Wild Horses, Where are they Going?


The below pictures were provided by some our adopters who love wild horses and show it in these pictures.  The Doe came by and thanked the baby sitters later.  Working together we can make room for all wild horses and wild life. Let nature do its job!

Wild Horses in Texas Negotiating grazing rights with the locals.  When we all work together nobody gets hurt,  size matters, even the small has a voice!

After thought a second opinion is needed and the okay is given, so now there in Texas grazing problems are solved.

Now we all can share the same grass and graze together, any questions,  it’s called getting along, working together for a common goal, United we Stand, Divided They Win!


In an all out cry to save these Majestic steeds,  the BLM would have you believe that the lands are over grazed by the horses.  Not the case.  Over grazed yes but not by Wild Horses or Burros.   In the late 50’s there was a certain land privilege created to give access to federal lands to graze by friends of the government for ridiculous cheap fees that remain in effect today.  Today it’s known as the Taylor Grazing Act which is not ever challenge nor the rates of the land increased.  The Cattlemen’s friend forever in Congress. In recent months it’s been suggested that these permits never come before public review, ever, again. Never. Less than 3% of the nations beef supply come off of the nations federal land, so why lease the land,  import/export has a greater impact than this 3%. Question?

I’ve said it time and time again, the western states are flooded with wild horses and the wild horses need to come east.  Putting on a dog and pony show does not put support, training and assistance with the adoption.  That’s what happen with the Yugo car!  What an idea. When you adopt a wild horse, you have to offer free assistance without strings, without financial obligations, to encourage the continued protection and desire. We have seen adopters hold to wild horses and not able to do one thing with them and after one year, run and sell them, trade them anything to get rid of them.  This defeats the protection of the wild horse and burro.  

In today’s market the average cattle rancher has to pay 10 to 20 times the rate to ranch his cattle but if you have or are a permittee and holds one of these federal land permits, you may pay an average of $1.30 per animal unit month, this measurement is used to determine how much land it takes to raise a 1000 pound cow & calf per month, some states it may be 25 acres some may be 100 acres.  The regular rancher does not support the federal permittee cattleman, its uncompetitive business, no private rancher can raise his livestock for the same fees and compete and survive, ask any cattle rancher you know.  With an average of 160 cattle to 1 wild horse on federal land grazing, depending on who’s counting on what day of the week,  why not just keep the cattle off the land.  They blame the horse for the overgrazing, yeah, right, go figure.  Not all federal lands average this high of cattle ratio but its high enough that they can keep the cattle off and let the horses which are native to the land have the land back. 

In one of the greatest land switch games allowed from federal agency departments, over the years, the BLM has been able to swap land that contains wild horses and burros with other agencies making the numbers of wild horses go down from one area to the next.  The National Park service, Forestry Service, Fish and Wild Life Service trade, rededicate, reassign. realign lands to play with the numbers. Virtual making the numbers disappear or show no horses or burros.  Over the years if the wild horses or burros cross out of the protective lands, they are not protected under the wild horses and burro act even though they are still own federal land,  this federal law only protects these if they are own federal restricted lands prescribed in the act itself.  The BLM will inform you of this if you ask, they have a you don’t ask they don’t tell you policy.  You can refer to other wild horse rescue sites where poachers have gone out and openly shot wild horses and burros. 

This has been going for years and nothing new.  The Wild Horses and Burros have been removed from 2 states all together on paper from the 12 states and now on 10 western states, how long before no states?  Wild Horses still roam in New Mexico which shows no wild horses. The problem,  they did the land shuffle, you can still, drive by and see them out there. So who’s are they now?  The ranchers say they aren’t theirs, the BLM say not theirs, the ranchers want them removed, so what to do? 

28,000 wild horses and burros on 300,000,000 acres of land, 30,000 wild horses and burros in holding facilities, at a tax payer cost of over $50,000,000.00 a year.   The 28,000 wild horses and burros aren’t costing us one dime out in the wild,  the 30,000 are costing us, long term pastures on private ranchers land, BLM employees who are suppose to over seeing these,  BLM employees who are suppose to be doing over sight work for these and where’s over $50,000,000.00  being spent on?

Did you know that the BLM does not take any wild horse or Burro to adoption once the equine reaches an average age of 6, they consider this an “Unmarketable unadoptable product making this animal ineligible to placed into an adoptable home.  This wild horse or burro will sit in a holding facility for 4 years until it reaches the 10 years age rule that makes it a sale authority horse. Meanwhile, for 4 years you and I will pay to feed this wild horse or burro to stand on a private ranch.

Did you know that the average cost for a wild horse or burro to gather, out of the wild, take to a federal holding facility, brand, give shots and truck to another facility and then offer for adoption for the first time cost is average at $1,300.00 per animal.  And you think your $125.00 adoption pays for what? 

The Blame game is simply, the BLM wants to say its Congress but its not, Congress only allocates the money when its requests for funds.  The requests for funds comes from management doing there job from range management, bio-studies, to keep it simple and then add in the employee suggested salaries from the BLM to run the program.  Congress has told the BLM to run its program better many times, smarter and more financially responsible but they don’t care and won’t.  They refuse to change its advisory boards which are suppose to have wild horse experts on it but they have the same old drag a longs who won’t listen and have never adopted a wild horse or ran an adoption facility program with any success rates or skills.  They have a rancher or two who only cares about the cattle industry and no intentions of the wild horses.  The records speak for themselves.  The advisory group is suppose to represent the nation as whole, not the little territory of people it comes from.  

