I took these photos one week ago. Right now many of the horses on the Virginia Range are at risk of loosing their freedom. This time of the year, it’s not a lot to eat for the mustangs, in their small designated area. They wander off into the neighborhoods, crossing roads and are becoming a danger to themselves and people. When people complain to the Department of Agriculture, they set up traps and capture the horses.
When they are captured, they are sent to the prison in Carson City, where they are being branded (and stallions are gelded.)
The next step is to make them available for adoption, if they are not being adopted within a few weeks, they are sold at auctions. The person most likely to buy a cheap, untrained mustang from a livestock auction are a kill buyer. The wild horses are being forced into big trucks and hauled to Mexico, or Canada under horrible circumstances (I dare you to watch a video of the transportation of mustangs to slaughter plants on YouTube.)
There’s many wild horse advocates out there working their ass off (excuse my language), but the wild horse sanctuaries are full, and BLM holding facilities are packed with horses. These are only short term solutions. We need to work together, brainstorm, and find sustainable solutions (like fertility control and to not take their habitats away from them.)
If you, like me, prefer to keep the mustangs wild and free, email the Governor of Nevada directly.
If you want to keep yourself updated about what’s going on with the wild horses American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign has a great website with new information updates on a regular basis.
PS. Do you want to see more photos of mustangs? Visit my gallery! There’s many photos from the Virginia Range, and other locations in Northern Nevada.
Today Franklin helps a reader with a challenge that I believe many of us have faced at some point. Thank you Franklin for sharing your wisdom with us :)
PS. If you’re interested to learn more about Franklins philosophy, please visit WayOfTheHorse.
My daughter has been doing fantastic with her new mare. Rides daily in her ring, sets up obstacles, introduced barrels, holds mini shows as her friends ride her horse… lots of fun. I now let her ride around our yard, down into her pops and to the end of our driveway to let the traffic pass. She has a friend who would like to meet up with her her and they go out on a trail ride so I have been introducing non structured rides and seeing great results with no traffic issues. However, yesterday we went up along the road and had to pass by a newly fenced yard housing 3 new horses. Well she pranced and side stepped neighed loudly continuously. My daughter (12yrs) stayed on but she fought the bit so hard that I grabbed a hold to keep her from crossing road/traffic etc. I made her walk by and she misbehaved the whole way just wanting to turn around. SO, on the way back my daughter got off and I walked her by… with great strength I may say. Not sure how to task this one correctly?? If we go out the road there are 2 newfoundland ponies she will have to pass so we need to get this straightened out! She came from being by herself but the lady said she was boarded with another horse previously and when taken away was quite upset. I don’t believe Beauty was being aggressive but just excited. We are planning on getting another horse by next spring as a companion and so I can ride with my daughter but for now I would like her to trail ride with a friend. Please advise….
Try contacting the other pony’s owner. Explain the situation and ask if you can, to introduce the horses in a controlled way, in hand (or at least have your pony in hand) over a fence. Asking the other owner is a good and thoughtful way to go. Perhaps there may be a way to put them together on a daily bases for a some days to allow them to get to know each other, over a fence. Also when you get the next horse allow a period of adjustment where the two horses can meet and greet over a fence for a week or two. Either way, do this in a controlled and thoughtful way. Play it safe and understand horses need a bit of time to get used to new horses in their area. Lead your pony on the ground for a few times to be near the neighbor’s horses, I do not suggest your daughter riding near these new horses for a week or two….Play it safe…Perhaps have your daughter’s friend bring her horse to meet the new horses as well…Please do keep me posted…I am happy to respond to questions, but please email them to franklin@wayoftheHorse.org