Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

Tell Secretary Zinke to Save Our Wild Horses

The persecution of our nation’s wild horses is at an all-time high, and it is disgusting to hear the Bureau of Land Management’s reasons for wanting to wipe out these American Icons. They have said on multiple occasions that they have no other options than to slaughter the horses that they round up – but there are many other alternatives that they refuse to entertain, because they just want this “problem” to go away so that they can appease the special interests in the swamp in Washington.

This is not a complicated issue, and it is absurd that our government insists on wasting time and taxpayer money when we stand ready to come in and fix this issue for them. We have the tools and resources to make this right, and we are ready and willing to work with the new administration to solve this issue once and for all. For years, Madeleine Pickens, Founder of Saving America’s Mustangs, has been working tirelessly, and investing millions of her own money into creating a sanctuary for America’s wild horses, Mustang Monument. Yet, despite her continued efforts, the BLM refuses to work with her, and instead have opted to implement copious roadblocks to keep her from operating her sanctuary, and sharing the wonder of these animals with the public.

Join us as we address Secretary Zinke directly, and tell him that we, the American people, are unwilling to allow this administration to slaughter tens of thousands of innocent horses, when we have real, sustainable alternatives available NOW. Our wild horses need a voice, and our government needs a solution – we ARE that voice, and we ARE that solution. Say NO to slaughter.

Sign our petition!

Madeleine Pickens
Saving America’s Mustangs

Heat Stress: Know the Signs and How to Help

Adobe Stock photo.

Summer’s sultry weather can be more than uncomfortable for your horse or pony; it can be dangerous. It’s important to know the symptoms of heat stress and how to respond to them.

Horses that don’t sweat enough or who are engaged in a lot of physical exertion – like three-day eventers, polo ponies, or horses in sports that involve a fair amount of galloping – are most obviously at risk of overheating in hot, humid conditions, says Dr. Laura Werner, a surgeon at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky. Werner specializes in equine emergency services and also has worked as a Fédération Equestre Internationale Veterinary Delegate at three-day eventing competitions in the United States.

But your horse or pony doesn’t have to be an Olympic-level competitor to be at risk in summer conditions, Werner notes.

“Horses can get overheated if both heat and humidity are high, and with the physical exertion that we ask them to do, that can happen pretty easily, just as it does with people,” said Werner. “Certainly, if the heat is in the high 80s and the humidity is about the same, it’s pretty easy for horses to get overheated quickly.”

Things to Consider

One thing to consider is whether the animal is accustomed to the particular climate.

“Some horses are more acclimated to warmer temperatures or higher humidity than others,” explained Werner. “Horses that are imported from Europe, for example, might not be used to heat and high humidity straight away. Just like with a person, it might take them a little bit to acclimate.”

It’s also helpful to remember that your horse generally is warmer than you are. So, if you’re hot, your horse is probably hotter, especially if he or she is working.

“When we’re asking them to perform, they’re doing a lot more work than we are!” Werner said.

Symptoms to Know

  • High rectal temperature. The normal equine temperature is generally around 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Physical exertion in hot conditions can make that higher, but a temperature above 104 or so after a normal workout can signal a problem, especially if paired with other symptoms.
  • A horse is distress will sometimes whinny frequently.
  • Lethargy, sluggishness, or struggling to perform.
  • Open-mouth breathing.
  • High respiratory rate.
  • Not sweating.

What to Do

“The first thing to do is to get off your horse or stop working and walk them,” Werner said. “Try to cool them off with cool water. Get the tack off the horse very quickly. Head for a shady area.”

Some horses might require intravenous fluids, but many will respond to a cool bath, some water to drink, and a shady spot or fan.

Electrolyte therapy can also help a horse that has been performing in hot, humid conditions. “We do see some horses having electrolyte imbalances at this time of year because they’re losing so much through their sweat, and horses with electrolyte imbalances can even go on to develop thumps,” Werner said. Thumps, a hiccup-like thumping noise formally known as “synchronous diaphragmatic flutter,” can indicate issues like electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, or low calcium levels.

“If horses are actively working at a normal to moderate or heavy level of work, sometimes it is good to supplement their electrolytes at this time of year, because they are losing so much in their sweat,” Werner said. “Ideally, that can help ahead of time. If you have an event coming up that involves travel and/or physical activity, you can support them with an electrolyte paste to make sure they’re getting enough and their electrolyte supply isn’t depleted.”

Water On, Water Off

The best and fastest way to cool a horse is to concentrate cool water on the big muscle groups, says Werner. That means spraying over the rump, back, flanks, chest, and shoulders.

