Wild Horses: Not the Right Kind of Animal? #animalrights #animallivesmatter #wildhorses #horses #horse

One thing you should know about me and this website is that I rarely rant here. Of course, I have opinions on the numerous issues plaguing our country, but with that said, I’ve just never felt the need to verbalize them. At least not here.

Sometimes, though, I’ve just got to let it out because if I don’t . . . well, you can probably imagine what happens in my mind.

I’ve noticed a trend circulating around society. Although, it’s been an ongoing issue for many, many years, it really began to gain ground when NFL star Michael Vick was arrested for fighting, abusing, and killing dogs.

So what is this trend? It is the outrage over the needless death of an animal.

I remember about a year ago one afternoon Facebook all of a sudden became a buzz with news of a dentist who flew to Africa and shot Cecil the Lion. Outrage in this country exploded with shouts from people that the dentist should face charges or even should die. People protested at this man’s house. They stood in front of his home, yelling “murderer” and “terrorist” from megaphones. They protested his business, they slandered him all over the internet, and they threatened him and his family.

And then another story came out.

A month or so ago Americans jumped on another animal death story when a four-year-old boy fell into the gorilla exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo. After several agonizing minutes, zoo officials came to the conclusion that the only thing they could do was shoot the animal to save the boys life. Again, this sparked outrage and just as the dentist, the boys parents faced slander, protests, and internet attacks. People shouted they should not only be charged with child neglect, but for murder, too.

Then another story came out.

Not but a month later, another animal attack and more outrage surrounded a Nebraska family who lost their 2-year-old when he was attacked and killed by an alligator at a Disney resort. As a result of the attack, officials hunted and killed five alligators in the lagoon, sparking the animal rights people to once again pounce on the parents, screaming for charges to be filed so the alligators could have some justice.

And if it couldn’t get worse, it did.

A week after that another new story broke about a jaguar in Brazil who, after being photographed with the Olympic torch, accidently escaped from her leash and was shot because she tried to attack one of the handlers. Yet again, my Facebook newsfeed was swarmed with outrage over the death of this beautiful cat. Post after post, people condemned the Brazilian government and anyone who took the side of the safety of the handler. “Another wild animal needlessly dies because of the stupidity of humans” was the most popular comment.

~*~ For the record, I’m not trying to say that animal rights activists are wrong. I’m not saying that these animals should have died or that I’m against the outrage that has sparked over their deaths. I love animals, all animals, and I am utterly saddened at the death of them all. I’m only trying to convey the point that people in this country have outrage when an animal is put to death for no reason. Well  . . . when it’s the right kind of animal, that is . . . ~*~

Over the course of a few years, I’ve gotten involved with several of the wild horse activists around the country. Countless times, I’ve read article after article about the abuse, needless death, and the ILLEGAL sale of thousands of our wild horses to slaughter houses.


And what do Americans say about this? What do these millions of people demanding for justice for the innocent animals mentioned in the stories above, the ones who don’t have a voice and deserve to live on this earth, have to say about this?


Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Not once have I seen any of the articles about a wild horse dying from neglect, a botched, needless surgery, or one of the BLM roundups splattered across my Facebook newsfeed as I’ve seen for the above mentioned animals. Not once have I seen thousands and thousands of comments about the horror of it. Not once have I seen people demanding justice or for the killers to die a horrible death, too.

I guess wild horses aren’t the right kind of animal or something, because no one in this country aside from wild horse lovers even seem to care.

Kill a lion, gorilla, alligator, or jaguar and they will come at you with a pitchfork demanding for your death. But sell thousands of horses to slaughter houses or kill them with neglect on taxpayer property and not a single word.


Where is the outrage, people? Where are the pitchforks? Where are the screaming people demanding for justice? Where are the protestors? Why aren’t they standing out in front of the offices of the BLM demanding for change? Where are the millions of people who are disgusted with the senseless and needless death of an innocent animal?

These government and political officials are KILLING horses every day and what are we, as Americans, doing about this? Nothing. Nope, we’d rather hunt down a dentist for shooting a lion in another country. We’d rather jail parents for the rest of their lives for the murder of a gorilla or an alligator. We’d rather boycott travel to Brazil for the death of a jaguar or an NFL team because they’ve signed a dog killer as their quarterback.

But for horses? Eh, it’s just a horse. No big deal. They don’t matter.

