The Cloud Blog
Family Changes

Jasper with his mother, Feldspar

Dear Friends of Cloud:

Last week we spent three days on the Pryors with the wild horses and were thrilled to see so many of the 2009 foals. On top of the mountain we found Cloud’s stepson, Flint, with his mare and new son! Flint won the blaze-faced grulla mare, Feldspar, last spring. He lost Feldspar to Prince during the summer, but won her back this spring before the birth of their son. We named the darling grulla colt Jasper. He is a delight and reminds me of Flint as a baby.

Windflower with Flax

Cloud has had a few changes in his family band as well. His daughter and granddaughter, Firestorm and Ember, are now with the coyote-dun band stallion, Jackson. When we walked out to get a closer look at Firestorm and Ember, we had our biggest surprise of the trip. Cloud’s dun mare was with Jackson, too. Beside the mare was a tiny foal that took my breath away. She looks like Cloud did as a foal, not necessarily in color, but in her lovely conformation and bright expression. We named her Windflower. Oddly, the pair has been wandering around on their own for nearly a month, and they weren’t even with Jackson earlier in the day, so we’ll see if this liaison lasts. Because of the cool, rainy weather many of the horses, including Cloud and his family, were far down the mountain. I’m hoping Cloud will try to win back the mare and little Windflower when he comes to the mountaintop. Stay tuned!

Our trip was bittersweet because of the BLM’s plan to remove nearly half the herd beginning on August 30. Many of the beautiful horses who grazed so peacefully in their green meadows could lose what they value most–their freedom and their families. The herd is around 195 horses (excluding foals) and removing nearly half of them would decimate their unique Spanish genetics and jeopardize their future survival. The BLM is going to be targeting not just the young horses but, dangerously, horses 11-15 years of age. This is Cloud’s age group, and over two-thirds of the band stallions fall into this age category as well. The BLM will not even guarantee that Cloud will remain in the wild.

We need national media coverage to save this little herd and so many others that face annihilation. I’m in Sacramento today (Monday, June 15) for the National BLM Wild Horse and Burro meeting. This will be an important meeting that follows the Western States Horse Expo, and we hope that both the public and the media will be there to support the horses.

Happy Trails!
Ginger Kathrens

P.S. The third program in the Cloud series, Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions, will premiere on NATURE nationwide on October 25, 2009. It is our hope that these programs continue to share the beauty of wild horses families and will help to keep them in the wild for many generations to come.

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  • Sue Lani Madsen

    The wild horses are a non-native invasive species, just like Himalayan blackberries in western Washington, rabbits in Australia and rhododendrons in Wales. As a grazing animal, they require a predator in order to maintain herd health and reduce the toll on the grasslands. What would you have the BLM do to maintain balance?

  • Laura

    When the BLM removes the horses, what do they plan to do with them???

  • Emily

    Wow, Windflower is so beautiful and Jasper is so cute! I sure hope Cloud doesn’t get rounded up by the BLM. I hope every horse stays free, the BLM should just back off!

  • liz

    i love how the foals look just what filt looked like as a foal and i hate that the BLM is rounding horses up at 11-15 and then sale them off

  • gary harden

    They need to leave those horses alone …it’s like taking a whale from the wild!

  • Gene Rollins

    Regarding the comment referring to wild horses as being non-native …. I guess this is something they have in common with honeybees, humans, pheasant, Norway Maples, wheat, soybeans, and virtually all livestock in N. America.

  • Martin Boissonneault

    I wonder how well the Buffalo is doing now…

    Oh, yeah, well since they are commercially viable, for their wool, unlike wild horses….

    Hmm, old folks aren’t commercially viable, let’s kill them too…

    *** Of course, I’m being cynical about this.***

    Wild horses are an expense to the BLM, taking away grass that paying cattle won’t be able to eat.

    Why not pay the horses “grazing fees” ??? That should kick the BLM in the nuts…

    I hope we can get the BLM back to protecting the Wild horses, like the Wild horse and Burro program intended… And prevent the lawyer from being the judge and executioner at the same time…

    My opinion, from a country not doing better with their feral horses, Canada…

    Martin Boissonneault,
    Patiently waiting to see Cloud III…

  • Randy Fisher

    Nice picture. I am a photographer and take animals photos. Really it is very amazing and real pose.

    http://www.amazonthunder.com

  • Elizabeth

    The sole reason the horses are being rounded up and sold or slaughtered is because of Bush-era administration. He had the text of the carrying-capacity report changed to allow more cows, and added text indicating that horses damaged grazing areas. In reality, cows destroy soil, cause erosion, emit methane and don’t migrate naturally. The plains can support far more horses than cows. In addition, cows are an extremley unhealthy food source with an outrageusly high carbon footprint. In short, cows are bad, wild horses are not. BLM values cows over wildlife because a few people make money from cows, whereas the whole world pays the price. No one profits from horses. PS, there are plenty of predators that depend on horses such as wolves and pumas, if only we would stop slaughtering them, too.

