Monday, March 11, 2013

Deer Run Road Mares Challenge Painting #391

Thousands of Wild Horse advocates were appalled and angry over the removal of wild horses from around the Deer Run Road Subdivision outside of Carson City, Nevada this past week end. They were appalled because it was so easy to remove the horses.

"Deer Run Road Mares"From Pine Nut Mountain HMA
5 by 7 inches Graphite on #110 Drawing Paper
by Linda L Martin Artist
Prints $35.00 each
For Information  email:
I have been told  by many wild horses advocates that in the wild, a wild horse does not even know what grain is. Generally, it takes weeks and even months to introduce it into their diets. According to the advocates some wild horses will never eat it. Wild horses do know what alfalfa is, and they do recognize some grass hays, however, for the most part, the diet of domestic horses is completely unknown to wild horses. In some instances a domestic horse diet is far too rich and will cause wild horses to founder or colic, both of which can lead to extremely painful lingering deaths.

So on the week-end of the Deer Run Road  removals by the BLM, while all the locals to the area were deeply grieved at the loss of their favorite band of wild horses, the rest of us were becoming more and more outraged. Outraged because we know that this is what happens when wild horses are fed over time and become tame.

Here in the East coast we deal with it all the time with our wild herds. Horses so tame from feeding and  luring to food,  that foals sometimes end up in the back of the cars of tourists and are kidnapped from remote areas. Horses are so fearless of cars and trucks that they just walk out right into the road and impede traffic or surround vehicles  begging for food or are hit, and sometimes killed,  because they jump out in front of cars.  Horses so unafraid of people that people are seriously injured when a wild horse kicks or bites at another horse while they are being petted.

This is so prominent on Assateague Island that  the National Park Service has put out a brochure warning people to stay away from the horses and what can happen:  It is out rageous that intelligent people ignor the warnings all the time.

Three of the Deer Run Road Mares.
The entire band often made trips
right into the city park at Carson City
in search of  food, according to one
local news source.

Thankfully we have private non-profits here in the East that work with managing entities to remove the most troublesome horses and put them into sanctuaries or if they are young enough, have them trained and adopted out. What is just as appalling is that many of the people who were complaining about the removal of the Deer Run Horses were claiming to be activists, yet had no knowledge of the history of their community, its wild horses or the laws regarding the protection of the horses.  Some, by their own admission, said they had really done nothing proactive to help protect those very horses and keep them running free.

There are laws put in place to assure the freedom of those horses. Unfortunately, many in the housing development ignored the law regarding horses on federal land.

Did you know that it is a federal crime to feed and pet wild horses that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service? This is what the law says:

“It is illegal to feed, pet, or other-wise harass a wild horse or burro, individuals will be cited for those activities and the citations carry a minimum fine of $500.00 per incident.”
This is the band stallion.  The
horses are from the Pine Nut HMA
that boarders a development where
residents regularly fed the horses.

So if you have 10 or 15 federally managed horses migrating through your property to water or grazing and you start feeding them because they look skinny, You ccould be fined up to $7,500 every time you put out food for them. And if you are doing that every day twice a day for a year and so is everyone in your subdivision of 30 or 40 houses you could fund the entire Wild Horse and burro program for nearly 4 years. And that includes building permanent sanctuaries all over the country and getting them out of long term holding.

Ok,  is that not enough for you financially? Every time you feed or pet a wild horse, according to wild horse behaviorists,  you actually are acclimatizing it to humans. Wild Horses over time lose their fear and they grow dependent on humans for their food, shelter, and protection. However, because they are still wild they really don’t have any boundries of behavior, because they have no training or handling. They are going to look at their human providers and a source of security but they will do it from a horse to horse perspective. And they will keep coming back every time they are looking for food. Not only that they will cease the demanding activity of seeking food and water on the range and simply stay in the location because they feel secure and have an unlimited food source.

When they lose their fear of humans they also lose their fear of cars and trucks. That is when they start causing accidents. Wild horses will not stay near a road, highway or subdivision unless they are acclimatized to humans and feel safe and secure.  A little fact check for you.. once those horses cross over the boundary from the HMA to private development land they technically are not protected by the Wild Horse and Burro Act.
The horses were so friendly and curious that it was
hard to believe they were wild.

Because they are being fed they also will not run away when someone tries to capture them.

All of the local activists and advocates surrounding the capture of the Deer Run band were very sad that the animals were being removed. But Thousands of Advocates across the US and other countries were Appalled because 1) it only took one guy to capture the entire band of wild horses and 2) all he had to do was shake a bucket and they all walked into the trap.    And everyone of us who saw that news video had our hearts in our throats because we knew that if the BLM had not removed those horses ANY ONE with a truck and panels could have lured those animals into a capture pen and shipped them off to a slaughter plant and no one would have known!
Today, because it was the BLM that did the capturing, those horses are safe and secure in Temporary holding  at the Carson City Prison and they are going to be put up for adoption  on the 23rd of March 2013.

This not the best scenario but unfortunately it is the only option for wild horses that have been deliberatly tamed by feeding them against the law.

Anyone who wants to and cares enough about these horses to follow the BLM guidelines to keep them safe and healthy as domestics can qualify to adopt them. Keep this in mind , these horses had their freedom stolen from them, not by the BLM ,but by people who were well meaning and had no knowledge of  the nature of wild horses.

There are things you can do to prevent this from ever happening again!
Things you can do to help Protect Wild Horses in Developing Areas of North America.

Please Please Please do not feed wild horses!
Please do form a non-profit around your local herd to help place troublesome or injured wild horses And to help educate local people on the history of the herd and ethical wild horse etiquette. In those times when horses might need to be adopted, help with that as well. It would be of great help to form some sort of sanctuary to put horses who like the Deer Run Band could be kept safely and stay together.

Know the history of where you live near the herd.
Know the laws protecting the horses and why they are set up that way.
Help pass state and county laws that will fine those who feed wild horses. Make residences who feed the horses illegally liable for damages caused because they have caused the horses to “take up residence”
 Unify your Homeowner’s association to help keep Wild Horses in your Area Free by working  to Create pass through  zones for wild horses in your development and place signs and fences where needed. In a place like Nevada it is a fence out state. That means you have the right and the obligation to fence your development to protect local wild life from human intervention.
Work with Zoning entities to place mandatory Wild Horse and Wildlife zone areas into development plans to limit contact between people and wild life.
Work with the DOT and other agencies to create special wild life pass-through’s zones under or over major highways and high traffic roads. If major highways divide horses from water sources  work with local governments, state and federal governments, to help them to create special wild horse oasis so the animals will not need to cross populated, industrial or high traffic roads.

Remember if you own the property you can put most of these things into place by right of ownership with out breaking the law or harassing the horses.

You Can Help Wild Horses Remain Free and Protected.

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