Monday, December 30, 2013

Breaking News: New Mexico AG Gains TRO Against Proposed Horse Slaughter Plant

Straight from the Horse's Heart

We have just learned that New Mexico’s Attorney General, Gary King, has obtained atemporary restraining order against Valley Meats which will prevent the company from slaughtering horses until after a hearing on the AG’s lawsuit which is scheduled for this Friday.
Owners of Valley Meats and their attorney have been making sounds to the effect that they had intended to start butchering companion horses as soon as the first of the year, those plans are now null and void.
Many thanks to Attorney General Gary King for listening to not only  the citizens of the fine state of New Mexico but the 80% of Americans who do not want to see the blight of predatory horse slaughter taint their country.
Updates to follow.

NH Boy a Vigilant Opponent of Horse Slaughter

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By DAN TUOHY as published in the New Hampshire Union Leader

Gregg has mustered support among New Hampshire’s congressional delegation…”

“Our own Declan Gregg in the news, again, fighting the good fight.” ~ R.T.
Declan Gregg of Children 4 Horses and R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation speaking in Washington D.C. ~ photo by Terry Fitch
Declan Gregg of Children 4 Horses and R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation speaking in Washington D.C. ~ photo by Terry Fitch
horse slaughter plant in New Mexico plans to open soon, which is mobilizing animal welfare advocates to repeat calls for a federal ban on slaughterhouses and horse meat for human consumption. One of these opponents is an 11-year-old boy from Greenland, N.H.
Declan Gregg, who runs the blog Children 4 Horses, keeps tabs on the bills that are in committee on Capitol Hill. He has traveled to Washington three times to fight for the bills, and he and his mother, Stacie, plan to keep pressing the case in 2014.
“It’s not good for the horses, community or public safety,” Declan Gregg said in a phone interview Friday.
Gregg, who was the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Humane Kid of the Year in 2012, continues to fight for the SAFE Act, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, a version of which was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. That bill would prohibit the sale or transport of horses or horse parts in interstate or foreign commerce for human consumption.
It is a food safety issue, his mother said, because horses are not raised for slaughter and are routinely given medications that are labeled “not for animals intended for consumption.”
Declan Gregg was inspired to speak out two years ago, when he was 9 and noticed his mother was saddened by the horse slaughter issue. He soon found his voice, and encouraged other children to speak out, as well. He promoted letter campaigns to legislators and spoke before the politicians in Concord and in Washington, D.C.
Today, at 11, he is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, likes drawing and enjoys playing basketball. And he’s a savvy advocate. His family does not own horses, but he says he is fighting for responsible horse ownership…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to counter some of the idiot comments directly

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Donor gives Wisconsin Girl, 12, a Horse for Christmas

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By PAMELA POWERS Leader-Telegram
“It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and if this story does not warrant a TISSUE ALERT I don’t know what does.  With all of the ugliness out there and the propensity for humans to be violent, obscene and twisted it is a VERY welcome breath of fresh air to see a community of people doing the right thing for one individual, a heartbroken little girl.  My hat is off to these folks and we present this story to you, today, on bended knee.  It will make your eyes leak.  Keep the faith!” ~ R.T.

“Not enough things like this go on at Christmas anymore. It just gets at the meaning of Christmas.”