  • Lynne

    The most wonderful & heart warming story I have ever seen. So beautifully narrated & photographed. Surely, this is the reason we love horses so much. They are magnificent animals. Thank you, Ginger, for all that you do for these wild horses.

  • Karen

    I agree with Elizabeth. If the BLM could make money from the horses (besides selling them) then there wouldn’t be any roundups. When I was in high school, I owned a half Mustang/half Quarter Horse gelding and learned just how much horses can teach us. Rounding them up is unnecessary. And as for them being “non-native”? Aren’t most of us “non-native” to North America. Maybe we should leave and let the horses be.

  • Roxy

    Elizabeth, Lynne and Karen, and all others of similar minds…WELL SAID!

    We’ve all sent our e-mails to the politicans and signed the petitions. Now, how do we do more? How can we make money for the horses? Or how can the horses make money for themselves? How can we get a bigger audience? Make a bigger impact?

    Perhaps grandious – How does one promote the idea of a major motion picture? Procedes to release the 30,000 being held (hopefully it would do better than that). Senario – the Bush era-travesty as Elizabeth chronicles (political drama/suspense/tension), the BLM plans on behalf of cattle interests and oil companies (holocost/greed/lies), but more importantly show casing the Cloud herd (romance/suspense of the wild west in modern times/panoramic beauty) and the incredible work of Ms. Kathrens(passion/integrity/talent/real honest hard work – the “good guys”). Have I missed any selling points?

    Could this be pulled off? Quickly (it has been done)? Anyone know anybody in show biz?

  • Roxy

    3 things to do right now:

    1) Read the BLM website – what contradictions they pose! “Cattle grazing is good for the land but wild horse grazing is not, to outright lies that mustangs have NO predators, etc”. After combing the BLM website 3 times now just found a new program starting soon (whatever “soon” means) called “How would you do it?” – soliciting input. Keep up with that and participate.

    2) Also, I have been a long time viewer of the “Best Friends” Santuary web site. Don’t know how I missed this before – they have a whole page of 2 to 4 minute clips on everything from personalized spots of the animals (they have horses too), Public Service Announcements, rescues, etc. Anyone able to help the Cloud Foundation do something like that? For all that Ginger Kathrens has done, I’m sure she also has to spend time making a living like the rest of us. What can we all do to contribute?

    3) Rent “The Misfits” – a few decades old but still timely. Tell all your friends to rent it – start a dialogue.

  • Toni

    What happened to the Free-Roaming Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971??? Have all the hard work the people who love these wild things of the USA gone to waste? It’s like the BLM doesn’t care anymore!

    I don’t understand why they think the horses are “trespassing” when they have clearly been roaming the forests for…well, a long time. That’s unfair. And if the BLM can’t get a brain and just think, you know, for a moment, about just–oh, I don’t know–RELOCATING the thousands of innocent horses they have cooped up in corrals that they refuse to let go and live free, then who KNOWS what they think about. Euthanasia is not the solution here, folks! If they want to bring down the herd population down a bit–and though this might sound either A) a little cruel or B) a little crazy–why don’t they do it naturally? Release a few more cougars into the area. NOT INTO THE PENS WITH THE CORRALLED HORSES! THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT! But, you know, that would mean a little less horses in the wild, and they could release some of the horses in the pens back into the wild, relocate the rest, and get rid of a few of the lions. Easy!

    But, of course, no. The BLM is too “humane” for that. Oh, yes, they are VERY humane…bait trapping…jeez.

    Non-native –I mean REALLY! There is barely anyone who IS native to the US. I’m half Slovenian, and I live in the US, my Mom’s native country isn’t America either! Why don’t you kick me out? The wild horses have been here longer than most of the current people living here! They deserve to stay! We should leave them alone.

    Sigh. We–the people who stand up against this cruelty–should fight harder. We can not stand for this.

  • Regina Murdock

    Everyone, PLEASE PLEASE go to http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/home.html
    CLOUD the wild stallion featured on NATURE in two previous award winning documentaries is being rounded up by the BLM! Starting SEPT 1, 2009, CLOUD and his herd will be rounded up by helicopter and 70 horses removed from the band, including CLOUD’s HERD! CLOUD himself is in danger!!!!!!!!!

