Saturday, November 30, 2013

Party Christmas Pony

Obama’s BLM Continues Assault on American Wild Horses over Holiday Weekend

Straight from the Horse's Heart

an ‘Outraged’ OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ co-founder/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Americans Eat Holiday Leftovers While Lives End for Iconic Wild Equines

BLM's Wild Horse Harvesting Machine by John Holland
Obama’s BLM Wild Horse Harvesting Machine by John Holland
While the bulk of Americans give thanks and embrace family traditions from years gone by a small group of elite Federal agents and specialized contractors plot, terrorize, capture and destroy federally protected wild horse herds which embody to all Americans traditional western heritage, freedom and family.
Sanctioned by the Obama Administration in an effort to support yet another cloudy and failing agenda, the BLM is ripping some 700+ wildhorses and burros from an area granted to them to live forever free and unharassed by Congress in 1971.
While the U.S. celebrates the tradition of family solidarity and Thanksgiving the helicopters roar over the heads of helpless family bands of wild horses who in only a matter of minutes will never see their herd members and babies again.
Since Thursday, November 21st,  570 wild horses have lost their lives of freedom and the wild equine will know no holiday this weekend as the Obama Wild Horse Harvesting Machine begins operating their trap #3 in the Manuel Gap area of their Adobe Town & Salt Wells wild horse decimation operation.  Three horses have been killed since the assault began.
Although no horses were tormented on Thanksgiving Day some 17 mares with 16 foals were torn apart from their families on the day prior to the holiday.
700 equine souls is the target for this ruthless harvest but as the BLM has proven in the past, once pumped up and with dollar signs in the eyes of their contractors, more innocent equines may succumb to the ‘good ole boys’ grazing agency’s wild horse eradication program.
The private cattle subsidized by taxpayers increase on federal public land while the protected wild horses and burros are removed, forever.
The embarrassment of Obamacare is nothing compared to the destruction of Obama’s LaLa Land in the West…an agenda of special interests, abuse, deceit and abject destruction.
America has, again, lost a little luster as the helicopters continue to fly over the heads of the innocent icons of freedom and family.  It’s a sad day for horse and human alike.

Friday, November 29, 2013

100-foot-tall horse head sculptures unveiled in Scotland

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by  as published at

The “Kelpies” are a tribute to Scotland’s horse-powered history

Equitecture: Sculptor Andy Scott stands with Clydesdales Duke and Baron, which served as models for The Kelpies.
Equitecture: Sculptor Andy Scott stands with Clydesdales Duke and Baron, which served as models for The Kelpies.
If you thought Middle Earth’s enormous statues of Isildur and Anarion were cool, Scotland now has something that’s nearly as badass.
They may not be as imposing as the Argonath, but the 100-foot-tall horse heads known as The Kelpiesare still out of this world.
Created by a team led by Glasgow sculptor Andy Scott, the heads are fashioned from 600 metric tons of steel and stand as a monument to working horses in Scottish history.
The Kelpies are located along the Forth and Clyde canal, a nod to a time when horses pulled barges through Scotland’s canals.
They also draw inspiration from Kelpies, which are magical, shape-shifting horses from Celtic folklore said to inhabit rivers, streams, and lochs.
Modeled on two Clydesdales named Duke and Baron, the sculptures guard a new branch canal that runs under the M9 highway, welcoming visitors to the region.
“The materials of the sculptures are deliberately those of Scotland’s former industrial heartland, steel construction on an architectural scale: equitecture,” Scott says in an artist’s statement.
“The towering horse heads will have an industrial aesthetic with structural columns and beams visible through the riveted laser cut steel plates of the skin, the manes rendered as geometric overlapping slabs of steel. The entire structures will be illuminated inside and out to create a stunning spectacle in hours of darkness.”
The Kelpies are slated to open to visitors in April 2014. Meanwhile, check out the eye-popping views of them in the video below.

