Cloud's Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns
Wild Horse Roundups: Why are they conducted?

Why does the government conduct roundups that affect Cloud and his family as well as countless other wild horses? What’s at stake for the mustangs of Montana and other Western states and what happens to the animals auctioned off? Use the guide below to find out more about this longstanding controversy.

How did the roundups get started?

For decades, wild horses that came too close to cattle or sheep on public grazing lands were targets for capture or slaughter. Airplanes or cars were used to round up horses that got in the way of domestic livestock. Water holes were contaminated with poison to kill them off. Outraged by the gratuitous destruction of the horses, Nevada resident Velma Johnston (known as “Wild Horse Annie”) launched a national campaign to encourage states and the federal government to protect the wild horse as a symbol of the American West. In 1971, Congress responded, passing the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act that authorized only agents of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to gather the horses as part of their work in preserving federal lands

Why not just let the horses run free?

Some animal activists think they should run free. They argue that the West’s wild horses, which number roughly 47,000, are greatly outnumbered by privately owned cattle and sheep that also graze on public lands. They portray the Bureau of Land Management as a special interest group for ranchers.

Needless to say, the BLM disagrees. According to the bureau, the roundups, known as “gathers,” are used to keep herds from multiplying beyond a sustainable population. State BLM offices estimate that wild horses repopulate at the rate of roughly 18 percent per year. Apart from the mountain lion and black bear, wild horses have few natural predators. The BLM claims that without their intervention, wild horses would die from starvation or dehydration as they compete for limited range and water resources with other wild animals and livestock. Drought, disease, and fire are also cited as justifications for a roundup.

The Wild Horse and Burro Freedom Alliance, however, points out that wild horses have diversified grazing habits and usually only briefly enter cattle-grazing areas for water. They note that even after massive roundups of mustangs, grazing areas are not necessarily improved for cattle.

How are roundups carried out?

Since 1976, the BLM has used helicopters. Flying at low altitudes, bureau agents drive the herds for miles to an area where they are then loaded onto trucks headed for a holding center. Agents may bring in an entire herd and then winnow out adoptable horses or take in a band out of an entire herd. Depending on its size, a roundup can last for several days or several weeks.

The bureau maintains that helicopters are the most humane way of driving these wild animals across plain and mountain ridge to the centers, but animal activists disagree. The Fund for Animals argues that the sound of the helicopters can spark panic in wild horse herds and place undue stress on the animals — particularly in late winter or during droughts. Of particular concern are mares that are pregnant during the roundups. Foals, unaccustomed to running long distances, can also suffer various limb injuries that make them unsuitable for adoption.

Once at the holding area, wild horse specialists separate the animals according to sex and age. Mares with foals are kept apart. The bureau states that it makes “every effort” to reunite mares with lost foals. Agents then decide which horses are eligible for adoption, which go into a federal rest home, and which are returned to the range.

How many horses does the BLM roundup each year?

Totals and the frequency of the roundups vary according to the target area. Local BLM officers decide upon the figure based on periodic studies meant to indicate how many horses can co-exist with native wildlife and domestic livestock and still have adequate access to water and fodder. Some horse advocates question this practice and argue that the 1971 act and a subsequent 1992 regulation does not empower the Bureau of Land Management with decision-making powers about the removal of wild horses. They claim that only the Secretary of the Interior can make binding decisions on wild horse removal strategies. In fiscal 2003, the BLM removed 10,091 horses from public ranges.

Where Cloud lives, in Montana’s Pryor Mountains, 6 to 12 stallions were captured in late September 2003 to keep the herd at 140-150 animals, according to the Casper STAR-TRIBUNE. Roundups in this part of Montana occur once every 3 years.

How does the BLM choose what horse to keep or not?

In theory, it’s a question of what characteristics — sex, age, genetic stock — the BLM’s local wild horse specialist thinks will best help a herd maintain its “appropriate management level” or AML. An AML is a target population for a herd that guarantees that there will be adequate vegetation and water for livestock and other wildlife without undue stress on the environment. In some locations, these criteria are determined with the help of wild horse advocates.

Horses under five years old are sent to a facility where they are vaccinated, wormed, and freezemarked (branded with an iron chilled in liquid nitrogen) before being offered for adoption.

Horses that are over 10 years old are defined as ready for retirement and are transferred to government-run long-term holding centers to receive permanent care. Horses between the ages of 5 and 9 are returned to the range. The bureau says that “under normal circumstances,” unadoptable horses are returned to the range.

How are wild horse adoptions managed?

In 2003, about 6,185 wild horses were adopted, according to the BLM. Adoption fees are usually established by competitive bids at an auction — the minimum price is $125, the average is $185. Any person who can pay the fee, is at least 18 years old, has no prior conviction for inhumane treatment of animals, and can demonstrate to BLM inspectors that the horse will be adequately cared for within the U.S. is eligible to adopt a horse. Individuals can adopt up to 4 wild horses per year. Candidates to adopt a horse must sign a statement that says that they will not sell the horse to a slaughterhouse, for use in a rodeo, or for any commercial purpose.

Adoptions, however, may not continue for long. In November 2003, the BLM announced that rising costs may force the program to end. Instead, horses would be kept in holding centers that are cheaper to run. It costs $445 per horse per year to keep a wild horse in a holding center, while arranging for the adoption of a single horse can run as high as $1,400, the Reno GAZETTE-JOURNAL reported.

Is there any other way to control wild horse populations other than auctions?

BLM officers also use the fertility control agent PZP (porcine zonae pellucidae), a vaccine derived from pig cells. Captured mares can be injected at close range, or a dart gun can be used for those who are still free. The vaccine is effective 90 percent of the time and, according to a 2001 study by the UC Davis Center for Equine Health, does not produce any side effects in the horses. PZP, however, requires two injections, which can make using it on an entire herd a logistical challenge. The vaccine lasts for two years.

In Montana, where CLOUD’S LEGACY was filmed, a fertility control program has been in effect since 2001. Yearlings and two-year-old mares are vaccinated every year with PZP to prevent pregnancies. In 2003, the Montana BLM began to vaccinate mares that are 14 years old or older. The office says its long-term goal is to vaccinate these animals for the rest of their lives and argues that the vaccine improves their physical condition by reducing the chances of pregnancies at an age when they are less suited to give birth.

Animal-rights activists have extended a cautious welcome to PZP. The Fund for Animals argues that the vaccine is more humane than roundups, but cautions that it should not be used to delay pregnancies in young mares.

What happens to horses that are deemed not suitable for auction?

They are either returned to the range or placed in five long-term, government-run holding facilities in Kansas and Oklahoma. Stallions are gelded and pastured separately from mares. Even here, however, horses can be adopted. Postings on state BLM Web sites often feature the photos of horses up for adoption that have been placed in permanent care. Sick, elderly horses can undergo euthanasia at three centers. Privately run wild horse sanctuaries are another alternative.

