Friday, June 20, 2014

" Laura Leigh - Wild Horse Education - “Voices For The Voiceless” - Feature Friday

Howdy Folks,

Laura Leigh founder Wild Horse Education,  was also one of the contributors to my upcoming feature article in TrailBlazer, "The Last Wild Horse In America Died Today." Its an honor to feature here today ~ I first featured Laura in November 2012, with this story and it is appropriate to revisit it today ~ 

Laura Leigh - Wild Horse Education -“Voices For The Voiceless”

How do I write this? Friends who know me, and know my style, know that I write about, "People & Horses Helping Horses & People," in an upbeat and happy way. Celebrating the good that people do. Championing the horses who heal people, change lives and give their spirit so that those who need healing can realize a new beginning. Every now and then, in order to celebrate the good people do, I must write about things as tears stream from my eyes to drip on the keyboard … This is one of those stories.
How do I write about horses chased by helicopters to the point of total exhaustion, and death? How do I write about tiny foals running in a desperate panic to keep sight of their mommas, running as fast as their tiny legs can manage, sometimes running right out of their hoofs, and left to die. How do I write about helicopter pilots ramming the slower horses repeatedly with the skids of their helicopters? How do I write about horses being hosed with water in the holding pens soaking them so completely the tiny foals freeze to death? How can I write about the crowded, filthy holding pens? How do I write about the truckloads of once noble and proud spiritual wild horses being trucked to slaughter? I don't think I can.

But Laura Leigh, a freelance photojournalist, founder of Wild Horse Education (WHE) is documenting in photos and videos the excessive and inhumane roundups that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting against wild horses and burros. Laura was the first to bring the public daily reports of the conditions at the roundups, and continues to be the best source for information on what is happening in the field for our wild horses and burros. WHE has been essential in providing the public with documentation and investigation of the BLM practices in the roundups and long term holding of these captured wild animals, who in reality belong to the American people. The body of work is more than a collection of photos and video. It has been used to fight in Federal Court for the welfare and well-being of wild horses and burros.
Laura Leigh on the job working for the horses
Laura has been an advocate for the rights of horses for many years. Yet her attention turned to wild horses in a daily marathon of documentation and research after looking into the eyes of an eight month old colt that was suffering from hoof slough (feet falling off) during the BLM Calico roundup of 2010/2011. She named that little red colt "Hope Springs Eternal." After being refused the opportunity to aid the colt, he subsequently died. Laura has worked every single day since then to stop the madness.

When her work began sparking public criticism, BLM sought to restrict her access to their operations and facilities. Laura, fighting for the very lives of our helpless wild horses, filed a lawsuit against BLM. The fight to document wild horses, wherever they are in the system, has been a "battlefield" in Federal Court. The case that has become known as the "First Amendment" suit won a landmark decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February of 2012 and is scheduled to head back to the courtroom in February of 2013.

Her second suit against the BLM for "Humane Care," if it wins, could put an end to the cruel practices now ubiquitous in the BLM wild horse and burro program. WHE was able to halt two BLM operations through injunctions and restraining orders related to these suits. Just recently, WHE joined on as part of the investigation team into the allegations that BLM participated in the sale of mustangs from their feed lots to kill buyers. This case too is pending.
Two years ago Laura gained the first Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in the history of the BLM’s "Wild Horse and Burro Program" to inhumane conduct. Since then her documentation has gained a second TRO and an Injunction to conduct. The case against inhumane care of wild horses is still active in Federal Court.

An investigation by Laura's organization was essential in helping journalist Dave Philips, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, break the huge story that clearly illustrates the relationship with the BLM and kill-buyers. Currently the IG's office is investigating on a Federal level and the state of Colorado has turned over information to the DA's office for prosecution

These cases, investigations and documentation, are supported solely through donations to Wild Horse Education. This group is really doing the work in the field and getting the results in the courtroom protecting the voiceless who need our voice.

Please visit the Wild Horse Education site  … Spend some time viewing the videos, looking at the pictures … You may not believe your eyes  … Also on the home page is a box that says "Educate Yourself: Myths and Facts." Here is the link to that and it is one of the best guides to what is wrong and what is going on that I have seen.

Please share this blog and their link with your friends, ask them all to tell their friends, spread the truth, and give support.  So many lives depend on our voices and our help. What's being done by the BLM is not only wrong, it's cruel. With enough public notice and outcry, we can stop the BLM and save our wild horses and burros.

God Bless and Gitty Up, Dutch Henry

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Sheldon Mustangs Set To Vanish Into History- Update from Laura Leigh"

Howdy Folks, -

This is an update from Laura Leigh founder of Wild Horse Education ~

"Sheldon Mustangs were once part of an area where the government contracted for cavalry remounts. It is estimated in military records that nearly 500 horses a week shipped to Europe at the height of World War I, many of them taken from the area now known as Sheldon."
Wild Horse Education
For Immediate Release 6/17/2014
Contact:Laura Leigh, President 
Marta Williams, Vice President/Public Relations 

 Sheldon Mustangs Set To Vanish Into History 

"(DENIO,NV) The final countdown has begun for the removal of wild horses and burros on the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The Sheldon (NWR) has announced the final removal of horses and burros from the over 575,000 acre refuge. The removal of 70 burros will begin on July 14 and horses will begin some time in August. Last year burros were removed without any prior public notification.