I suppose given the hypocritical society these days, I shouldn’t be surprised. People like to jump on bandwagons for one thing, but turn a blind eye on another. Even if the other is, at the core, the same issue.

Society in it’s whole is a walking contradiction.

Why should we care about them?

Who cares that before the invention of the automobile, horses helped make this country what it is? Who cares that they have carried us on their backs across the country since the beginning of this great nation so we could make better lives for ourselves? Who cares that they pulled the heavy wagons and carried our supplies? Who cares that they helped plow fields before machines were invented, helping us provide food for ourselves and our neighbors. Who cares that they fought a long side us in wars that they didn’t understand, dying on the battlefields alongside Americans? Or that they’ve, at times, helped the economy by running around a racetrack, making people millions. Who cares that they provide friendship for children all over the world, and even help handicapped kids who can’t relate to anything else in life but the gentle giants who they spend time with?

Yeah, I guess you’re right. They are worthless and pointless.

Can you read the sarcasm?

Each year at the Reno Rodeo, they host a competition to horse trainers in the Reno area called the Mustang Makeover. Each trainer receives a wild horse and is given 100 days to train their horse. Then, at the rodeo, they would showcase what they’ve accomplished and would auction off the horses to new homes.

I was lucky enough to know the wife of one of the trainers this year, and I watched through Facebook the story over the 100 days on taming Judd. I saw through pictures and read through posts the bond that they were forming with this wild mustang. This horse went from running on the Nevada range, to a highly trained animal that they loved with all their hearts. He’s now owned by a woman who not only has an amazing horse, but has a friend for life.

What if Judd hadn’t been picked for this competition? What if he, or any of the other horses chosen, would have been sold to a kill buyer and sent off to slaughter?

AbbyOr what if my own Mustang, Abby, had been taken away? Yes, that’s right, I owned a mustang. She was my first show pony. I loved her so much. She was kind and gentle, and one of the best horses I’ve ever owned. She taught me how to ride and she was amazing.

I just don’t understand people anymore.

Why does a lion, a gorilla, a jaguar, and a bunch of alligators deserve our outrage, but the one animal who has molded this country to what it is, a symbol in this nation almost as honorable as the bald eagle, just gets brushed under the rug, ignored and forgotten?


So many times I’ve seen that the reason for their demise is because of overpopulation.

However, in one article I read, out of the 82% of livestock on the Nevada range, only 17% are horses. The rest are cattle and sheep that ranchers are grazing for pennies on the dollar.

In another article I read, reported that there is currently 32,000 wild horses roaming across 10 western states. 32,000. On 32 million acres. That’s only 1 horse per 1000 acres! Even if the 50,000 in holding pens were released, each horse would still get 390 acres all to themselves.

But of course, main stream media leads us to believe that there are so many we are going to get overrun, and of course, since they aren’t lions, jaguars, alligators, or gorillas we just don’t care.

I don’t have the answers as to what the BLM should do about these amazing animals; however, I do know that treating the horses the way they are, subjecting them to stressful and unnecessary reproductive surgeries that will cause the complete destruction of a herds social hierarchy, or allowing them to be illegally hauled off to another country to die is not the answer.

And it saddens me to the core that no one in this country even cares to stand up for them! They are a piece of history in this country, and we are letting them die. How can you care about a lion, a jaguar, a gorilla, and a bunch of alligators, and not care about this?


Unfortunately, I know that this issue goes deeper than just wild ponies. Between wars with ranchers, collecting grazing fees, and stealing public property so the government can lease out the land to foreign countries like they own it, it’s easier to send the wild horses to their death and cast them aside for the all-mighty dollar.

Because that’s the kind of country we’ve become.

Throwing humanity out the window to make a buck.

Death Toll Mounts from BLM Wild Horse Roundup

Stallion Ran Wild For 26 Years. And Died 5 Months Into Captivity

Watchdog: Feds sold horses for slaughter to rancher with reported political ties

BLM criticized for selling Wyoming horses for slaughter

Federal report: Colorado wild horse buyer sold mustangs for slaughter


Dangerous Times on Capitol Hill

All the Missing Horses: What Happened to the Wild Horses Tom Davis Bought From the Gov’t?