Are wild horses endangered animals?

Officially, no. Currently, the bureau estimates that there are some 45,000 horses in the wild, about half of them in Nevada. By comparison, a century ago, some 2 million horses roamed the Western ranges. The BLM puts the optimal number of horses on the Western ranges at 25,000. Worried by the large costs of the adoption program (which takes up nearly a third of the annual BLM wild horse budget of $11.6 million), the BLM wants to reduce the number of wild horses on the Western ranges by half and is also reconsidering its adoption program. Equine population experts worry that reducing the number of horses in the wild could lead to a loss of genetic diversity and, ultimately, the eventual extinction of this living legend.

  • Barb Beck

    They are once more in danger:

  • J. Rutherford

    It is wrong, wrong, wrong to kill such a strong and yet beautiful animal as a horse. Try, some thing else, PLEASE!

  • Gabrielle Golec

    No wild horses should be removed this year based on the current horse market and poor economy. There are too many horses on the market and people are even giving away trained saddle horses. We are very concerned that these wild, untrained horses will not find good homes. The safest place for a wild horses is on the range, especially now.

  • Barbara Ellen Ries

    Horses are our companions hero’s who carried us/families and our belongings across the west and built fabulous country. I am a personal witness to the courage and compassion of horses- see web site ~ -
    We are are one. Do not lessen our quailty of life for one horse, Cloud or any national treasure….
    Barbara Ellen Ries

  • Terry Calder

    Considering the economy and the excess of domestic horses needing homes the range is the best place for these animals, PZP seems to be the best answer. It leaves the wild horses in their natural environment, where we want to see them while reducing their numbers gradually over the years.

  • Thomas J. Classen

    Instead of removing horses get the cows off the range.
    The present numbers are just a small fraction of past
    numbers. They rome wild and don’t need any help from the BLM and there stupid management plan. Just leave them alone.

  • liisa jussila

    do we have to kill everything beautifull and natural in this world.soon

  • Gudrun Hoerig

    Can’t we leave anything alone?! Must the human race proove that it can control everything!! It is really deplorable to harm these beautiful, wild animals.

  • Pil Kuitan

    Man is rushing towards his own destruction, he’s just practicing on all the other species first. But when all is said and done the horse will one day see the end of man. The human race, said to be the most intelligent form of life on the planet, is, in reality, the least intelligent. Which of the animal species out there would choose to wantonly destroy their own environment and everything around them? Animals do what they do to survive, but man does what he does out of greed… the natural animal is by far more civilized than many a human being. Man messes with nature and then complains about the results, without truly doing anything to reverse those results- man the more intelligent being? You be the judge. Leave the horses alone, leave nature alone… humans are the ones who need better birth control methods, they are the most over populated specie on the planet, a truly invasive specie considering all other forms of life were here first. I am almost ashamed to belong to the human race, my heart yearns and cries with the wild ones for what is lost, and will never be regained. Shame on those who’s greed and lust for power ruthlessly destroys everything in their path… the earth will retaliate one day, and then they too will see what it is like to face extinction.

  • Adam Vanderbuilt

    The BLM’s management program is a great way to preserve wild horses – descendants of those brought by Spanish Explorers centuries ago. People brought them in, now people are preserving and caring for them. Thousands of animals still in the wild is hardly endangered and those our there now are healthier and receive better care than the “2 million” of a century ago – which I would remind the readers is an estimate that may very well be incorrect. Humanity is far from overcrowded, except in certain spots on the planet. More and more people are moving out of the country into the city and that is making more and more room for the animal kingdom. Shame on all those who favor wantonly killing babies before they are born but want national economies to suffer from over-taxation to try and “clean up” carbon emissions that have nothing to do with climate change. Solar flares and wild animal flatus, among other natural events that we have no control over, are effecting climate change and the created order will regulate itself as it always has. It is so arrogant for us to think that we humans are the source of or the solution to the problem. In the mean while, caring for those beautiful wild horses and other practical conservation efforts should be our goal as responsible caretakers of the created order.

  • michael

    omg stop them form doing this lets em go

  • Chill

    why kill such beautiful animals??????

  • Desiree

    clearly anyone who thinks that the BLM program is good for wild horses, has no sense of what is right and wrong. Shame on anyone who thinks it is ok to round up and kill any of these beautiful creatures. It is not our place! we have already driven numbers of many animals down, with our overuse of the environment, this is just another example of human greed. I agree with controlling the amount of land we people are allowed to use up and ruin. The land belongs to the horses and other animals for that matter, just as much as it does us. Birth control is a great alternative, or what ever happened to natural selection?! We have to stand up for those without a voice and help!

  • lisa

    Man keeps messing with mother nature and eventually he WILL piss her off eventually……… I agree with the sterilization but leave them be, must we kill everything wild and beautiful that we have left?
    Man needs to keep his greedy hands off some thing. Not everything in life needs to be controlled. I also believe in natural selection!
    Have a great day!

  • Laura Villasenor

    Wolves are being slaughtered, buffalo, horses and burros are being slaughtered because cattle ranchers have invaded their habitats. There is no mention of the
    horrific torture these animals endure at the hands of butchers in slaughter houses. Wolves are slaughtered from airplanes by the Dept. of Fish & Game, using high powered weapons. Wolf pups are shot in the head. Horses are butchered and sold to countries like Frances who consume horse meat. STOP
    F—— with Mother Nature, she has a plan in place.

  • James Rose

    Has anyone ever considered that the horse is mentioned more times in the bible than any other animal. Who are we to be the executioners of this sacred and beautiful animal? For me, I want no part of the desecration and eventual extinction of GOD’s favored creature. The greed of the BLM is evident. Making more money from ranchers and farmers for grazing rights, all while invading the horses natural habitat. GREED! The root of all evil. First we take the land of the indians, now we are taking the land from the horses to give to others. GOD PLEASE DON’T LET THE BLM FIND OUT THAT THEY CAN MAKE MONEY OFF OF THE AIR THAT WE BREATH!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ms D. Ours