Dani Morrow, 12, of Osseo got the surprise Christmas present of her life when she received a horse and supplies from the area horse community Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, in Osseo, Wis. Morrow's father died of cancer in October, and her horse died a few weeks ago. (AP Photo/Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Dan Reiland)
Dani Morrow, 12, of Osseo got the surprise Christmas present of her life when she received a horse and supplies from the area horse community Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, in Osseo, Wis. Morrow’s father died of cancer in October, and her horse died a few weeks ago. (AP Photo/Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Dan Reiland)
OSSEO, Wis.—Christmas came early for 12-year-old Dani Morrow this year.
On Monday Santa’s sleigh took the form of a horse trailer adorned with red bows pulled by a pickup truck instead of reindeer at the Morrows’ rural Osseo home.
Inside the trailer, dressed up in a blanket and a bow, stood an American quarter horse, also named Dani, a surprise gift intended to bring good cheer.
As about 100 carolers sang Christmas songs, including the girl’s favorite —”Where Are You Christmas?” —the horse was led out of the trailer and toward an extremely grateful girl.
As the horse came into view, Dani Morrow ran to the mare being led up the driveway by a man dressed as Santa Claus.
“I saw her come over the hill,” Dani said excitedly of the horse, tears in her eyes. “I am really so happy. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get her. She was so expensive. This is the best Christmas ever.”
She looked over at one of her friends and added: “I told you it wasn’t a coincidence we had the same name.”
Dani’s receiving the horse was a sign the season of giving had arrived. The girl lost her father, Tony, to colon cancer in October and her beloved pony, Popcorn, to organ failure three weeks ago, the Leader-Telegram ( reported.
An anonymous donor from Pierce County who heard about Dani’s hardships donated the horse, a 13-year-old registered American quarter horse mare. About 10 days ago Candice Aspen of rural Colfax spread the message she was looking for a horse to give the Osseo-Fairchild Middle School seventh-grader.
“When her dad got sick, there were times Dani couldn’t be with him because of treatments, so she would stay with us,” Aspen said.
After the girl’s pony died, Aspen went on a mission.
“I just felt there was something I could do,” Aspen, coach of the UW-Eau Claire hunt team, said. “It originally started (because) I wanted to find Dani a horse for Christmas. I lost my dad when I was young. I can relate to losing someone.”
Aspen posted a message on the Facebook group Chippewa Valley Horse Lovers about finding Dani a horse. But she didn’t expect so many people to offer their help procuring a horse for the girl. Within two hours Aspen had received offers of 50 horses from owners in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
“I never in my wildest dreams expected all the people to step forward,” she said. “None of them have even met Dani or her family before.”
Aspen narrowed the list to 10 horses before the animal bearing Dani’s name was chosen.
“The person who donated Dani the horse never thought of parting with the horse,” Aspen said, but after she saw the posting about Dani’s hardships, she changed her mind.
“Right away it was a perfect match,” Aspen said, noting it is a fluke that the girl and the 15-hand chestnut horse share the same name. “This was the horse she connected with on an emotional level. She was in tears because she felt it was her soul mate.”
The mare has done barrel racing, western pleasure and trail riding, Aspen said.
People’s giving spirits didn’t stop at the horse. Horse owners have donated everything from a new custom saddle to a bridle, grooming supplies, buckets, polo wraps, treats, grain, horse blankets, coolers and other items.
Dani’s family—her mother, Lisa, and her three sisters, Mikey, 16, Caty, 20, and Jessi, 22 —also received gifts such as a hotel stay and services at a local salon from donors.
On Monday at the Morrows’ home, Aspen boosted Dani up onto the horse’s back. The girl reached down and hugged the horse’s neck. A moment later, after climbing down off of the animal, Dani kissed the mare’s muzzle and gently rubbed its cheek…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to Comment

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Wild Horse and Burro Christmas Tail

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Vicki Tobin VP of Equine Welfare Alliance
and R.T. Fitch, co-founder/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Illustration by Kerry Kelly of the Houston Chronicle

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and All through the land….