    PLEASE PLEASE CONTACT Presdent Obama and get this stopped!!!! The grasslands are the best they’ve been in years and this is not necessary and is a waste of taxpayer’s money!!!!

    PLEASE go to http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/home.html and find out more!!!!!!

  • roxy

    Toni, the Free-Roaming Wild Horse & Burrow Act of 1971 was guted by the Burns Act in 2004 – 2005 (?). The new fight is to get the ROAM bill out of senate committee and on to the floor for approval – the whole history and links you need are on the Cloud Foundation web site.

    And obtain release and return to freedom for the older horses, including old Conquistador, loved by so many around the world from the first shows – they are not aodptable and do not deserve to live out a cruel and inhumane life in captivity or worse (Burns Act – slaughter), there is no need to keep them off the Pryors, the mountain is green and bountiful!

    There is a rally in Washington DC, Sept 29, to meet the senators – go if you can – RSVP – thecloudfoundation.org.

  • #1 Cloud Fan

    CLOUD IS #1 this is the best movie i have seen in a long time. Clouds crazy adventures where really crazy. he was a nice stallion. I wish i could be cloud.Cloud is amazing so amazing its amazing. The movie was so good i cant wait to see the rest of your videos!Maybe in your next video you can show cloud killing another stallion. I’m Out Peace

  • #1cloudfan!!!!

    O.M.G. I LOVE CLOUD. cloud’s crazy adventures were crazy. dang that guy strait up brawled. i wish i was as cool as cloud i so want to be a wild stallion. the cloud movie was sick wit it, i cant wait to see the 2nd and 3rd movie, its gona be rad ya’ll! i learned so much about mustangs in this movie. I loved seeing him with his family it was sooooooo cute. i wanna gang bang wit dart thug. PEACE I LOVE CLOUD

  • roxy

    UPDATE on todays adoptions, on thecloudfoundatoin.org Twitter, old Conquistador, loved by so many around the world has been adopted by “a friend”, and is planned to leave the pens tonight for his new range near the Pryors.

    However, the ultimate goal is for him, and all other older horses returned to their homes and families where thier elder experience is needed.

    If you can go to “Mustngs on the Hill”, Sept 29, 2009 Washington DC,to talk to your Senators – RSVP thecloudfoundaiton.org.

  • scottcspring

    I have trained wild mustangs, and have two beautiful offspring from my stud jack and wifey sonia.. Have a few questions on my mind….scott

  • Ashleigh

    it just breaks my heart to what is happening can’t they just move them to a new area where they won’t be a bothere why are they doing this

  • joann

    I ENJOYED THE CLOUD SERIES AND ESPECIALLY THE OCT 25 2009 ONE AND WAS VERY SADDENED TO HEAR CLOUD AND HIS GROUP WERE CAPTURED!!! I AM 72 AND LOVE HORSES EVEN HAD MY OWN AND HAVE GRANDCHILDREN WHO SHARE MY FEELINGS PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO CLOUD WAS HE ADOPTED? I DO HOPE SO HE WAS SO SMART AND WITH LOVE WOULD MAKE SOMEONE A WONDERFUL FRIEND.PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOU HAVE MY EMAIL THANK YOU.

  • jim

    Free-Roaming Wild Horse & Burrow Act of 1971 was guted by the Burns Act in 2004 – 2005 (?). The new fight is to get the ROAM bill out of senate committee and on to the floor for approval – the whole history and links you need are on the Cloud Foundation web site. http://www.tibetangoji.ca

    And obtain release and return to freedom for the older horses, including old Conquistador, loved by so many around the world from the first shows – they are not aodptable and do not deserve to live out a cruel and inhumane life in captivity or worse (Burns Act – slaughter), there is no need to keep them off the Pryors, the mountain is green and bountiful

  • Audrey

    Good luck Ginger :) I hope you will be able to make a difference on behalf of these beautiful horses :)

  • I love Cloud!!!

    What did the horses do to us? The BLM should just BACK OFF!!

  • wild horse girl!

    i ove cloud and his family! i love mustanges and horses.i like how they roam free and wild. the new foals are so cute. i hate it when they die it is so sad.and good luck ginger. hope you make more vidos. and when cloud dies/ p.s. i hope he doesent!/ u should mke vidoes of a new foal! what is the blm. and if the are hurting the mustanges they should back off and let them roam free and wild. and they sould stop giving the horses drugs! it is a horrible thing to do it is killing the foals. who would whant to do that!

  • emm and court!

    hey we love wild and nonwild horses! they are are favorit animals. we lovecloud he is awsome.

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