    It’s no easy task to set right an imbalance that began many years before most of us were born. BLM like most government agencies means well over all..but is stuck between a rock and a hard place. the hard place in this case all us who wish these animals and all animals preserved. the Rock..the immovable force is the Cattleman’s Association. They are, like it or not, and personally I don’t much like it… a true part of our history also. Unfortunately this Association (wink I couldn’t resist one dig) if failing in keeping up their end of the loyality bargain. Where would Mr. Cattleman be if not for his Steed??? Once Cattleman could claim a proud partnership with the Horse. It was the Horse that helped him drive his 25,000 plus head of cattle to Spring or winter ranges as well as on to market. The cattle certainly didn’t fly. (psst it’s the buffalo that have wings LOLOL) For Mr. Cattleman to forget the debt that is owed to this Noble help mate is an unforgivable breach in the Long lauded Western Code or Cowboy’s creed if you will. I fear we have few Cowboys or cattlemen left at all and unfortunately we are stuck with a cheap and taudry dime store copy of a vanished (if somewhat romanticised) People. So first we killed the buffalo because we feared the Red Man … next we killed the wolves…(Hello little pigs and riding hood are stories) yes we are attempting to bring them back and it’s being fought every step of the way…Mountain Lion are also few, we complain that herd size is too big well stop killing the preditors and the balance is back…Oh and Mr Cattleman…a few preditors taking out your sick and old as well as too young to survive will make your herds healthier too…unless of course you Like spending the money on medications and vaccinations to ward off everything from anthrax to mad cow….Which way do you really want it????
    Just my opinion and a few things to think about..I have more I’d like to say but I’ve alread got the beginnings of a book I yield the fLoor and hope someone can add something of value …TY

  • Katherine Wiseman

    I think that the BLM should be shut down. The animals that are causing the damage to the range are the cattle and sheep not the wild horses. So the BLM has no reason to round the horses up and kill them. Another thing is that people in the U.S. do not eat horse meat so why kill the wild horses? My sister and I agree that the BLM kills the horses and sells the meat to other countries to get money. So they are killing horses for greed. I also think that anyone who agrees with the BLM and their insane ideas just doesn’t care about wild horses. I watched wild horses being rounded up and killed online. The other thing I think is that the BLM takes advantage of the wild horses. I wonder how the people that kill the horses sleep at night.

  • Krysti Roon

    The BLM has become corrupt and irresponsible. Their purpose in wildlife and environmental “management” is unclear, and ethics obviously aren’t important to their regulations.

    These mustangs have worked their way into the ecosystem and have begun evolving to the land. They exist because we brought them here, but they’re earning their place… causing no problems and suffering none until men interfere.

    Was overpopulation ever a problem before cattle and sheep were introduced? Doubtful… but based on *certain* priorities, the money-making bred-for-consumption creatures win over those more suited to the land.

    Hmm- and did overpopulation exist in the first place? Are the natural flora and fauna really suffering while the ground is eroding and the water degrades? Do deer starve because the horses ate all that’s theirs? Do critters fall dead because some beast pissed in the waterhole? If you can prove yes… then you better prove it was a horse. Every time. Maybe mustangs are scapegoats for a problem we worsen… or removing them is treatment for a make-believe symptom who’s cause goes unchallenged if it exists.

    The BLM would have you believe it’s sound… but read and listen carefully.

  • Iona

    What would be the cost to geld enough stallions to significantly impact future generations? Can some sort of reproductive prevention work? Separating the sexes or just insuring enough males are not reproductively successful in future generations. It may take a couple generations, but would significantly decrease the numbers.

  • Madison

    I think the BLM should shut down for good.Mustangs have the right to rome free with no roundup purpuses.Even Cloud’s family has the right to stay free.Wether it’s one of his sons or members of his band they should stay on the Arrow Head Mountain top

  • Jamilee

    Why deos evryone want ot destroy somehting so beautiful in the world?! Almost evryone in the United states loves horses. They can’t kill them!!!! :(

  • samantha schulte

    Without horses people would not be around. They were the main way of traveling back in the day. They were also used on farms, as working animals and how do we repay them by saying that there are too many of to survive on the land they have so people round them up and kill them. When in reality it’s all about money. Farmers think they have the right to the land these horses have been living on for years with no problem. The farmers send their animals out and there aren’t enough resources for all these animals, I agree with you guys take the cattle and other herds of the HORSES land. Have we not learned from past horrible mistakes of removing or killing an animal for its natural habitat? Take the wolf for example humans cause them to go extinct in America and the ecosystems they had lived in started dying. Humans have no right to kill or remove any animal. Humans are destructive we are the only ones that cannot live in harmony with the other animals around us, if something’s where we want to go we just “remove” it. Then when that animal or plant is on the verge of extinction we feel good about ourselves saying we are helping them when we come up with things like the Endangered Species list, when in reality this animals or plants wouldn’t need saving if it wasn’t for us. I think humans should stop being greedy and let the horses live their lives without us interfering .

  • Rebecca Hancock

    Anyone who kills a horse near me is facing extinction themselves. Honestly, I wish I was a horse, so I could really see everything from their eyes, but being a horse, I would be subject to human cruelty. I want to do something to help, but what can a kid do? No-one listens to someone as young as me, whether I happen to know more than them or not. I mean, I even tear up if my cat kills a mouse! Killing horses isn’t solving anything! If they start killing brumbies, whoo boy, I’m gonna hunt them down. Not literally, of course.

  • Bat Jelly

    okay… has anyone even read this section? where in this section does it state that they only kill horses? one sentence out of how many paragraphs… and it states only sick or elderly horses are put down… the rest are adopted to almost all loving homes… it is against the law to sell them to a Canadian slaughter house (they’re illegal in the US since around 1998)… it is a strict program… yes it does seem messed up but once again mustangs are feral animals (meaning not natural fauna to the area)… yes ranching is a problem… but its better meat then that garbage from feed lots… those cows stand knee deep in their own feces… then are pumped full of rBGH, antibiotics, & corn… this product is trash & is why there are so many problems in humans… from eating trash… so we complain… we want to eat usda organic free range cattle… where do you think they raise those animals? it sure isn’t fairy land… they raise these cattle on grass land… so all your screaming & crying won’t do anything until you wake up to reality… if you care about the horse’s land… stop eating beef that is more healthy for you… go back to eating the normal everyday garbage… either way… its a lose lose situation… sadly nobody wins because human society has become too greedy… we want everything now not later & never think of the repercussions… YOU are also to blame not just the government or corporations… but also the consumer of all these products…

  • Nikki

    Wow.. just wow… learn the facts about the BLM. Get them straight. And also, these horses are not natural, they were domestic animals (much like cattle ane sheep) that got lose. Learn why they are rounded up. Learn the problems with controlling populations. Just learn something. Stop believing everything you read and go find out for yourselves.

  • roxy

    URGENT! –

    1/2 of Cloud’s herd will be removed, Cloud too will possbile be rermoved before the 3rd episode even airs -

    see the lasted post on the Cloud Foundation webpage, see the lastest BLM report. See Ms. Kathrens most recent video plea!

  • Christianna Capra

    BLM operates out of an ignorance which is totally based on greed and money. In the laws of nature we as people have NO (zero) right to touch these sacred beings (who built this country for us)… Please see: and see how intelligent, solution seeking people operate to live in unison with all living things. The horses running wild help to keep us safe on this planet, take them away from their domain and we begin (continue) to destroy ours. I dont like the fact that fat cat greedy decision makers who cant see past todays dollar are making moves that not only break my heart (hurting the horses) but also effect my future and survival – they have no right and they should be stopped!!!