“You want to get cold or ice-water on, and then scrape it right off,” Werner explained, “because otherwise, as the water warms up, it acts as an insulator and can help make them overheat.”

Some people will also put ice around key points, like the jugular, but, in many cases, the “water on, water off” routine will suffice, said Werner.

In the summer, do what you can to avoid exercising your horse during hot, humid conditions. “Try to ride during the cooler times of day if you can,” said Werner. “Whatever you’re feeling is what your horse is feeling, too. Take frequent breaks. And if it’s too hot and you don’t need to ride, don’t ride. If you do ride, try to stick to shady areas or take your horse for a hack instead of working in the hot arena. Just use your judgment: if it’s too hot for you, it’s probably too hot for your horse, too.”

By Glenye Oakford
© 2017 United States Equestrian Federation

Wild Horses Killed for Their Meat?

If we don’t act now, thousands of America’s iconic wild horses may be culled — or sold off to meat slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada, where torture and painful death await.

For nearly 3 decades, wild horses have been protected by a ban on the slaughter of healthy animals or any sale that “results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.”  But Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would allow “humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals.”

No horse’s life is “excess,” and these animals do not deserve to be rounded up, slaughtered, and sold for meat just to give more land to rich cattle ranchers, as many speculate will be the case.

Instead of brutally killing America’s horses, the government should enact cruelty free population control measures, such as reducing births. Better yet, they should protect the public land on which these majestic creatures roam free.

Sign the petition to tell Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that he must prohibit the slaughter and sale of America’s wild horses. Thousands of horses’ lives depend on it!

Sign the petition

Launching New on the Range Volunteer Site

It is with excitement we announce the launch of a nation-wide initiative, a guide to the future management of wild horses and burros. It replaces helicopters and holding with on the range tools and committed volunteers who are willing to embark on a grand adventure in the still vibrant wild West.

Imagine every wild horse and burro herd roaming in freedom like they do in the Pryor Mountains (MT), the McCullough Peaks (WY), Onaqui (UT), Pine Nuts (NV), Challis (ID), Spring Creek Basin, Little Book Cliffs and Sand Wash Basin (CO). This is the goal. And it can only happen if you get involved.

We encourage you to read the guide and imagine where you fit in as part of a volunteer team. Is it becoming a PZP darter, photographer, drone pilot, driver, record keeper on the range, or a record keeper at home sitting in front of your computer? Partnering with the BLM you will become a guardian of the herd – ensuring a future for these awe-inspiring wild animals on their home ranges.

Check out the Website: (https://www.whbvresourcecenter.org) review the Resource Guide (https://www.whbvresourcecenter.org/resource-guide) then go to the National Volunteer Registry (https://whbvolunteer.wufoo.com/forms/wild-horse-burro-national-volunteer-registration/) and sign up.

The wild horses and burros are counting on us.

Happy Trails,
Ginger and Team

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Colic: Signs, Symptoms, and First Aid with Hagyard’s Dr. Liz Barrett

Watch as Dr. Liz Barrett of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute discusses horse colic treatment, what you should do until the vet arrives, and what treatments are available. Colic can be life-threatening for a horse. Dr. Barrett shares tips on spotting colic symptoms and taking early action, explains what can cause colic, and discusses treatment options, including surgery.

© 2017 US Equestrian Federation

BLM Plotting War on America’s Wild Horses and Burros

Photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

“Turning to mass slaughter would mark a U-turn on the government’s response to wild horse management programs…”

The Department of the Interior, under the leadership of Secretary Ryan Zinke, has signaled its intention to strip decades-old federal protections for wild horses and burros and to allow them to be shipped to slaughter by the tens of thousands. Public comments and Congressional testimony from Zinke and other high-ranking government officials represents the most severe threat to wild horses since the ghastly and cruel killing practices of the 1960s prompted Congress to adopt the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

Turning to mass slaughter would mark a U-turn on the government’s response to wild horse management programs. It was only in April that Congress passed a spending bill with sensible wild horse provisions for the remainder of 2017. That bill included language preventing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and its contractors from sending wild horses to slaughter for human consumption. It further directed the BLM to create a plan to maintain long-term, sustainable populations on the range in a humane manner.

Now, just two months after President Trump signed the 2017 Omnibus spending bill into law, the Department of the Interior is saying it is going to default to slaughter because it’s possessed with no other options. In the president’s budget request for 2018, the department has asked for the ability to maintain wild horse and burro populations at dramatically reduced levels and to get there by slaughtering the animals.

While there are always going to be major challenges in managing wild horses and burros on our western public lands and in satisfying the diverse stakeholders in the debate, there are certain options that should never even be considered because they are simply outside the bounds of how animals should be treated. Mass slaughter is one of those dreadful ideas, an action that flies in the face of the now longstanding prohibition on slaughter and of the instincts of millions of Americans to protect these magnificent symbols of the American West.