Click (HERE) to comment directly at Cnet

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Updates from "Straight from the Horse's Heart"

Brave or Brutal? Arrogant or Ignorant? Princess Anne Calls for More Debate on Horse Slaughter’s Role in Welfare of All Horses

Commentary by Fran Jurga as published in Equus

The conversation she is asking for is still taboo enough to be spoken only in hushed tones or in redactable memos…

She was the royal face for Doing What’s Right in the horse world. This week, many think she’s turned her back on welfare ethics with a call to debate the place of horse slaughter in the bigger picture of neglected and unwanted horses.
Princess Anne was talking about Great Britain and Europe, but her comments are sure to be quoted around the world. What’s interesting is the way that people are reacting to her comments, made when conducting the keynote address at the annual conference of World Horse Welfare (WHW) in London on Thursday.
You might have to watch that video clip more than once to understand the context. Should a member of the royal family be so outspoken on such a hot-button issue? Should a high-profile horsewoman be saying such things? And as the president of World Horse Welfare, shouldn’t she be much more sensitive to the plight of unwanted horses? Was she really suggesting that horse slaughter, which is completely legal and somewhat regulated in Great Britain and across Europe, might have a role to play in improving equine welfare?
While Princess Anne didn’t speak directly in favor of eating horsemeat, she only stopped just short of setting a place at the table of equine welfare advocacy for it when she suggested that the value of horses traded for meat plays a potential role in ensuring that they receive better care.
But do pounds on the hoof for the slaughterhouse scale truly translate to improvements in equine welfare for horses in countries where they are traded for meat potential at the end of their usefulness under saddle?
Let the debate begin.
The monarchy in Great Britain could be seen as a celebrity sideshow capable of expansive world-theater weddings, dramatic births, and fashion icons. It’s in the horse world that the British royal family and its horses show up with their game faces on, whether in polo, Thoroughbred racing, eventing, heavy horses, and breeding classes at horse shows. The Queen likes being photographed on horseback, in spite of her advanced years, and she certainly shows her royal displeasure when one of her horses is beaten in the homestretch at Royal Ascot.
Prince William plays polo, Zara Phillips wins Olympic medals in eventing, Prince Charles farms with heavy horses.
But it’s Princess Anne who is involved at the make-a-difference level, with her involvement in organizations like the livery of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, where she is past master, and the globally-ambitious World Horse Welfare, where she serves as president. She also was instrumental in the effort to bring the 2012 Olympics to London, and has served as president of the British Olympic Association, has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is a former Olympian herself, having represented Great Britain in eventing at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. She was president of the FEI for eight years, from 1986 to 1994.
And it’s Princess Anne who makes waves instead of the gossip columns.
his is one royal who doesn’t just pose for photos. Don’t look for the name of her outfit’s designer in the lead sentence of articles about her.
We’ve seen her fall off her horse. We’ve seen her act like a horse show mom. When she mentions a Shetland pony wearing a blanket in her speech, she makes a face only an opinionated horse owner could make.
Her suggestion that equations between better horse care and horse meat values should be openly discussed put her in the headlines more than rescuing any horse ever could. For all the wrong reasons, soundbites from the World Horse Welfare conference can be manipulated to make it sound like she is calling for her merely mortal subjects to buck up, do the right thing and eat more horse meat.
But that’s not what she said. She was suggesting that the debate open to discuss whether an increased monetary value for horse meat might translate to a better-cared-for horse among the at-risk population in Great Britain. The debate might open with the problem that if people throw food at thin horses, colic and laminitis might be the immediate results. Would a person who has neglected a horse or who claims to be unable to afford to provide better care go to the expense of veterinary care for a sick horse?…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the rest of the story and to comment at Equus