    Executive Director
    SPRING REINS OF HOPE (getting to the horse of the matter)
    New York / New Jersey

  • roxy

    Where and how would one go about learning something without reading? Would this be something like the BLM guy on the news this morning pulling dead grass out of the DESERT at the END Of SUMMER to prove the wild horses don’t have enough food – even though that is only a small part of thier FALL, WINTER, and SPRING migratory path. One can see for themselves on this mornings news show that the RANGELAND is bountiful and the horses are fat- you don’t have to be able to read to see that. News show – yes the roundup of Cloud’s herd began yesterday. After over 10,000 petition signatures. After Congressman Grijaldos protest letter. All and more is on web. But, be careful you may have to do some reading.

  • Cathy

    The public need to ask for an assessment of the land conditions by an independent party and find out what 35 million dollars can do to preserve the land so there is plenty of feed for all. That is the budget stated by Abbey on The Today Show. Then you can let the Wild Horses be what they were born to be…Wild and Free to live out their lives as their creator intended.

  • roxy

    Keep calling and e-mailing!!! Join The Cloud Foundation Blog for up to minute information on the removals. I’ve never been so sickened – report is that in a taped inteview of Don Glenn is that BLM, who promised all of these horses would be adopted, has changed their minds – some are to be sold without limitation (Burns Act) = slaughter! These may be horses you have come to love from the series and Foundation.

  • susan
  • Leisyka

    These horses are FERAL and they do not belong in this desert landscape. Cows have a limited grazing season – horses are there tearing up fragile riparian areas and competing with native wildlife (antelope & deer) year round. There is no natural predator for these feral horses – they need to be hunted just like all non livestock animals on the range. Feral horse advocates need to do their homework and visit their public lands trashed by feral horses year round. Try visiting the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge where cows have been removed for 15 years and see the damage caused by feral horses to fragile springs and streams. We need a Feral horse hunting season to rid the range of these animals that simple do not belong.

  • roxy

    Regarding the BLM managed Pryor Mountain wild horses, there is NO DAMAGE, NO LACK OF FORAGE FOR WILDLIFE, WHERE THE SAME 500 YEAR OLD GENETIC BLOOD LINE HAS EXISTED SINCE LEWIS AND CLARK. The Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge is managed by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, not BLM.

    According to the Sheldon web page they will be managing population numbers through this year until further comprehensive planning is completed in 2010. In 2007 and in 2008, according to their web page, they released this – quote: “Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on Horse and Burro Management at Sheldon National Wildlife”, then all of a sudden, massive roundups were declared necesaary.

    Horses and burros will be removed to 1977 and 1980 numbers and contraception would be reviewed and used if appropriate. On the Sheldon web page what I see in the before photo is a lot of green grass and very little dead bush – the steam seems to be flowing nicely, therfor I do not see what they call “riparian damage”. What I see in the after picture is a lot of dead tall brush -range fire fuel.

    The refuge falls unter 1931 Executive Order, apparently not the 1971 wild horse and burro program, and indicates that horses and burros are not native to Sheldon (?) are, in large part, released FROM ranchers just 100 years ago, mixing with a few feral horses on the range at that time.

    The next photo shows vegitation NOT DECIMATED or TRASHED, but at a nice GREEN height of 4 cm, instead of the patch of 35 cm, which will die, and will become range fire fuel. Hats off to Sheldon: The roundups are conducted during “NON FOALING SEASON” ending in May, unlike BLM – see Lame Foal at Pryor end of summer roundups Labor Day weekend, 2009 at

    Sheldon quote: “We also realize the difficulty in finding adoptive homes for older horses, so we are assessing the viability of using contraceptive techniques that would allow unadoptable animals to live out their lives on the refuge while lowering the reproductive rate of the herd.” Again, unlike BLM, who has removed the beloved Conquistador, Grumpy Gruell and several other 10 to 20 year old horses to live where, under what conditions?

  • Janet

    Rebuttal for Leisyka. Your comment makes me fearful that you would be the 1st in line to shoot the “feral” horses. Get real. So, as long as horses are born on a ranch, etc, they are OK? Pls go out to the homeless shelters or onto the streets where a mother just gave birth to her homeless child. I guess I would say the baby is feral. Do you shoot the homeless? My guess says you are from a NW state. Montana, etc. These states take animals for granted. Just shoot em’ and that will take away the problem. Try living on the other coast where, yes, we may be over populated, but I guarantee we take better care of our wild animals. Why? We take care of God’s children-man or foal. Your opinion on life is frightening. What do you care for?

  • Barbara

    Feral is a discrimatory term that is used to justify the riddance of an animal or plant that is not wanted. Do a little research and you will find that the horse is a re-introduced native originately from this continent. The massive amounts of cows grazing on our Public Lands for almost nothing are either Herefords or Angus. By their names, guess where they came from! For that matter unless you met the Mayflower you are probably non-native—does that make you feral?

  • Barbara Gentry

    This is frightening…how would you feel if some agency came into your home and decided to kill off a few of your family members because you had too many off springs??? Animals are a living being and have the right to live, this is what’s wrong with our society today, is people like this that think thay are God and can make a life and death decision. Well, an old saying comes to my mind that YOU need to REMEMBER..WHAT GOES AROUND….COMES AROUND!!!

  • S Roark

    The BLM is a political extension of local and Washington politicians. As such, only writing to and refusing to vote for the politicians that have control of these Federal Lands, make decisions about the wild horses, and side with the cattle and sheep herders, will have an impact on the wild horses. Most ranchers have little compassion for wild horses over their own livelihood, just look at the struggle with the wolves. Nothing but the power of the polls moves politicians. You have one vote, use it.

  • S Raziano

    I think we need to let the mustangs run wild…. they dont need to be caught. if we keep bringin them in there wont be anymore mustangs!! they will die out. We need to protect them for they r some livin memory of what the promise of america use to be and could be agian!!!!

  • Tammy

    GREED! It’s why the white man slaughtered Native Americans, the buffalo, wolves, just to name a few. Wild Mustangs are WILD! Greedy ranchers (You know the ones that put up the fences, killed off settlers to steal their lands)…nothing changes, it only gets worse. There WILL be a judgment day! Unfortunately the Mustang will pay the price. For MAN will never do the right thing! The BAD always win. Only a few good manage to save a few. That’s the truth. Leave NATURE to NATURE!! Why aren’t more horses allowed to run the Indian Reservations out here?? Pine Ridge alone has enough land to allow a few thousand to run!