Last week a case status conference was scheduled in ongoing litigation against Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) for July 1, 2014. The litigation brought by Bonnie Kohleriter and Laura Leigh, founder and President of Wild Horse Education, addresses both an historic lack of access to horse and burro roundups at the Refuge and Sheldon Mustangs repeatedly finding themselves in the slaughter pipeline.

It is known that Sheldon solicited for new contractors this year to take the mustangs. Several new contracts have been approved. At this time Sheldon has made no official announcement as to any arrangements made to ensure that horses will not be sent to those likely to fail to provide protection.

In federal court John Kasbohm, Director of the Refuge, told the Judge that Sheldon changed it's contract from the year prior and that horses removed in 2013 would be protected. Very quickly it was discovered that these "changes" were inadequate. J&S Associates (Stan Palmer) was allowing individuals to take horses for suspicious purposes. Sheldon horses have undergone mass vasectomies and hysterectomies on the range that has resulted in less than a 5% birth rate on the range, yet horses were taken by one individual for "breeding." It was also discovered that older mares were shipped for purposes of "rodeo." In one such incident an employee of J&S posted on Facebook for people to "come and get 'em" post that referenced these horses in the context of a possible rodeo occurring onsite at J&S and multiple replies that included taking some of the horses to slaughter.

In prior years J&S could not account for all of the horses they received, a recipient admitting to taking horses to slaughter and foals in their care deteriorating from improper care. A few of these foals were rescued from J&S with the whereabouts of others still not known. The rescue came too late for one foal named "Apatchy," because of the spot on his flank, who was euthanized due to malnutrition and severe permanent damage to his feet.

"We are working on getting clarification on the specifics of the plans for the Sheldon Mustangs," stated Laura Leigh, "We hope to hear that issues have finally been rectified and for the first time in the history of Sheldon that real effort has actually been made to ensure that the descendants of America's war horse are not betrayed again and sent to a horrifying death."

Sheldon Mustangs were once part of an area where the government contracted for cavalry remounts. It is estimated in military records that nearly 500 horses a week shipped to Europe at the height of World War I, many of them taken from the area now known as Sheldon.

"It is incredibly tragic that the historic value of a living symbol of American history has no value to those that manage America's Wildlife Refuge system," said Leigh "The horses were there before the Refuge. They have existed in this intact ecosystem and contribute to it's beauty. It is heartbreaking that we will never have our historic herds to view in Sheldon again. It is devastating to think that the last of the Sheldon Mustangs may go to slaughter."

What will be the final chapter in the legacy of the Sheldon Mustang? We await the final announcement from Sheldon."

  ---  This is a sad day indeed ~ Gitty Up, Dutch Henry 


Wild Horse Education is devoted to gaining protections for America's wild horses and burros from abuse, slaughter and extinction. Main website: 

We have written numerous articles on the history of the horses and burros that inhabit the Refuge. 

We are currently working on our short film on the Legacy of the Sheldon Mustang, "Forsaken," with a new rough cut expected soon. You can view the "trailer" here: 

Litigation remains active pending final announcement.

We are out documenting the last of Sheldon Mustangs on the range.

You can join our "action team," in case we must make a rapid response at

Monday, June 16, 2014

"Walk On Washington-All American Walking Horse Alliance"

Howdy Folks, 

This Wednesday, June 18, at 1:00 the All American Walking Horse Alliance (AAWHA) will lead a gathering in Washington DC to bring awareness to our nation's top legislators of the horrors of soreing, and to encourage members of congress to support passage of the PAST Act (Prevent All Soring Tactics Act).
This gathering will bring Tennessee Walking/Spotted Saddle/Racking Horses to the U. S. Capitol Reflecting Pool on 3rd Street SW on Union Square to encourage legislative support for passage of the PAST Act and to alert the public to the urgency of this legislation. The horses will perform in an exhibition designed to showcase their innate abilities and temperament.

The PAST Act is an amendment to the original Horse Protection Act of 1970. Upon passage, penalties for soring will increase, enforcement will once again reside with the USDA and devices implicated in the abuse of soring will be banned.

AAWHA spokesperson Jeannie McGuire of Unionville, Virginia said, "We hope to bring public attention and legislative action to this bipartisan legislation. Endorsements have been received by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the United States Equestrian Federation and the American Horse Council. Other animal welfare organizations including the ASPCA and the Humane Society support the bill."
The All American Walking Horse Alliance is comprised of Americans from across the nation and from all walks of life, bound together by an abiding love for America’s gaited horses. They are committed to nurturing the future of these kind and gentle horses as America’s most treasured and cherished equine. Their mission is to bring an end to abusive training practices while creating a purposeful and productive future for these most beloved breeds.

The PAST ACT (HR 1518) presently has 286 co-sponsors in the U. S. House of Representatives which is 66% of the 435 members. The PAST ACT (S. 1406) has 54 U.S. Senators endorsing it, and S. 1406 was unanimously reported out of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on April 9, 2014

To learn more about this event and the AAWHA visit their Facebook Page - HERE 
And their website - HERE
Let's all help to get this important legislation passed, and stop the torture of innocent horses. Your help can give voice to the voiceless.

Gitty Up~ Dutch henry