Night before Christmas by Kerry Kelly
Twas the night before Christmas on our public land,
Not a Mustang was stirring, knowing what was at hand.
They huddled in fear hoping someone would care,
In hopes that the advocates soon would be there.
The foals hid in cover while Mom stood her ground
While stallions and bachelors, made sure Joan wasn’t around.
With Sally still lurking and Obama close by
The bands must stay quiet and not blink an eye.
When out on the range there arose such a clatter
The Mustangs all knew, what was the matter.
They ran to take cover, on wings they did fly
For surely they knew, that many would die.
The visions of million$ caused Cattoor a smug grin
While Gorey and Bolstad high-fived a big win.
More horses removed by ignoring the law
Hold on to your hats and stand back in shocked awe.
The chopper did glisten on new fallen snow
Sealing the fate of the horses below.
When all of a sudden, the bands all stood still
And watched as the chopper came over the hill.
They stood in amazement, can it really be true?
The advocates appeared right out of the blue!
The horses retreated, not believing their eyes
For surely this is just a BLM guise.
Then leading the thousands, lively and quick
Were Downer and Holland and Fitch with a stick.
More rapid than lightening, Deb followed in tow
With Long close behind, not sure where to go.
Now Ginger, Simone and Lisa times two,
Oh Marjorie and Barbara and Julie it’s you.
Now Vicki and Jerry and right there is Ann
Now Terry and Grandma with cameras in hand.
Down the hill they descended toward the horses with care
And watched as the chopper, fled into the air.
The advocates came with an injunction in hand
The decree shouted out, “not on our public lands”.
Enough is enough the judge did declare
the horses were saved by the breadth of a hair.
Our work here’s not done, the advocates cried
the choppers still flying, other herds could be spied.
It’s back to D.C. with a permanent plan
to ensure all the horses could live on their land.
So love was delivered to the horses with pride
but the warriors must leave so that no more would die.
They climbed up the hill and turned back to the band
who all now had gathered on what was their land.
“We carry you with us”, R.T. said with a sigh,
“as we go to the White House to champion your cry.”
The horses all bowed with a sign of approval
as they all now knew that there was no removal.
They neighed and they nickered to the spirit above
“Thanks for sending the people who gave us their love.”

Monday, December 23, 2013

Here They Are! Merry Christmas!

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Videos: Celebrated Comedic Equine Welfare Christmas Videos Reloaded

John Holland, president of the Equine Welfare Alliance and covert owner of Howling Ridge Film and Fertilizer Co., has been entertaining us with equine holiday videos over the years.  But once again this year we are going to be forced to sit back and enjoy the works of years gone by as John, like many others, has been up to his eyeballs in important issues and is making great strides forward for the horses and the donkeys in the real fight on the all too real battlefield; that fight has held precedence over the production of yet another annual Christmas video, as well it should.  Keep up the good works, John and EWA, we are all on the same page and fully support your efforts.  Have a very Merry and Jolly Christmas!” ~ R.T.
Appalachian Christmas Tail (2006)
Christmas Spirit (2006)
A Christmas Legend (2007)
It’s a Wonderful Life (2008)
How the Grinch Stole Equus (2009)
The Christmas List (2010)
All John’s videos can be viewed at the EWA Video Page

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Straight from the Wild Horse’s Mouth – A Letter to Santa

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Submitted by “Ace“, the Twin Peaks Wild Stallion and personal friend of Grandma Greg’s
“I often warmly think about the ‘good old days’ when hundreds of we wild ones roamed free…”
“It’s not only ‘Feel Good Sunday” but for Christmas this will be ‘Feel Good Week’ where we will share original equine related Christmas stories every day until the 25th  for you to ponder, enjoy and hopefully allow you to wash your mind out and gain a breath of fresh air; we all need an extended recharge.
Today’s story was sent to me last year by one of the last stallions of Twin Peaks, “Ace”, now safe and out of the BLM’s grasp.  On first read it made my eyes leak and a year later it has not only maintained it’s poignant message but it is even, perhaps, more timely at the close of 2013.  I thank Ace for his input as I believe this is one of the best things he has ever written, except for the note to the other day reminding me to share it.  Thanks buddy and the best to all this holiday season!” ~ R.T.
"Ace" ~ photo by Cate Scott
Dear Santa-
I am an old wild stallion.  I am told that I am one of the last Twin Peaks stallions.  I have had a wonderful life as Mother Nature planned for me from the very day I was born.  I lived the first 22 years free and wild and learned from my sire, dam, siblings and family band what was good for me to eat and where to find the fresh water springs that are hidden in the hills.  I romped and played with the young colts and fillies in my extended family.  Under the watchful protection of our family members, we young horses frolicked in the snow and creeks and rested in the shade of the old Juniper trees in the heat of the summer. Life was very good.  I later grew to be a healthy, robust and compassionate herd stallion with beautiful loyal mares and amusing, vigorous offspring.  Although I now have a good “retirement” life in a sanctuary with other displaced animals, my life in the wild was perfect for a wild one like me!
I know you are very busy Santa, but today I am asking you to help all creatures that have not been as lucky as me.  I have heard that there are fewer and fewer wild horses and burros that are allowed to live wild and free on their rightful range.   I do not understand this but I do know it is wrong.  What I am asking from you is for you to watch over and protect all animals and help them to be able to live their lives as Mother Nature intended for them.  Do not allow them to be chased, harassed, trapped, caged, starved, abused and slaughtered.
Although I live for today, I often warmly think about the “good old days” when hundreds of we wild ones roamed free.  Where are my wild friends that I knew those many years?  Where are my mares and foals today?  Why was our family torn from each other and our peaceful and natural world destroyed?  I have over-heard humans say that our life in the wild was traded for money.  Santa, what is money?  Could it possibly be more important than our wild hearts, lives, families and land?
Santa, I will continue to dream of my days gone by but I am asking you today to watch over all creatures’ great and small and to teach all human beings to think with their hearts and to reason with their souls.
Thank you, Santa.
- “ACE”