  • Lesley

    The more I see of humans, the more I love the animals

  • Shirley

    I can’t understand the way such an outfit as BLM,they’re the most hateful,cruel and inhumane people I’ve ever heard of.we need to get them illiminated,and disband.The horses nor anyother animal definitely don’t need them to regulate how many roam free.Thats GODS job,not theirs as they are not GOD.God made preditors and prey in all animals and etc.Between the Mountain lions and the weather the horses and foals that are lost by these is enough to regulate these magnificent beautiful horses.So return them to the ranges where they belong and deserve to live out their lives as GOD intended for them.God looks after his children and his creations such the horses and BLM leave alone what GOD has created,you definitely can not create one,as our Lord has done so leave them alone NOW!!!

  • eden, zoe and tlell

    how much do fertility shots cost? we are doing a fundraiser at our middle school REALMS for the warm springs horses and need to know. we don’t think they should be rounded up either, this year.

  • leisyka

    Other wildlife have predators, feral horses do not have predators. An animal that large which consumes so much of the forage in the high desert (only 8-12 inches of precipitation per year) needs to have a predator to balance out the populations.

    The BLM has been tasked with being the unpopular and unnatural predator. This is a very difficult task. BLM employees are not your enemy, they are only following the laws, put in to place by the legislators you elected.

    I am from California, not Montana. I come from a vegan family who loves and respects animals. But I prefer animals that are native to the landscape over feral animals. Disney has glorified feral horses for decades, and brings us to our debacle today of having to manage ‘wild mustangs’ or ‘wild stallions’, instead of feral horses. I would like to see native wildlife populations flourish and manage themselves. But humans are invading their habitat, building fences and dividing the landscape. Managing land is our obligation after mining all of the resources available. Restoration and thinking ‘outside the box’ are critical for the future of so many native plant & wildlife populations that are on the edge of survival.

    I am all for sterilizing all of the horses & burros and letting them die naturally on the range. Over time we wouldn’t have the severe habitat degradation and competition for water & resources. Vegetation would recover and provide forage for native wildlife.

    I am not a rancher, I am not greedy (just finished my taxes and my income is pretty much poverty level and I am quite happy with that), I love animals (have you seen a feral horse suffering because there is no water for them, or food to eat in the middle of winter? tragic and unnecessary – is that the way you want them to die?!), and I VOTE!

    Adopt a horse – get others to adopt horses, then you can pay the HUGE expense instead of the taxpayers.

  • Shirley

    I for one am against sterilization of the horses.they have enough with the weather, mountain lions and all their predators that God made to regulate the wild horses and burro’s.What the Government needs to do is FIRE the BLM and tear down all the holding pens everywhere. Man everything he touches he has turned to ruins.And every wild horse deserves to live to a ripe old age and then die of natural causes, as God so intended them to do,And the feral horses are included in that ,but they do need to get the cattle,sheep and etc out of there., as they don’t belong there.

  • Mycala

    The BML doesn’t kill the horses, normally. They put them up for adoption to good owners. The horse is an invasive species to America. It’s wasn’t PUT there by mother nature. It was put there by us.

    Just as saying the cow is a native species to America, it’s not. We do need to help them survive, 5-9 years is the peak of the horse, when it’s most likely to thrive and not be killed. Didn’t you see what Looking glass did to that foal? Didn’t you see how Cloud was fighting to survive, how many horses died? If I had to choose between letting their population grow to huge numbers, or round up the ones not cut for the wild and give them a domestic home, I’d choose giving them a home. The young and the old are the most likely to die in times of drought or the winter.

  • Tim

    Why are people acting like wild horses are native animals? They are no more native to the U.S. than dogs are native to the Middle East. Their ancestors may have come from here, but they are feral domesticated animals.

    I don’t get why people think the government should spend millions on these animals and protect them anymore than they should be spending millions on feral dogs, cats or starlings.

    “And every wild horse deserves to live to a ripe old age and then die of natural causes, as God so intended them to do”

    Haha. Wild animals rarely live to a ripe old age. Cougars are not good at taking down adult horses. Wolf packs can, but is it really more humane for a horse to be eaten ALIVE (wolves do not kill their prey before they start eviscerating it) than shot/euthanized by a human? Most wild animals die from being eaten, many times while still alive and struggling, injury, disease or starvation before they are even old enough to breed. Also, the Bible says it is fine for man to manage animals. Did you ever hear Jesus protest against fishing or raising sheep and cattle for meat? Your placing of horses on a pedestal borders on animal worship. A horse isn’t anymore magical or noble than a cow, pig, sheep, chicken, elk, deer or rat. Why is it okay for us to kill these animals, but not horses?

  • Kim

    As an adopter of a once wild horse captured by BLM from the Saltwells, Wyoming area, I agree that he (and *thousands of other un adopted horses) should have been allowed to run free.

    He has a deep scar in his neck, possibly caused from a kick or impalement in a frantic flee attempt during capture, crowded incarceration or transport. At around 7 years old, his opposite shoulder and leg began to make an audible arthritic cracking noise every time his leg was lifted for foot care or trimming; which involved layers of natural resistance free horsemanship training steps over time to achieve.

    You cannot capture wild and untamed animals of any kind with the current methods used with wild horses and burros; without guaranteeing injury and trauma, due to the very nature of the methods used and the animals’ instinctual reactions .

    My horse is also a revolving adoption horse in that the first adopted home did not last. The truth is there are many “revolving adoption” BLM wild horses for several reasons. While the experience of knowing and working with this extraordinary horse has been a combination of boundless patience and persistence on my part; and joy and reward of unexplained forgiveness and willingness on his part, clearly he would have been better off had he been untouched by man. His intelligence, hardiness, strength and genetics are all well suited for living in the wild and being part of the circle of life in the wild. Whether generations of his ancestors are considered technically wild or “feral”, it matters not for he is simply *not like my domesticated horses. He is of a different fabric.

    This massive effort by BLM to systematically eliminate animals like him, and wild herds from their natural lawful habitats in our American landscape is a gross, disrespectful misjudgment and an American tragedy.

    The non permanent reproduction control method *Native PZP is and has been an option that should be explored for the remaining wild equids at this juncture. Otherwise, the captures will continue and they would be unnecessary with better wildlife husbandry. A similar model has been used by the Park Service on wildlife such as deer, where there were also population concerns; so that a balance of food and water could be maintained. Since BLM contends those are their legitimate reasons for the roundups, perhaps they should follow suit with the Park Service model, and apply reproduction control with Native PZP within our remaining wild horse herds moving forward.