The BLM has never been exemplary at managing horses. Far from it. For 20 years, the agency’s primary strategy for wild horse and burro populations has largely consisted of rounding up and removing the animals from our public lands – an effort that has resulted in tens of thousands of wild horses and burros being kept in holding facilities at a cost now approaching $50 million a year — more than half of the BLM’s annual budget for the entire wild horse and burro program. Partly because the costs of caring for so many captive horses are undermining the larger program, the agency has failed to commit any additional money to implement sufficient fertility control programs, which have been long recommended by The HSUS and the National Academies of Sciences.

The aggressive and widespread use of fertility control is the only way to confront this crisis in the long term. The horses need to be managed, but in a humane manner. Fertility control works, but only if there’s a serious investment in the enterprise on the ground. By preventing the birth of foals, the agency will find itself under less pressure to round up so many horses. Fewer round-ups mean substantial cost savings, since not as many animals need to be pastured and fed in short-term and long-term holding facilities. A capture-and-kill strategy, on the other hand, will only make matters worse, because it will cause the horses to compensate by reproducing at a higher rate on the range.

We cannot readily resolve the politics of managing the captive and free-roaming wild horse populations without a struggle. It won’t be easy to get a handle on this. But one thing is for sure: sanctioning the slaughter of tens of thousands of horses is a disgraceful, shameful idea. It is an unacceptable idea that will produce protests in the streets, from Reno to Washington, D.C. Mass slaughter will happen only over the cries, protests, and interventions of the American people.

Tell Secretary Zinke that you do not support the slaughter of America’s wild horses by calling 202-208-7351.

By Wayne Pacelle as posted on Humane Nation

https://rtfitchauthor.com/2017/06/16/blm-plotting-war-on-americas-wild-horses-and-burros/

Interior Secretary and Utah Congressman Present Fictional Account of Wild Horses

Three grulla horses Crooks Mountain HMA.

I just got back from a trip to the Pryors and to the Red Desert Complex of south central Wyoming. The horses all look so fabulous and the Red Desert is horse heaven with abundant forage and so much room to roam. Maybe that is why the Congressional Public Resource Sub-Committee hearing threw me for a loop! Here is that section of the hearing with Chris Stewart of Utah questioning and commenting to Secretary Zinke.

Secretary of the Interior testifies before Congressional Sub-Committee June 8, 2017. The Secretary is being questioned by Congressman Stewart of Utah.

This Congressional conversation bears no resemblance to what I am seeing first hand on our ranges. After I left the Pryors, I visited four Herd Management areas in Wyoming called the Red Desert Complex, areas scheduled for devastating roundups this fall. BLM proposes to remove over 2,000 wild horses.

They would leave less than1 horse per 1,000 acres in the 750,000 acre Red Desert Complex! Congressman Stewart contends that wild horses are devastating western rangelands and starving to death. Here’s what is devastating rangelands. I happened on this site while looking for wild horses in the Stewart Creek HMA. When I turned off the dirt road onto a two track the acrid smell of cow manure hit me like a slap in the face. Then I saw the cattle and the land around the pond. The area was devastated, not by horses, but by cattle.

The Secretary spoke of birth control methods that do not work. This too is completely inaccurate. PZP works in all the herds that use it but I can count those herds on the fingers of both hands. And Congressman Stewart chimed in that the cost was thousands of dollars (for a dose). The Secretary agreed.

I feel like I am living in an alternative reality. PZP is $27 a dose and PZP-22 is a couple hundred dollars a dose — but thousands? Where do these gentlemen get their information?

It is critically important that you make your voices heard. The American public is the only thing standing between the death and destruction of our herds on the range and in holding. Please keep calling the White House and your Congressional Representatives and U.S. Senators and telling them that you want your wild horses to live in freedom on the range.

WHITE HOUSE: Call the President — 202-456-1111 (not weekends)

SENATE: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

HOUSE: http://m.house.gov/representatives/

CALLING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Leave your name (spell it) and the town where you live.
  2. Give 2 or 3 short sentences on your explicit concerns for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros.
  3. Give your name again and express thanks for the opportunity to give comments.
  4. You will probably get a Voicemail — but that’s okay. These elected officials must understand how important this is to you, and phone calls are all logged. If 50,000 of The Cloud Foundation followers will call, that adds up to 200,000 phone calls to Washington DC!

Thank you! Now let’s all get to work and make those phone calls for our wild horses and burros.