1,800 protected wild horses sent to their deaths in Mexican slaughterhouses

BLM Roundup to “Save” Wild Horses Kills Three Wild Horses

Cruel or necessary? The true cost of wild horse roundups

Wild Horses Sold For Slaughter: BLM Sold Thousands Of Mustangs To ‘Known Kill Buyer’

The case of the missing mustangs; what happened to 1,700 wild horses?

Groups to Join



24 thoughts on “Wild Horses: Not the Right Kind of Animal? #animalrights #animallivesmatter #wildhorses #horses #horse

  1. Good for you! I never know what will spark outrage or be ignored. But info like this will be shared because people like you who care enough to document it and bring it to others’ attention do so. [sharing]

    1. Thank you for sharing it! So far, it’s been ignored. There is so much to this issue, and it doesn’t even stop with wild horses. We have kill pens all over this country. I follow the ones for Oklahoma on Facebook. Everyday I see post after post of a kind, well trained, ranch horse that people are trying to save from these kill buyers. Seriously, horses that are worth thousands, you can save for hundreds. It just baffles me.

    2. Of all the Groups you posted where is Wild Horse Education? When I became involved in Advocacy I got my infomation more from WHE than any other. Since then I do belong to all the groups listed but am still a Loyal Fan of WHE.

      1. I didn’t know about them, but I will add them now. Thank you for making me aware of them! The more links the better! I’ve also now followed them and will start sharing more of their information. Thank you so much Coleen!

      2. Thanks Coleen. It is always interesting that articles get shared, like the story of the horses sold to Tom Davis, because orgs share it. People forget who actually did the work. It was WHE.

      3. I’m sorry if I shared the wrong article, Laura. When I did searches on the information, I posted what the articles that I’ve read and seen over the years through my own social media.

        I followed both your website and Facebook, and will help share your posts from now on when I see them. You have an amazing collection of information and the work is inspiring.

    3. There IS outrage amongst us on face book. We ask are pressing our congressmen for passing the SAFE ACT not that they are listening. My rants are always public so any avid everybody can see them. I post everything that I can find about horse slaughter, the demise of the mustang and burros. I’m not always politically or socially correct depending on how frustrated I am that day. There are many people out here doing everything that they can throughout the US and into Canada. Laura Leigh is a staunch supporter of the wild mustang and burros withheld boots on the ground and documenting the horrors of their extinction. But there are others who are trying. I only wish that the news media would pick it up. These horses represent Freedom of America..icons in a sense. They are part of our culture and our history. This country was founded on their backs. The way they are being treated is abominable!!!!! The woman in the DOI, the BLM are all being run by welfare cattlemen all having a vested interest in cattle and sheep. They keep calling these indigent creatures feral like cats. There was a congressional hearing just recently that was a real dog and pony show with only one person representing the horses was outnumbered and disrespected by those livestock welfare ranching beasts. The DOI HEAD Sally Jewel shows no interest in the horses. The cards are so very stacked against them avid everybody is wondering what more can be done. Politics play a huge role in all of this. Money plays a gigantic role. Lies are still being told to further cause these animals to go extinct. The horses have been sold out..and we’ve been fighting ask along. I’ve been involved for over 12 years. And still our American horses are being slaughtered by the hundred thousands.. At this point the SAFE ACT is the only thing that may help save them. They will probably lose their freedom but hopefully not their lives. NOW THE BLM IS ALLOWING PREGNANT MARES AND YOUNG FILLIES TO BE SURGICALLY SPAYED BY A COLLEGE AS AN EXPERIMENT TO SEE IF THEY WILL BE SBLE TO DO IT IN THE FIELD. There is a 68% mortality rate on horses done in sterile environments. These mares are doomed as the blm had no environment to successfully perform these operations. They are operating under non sterile conditions..do you realize what that alone will do to the mortality rate of these mares and FILLIES? Again there are many of its who are fighting to stop this but the livestock interests are fighting us.. All the lies being told are as bad as the lies to promote horse slaughter. Don’t think for one minute that people aren’t outraged….WE ARE!!!!!

      1. Thank you for stopping by Terri and for all you do! I wanted to make sure that you aren’t misunderstanding my reason for this post. I didn’t mean that no one is outraged. I know that there are a lot of people are. However, it just feels like it’s not as much as the people that were outraged over the loss of those other animals mentioned.