  • Kathy Miller

    God Blesss All the octions with the wright horses and Homes with ownners are hand picked by God and those who should stay out in grounds of Montanna John17:) Psalm 91:)N.T. Mark 16:15 Col1:23, Gen1:28!( Cowgirl for Christ member 2356

  • Kathy Miller

    God Blesss All the octions with the wright horses and Homes with ownners are hand picked by God and those Horses people should stay out in grounds of Montanna John17:) Psalm 91:)N.T. Mark 16:15 Col1:23, Gen1:28!( Cowgirl for Christ member 2356

  • emma

    horses should not be rounded up like this. they belong where they have for years, on the range. Especially with the economy right now they will not be able to go to the homes they need. Mustangs dont belong in holding pens either. They have run freely their entire life. to suddenly be stuck in a small pen is torture. They will go nuts not knowing what to do with their extra energy, and it will probably be put towards aggression to the people who are handling them. If they must be kept in pens, they should be allowed to be worked so they wont be so crazy. Horses are bred to run, be free and frolic in his natural home. I disagree with all my heart that they should be rounded up. Most go to slaughter. I have done my research and that is the last place any creature should end up. It is so sad! if you would like more information on slaughter, go to Please join the campaign to save the world’s most beautiful animals. “if God created anything more beautiful, he kept it for himself” -author unknown

  • horseygrl

    oh and horses were not bred to be eaten like cows or pigs. thats why so many people are speaking out against it. being eaten in the wild is a natural cause too btw. its sad, but it is how it was meant to be. The people who oppose the slaughter of horses should also oppose the slaughter of other animals.
    To quote one of our members. “Horses are not raised for consumption. They are bred and raised for companionship, showmanship, horseracing or for therapy. Horses are lucky to enjoy the status of being a magnificent creature without equal. Horses have a long history of being war time heroes and royal gifts of kings. There is seldom a statue of a hero without their horse in this country. They also stand for speed, wind and freedom. Humans love and honor to horses is displayed throughout this country. Pictures of horses are placed on license plates (Wyoming, Texas, etc) and cars are named after them (Mustang for example). The magic of the horse is without competition and as humans, we are only betraying ourselves if we treat this animal that we have created to be such a conqueror of hearts as all this would mean nothing.”

  • Judie Brazil

    Who has the right to make such a decision as this.( no one) move the horses to other locations where there is plenty of land to roam free,even if that means shipping them out of the other countries.

  • jade

    i hate the fact that round ups take place.

  • Cade

    Wild horses should be taken off the range because they are a non-native species. Horses were not native to the west and the ruin other habitat for native species such as mule deer and antelope.

  • Lori

    White man is not native to this country at all. So should we take all the men not native to this country away from their homes boy i bet that would suck for you. And check you facts horses lived in America before you did and there was an extinction of them here and the Spanish brought them back. And these horses have served our country way more than any man has. If it were not for the horse most humans would have become extinct in this raw country. Try out running a bear, cougar or a pack of wolves on foot your chances are way better on the back of a horse. I have a horse that was rounded up and abused and sent to slaughter by our “wonderful” BLM. You should have seen him then all torn and tattered to now a beautiful magnificant creature proud to be what he is and will never let another man harm him again. Think twice and check you facts next time. When all the wild horses are gone our balance in life will change drastically and it won’t be for the good. We all will suffer for what our government is doing. Alot of the land those horses are on is sacred including Clouds herd. It is sacred for a reason.

  • Laura Ary

    A big AMEN to Pil Kuitan 7-17-2008. Just started reading all this and I am abhorred, but not surprised.

  • John

    The solution for the wild horses is to sell the horses and the BLM land they live on to the highest bidder. Then horse lovers can manage their herds and the range the way they feel it ought to be and pay taxes on it all.

    It seems people who know very little about range management are trying to tell the BLM how to do it. I think there is room in our wild west for all to have as many wild or domesticated horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs etc as you can afford.

    Upon reading this brief history I’ve discovered environmental law has given the BLM an impossible job trying to please everyone. They are forced to spend precious resources on helicopters and feed for animals that no body wants or can afford, but haven’t got the guts to use a gun for it’s best purpose, to put poor animals out of their misery.

    I don’t own horses because I can’t afford them. Neither can our government. Our current mess is the result of laws made by those who have sentimental feelings toward pets and little understanding of what range management requires.

    For those who think animals are so intelligent and noble, think what the second to last horse on earth would do looking at the last blade of grass. He would eat it without any regard for the extinction of the grass, the other remaining horse or the remaining cow, antelope, etc. Every animal is just as selfish and greedy as the selfish greedy humans and way too unintelligent to do otherwise.

    Write your congressman and encourage him to sell the national horse herd and the land they occupy to the highest bidder. Let’s privatize the whole herd and the range land. Quit spending my tax money on your pets. I can’t afford them either.

  • Anonymous

    It’s really our fault that the horses’ population is getting too big. After all, who was the one who wanted to kill all the wolves and other ‘predators’ who ‘attack’ our cattle and livestock? Especially when they were only weeding out the week and sick animals? Do all the farmers in the U.S. want to PAY to make sick livestock healthy, or to put them down when they’re not? And aside from that, we can thank horses for this country. Who did we ride into battle on? Horses. How did we get around before cars and trains and all that other stuff? We rode horses. What INSPIRED the car? Horses. (Ever heard of ‘horsepower’?) Horse racing is a big sport today. Horseback riding is an OLYMPIC sport! And you’re trying to get rid of horses? And after you’ve considered that, you’re doing the WORST thing thing ever to them! You’re taking them away from their home. You’re forcing them to leave. You frighten them, so they will move into these holding centers, only to take them from the place they were born, the place they were raised in, the place they should live their entire lives in. How would you like it if someone forced you out of your home, to go live with strangers? Even if the BLM gives up the round-up’s, adn went with PZP, that’s still cruel! Those mares won’t be able to have offspring of their own. And if that mare happens to be a very good, strong, mare with lots of good traits, their potential offspring would never come about. The world has just lost a chance for anoter great horse! And even then, don’t we already have enough domesticated horses? Think of all the racehorses, dressage horses, show jumpers, and show hunters. Most of those sports prefer purebred horses. Mustangs are NOT purebred. So unless you want it as a pleasure horse, or something like that, mustangs aren’t the way to go. So why round them up?

  • Micah

    Understanding biology and the ecology of grasses forbs etc. due to my masters degree in biology and being an organic vegetable farmer and grassfed beef producer in the midwest and horse owner. Allowing them to run free would be fine if there was a hunting season created to help manage the population just as there is with deer, elk, moose etc. We have created a ecosystem that is out of balance and now requires humans to instate hunting seasons to lesson the impact of animals on the plants that ultimately support all living organisms and on top of that they are an invasive species much like the wild hog problem in the midwest. There is not an easy answer to this due to the emotions people have with this issue and their inability to understand from an ecological stand point. Population ecology is an old science and very logical but then again in the classes I teach most of my students say they hate science and so do their parents so my words are probably unable for most to understand.

  • John

    Feral horses are an out-of-control invasive alien species that is damaging the environment for our native wildlife. The romanticized films by Ginger Kathrens are an obstacle to proper management in the public interest. Maybe you should find someone to make a film sympathetic to the sewer rats in New York City.

    For a more objective view, see:

  • Monica M.

    I thik that wild horse roundups are slightly for a good reason. However, no matter how good the reason may be, I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF ANTHING THAT WILL:
    WILD HORSES!!!!!!!!

