Where Have all the Mustangs Gone?

Wild Horse in the Nevada Desert

It’s not too soon.

It’s not to soon to mourn the tens of thousands of wild horses that have died in round-ups, in captivity, in spirit or in flesh.  It’s not too soon to mourn those sold by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to a known slaughter profiteer–and which have since vanished.  It’s not too soon to mourn mustangs scheduled to be rounded up,” zeroed out,” trucked to slaughter, held captive in spiritual and all too often physical distress.

Neither is it too soon to mourn for the BLM.

It’s not too soon to mourn the agency whose mishapen guardianship of our mustangs has resulted in this fact: that more of our wild horses reside in captivity than on the range—despite that there are hundreds of thousands of acres of federal lands available, where the horses have long thrived.

It’s not too soon to mourn the agency which, in response to wild horse activists’ concerns, now profers a plan to establish “ecosanctuaries:” designated zones where non-reproducing herds, (herds rendered sterile by the BLM,) will iive on display to a paying public, a public which, in the minds of the BLM, will embrace the opportunity to view the last days in the history of these magnificent animals.

It is not too soon.

16 thoughts on “Where Have all the Mustangs Gone?

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a note. Sometimes when life and welfare are at risk it becomes necessary to speak the truth and to speak it bluntly. I deeply wish that I could share your view of this situation as a dilemna. After following events around these mutangs and the BLM for three years, and having myself seen wild horses in the Nevada desert where the BLM touts the drought as a reason to remove hundreds more horses, I am forced to conclude that this is a travesty and a deliberate misuse of power by the BLM. While I agree completely that there are range resource issues, the BLM’s continued aggressive approach to mustang removal while supporting and maintaining grazing rights for cattle and sheep, is not the caring guardianship due to these beautiful and spirited horses.

    • Indeed Lizzie it is a travesty and a blight on U.S. history. I pray that God will soften the hearts of these people who are rapidly taking these mustangs to extinction. Thank you kindly for your comment. Many blessings, Vivian

  1. Vivian, I hear the pain in this post. the wholesale slaughter of these mustangs is unfortunately but another blemish on the govt/blm. Thanks for speaking out and being an active participant these past three years.

    • Thank you for sending me such a kind and supportive note. You are right, my heart breaks anew each day for our mustangs. The BLM is rapacious in its appetite for them, moving broadly, swiftly, stealthily and tenaciously.

  2. I don’t ride horses but my blood boils to think of the ill treatment of these very magnificent animals. A couple of years ago I read about Mustang Annie and her work dedicated to saving them. My heart was immensely touched by what I read..

    • Dear Roberta, I don’t ride horses either but I agree with you, there is a time for righteous anger and the time is now. Thank you for introducing Wild Horse Annie into this conversation. Wild Horse Annie was a legenary activist whose work was in part responsible for The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971: “It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment or death, and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of public lands.” The loophole in this legislation, which the BLM has exploited, is that the BLM is also charged with managing the wild horses and range resources on those federal lands, as well as other wild animals and domestic animals such as cattle and sheep. The agency, in its interpretation of its duties, has consistently chosen to forsake the mustang in order to serve ranchers who pay revenues to the agency for leased grazing rights.

      Thank you so much for your contribution to this discussion, Roberta. My warm regards, Vivian

  3. This post really, really broke my heart! I strongly believe that ‘man’ is but a curse to our planet. No other ‘animal’ is as callous, insensitive & so indifferent to the suffering of others. Sometimes, i really fail to understand, of value addition is man to mother earth. Such a pest! When will he learn to respect life? My heart goes out to these helpless mustangs and all the other animal friends who are the receiving end of man’s exploitation! May God bless them all…

    • My dear Tehu,

      I apologize for the delay in responding to your comments. I have just returned from the Nevada desert and I could not have been more delighted to find your little notes that you left for me.

      Not only do I agree with your thoughts on man’s destructiveness but I was thinking those exact thoughts yesterday on our 8-hour journey home from the desert. My husband and I saw a total of 14 mustangs, the same ones, we believe, that we saw in July. I am speculating that they are remenant of a larger herd broken up by the BLM earlier in the summer. One of the mustangs that we saw on Tuesday literally came out of a canyon to visit with us! I don’t know if he remembered us from July (my husband thinks so) but he circled all around our car at a distance of course. The others that we saw were not as interested in us but neither did they flee.

      These mustangs are in a mountain range where there is also a herd of cattle permitted by the BLM and I am fearing that the BLM will soon say that the mustangs have to go.

      Well, dear Teju, it is wonderful to talk with a fellow animal lover. Thank you for caring about these mustangs as much as I do!

      I am taking a break from blogging but I will visit your blog and a few others and if you write to me I will reply as soon as I can. Much love and warm regards, Vivian

    • Thank you so much for writing…I’m very touched to learn that you will consider giving your own voice to the story of our mustangs. If it interests you, I’ve done a couple of other posts on the mustangs which you can view by clicking on the “Mustang” category section on my home page.

      I’ll be posting more on this topic next year. Many blessings, Viv

      • i have done NOTHING except read posts since i wrote you. no, that’s wrong. i have cried. a lot. i will be editing some photos of a recent horse event here in ecuador and will marry the images with the text that’s almost finished. thank you.

      • It is difficult to express what it means to me that you wrote this post. I am deeply grateful and I am honored. A great deal of my free time is spent in reflecting on and researching how best to help these mustangs. Thank you for your beautiful post and for taking the initiative to increase awareness of our mustangs’ plight.

        I will be reblogging your post tomorrow or Friday.

        With warm regards, Vivian

      • I thank YOU for sharing your stories and hope that little by little we can collectively make a difference. My sister is about to move out ‘west’ and who knows, maybe she’ll step forward to help as well. She’s stayed in the equestrian world her entire life.
        thanks again, amiga.

  4. Pingback: I Brake For Horses « Zeebra Designs & Destinations

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