By  as published in the New York Times

“I was stunned by the lengths some trainers will go to win races,”

horse racingWASHINGTON — The United States Anti-Doping Agency is the last and best hope to return safety and integrity to the troubled sport of thoroughbred racing, members of the industry told Congress at a hearing Thursday.
The hearing, the fourth of its kind since 2008, focused on how the use of performance-enhancing drugs has eroded the sport’s popularity — and its bottom line.
“I was stunned by the lengths some trainers will go to win races,” Jesse M. Overton, a former racing commissioner in Minnesota, told a House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. “There is no drug or compound that has not been tried in horses, from EPO and anabolic steroids to frog juice and cobra venom. And I promise there are chemists right now working up new, illegal, undetectable substances to give a trainer who wants a performance advantage, especially if he doesn’t have the fastest horse.”
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act would give the antidoping agency, known as Usada, the authority to develop rules for permitted and prohibited substances, and it would also create testing and stiffer penalty programs for horse racing nationally, replacing the patchwork state-by-state system now in place.
“Unless drug testing is conducted uniformly and in state-of-the-art laboratories, unscrupulous horsemen will continue to cheat the system, the horses and the fans,” Overton said.
Usada, a nongovernmental organization, is the official antidoping agency for the United States Olympics team and has worked with Major League Baseball and other professional leagues to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs. It was a key player in the investigation of Lance Armstrong, who admitted that he had systematically used drugs during his racing career.
Its chief executive, Travis Tygart, compared horse racing now to the Olympic Games of the 1990s, when shoddy drug testing and loose standards cast suspicion over athletes and eroded public confidence in international sports. That crisis led to the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency in 1999 and a commitment from governments around the globe to follow a uniform standard.
“Make no mistake, the win-at-all-costs culture is alive and well and will flourish in every sport including horse racing, if we do not take decisive action to stop the take-no-prisoners competition from running wild,” Tygart said.
Representative Joe Pitts, Republican of Pennsylvania, who sponsored the bill with Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, cited recent poll numbers by the Jockey Club that showed how far public confidence had fallen in the sport even among its biggest bettors. Nearly four in five bettors — 79 percent — factored in the possibility of illegal drug use when handicapping races at certain tracks or in certain states. The money wagered in North America has fallen precipitously over the last seven years, to about $11 billion this year from nearly $15.5 billion in 2007.
Phil Hanrahan, chief executive of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, insisted horse racing is a clean sport. He pointed to the relatively few positive tests that are found from state to state.
Hanrahan said that the proposed bill “attempts to address a problem that does not exist,” and that Usada had “neither the experience nor the resources” to regulate the industry.
Dr. Lawrence Soma of the University of Pennsylvania testing laboratory conceded that he and his colleagues had difficulty identifying protein-based drugs and peptides and did not have the money to develop new tests to stay ahead of rogue trainers and veterinarians.
“There still are a number of drugs that are problematic,” Soma said. “I’m sure there are many more coming along.”
Pitts also asked Hanrahan about a report in The New York Times that showed that a horse named Coronado Heights received 17 injections the week before he broke down and was euthanized at Aqueduct in 2012. The horse had been found to have a degenerative joint disease and was trained by Todd Pletcher, a Kentucky Derby winner who is currently the nation’s leading trainer.
“I’m not a veterinarian,” Hanrahan replied.
The report was part of a Times investigation that identified the nation’s most dangerous racetracks, and showed how a pervasive drug culture among veterinarians and trainers put horses and riders at risk. The investigation found that 24 horses a week die at America’s tracks, a rate greater than in countries where drug use is severely restricted.
Dr. Sheila Lyons, an equine veterinarian, said in her testimony that the injections were motivated by a desire for the horse to keep racing, rather than a concern for its health. “There was nothing therapeutic about the drugs in that horse,” she said. “They were injury-masking drugs that were stacked.”
Up to a dozen members of Congress attended the hearing, and the bill appeared to have bipartisan support. Several members noted that horse racing remains a significant industry that sustains some 380,000 jobs nationwide.
“Ultimately, drugs and breakdowns are bad for business,” Tygart said.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Fun!