    Monica M.
    11 years old

  • Cynthia Royal

    Ultimately, I believe the United States Bureau of Land Management and the United States Government will be concluded to have committed a great legal injustice against the wild horses and burros – the same animals they are sworn to protect through the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

    Furthermore, I fear the ethical crime against the horses, mankind and the world that the BLM and United States Government has committed by decimating these icons of the American West will go down in history as yet another atrocity of extinction against the creatures of this Planet Earth.

    However, until the last wild horse has taken it’s final steps and been removed from it’s wild homeland for all time, I will continue to champion them and their cause. To join me and Lord of The Rings Shadowfax star horse Blanco in doing so, please visit us on Facebook at:

    Cynthia Royal

    Cynthia Royal

  • Yolanda

    The BLM doesn’t kill the horses. The number of commentors who apparently don’t understand that even after supposedly reading this article doesn’t speak well for their understanding of the issue in general. Wild horses aren’t native (or wild for that matter, they’re feral domestic horses). The land they live on is mostly of marginal quality, which means it doesn’t produce enough vegetation for a large population of grazers, especially competing year-round with native pronghorn, deer, and other animals. A lot of people seem to have the misconception that horses live now on the prairie, where the buffalo used to live; this is entirely wrong. They are mostly in the desert.
    If left unmanaged, they would probably starve to death and take lots of native species with them. Of course everybody has an initial emotional response when talking about animals they love. But please take that next step and learn about the ecosystems the horses live in, before forming your opinion about this very complex issue.

  • Sara

    Q:is BML necesary?
    A:not no,but hell no XD

  • Shananigan

    I think BLM has the right idea, controlling the population. However, their methods can be quite brutal. Chasing horses with helicopters. Really? They run them so hard that young foals often cannot take it and collapse with exhaustion -often times dieing. In their panic, the horses also trip up and break a leg. I’m sure quite a few have probably dropped dead from heart attacks as well. I think a contraception program, along with a less stressful way of rounding-up would be beneficial. It would take a few generations, but then the BLM could humanely keep control of the population. They could still round-up some horses and put them up for adoption. However, there wouldn’t be so many -so it would be most likely that they were all adopted out to nice homes (instead of slaughter houses). It’s mainly the cattle ranchers and sheep herders that have a problem with horses “messing up their land”. Honestly, can someone answer -Why can’t they just get on horses and herd the mustangs out of their area? Back to an area where they wouldn’t be as much as a “bother”. It wouldn’t be scary or stressful for them either to be herded by other horses.

  • Lori

    I think controlling the population is a good idea however chasing them with helicopters? All this does is create panic, runs them to the point of exhaustion, even death. A video by Ginger Kathrens that I watched absolutely appalled me, 2 young foals, and I mean young, that collapse after being herded for miles….really, you call that humane? And a horse being slammed into some….I don’t even know what it was….on it’s back, it’s legs and hooves becoming caught up in a gate or whatever….really, you call that humane?????
    And if the government didn’t have this country in such a screwed up financial mess….only worried about their healthcare reform and how much free sh*t they can get and how much money they can stuff into their pockets…
    maybe there would be some money to help take care of the wild horse population. I’d almost rather have welfare benefits for animals than people. Animals have NO ONE but the human population to take care of them. Wouldn’t it be a bi*ch if we relied on the wild animals to take care of us??? I’m sure they’d come after those who have treated them like crap!
    Come on man, let the horses alone, ranchers, share the land. You of all people should respect the horse….if it wasn’t for them how would you herd your cattle? Work your ranch. Ever think of using the mustang, these willing, smart, sturdy horses to work on your ranches?
    Sorry for being so long winded but this topic just chaps my ass, in fact when it comes to any animals!

  • Noreen

    Really John, a gun? How about humane euthanasia?

  • Noreen

    Gee Cade, you must be a stupid hunter.

  • Martina

    I am the owner of a wild mustang, he was captured when he was 3 years old he is in his 20’s now. He has been passed around and around, he has been beaten, starved and mistreated!! I have him now, he has been with me for 6 years. He hates males only trusts women, he won’t even let a man ride him. I love my mustang his name is Lightning, he has a heart of gold. All that I have read about the breed shows through in him. When we go riding, or mountain climbing he is the only horse among all the others that can take the trails and the mountains without breaking a sweat or gasping for breath. I love my mustang I am faithful to him as he is to me. He is my big ol baby and here he will stay til the end of his days!!! He has been through enough in his lifetime his last days on earth will be good!!! I hope he lives many more years so I can show him the love he always deserved. Those that take the land from so many innocent animals to line their pockets will pay in the end. BLM is just another government agency that only has the good of themselves and the profits they and their greedy partners receive in mind. In the time of judgement all those who have committed such offences against nature will pay.

  • Cole Smart

    y do people do such stupid things to animals i mean after all they were here long b4 we showed up and if they want to run wild and free let them and stop killing natures creatures cuz arent we one as well if we kill them we might as well shoot our neighbor for looking at us funny or something stupid like that. really people doesnt anyone think b4 they act anymore its like me going out and robbing some place and not thinking about it first that oh maybe it is WRONG to do everything has its place in the world and that place is to live life but do we let all other things do that like we do ourselves no we dont and it is rediculous that we dont i mean come on people use ur heads for once and stop killing innocent animals that dont no any better. how are they suppose to know where to go all they are trying to do is survive like the rest of us and WHY CAN’T WE LET THEM LIVE AND DO WHAT THEY WANT ACCORDING TO THE WAY NATURE INTENDED????????????? we need to learn how to forgive and let things be the way the should be rather than killing life and taking things for our own after all in my own opinion killing an animal is like killing a person because we are taking an innocent life for no reason heck if anything set up a large fenced in area if you dont want them by you and leave them alone.

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    Haha, it’s true. We have to update that post but it feels weird to cross it off back on that old one. Maybe we need to do another update one and add more stuff we wanna do and cross off the accomplished stuff.

  • Dana Montanaro

    Nice photo!!! Hope our photo will be the same too….haha, see you this weekend and hope enjoy your flight to Brunei. Cheers! =D

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    Very acurate! I’m totaly addicted to Katamari&crocheting, so this is perfect. I’m using this pattern to make some of my favorite cousins, like Dipp&Opeo!

  • cynthia

    Does the BLM have any idea as to how they will feed all of these horses they have trap this year? We were in the middle of a HUGH drought this year. Where will they get the feed and hay for the animals? They will not get it . What the will do is load the horses into trailers and ship them across the border to be killed !!!! that will be the end for many of these beautiful animals. The roundups must stop now brfore it is to late!!!!! Ginger and all of her friends PLEASE DON’T STOP!!!!!