Now, to cut costs, our troops sleep in tents, buildings together, mud holes but not the BLM employees!  They go to adoptions and get there own private hotel rooms, one person one room, they sign up for Hotel frequent, mostly with Best Western Hotel,  user program cards program and after so many stays get a free night and use this for there personal use under that employee personal name for there personal use.  I think this is misusing federal funds for personal use, but I’m nobody right,  these rooms come with 2 beds, use them.  The vehicles’ have 4 doors, try car pooling.  Most of the BLM people drag a trailer for office supplies or use a suburban that has lots of room.  Its time for the Wild Horse and Burros to come first before congress actually thinks it takes $50,000,000.00 to care for them.  Turn them back loose!           

Just a few commonly asked question for the public.  These questions are posted on other websites so that the word gets out across the nations.

Q: Is there really an overpopulation of wild horses on public lands?

A: No. We have far fewer wild horses and burros now than when the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act passed in 1971. There were 60,000 wild horses and burros counted during the 1974 ground census. The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) target goal is approximately 23,000. This number is far below the recommended minimum number of 30,150 to sustain healthy populations (Dr. E. Gus Cothran, University of Kentucky). The BLM has eliminated wild horses and burros from 102 Herd Areas (home ranges) of the 303 areas that Congress had designated for sustaining wild horses and burros. Wild horse populations have been cut in half while livestock numbers have not been significantly reduced in more than twenty years.

Q: Are wild horses the cause of over-grazing of the public rangelands?

A: No. According to the General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office), “BLM frequently used the lack of detailed carrying capacity and range monitoring data to explain why it has not taken action to reduce widely recognized overgrazing by domestic livestock….The primary cause of degradation in rangeland resources is poorly managed domestic livestock (primarily cattle and sheep) grazing.” BLM refused to make the recommended proportionate reductions of private livestock vs. wild horses. Instead, the public’s wild horses continue to undergo drastic reductions. (GAO Report RCED-90/110, Rangeland Management/Improvements Needed in Federal Wild Horse Program, 1990)

Q: Why are there 8,300 wild horses in long-term holding pastures?

A: These horses should never have been removed from their rangelands in the first place.  Removals of these wild horses were not based on the Act’s goal of “achieving a thriving ecological balance.” The older horses in holding facilities were never given an opportunity to be adopted, based on a myth that older horses are “not adoptable.” Instead, they were sent directly to long-term holding pastures. BLM has historically favored management based on capture and removal, rather than sustainable long term in-the-wild management. BLM’s poor marketing program and lack of understanding the uniqueness of wild horses has led to the perceived notion that older horses are not adoptable.

Q: Are wild horses really suffering from drought and starvation?

A: No. The majority of wild horses are in good to very good condition. Instances where wild horses’ health and well-being are in jeopardy within Herd Management Areas (HMAs) often reflect the animals’ inability to ingress and egress due to locked gates and barrier fences. In some areas water sources are shut off to the animals by permittees. 

Q: Is the current BLM removal strategy fiscally responsible?

A: No. “Reducing authorized grazing levels would likely be cheaper than wild horse removals to achieve the same reduction in forage consumption.” (GAO 1990). The cost to remove a wild horse for adoption is $3,300.00. BLM’s wild horse and burro budget was increased 50 percent in 2001 to fund massive removals. In 2005, BLM’s budget was increased by another third, to continue with the removal campaign and maintain tens of thousands of horses in government holding corrals. A 2004 USGS study found that in-the-wild use of contraceptive measures alone would save $7.7 million annually. ( Current gathering operations use only one contractor in the west and this contractor can name his own price and operate when ever they see fit.)

Q: Is there a problem with inbreeding or genetics for wild horses?

A: No. Dr. E. Gus Cothran of the University of Kentucky has conducted genetic studies on equines and determined that wild horses are far more genetically diverse compared to any particular breed of horse in the U.S. Furthermore, he found that there is little to no inbreeding in wild horses and they are therefore genetically robust.

Q: Are wild horses native to our continent? 

A: Yes. The longstanding myth that wild horses are “non-native” species is false. The recently developed technology of mitochondrial-DNA analysis provides incontrovertible evidence that today’s wild horses are actually “reintroduced” native wildlife species in North America. Horses lived exclusively in North America over approximately 57 million years ago. (Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. in reproductive physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine of Cornell University, and Dr. Patricia Fazio, Ph.D. in environmental history, Texas A&M University)

Q: How do most Americans feel about wild horses?

A: America’s wild horses are among the most beloved animals on earth. In 1971, more than 70 bills were introduced in Congress for the protection of wild horses and burros. The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act then passed unanimously in Congress. It’s been said that support for wild horses generated the largest outpouring of mail in the history of Congress—second only to the Vietnam War. Support for wild horses crosses all political, cultural, and social lines. Last year, the slaughter of 41 mustangs was widely reported, including press coverage by People magazine, CNN, AP, MSNBC, The Washington Post and dozens of other newspapers across the country, and more than 40 celebrities have joined in calling for wild horse protection. Since then we’ve lost hundreds more to the slaughterhouse.


for more information email: grfield@wildhorsefoundation.org