The Riderless Horse: A JFK Icon

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Source: CNN Video
“50 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed; a moment frozen in time for many us.  To personally explain in more detail would easily date me but a recent CNN video report takes away a moment that stayed with me, too.  In honor of JFK, we respectfully share it with you and likewise, offer up a moment of silence for the premature passing of a President.  In God we Trust.  Keep the Faith.” ~ R.T.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Few Horse Evacuations Due to Severe Weather in Midwest

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By Pat Ra  as published in

“Unless your barn is built like Fort Knox and certified for a high-wind event,horses should be in their pastures,”

Tornado HorseThough horses some were removed from damaged pastures, few animals were driven from their homes when high winds and driving rains swept through the Midwest on Sunday.
Andrew Krein, meteorologist for the National Weather Service‘s Chicago office, said that on Nov. 17, high winds and tornado conditions swept through rural Illinois, leaving the towns of Washington and Godfrey in shambles. Similar storms struck Indiana and Missouri, Krein said.
Though the storms’ high winds forced some horses from their pastures, there have been no large scale horse evacuations due to the tornadoes, said Sheryl King, president of the Illinois Horseman’s Counsel.
“We have heard that some horses were moved by their owners from pastures with fences down due to the tornado, but we are still waiting for reports of wide-spread horse evacuations,” King said.
King said that the tornado-force winds spared the Gordyville USA horse show facility, located near Washington. The show ground can hold over 700 portable stalls, according to the facility’s website.
“If that barn had gone we would have no place to stage the horses (in the event of evacuations),” King said.
Instead, the facility is being used to stage volunteers that will help Washington and Godfrey residents deal with the devastation left in the tornado’s aftermath, King said.
Whenever a storm packing high winds is predicted, Rebecca Gimenez, PhD, primary instructor and president of the Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, recommends owners not confine their horses to the barn in many cases.
“Unless your barn is built like Fort Knox and certified for a high-wind event, horses should be in their pastures,” she said. “Horses may get nasty injuries, but they won’t be crushed in the barn.”
Gimenez also reminds owners to clear their property, pastures, and paddocks of any items that could become projectiles when a storm strikes, including tree limbs that could blow down in storm force winds and other debris.
In the meantime, Krein said the Midwest storm threat is over, at least for now: “Everything is quiet now.”

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Navajo President Lies Too: Reservation Horses Being Round Up For Slaughter

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By Brenda Norrell as published on the Narcosphere

Tuba City Chapter House is opening the doors to The Cruelty Group, Navajo Nation Agriculture and Navajo Nation Resource Enforcement.”

Navajo Nation FlagThe cruel roundups of wild horses on the Navajo Nation continue on Thursday and Friday in the Tuba City area. Navajo Medicine People oppose the roundups and the sale of horses for slaughter to the meat industry in Mexico.
Further, Navajo President Ben Shelly now admits that he did not halt the horse roundups for slaughter as he said earlier. Now, Shelly says it was just an idea, and the memorandum of agreement has not yet been signed to halt the roundups.
Leland Grass, Dine’, said, “Tuba City Chapter House is opening the doors to The Cruelty Group, Navajo Nation Agriculture and Navajo Nation Resource Enforcement.”
“Over the last three months many of the Dine’ peoples horses have been taken from their corrals and also off their grazing areas and land use areas. Not only did the people get hurt, but also the foals were left behind. The mothers in the roundup were taken off the reservation for auction, and were sold, even to kill buyers who transport the horses down to Aquila Martinez, Vanderwagon, New Mexico, then on to Las Lunas, New Mexico, and off to the border of Texas and Mexico for sale to kill buyers. Then the horses are sent to Mexico for slaughter for meat.”
Grass urged protectors of wild horses and defenders of sacred Dine’ traditions to call the Tuba City Chapter House and tell them to send the Navajo Nation Agriculture back home.
“We don’t want motorized dirt bikes and ATV’s on our vegetation,” Grass said.
The wild horse roundups in Tuba City are scheduled for Nov. 14, and 15. 2013. The first day is at Rare Metals and the following day is at Preston Mesa area. Grass said the Grazing Official’s name is Angela Begay 928-283-3287, and the Chapter House number is 928-283-3284.
“Get the word out for horse owners and sacred horses,” Grass said.
Read Dine’ Medicine Peoples Statement opposing roundups and slaughter:

