Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Imprisoned Wild Horses Try to Beat the Heat

Straight from the Horse's Heart

“They are in an unnatural situation in pens…”
photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of
With record highs shining into the Fourth of Julyweekend, everyone is finding a way to beat the heat, even wild horses.
The Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center is the Bureau of Land Management’s Short Term Holding Facility, occupied by overpopulated wild range horses up for adoption.
This week’s one hundred plus degree temperatures reign over the centers eighteen hundred and fifty occupants, leaving Assistant Facility Manager Jeb Beck no choice but to provide them some relief.
“There’s something new and foreign in their pen,” says Beck. “They are curious, we just didn’t know if they would destroy it, if they would utilize it, so far it seems to be working pretty good.”
On Friday, Beck installed eight fine mist spray sprinklers throughout the pens via public suggestions and says it is a quick, cost efficient solution to keeping the horses cool.
The Water comes from the centers two stock wells and the BLM is using the sprinklers as a trial run to see how the horses react to and utilize the resource.
“We’ve never experienced any problems with the heat and whatnot,” says Beck. “Because of the publicity it’s getting, we wanted to make a proactive step and try suggestions that were brought to us.”
Animal Rights Activist Henry Kimbell says the horses need a shade source in their pens, an environment they could have trouble adapting to because it doesn’t replicate the open country.
“It is a good thing in the sense that it is an acknowledgement that there is an issue but it really doesn’t address the problem,” says Kimbell.
He says putting the sprinkler systems in is last minute and driven by pressures put on the BLM from public feedback.
“They are in an unnatural situation in pens,” says Kimbell. “They can’t engage in survival strategies that they would engage in in the wild, seeking shade for example or cooler places.”
They sprinklers could result in a semi-permanent system during the spring and summer months, but still requires some logistical planning as no water piping exist above ground and to all pens.
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