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Fun: Ponies Decorate Christmas Tree

Orphaned by Navajo Wild Horse Slaughter Roundup, Rescued Foals Doing Well

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Source: written by Lucette Moramarco as published in

“They are a success, thriving, growing, and out of danger.”

Malary Greenwood photo - “Foster Mom” Linda Harris talks sweetly to her rescued foal, Morning Star.
Malary Greenwood photo – “Foster Mom” Linda Harris talks sweetly to her rescued foal, Morning Star.
Two months ago, Fallbrook CA resident Linda Harris took in two foals that were orphaned during a roundup of wild horses on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. The mothers of the foals were slaughtered during the roundup, leaving 17 babies, ranging in age from 2 to 7 months at that time, in a life-threatening situation. They were rescued by Wild for Life Foundation’s Lifetime Equine Refuge which sought foster homes for them.
Harris stepped forward and the two severely malnourished orphan foals arrived at Horse Spirit Ranch in Bonsall on Oct. 12 following a one-week layover in Nevada. During that time, they were treated with special care so they would survive the rest of the trip to California.
The two young horses, Morning Star, a two-month-old brown filly, and Aiyana, a three-month-old black filly were “just skin and bones, with eyes that had seen such things that no one should ever see. Their health was fragile at best,” Harris said.
Helping them regain their physical and emotional health was her primary goal. “Having been approved as a forever Safe Haven Guardian for the Wild for Life Foundation, it is my role to ensure the best possible care will be available for these little ones,” Harris added.
Katia Louise, founder and president of the Wild For Life Foundation (WFLF), a 501 (c)3 nonprofit charity, organized the rescue mission. The foals were transported to Nevada where the remaining weaker and smallest foals are receiving continued medical care, plenty of milk replacer, feed, hay and lots of TLC under the WFLF.
“This is just the beginning for these orphaned foals,” said Louise. “It’s going to take months for many of these little ones to heal, build their strength up and overcome the physical and emotional injuries they sustained during the roundups.”
“These sacred and majestic horses heal our hearts and they can heal the lands,” added Louise. “As ambassadors for the horse nation, these 17 surviving foals through WFLF will be helping to educate and show the world that the re-introduction of horses to rangelands, in truth, can rejuvenate the environment.”
At Horse Spirit Ranch, Morning Star and Aiyana are also being cared for by Lynne Hayes, ranch owner, and veterinarian Dr. Matt Matthews who has an extensive neonatal background from his university training. According to Harris, Matthews directed the foals’ return to health by putting them on a special diet of warm mashes (colostrum, mare’s milk replacement, electrolytes), as well as high-protein foods since their little bodies were incapable of processing hay.
Harris said a large stall was also provided for them “with lots of soft shavings, heat lamps, a constant food supply and lots of love. Here they will spend as long as they need, just learning to trust while regaining their health.”
On Dec. 5, Harris said the foals had doubled in size since their arrival. The week before, Matthews told her, “They are a success, thriving, growing, and out of danger.” She is “raising them as companion horses at liberty with natural horsemanship techniques,” meaning without whips and not restrained by reins or ties.
Harris described the recovered foals as intelligent, alert, curious and just happy; they are “sweet as apple pie. If I drop my hat, one of them will pick it up for me.” They have learned to trust humans again, “eager to be with us and do what we are doing. They are amazing companions,” she said.
The foals are being introduced to trail, dance and dressage exercises; “if they like it, they can do it,” if not they are not forced to do it, she explained. Eventually the foals will live with her on her own ranch. In the meantime, Harris is filming their progress for a documentary and according to her, the foals love the cameras.
With the rescued foals, she wants to demonstrate that “just because they were born wild, that sacred connection between man and horse can still be ignited.”…(CONTINUED)
Click (HERE) for additional information and to comment at the Village News