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  • crypto666

    So I guess feral domestic animals are so important to some people that all other life forms must take a back seat. The horse is so important they are willing to sacrifice the true wild life, endangered plants and animals, and entire watersheds so that they can sleep at night knowing horses are wondering around unmanaged. That is fantastic.

    I love how our government caters to the mentally ill.

  • whirlwind

    I think the population control using vaccines is a great idea. Better than gathering the horses. To me there is nothing wrong with prevention- the foal is never even conceived. At least then the wild ones left can live their lives out free.

    Hopefully BLM isn’t just lowering populations because of ranchers demands. I can’t say. We hear stories, but most are false so people really shouldn’t give a beat down on the group preventing horses from starving and/or being shot and worst injured, by ranchers.

    At the same time, people need to eat, so cattle ranches are going to exist no matter what (not everyone can go vegan, and not all people think alike on the matter- I think preventing animal cruelty should be #1 on the list of concern aka making the deaths painless and making sure the animal lives out a decent life).

    There has to be a balance made where the wild horses don’t lose out though.

    I say wild, because while they are feral, there has been many generations since they were tame, and tame horses used to be wild too. Also, North America did have true wild horses once (to those people who say horses aren’t meant to be in North America). And based on the time frame people arrived in North America and the wild horses went extinct, it seems people may have been the cause then. Hopefully this will not occur again. Mustangs are such fantastic creatures to see.

    Religion should not play a part in decision over this debate, it’s not solid fact as much as I, a Catholic, may want to believe-they are at best re-tellings which can be twisted by the writer. They also aren’t a good source since the bible seems to often be interpreted to suit a person’s argument, making it invalid.

    Only science (how many horses can survive on a piece of land) and what all horse lovers know should effect decisions: that they have personalities, that herds have bonds, and they feel pain and fear.

    As far as global warming, science says we do cause some of it. We are animals too, even though we separate ourselves because of our intelligence. It’s fine to question science, but don’t just say it’s not true without reason because then that’s just denial. I feel this way: Why not try to do better for the environment? What can it hurt? New inventions do good for the economy and environmental clean-up doesn’t. Plus what about smog? Don’t city people want to see the sky once in a while? Breathe fresh air? Smog is real.

  • mia

    i’d like to differ with john…human beings are an invasive out of control species. WE are the ones who should be compares to sewer rats. anything for a profit. these wild horses have just as much right to exist as we do. human beings keep taking up more and more space on this planet. we are encroaching on all wild animals’ homes. WE have to stop breeding and try to take up less space. john, you have no respect for living things..we, along with the wild horses and all wild creatures are ALL God’s creatures.

  • Hazel

    Wild horses do not exist in America. Feral horses do. Przewalski’s horse is the last true wild horse left, and they do not live in the United States. Wild horses are nothing but feral horses. They have not been here for very long and have disrupted the balance in nature. All of the movies and TV shows have made just about everyone feel sympathy for the mustangs. What a beautiful idea, wild, spirited horses running free on the range, raising their foals and living out their lives perfectly, the way nature intended. What idiot would pull them from their natural habitat, where they are so happy? This is nothing but a dream.

    No one seems to understand the reality. These horses, the same species as the domestic horse, are struggling to survive in harsh winter weather. These mustangs will not live to be thirty, and will hardly live to be twenty, if that. They will die, cold and starved, on the range, because they are just the same as domestic horses. They need the same care as the horses that I ride, train, own, and love, but do they get it? Who floats their teeth and trims their hooves and takes them to the vet when they get sick? Who helps the mares who are having a hard time foaling? Who gives them extra grain and hay in the winter so they have the energy to keep warm? Who makes sure that their water source never freezes over?

    These horses are stray. Feral. We are not helping them by making them stay on the range. Let’s talk about feral cats and dogs. The ones that are on the streets, the ones that starve (and die) and get sick (and die.) They have been here for quite a while, about since the time when humans first came here from Europe. Do we keep them on the streets to “preserve America’s heritage” or whatever those pro- free mustang people say? No, we round them up, spay/neuter them, and put them back (mostly with cats with cats), or tame them, spay/neuter them, and adopt them out (mostly with dogs.) People don’t leave them out on the streets to suffer.

    Feral horses are the same. Whatever we do, whether we catch, castrate, and release them or catch them and adopt them out, they need to go. One day in the near future, the last mustang must be rounded up. It is for their own good. I have been a horse lover since the day I was born, and I cannot stand thinking about these poor horses. Anyone who is a horse person should be able to understand how cruel we are being to the mustangs. We must take the mustangs from the range, not out of cruelty, like many seem to believe, but out of love and compassion.

  • Barbara Leonard

    The writer of this article is taking for granted that info from the BLM is correct… is NOT….there are NOT 47,000 wild horses left in the wild. In fact, some wild horse populations are SO LOW that the herds are not genetically viable any longer….thanks to the evil BLM & our government. The real problem is that the wild horses are being removed to make room for MORE of the millions of WELFARE cattle & sheep, mining, fracking and everything else that is destroying our lands and our environment. We should start with removing the WELFARE cattle/sheep from our western public lands. These WELFARE ranchers have been ripping off taxpayers for years and taxpayers have had enough and want them gone.

  • Victoria Johnson

    Killing the free spirit of America… And in the most cruel, despicable manner of all. Send them to slaughter to face the terror and pain

  • Wade

    A lot of you are either misinformed, or just flat out lying. (Probably the latter, especially if you are ranchers.) I am a wildlife photographer, and I’ve followed the same herd for 3 years now, nearly year-round. The horses are FINE. They do NOT need to be rounded up. The BLM will tell you that it’s a “special program, aimed only at ensuring the welfare of the horses, so they don’t starve to death.” That is pure bullsh*t. And how do I know this? Because after they come in with their helicopters and cowboys, and round up 50 horses (often killing one or two in the process), those 50 horses are almost immediately replaced by 500 cows. Confusing, isn’t it? Not enough feed for the horses, but somehow enough food for 500 cows.
    Ranchers have, throughout the history of the Westward Expansion, destroyed everything in their path. The deserts of the West will be dustbowls in 10 years, and nothing more, thanks to the welfare ranchers, living it up on the taxpayers’ dime.

  • Sherry Tennyson

    BMI sells these horses to slaughter houses and private BMI employees. This is a cover up of Mans greed to look good in front of the public. It is government/Dept of Interior. I like what mia says Feb 6, 2013.
    Why not test on serial killers/prisoners who have done real harm. Even better corrupt politicians and Officials who claim to be everything u want for all of the people. In reality he would slit your throat for his buddies approval or to get a vote.
    These horses are America.!!!!!! u get rid of them u get rid of the good of America. shopping malls are more important than a heart beat. Guess whose has a heart the horses. They are better than any Therapist or minister. They will show u who u are in there eyes. You will see your reflection good or bad. We need them as much as we need them. We go to the moon but we can’t even save ourselves from corruption. Indians knew how to live.

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