Monday, June 30, 2008

Pony up and ride to work!

Thanks to my friend Pam for sending me this article.

Washington Dentist's staff saddles up to beat gas costs.

Incidentally, I have just put my "Save Gas, Ride a horse" sticker on my rear window.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Green Mountain, WY Mustangs

The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing a new grazing system on Wyoming public lands for a private livestock allotment known as Green Mountain. The new plan has critical implications for three wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs): BLM itself admits that the proposed miles of new fences would cause an increase in wild horse mortality by ?severely limiting? known migratory routes and critical access to summer/winter habitat, thereby trapping horses in winter to die in the snow. BLM?s records show that fencing in the same area caused 60 to 80 horses to die over a single winter in the mid-80s. BLM also admits that the new fencing would result in a severe loss of genetic diversity by segregating herds that are currently able to inter-breed.

Citing drought, BLM has already removed so many wild horses from the three affected HMAs that population levels are now below what BLM itself deems to be an ?appropriate management level.? BLM acknowledges that wild horse losses caused by the new fencing would be detrimental to ecotourism opportunities in the area, ?causing a visitor loss by as much as 90%.? Yet, BLM continues to support heavy livestock grazing in that same area, citing concern for the economic welfare of local ranchers.

The new grazing system would benefit 16 private livestock operators who pay $1.35 per month per cow/calf pair grazing on our public lands (about one-tenth of private grazing rates!), while American taxpayers continue to pick up the real costs.

Please voice your support for Alternative 3, the only option that will reduce livestock grazing, not add any new fences, will protect wild horse/wildlife habitat, and supports the creation of a wild horse-viewing loop.

Comments must be received by Friday, June 27, 4:30 pm MST

Lander Field Office
P.O. Box 589, Lander, WY 82520
Fax: 307.332.8444 Phone: 307.332.8400

Make sure to include your name and address as well as a reference to the Green Mountain Allotment, EA# WY050-EA07-153.

On behalf of the horses, thank you for your support,

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Horse Racing Under Scrutiny

If you thought it was just your imagination that more horses seemed to be breaking down in major races across the country every year, rest easy. Or not. It isn't your imagination. According to a study by the Associated Press (since none of the sports governing bodies seemed inclined to keep track) fatalities on North American tracks have been increasing over the years.

The tragic death of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, and more recently George Washington and Eight Belles in major races (The Triple Crown series and Breeders Cup) has opened the eyes of the public to the dangers involved in horse racing. It seems that the industry has been trying to out pace the ability of the equine creature are bred more and more for speed, rather than stability. Sure our horses are faster today. But 50 years ago a 3 year old would have run in 10-12 races a year. Now we're down to six, and its not because the trainers want to give the horses a little extra time off to gear up for the next big race. Its because they HAVE to. They know their horses won't stand up to as much heavy racing as horses did in the old days. Today's thoroughbreds are faster, taller, finer boned. All BAD things when it comes to holding up over time.

Now think about this: Everyone knew about Barbaro, and Eight Belles because everyone was watching those races. Consider the thousands of horses who race and perhaps die every year, and no one ever knew their names. That's where I got my horse from. A broken down $2500 claimer from Rillito. Never heard of Rillito? Thats because it's in Tucson, Arizona, not exactly the horse racing capital of the world. Most likely no one but the multitude of trainers who passed him around and my riding instructor who bought him ever remembered his name. Hell, *I* don't remember his name, because it isn't important to me. The point is, if he had been destroyed when he fractured his pastern on the racetrack, no one ever would have reported it, it would never have been recorded, and no one would ever know that every day in America 3 horses die on our racetracks, and no one knows their names.

I salute the unnamed.

Here is a list of organizations that provide adoption and retirement services for thoroughbreds.
Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation
At MidAtlantic Horse Rescue you can buy a silicone wristband embossed with Eight Belles' name to benefit the rescue of off-track thoroughbreds.
The BloodHorse has a directory of Thoroughbred retirment and adoption services.
For more resources all you have to do is type "Thoroughbred Rescue" into your search window and let the results roll in.

Monday, June 9, 2008


So, gas is anywhere between 4 dollars and 5 dollars a gallon across the country now. Diesel costs more, which makes no sense. Everything is about supply and demand...the more you need it the more they make you pay. And that includes everything from gasoline to food, because hey, we need gas to plant/harvest/ship the food. I heard some dumb son of a B*&@$ on C-Span a while back (some senator from some stupid state like ohio or something {forgive me ohioans}) say that gas prices had to remain high in order to cut demand. WTF?@! That would only work if you gave people an actual ALTERNATIVE. Ethanol is still not widely available, and doesn't really cost less than gas at this point. Not all of us can afford to go out and buy a new hybrid/electric/nuclear fusion (jk) car instead of one that runs on gasoline. We can't even afford to convert our current vehicles to bio-diesel, make buddy buddy with all the fast food restaurants in town and make our own french-fry fuel. Why? Because we have JOBS TO DO. We have FOOD TO BUY. CLOTHES. And we run ourselves ragged trying to keep ourselves and our kids fed and clothed and ahead of the bills and no matter what we still have to drive 12 miles to work and 12 miles home every day and buy gas at 4.09 a gallon. Then of course you have to go to the grocery store, take the kids to the doctor, the dog to the vet, go to the bank. God forbid you should actually want to go out and do something FUN!
We need SMART, AVAILABLE and AFFORDABLE alternatives before we can start cutting the demand for gasoline. Tell congress and those ohio senators to put THAT in their big oil pipe and smoke it.

Check out Gas Saving Tips from the Sierra Club.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Public Hearing for Big Bend Burros

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will host a public meeting next Thursday, June 12 at 7:00 pm at the Bellaire City Hall Auditorium, 7008 South Rice Avenue, Bellaire, TX. The meeting will focus on natural and cultural resource management activities on state park properties, with a focus on management challenges at Big Bend Ranch State Park.

As you may remember, Big Bend and its century-old burro herd were the focus of intense controversy after Park officials shot 71 burros last year. The Park-sanctioned removal policy was driven primarily by a plan to introduce big horn sheep into the Park, presumably to enhance a state-run big game hunting raffle program. The 35-year veteran Park employee who exposed the shootings was transferred and ended up quitting. An investigative officer also quit in disgust, reporting that burros were left to suffer a slow death, shot in belly, hips, and that orphaned babies were left to fend for themselves.

If you can attend, please comment on the Park?s misguided idea of wildlife ?management? as applied to wild burros.

Media Contact:
Phone: 512.389.4557

On behalf of the burros, thank you for your support.

The AWHPC Team
American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Click here to join our email list and receive the latest updates.