        Out of all my friends and family on Facebook (569 people) THREE of them shared or commented on my post. And yet, most of them had in the past posted about the other stories. That was the reason and main point of my post. Of course, other wild horse advocates commented, shared, and showed support. The general public, not so much.

        I wanted to bring light to the subject in my circle as well as my own followers both here and on Twitter who probably aren’t aware of the travesties going on. For a few it worked as after this post, I did have friends asking me if all of it is even true and telling me they knew nothing about it before I posted this message.

        I never meant to give the notion that NOONE cared or that there wasn’t outrage from anyone. And I was not trying to discredit those who are already involved and are doing great work. I’m sorry if that was the impression.

  2. The reason is because individuals had something to do with those other animal deaths (or not). When the government has a hand in it, the media goes silent. Men and women in government … our country’s “royalty” knows best, not us.

    This is a horrific story and brought tears to my eyes. I’m not completely clear on why they would do such a thing, but when is the government clear on anything they do? 😦

    1. I believe the main reason is to get them off the land so they can lease it out to ranchers and other countries. They can’t make money on the horses being on the land. It’s not just wild horses, but we have kill pens all over the country for trained horses. When people don’t want them anymore, they take them to auction. Kill buyers bid and win them.

  3. Thank You so much for a great letter. I am one that got involved with the Wild Mustangs of NV. I live in Reno and the Virginia Range id my backyard and spend many hours out with them and photograph them. The govt and BLM have lied their buts off to get them rounded up. I am glad that there is finally someone that is getting the word out for the plight of the Wild Horse. And I Thank You. We do have a few people in our area that work tirelessly at keeping them Free & Wild.

  4. Hi Angela, I volunteer for Hanaeleh in Orange County CA. We are a horse rescue and advocacy non-profit organization. We spend a a lot of time and effort spreading the word like you did so eloquently here in your post. We all must be the voice for the voiceless. Here is our FB page: http://Facebook.com/ Hanaeleh Thanks you for all you do. Stay strong and keep going.

  5. Angela, thank you for posting such a difficult topic. It is beautifully displayed and well wrote out– sarcasm aside (well deserved sarcasm) I follow the plight of these magnificent creatures, and have my own bouts of outrage, tears, and fist shaking. Aside from sharing the news and helping where I can, there is little I can do. I did have a mustang once, a paint gelding name Shaquana. Unfortunately, he never became the solid and dependable friend your Abby or Judd became. That didn’t mean he did not deserve the chance. Fight the good fight and keep the faith.

    1. Thank you! It was a hard topic to broach, and I still have a couple of more posts in me. We are looking into adoption since we have the property, but we are still in planning stages. I’m trying to spread the word as much as I can, but it’s hard when people don’t even care. I have family and close friends that don’t even care. 😦 Luckily, this post (and I hope the ones coming in the next couple of weeks—one of them Friday) has been viewed and shared many times over. I was able to spread it through wild horse groups.

  6. Angela. beautifully written and so true. I’m looking for someone in the So, Calif. area that has about ten acres that would let me get a 5013C started and work with us on the land purchase, etc. I want this 5013C to support all the horses, etc. we save. If anyone reading this can help I would love to hear from you. My e-mail is bcco1@sbcglobal.net. God Bless All who want to save our beautiful animals God has given us, our horses, donkey, mules, dogs, and cats, etc. All those harming these animals in any way should be treated to the same punishment. Case closed. I truly feel this way that we have too many killers walking among us and we need to CLEAN HOUSE of these individuals. If they will intentionally kill or hurt an animal, they certainly will do the same at some point to another human, the reason may not be the same, but it is a reality that could and possibly will happen. Angela, where are you located? I’d love to meet you.

  7. Angela, beautiful written and so true. I truly believe that anyone hurting an animal will eventually do the same to a human being. It’s just a matter of time. Anyone hurting an animal should have the same judgment and sentence as if he hurt a human being. I’m hoping to start a 5013C and looking to find a level ground place of about five acres that will work with me on the cost. I’m in So. California and would appreciate any advice or help that an honest 5013C can give me. Angela, where are you located? I would love to meet you. My e-mail is bcco1@sbcglobal.net. God Bless you, everything you said is so true. We presently work with a rescue that I understand from the girl that transports the saved horses, that the rescue saved all the horses at auction after personal people bought the others, over thirty plus, and the killer buyers went home without any. I understand this has continued since the first of the year. I hope this is true and continues so all the killer buyers starve to death..

