics and youth interaction with horses. The students at the shelter are in continuous awe of Gajjar, watching in wonder as he manipulates leather, calms unruly mares and recites the parts of a horse’s anatomy without hesitation. It is the cowboy way to enhance the lives of others through the love of horses. Gajjar gladly states, “As a lover of horses, equestrian and trainer, whether you are doing it for the public or keeping and training a horse in your backyard, you should always be bettering yourself and taking every opportunity to learn. Techniques from proper posture while in the saddle, to horse confirmation will play a vital role in the pleasantness of your horse-rider experience. Statistics prove that improving your riding skills will increase the pleasure and connection between you and your horse. Horseback riding is an intense sport, requiring the use of every single muscle in your body and consuming your free time. It is a team effort, the team of two, you and your horse. You need to spend as much time with your horse as possible, both on the ground and riding.” As with all cowboys in any culture, Gajjar is completely dedicated to equine management, health and stability. Being an Indian urban cowboy isn’t easy, but Gajjar, with his easy demeanor and exemplified ethics, is committed to enhancing and promoting the horse-rider experience. When asked what his future holds for his equestrian ventures, Gajjar affirms with a bold smile, “There is nothing half so much worth doing as simply riding and being with horses. Tell me it can’t be done and I will do it; tell me the goal is too high, and I will reach it; place an obstacle in front of me and I will soar over it; challenge me, dare me, or even defy me, but do not underestimate me for on the back of my horse anything is possible.” Gajjar is the ultimate urban cowboy and a horse’s best friend. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=604156224&sk=info Apnu Ahmedabad, Horse Man of India http://www.apnuahmedabad.com/2011/07/horse-man.html?spref=fb


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