State of Nevada names the Wild Horse Foundation #1 horse group in 2004 for its assistance with placing VRE Horses into adopted homes. We look forward to continuing our collaborative agreement with the State of Nevada in order to place VRE horses into adoptive homes for many years to come! Thank you!
The Report Card! (A+)
The Wild Horse Foundation has placed wild horses and burros into loving adoptive homes since 2001. It seems like only a few years ago that we started this organization to help place wild horses and burros. Time sure flies by when you are doing your best to make the horses happy.
Now to the best part.
We were informed 30 hours before a planned site visit to the Wild Horse Foundation by the State of Nevada to dispel rumors started by a very few horse groups in Nevada.
By the way, pour yourself a coffee, this gets better.
The whole intention of the site inspection was to see if we were actually a legitimate horse organization; our files were reviewed, our facility inspected, adopters visited and adopters records reviewed, and a visit and talk with our veterinarian. We expensed out of our own pocket, fuel, time and energy to make this inspection go smoothly for the State of Nevada and the Wild Horse Foundation. We were eager for the site visit and with the expectations of an excellent report.
Well first, who got picked and how they got picked was a total surprise to us and we were ready with a “welcome mat” at the Wild Horse Foundation in Texas. We applaud Olivia Fiamengo and Mike Holmes for their visit.
Mike Holmes, VRE Manager for the State of Nevada, Department of Agriculture was senior and Olivia Fiamengo was second with a long list of questions.
The Fun Begins!
After meeting Mr. Holmes once a couple of years ago in Nevada, the Wild Horse Foundation renewed our goals to place horses in homes over the last couple of years. We have either picked up horses from the State of Nevada or horses have been shipped to the Wild Horse Foundation, which was generous of the State of Nevada in order to place the Virginia Range Estray horses into loving homes. Mr. Holmes has always been able to keep focus on the horses, even while several groups were upset at him about sending the horses to Texas. Olivia Fiamengo accompanied Mike Holmes, and we met Olivia for the first time in our private home on the ranch. We understand that she is a well pronounced supporter of the Nevada Range Estray horses and for Wild Horses at large. After the introductions were over we immediately started our job to assist in anyway we could to make this site visit go forward.
The First Day
Well, talk about a long day in the saddle. We stared at the ranch with a quick over view of how we help the wild horses and burros. Mr. Holmes and Mrs. Fiamengo were initially expecting us to turn loose our adopter’s names and addresses for their inspection by themselves. We decided that in order to protect our adopter’s confidentiality, we would accompany them and allowed them to inspect the files as we visited each site. Each adopter’s file had a description of the horse(s), NVE number and a completed adoption application, contract and requirements form. Some files had pictures of the adopter’s facility and pictures of their newly adopted horses. As we trucked across Texas, we were able to see over 30 horses the first day. We were asked various questions from, how do we adopt, how do we determine our fees, how do we feed, why is the hay in large round bales versus smaller square bales, who does the compliance checks, how often do we do compliance checks, etc. We answered every question and backed ever question with documentation from equine schools we attend, to BLM compliance classes and so on. By the end of the day, over 480 miles were covered and promise you these Nevadans saw parts of Texas Texans don’t see, from highways to byways, to country roads to gravel roads, from dogs barking to pigs squealing, from cows to elk all here in Texas. What’s next!
Above picture: Mike Holmes, Estray Manager State of Nevada, Olivia Fiamengo, Beth Benton-Congressman Chet Edwards CaseWorker-Manager, Susan Calhoun, President Wild Horse Foundation, Jim Phillips adopter and his pride and joy Lupe his NVRE. Photo by Ray Field
The Second Day!
We started the day a little slower, both inspectors wanted to see the Wild Horse Foundation facilities and how we were set up, how we organized the off-loading and separation of horses, mare, foals, studs, and geldings. We thought we actually saw Mr. Holmes look twice at the enormous abundance of quality hay we have sitting on the ground ready for use. We had to break it to him easy; told him there is over 1,400,000 pounds of hay available for the horses and then the big question hit. Is it any good? Hence the hay report, all of our hay is tested for protein, crude analysis and a few more areas for better hay production. Seems we have an average protein report of 10% – 16%. In Nevada we believe they use a lot of alfalfa, which is not a grass at all, it’s actually a blooming plant like a flower. When harvested right can produce a protein of around 18% -24%, which is to hot for Texas. It is mostly used in Texas for serious high dollar horses for performance use. We like to use the alfalfa cubes as a supplement, keeps the wild horses from getting spirited.
“The story continues”
To finish off the two long days, Mike had a hankering for a big chicken fried steak! Ha! One look at where we choose to go and the mouths started watering, sorry Olivia, we should have picked a Soup & Salad place, nonetheless, we choose the “Roadhouse” famous for its world class steaks. After an excellent meal, the dinner conversation was spent finishing up bit and pieces of the inspection. Between the four of us one thing was perfectly clear, no questions, no hesitations, no doubts, these wild horses and burros come first. It was determined that our efforts were for the wild horses.
During the conversation we discussed several organizations that have either never adopted a wild horse or placed a wild horse in a home or adopted a few horses are the organizations that did the most complaining. The Wild Horse Foundation suggests that these groups should offer proactive solutions to the wild horse issues at hand, instead of the negative energy they expended, to place wild horses in homes thus leading to a solution to the now, sell, slaughter issues.
Total Waste of Time, True or False?
Over all the report shows that not only do we do our job as we set out for, it shows that if other horse groups put the same effort into adopting rather than complaining the over all welfare and care of the wild horses would be better. There are many horse groups who talk loud but have never ever adopted a wild horse out to anyone and the groups that have adopted out think that the few they have adopted out makes them world champions, this game ain’t over, get busy! I believe there are around 30,000 wild horses and burros still looking for homes fast. Save a wild horse you’ll sleep better at night!