    1. I’m in Oklahoma. We, too, have land and are looking into getting set up for adoptions and rescues. My property has been approved, it’s just a matter of going to the adoptions. I had to fight tooth and nail for my horse trailer to get “approved” to pick them up. It’s a three horse slant, enclosed, with rubber mats on all four walls and the floor with padding. She finally approved it after I sent her a bunch of pictures. Ugh. I will be posting more on various topics.

  8. Saving America’s Wild Horses

    With drumming hooves, they come running.
    With tails flagged high, they come running,
    With flowing manes, they come running.
    With flared nostrils, they come running.

    Oh, what a glorious sight!

    Clouds of prairie dust mark their passing.
    The scent of crushed sage comes drifting.
    Glistening hides in sunlight, reflecting.
    Separated mares and exhausted foals nickering.

    Oh, what a careening flight!

    What would cause this reckless running?
    Over rocky hills, unshod hooves come crashing.
    Older horses lose their footing
    Lathered sweat whitely spraying.

    Oh, what a panicked flight!

    Exhausted, on splayed legs, with sides heaving
    Too spent to nicker at their mothers’ leaving
    Foals collapse, roiling dust enshrouding
    From the chopper blades’ wild whirling.

    Oh, what a tragic flight!

    The strong ones lead, the rest conforming
    As they heed the fences’ hazing
    Into the catch pens’ terminating
    Rails forcing a bewildered milling.

    Oh, what an end to their flight!

    Looking for lost foals, mares pacing
    Bloated bags with warm milk dripping
    A mute and painful weeping
    O’er the Truth so horrifying.

    Innocence, a victim of their flight.

    Stallions answer Nature’s calling
    Rearing, striking, biting, screaming
    Close-quarter conflicts inciting
    Instinctive challenges contesting

    The bloody purpose of their flight.

    Growing herds expanded grazing
    Might harm the desert tortoise feeding
    Politicians paid for by Big Oil, Big Mining
    Approved detailed plans for exterminating.

    Greed, the “No Exit” signage of their flight.

    Some spend months in metal pens confining
    Forgotten, rains ease their frantic thirsting
    Thousand rib and hip bones testifying
    Slow starvation caused their dying.

    Human error the Reaper’s demise of their flight.

    Too few selected for public adopting
    Wild Horse Protection Act ignoring
    Auctioned prices climbing, ever rising
    The “Killer Man” nods and ends the bidding.

    One final sorting changes the nature of their flight.

    Steel trailers travel south to border crossings
    Squeezed into plywood crates, foreboding
    Bewildered captives endure hours of flying
    No hay or water to ease their silent suffering.

    Japan’s slaughter houses, the destination of their flight.

    Electric prods keep dazed mustangs moving
    On slimy steel, hooves slipping, horses falling
    They’re lined up, wild eyed with nostrils snorting
    At the stench of filth and hot blood flowing.

    The Kill Box, the vile termination of their flight.

    Spinal cords severed by Ice-pick stabbings
    Strong legs collapse to the sounds of groaning
    Hind legs wrapped in chains are lifting
    Through cut throats, life’s blood is draining

    Can glazed eyes see their souls take flight?

    Wild burros, horses, mules trapped for Federal culling
    Race horses, ponies, trotters too old for sports or breeding
    Loyalty, trust unnoticed in the equine steaks now steaming
    As patrons of foreign dining enjoy their gourmet gorging.

    Ignorant of the bloody, heinous outcome of their flight.

    Horses carried men in battle, no beribboned medal dying,
    Pulled prairie schooners across the plains unending
    Built railroads, carried mail, plowed fields for planting
    In Arlington, proudly paraded veterans to their final resting.

    We must preserve, forever, the freedom of their flight.

    With drumming hooves, they come running.
    With tails flagged high, they come running,
    With flowing manes, they come running.
    With flared nostrils, they come running.

    Oh, what a thundering, glorious sight!
    © June 2, 2016 by Janice E. Mitich
    Picture Rock, AZ

    I grant permission to reprint my poem, including the copyright information, to wild horse and burro advocates in order to educate the public as to what the BLM is doing. I sent a copy to all the members of the Congressional Subcommittee (those that had email addresses posted) and got absolutely no response at all.

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