Ginger Kathrens
Executive Director

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Horseracing Integrity Act

American Quarter Horse Association, June 8, 2017 – On May 25, Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 to the House of Representatives. In summary, the bill requires “a uniform anti-doping and medication control program to be developed and enforced by an independent Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority.”

While the American Quarter Horse Association strongly supports uniformity in the horse racing industry, it is unable to support the latest version of the newly introduced legislation.

“Of particular concern regarding this proposal is the elimination of all race-day medications, including Lasix, the use of which has been endorsed by several equine groups and the American Association of Equine Practitioners to help mitigate the occurrence of exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage in racehorses,” said Craig Huffhines, AQHA executive vice president. “American Quarter Horse representation on the Authority and funding sources for the program are also among other areas of concern that we have regarding the legislation as currently proposed.”

AQHA is committed to the welfare of the racehorse and continues to work with international, national and state racing organizations and commissions to evaluate protocols to allow for uniform medication rules and deterrents of performance-enhancing drugs. In addition, the use of Lasix in AQHA shows is currently under review by the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission by request of the Executive Committee.

In recent months, AQHA worked with the Association of Racing Commissioners International to separate American Quarter Horse flat racing in its medication violation model rules to help eliminate the use of illegal performance-enhancing medications. The Association has also supported recent industry movements that include out-of-competition testing and hair testing.

For more information on American Quarter Horse Racing, visit www.aqha.com/racing.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

FEI Tribunal Issues Final Decision in Kevin Thornton Case

Lausanne (SUI), 7 June 2016 – The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decision on the case opened by the FEI last November against Irish Jumping athlete Kevin Thornton (FEI ID 10056297) for alleged abuse of the horse Flogas Sunset Cruise (FEI ID 103KQ92), which died at Cagnes-sur-Mer (FRA) on 10 October 2016.

The FEI Tribunal found the athlete guilty of horse abuse and has suspended him for four months from the date of the decision (6 June 2017), and imposed a fine of CHF 5,000 and costs of CHF 5,000.

In its findings, the FEI Tribunal determined that the athlete’s behaviour “went way beyond what could be considered an acceptable conduct towards a horse” and further concluded “with confidence that the horse has been whipped repeatedly, substantially and excessively and clearly more than the three (3) times alleged by Mr Thornton.”

The FEI stated in its testimony that “even if the horse had survived, a case of horse abuse would still have been opened by the FEI.” As the autopsy did not confirm the cause of death, the FEI Tribunal clarified that it was “not deciding on the potential responsibility of Mr Thornton for the tragic death of the horse.”

“The FEI stood up for horse welfare by taking this case to the FEI Tribunal and given the severity of this incident I truly would have expected a much tougher sanction,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “It was important to the FEI that the allegation of horse abuse was confirmed by the Tribunal. We had requested a two-year suspension, but the level of sanctions is at the discretion of the Tribunal and we respect its independence.”

The Decision can be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days from the date of notification (6 June 2017).

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Diamond Stripes Passes Away at Old Friends

Diamond Stripes at Old Friends (Photo: Laura Battles)

GEORGETOWN, KY – MAY 30, 2017 – Multiple-graded-stakes winner Diamond Stripes was euthanized May 29 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY.

According to Old Friends veterinarian Dr. Byran Waldridge, the cause of death for the 10-year-old gelding was complications of treatment for progressive ethmoidal hematoma, a benign but highly locally invasive sinus cancer.

Bred in Florida by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Rogers, Jr. for their Four Roses Thoroughbreds, Diamond Stripes won six of his 16 starts, including three black-type victories. His earnings total $1,478,014.

Diamond Stripes (Notebook – Romantic Sunner, On to Glory) broke his maiden in 2006 at Belmont Park in his first start. His subsequent four-race win streak included his first stakes win, which came in the GR3 Pegasus Stakes at the Meadowlands. The following year he captured the GR2 Meadowlands Cup Handicap.

His greatest victory, however, came in 2008 in Dubai where he triumphed in the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) under jockey Edgar Prado.

But by 2010 the gray gelding had begun a drop down the ranks, eventually starting in claiming races at New Mexico’s Sunland Park. Old Friends President Michael Blowen then contacted trainer Chris Hartman about retiring the horse.

“We were so happy to have been able to provide Diamond Stripes with a worthy retirement these last years,” said Blowen. “He was a kind horse with a strong spirit and he will be missed by many of his friends and fans.”

Old Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 170 retired racehorses. Its Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has a satellite facility in Greenfield Center, New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, which is also open to visitors. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Grisolia, (347) 423-7322, cindy@oldfriendsequine.org; Michael Blowen, (502) 863-1775, michael@oldfriendsequine.org