Issue: "Trap and toss" horse management. Nevada's horse dumping machine continues to rumble on.
Date: January 10, 2013
This is Part Thirteen in a series on the Virginia Range horses and the Nevada Department of Agriculture. To understand the context of this report, please start at Part One.
42 MORE VIRGINIA RANGE HORSES|
RESCUED FROM LIVESTOCK SALE
Outdoor temperatures were in the teens before first light when advocates checked out their vehicles and trailers. Before long they were on their way to Fallon from four counties to participate in an exodus. On the night before, The advocates led by the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund had purchased the 42 horses that the Nevada Department of Agriculture had sent to the livestock sale. Three of the horses that had been purchased by individual advocates were picked up the night of the sale. The remainder had to be removed.
By loading time the temperature was in the 20s but the wind chill was reported to be +7 degrees. A sharp breeze was coming out of the north and snow clouds peeked over the distant mountains.
This particular run required 8 stock trailers to move 30 of the horses plus a rather sad looking animal that the department had described as a 10-year-old halter broken Shetland pony that they determined had been abandoned and was picked up by the department.
Bill, one of the stockyard employees, is actually very good with horses and he usally helps the advocates get loaded. He is patient and works well with the volunteers to prevent any loading injuries. This approach is particularly important when foals or overly volatile horses are being loaded.
One of the more challenging loads involved little Diamond, the foal that Bo Rodriguez photographed some weeks ago being dragged into a trap corral by a piece of twine strung around her neck. Diamond's dam is actually a very pleasant horse for a wild horse, but she did not want her foal to go into the trailer. The mare wasn't at all aggressive but very resistant. We finally got them safely loaded by making a "moving corral wall" out of construction netting. She tested the netting a couple of times, then entered the trailer with Diamond.
Diamond and her dam.
Bill moves the "pony" to the loading bay.
(It turned out that the "pony" is actually "Rambles," a Virginia Range horse. Her story can be read
A friendly pinto colt that will be delivered to a private adopter.
The "Fernley Creams." These are actually double dilute buckskins
that also carry the roan gene, progeny of the famous stallion, "Bubba."
(For a report on these horses' color origins, please see
Wild Horse Colors.)
The horses were checked by a vet, vaccinated, dewormed and blood drawn, prior to being turned out onto their temporary holding acreage.
Trailer convoy on the road.
The advocates tried to get the horses delivered before the next wave of snow hit, however they weren't so lucky and getting the horses delivered turned out to be quite a challenge.
The Virginia Range horses are not protected by any federal statute. The involved wild horse groups are just about all that stands between them and the kill buyers. Funds are always needed to protect these horses and to find homes and sanctuary opportunities for those that have been taken off the range.
Every contribution counts. The groups are all staffed by volunteers so the money donated actually goes to pay the expenses for these horses. Please help!