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BLM reissuing Ruby Pipeline right-of-way after new environmental review ordered by 9th Circuit

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Amy Atwood, a senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, says it best in a quote below: the BLM is ”using American taxpayers’ money to do the bidding for big business with little regard for the public interest.”  For people new to the wild horse issue, the Ruby Pipeline cut will across, and near, areas that were designated as federally protected areas for the wild horses:  their Herd Management Areas.   -  Debbie Coffey
by Scott Sonner, Associated Press
RENO, Nevada — Federal land managers intend to reissue a right of way for a 678-mile mile natural gas pipeline from Wyoming to Oregon now that government scientists have completed a second environmental review they say corrects deficiencies in the first one struck down by a U.S. appeals court.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management published a new record of decision in the Federal Register on Thursday and issued a revised final supplemental environmental impact statement for Kinder Morgan’s Ruby Pipeline.
Environmentalists who filed a lawsuit in an unsuccessful effort to block construction of the pipeline built in 2010 said they were reviewing the new documents but still found them to be inadequate and will consider further legal action.
“This was an illegal pipeline that never should have been built,” said Amy Atwood, senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, which brought the original lawsuit along with Defenders of Wildlife and Summit Lake Paiute Tribe in northwest Nevada.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in the groups’ favor in October 2012, concluding that BLM and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hadn’t done enough to ensure protection of the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout and other rare fish in Wyoming, northern Utah, northern Nevada and southern Oregon.
It also agreed with their claims the agency had failed to provide enough information about the cumulative loss of sagebrush habitat that the sage grouse and other species depend upon in the Great Basin and high desert.
BLM said in issuing the new review Thursday it includes more detailed information about cumulative habitat loss. But agency officials said they were sticking to their original conclusion that mitigation measures required as part of the right of way are sufficient to offset the significant environmental impact anticipated for a number of species, including the sage grouse and the fish.
“The direct and indirect impacts of the project remain the same,” BLM said in the final supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) issued Thursday. “Because there are not impacts in excess of those discussed in the final EIS, no additional mitigation is described” in the new review.
The pipeline has been transporting natural gas from the Rocky Mountain area to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California since July 2011. It runs from Opal, Wyoming, south of Logan, Utah, into Nevada north of Elko and Winnemucca before terminating in Malin, Oregon, near the California line.
Ruby Pipeline LLC voluntarily agreed to a dozen conservation measures intended to mitigate the impacts on the fish, including reseeding and replanting shrubs in disturbed areas, constructing fish migration barriers and restoring riparian vegetation along streams.
Richard Wheatley, a spokesman for Morgan Kinder in Houston, said in an email to The Associated Press after BLM’s announcement Thursday, “We are pleased with the result.”
Atwood, based in Portland, Oregon, questioned how much effort the BLM put into the supplemental review ordered by the appellate court.
“They are using American taxpayers’ money to do the bidding for big business with little regard for the public interest,” she told AP on Thursday.
“I’m sure there was some additional regulation of it by BLM that would not have happened without our case. But their message, frankly, is they are going to continue to do business as usual until forced to do otherwise.”