Click (HERE) to comment at the Narcosphere

Monday, November 11, 2013


Travel Channel

Fort Ord Veterans Day Event Celebrates War Horses

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By PHILLIP MOLNAR as published in the Monterey Herald

“Sgt. MacDonald is one of the last living horse cavalrymen and was the toast of this year’s event.”

Cavalryman Sgt. Allan MacDonald and his horse, Comanche II. (DAVID ROYAL/The Herald)
Cavalryman Sgt. Allan MacDonald and his horse, Comanche II. (DAVID ROYAL/The Herald)
There is something romantic about a soldier charging into battle on horseback.
It has been nearly a century since any army seriously went at their enemy on a horse, but that did not stop a celebration on Saturday for the more sentimental among us.
More than 150 people attended the fourth annual Veterans Day celebration by the Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse nonprofit at the Marina Equestrian Center.
They talked about the glory days of war horses, preserving its history and the “pivotal” moment when the U.S. Army dismounted its cavalry during World War II.
Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Allan A. MacDonald, 90, said he is still “PO’d” the Army ended the cavalry.
MacDonald is one of the last living horse cavalrymen and was the toast of this year’s event. He attended the event in full uniform with his trusted white mustang, Comanche II.
The Marina man said he used to patrol the border of Mexico on horseback when he was stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas — something he thought was more effective than current methods.
“Now they can hear the planes coming,” he said of immigrants.
MacDonald was never in combat on horseback but he did have an illustrious career that spanned the globe.
He was the stable sergeant for Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Japan, made nine trips to Turkey to deliver some 1,200 horses and mules for the Turkish Army and was stationed in Australia, the Philippines and Korea.
After he retired in 1965 he came to Fort Ord to work as a supply driver.
MacDonald got permission to bury the last war horse used at Fort Ord, named Comanche, at the end of a trail named after him. The trail begins at the equestrian center and ends at the grave in Fort Ord National Monument.
He said he named his current horse Comanche II because they look similar. The mare is known to get a little “excitable,” MacDonald said. She even knocked over a 94-year-old veteran, who got up quickly, during a photo attempt.
Marina Mayor Bruce Delgado named MacDonald the “cultural ambassador” of the city at the event. MacDonald was also presented with a bench with his name on it to go in Fort Ord National Monument.
The celebration took place in the courtyard between the four buildings that made up the Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital for war horses.
Click (HERE) to see video of event
There were a minimum of 1,400 horses and mules on the base in the early 1940s, according to the Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse.
The nonprofit has worked to restore the buildings, as well as connect the area to Fort Ord National Monument through trails and greenways.
“These World War II war horse buildings capture that mammoth shift in military history as if frozen in amber,” said Margaret Davis, director of the nonprofit.
Horses still show up from time to time in American conflicts, usually in ceremonial units. But there are notable exceptions.
U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers rode horseback with the Afghan Northern Alliance in the early weeks of the Afghanistan War, experiencing intense combat. Their story resulted in the 2009 book “Horse Soldiers” and a statue in New York City.
In August, the Marines unveiled a statue of a chestnut mare named Sgt. Reckless who was used in the Korean War.
Purchased for $250 from a Korean boy in 1952, Reckless enjoyed scrambled eggs, chocolate bars and beer, according to She also carried ammunition and wounded soldiers.
Iraq War veteran John Fornbacher of Pleasant Hill was at Saturday’s event as part of a historic reenactment group. He said vehicles in Iraq were constantly getting damaged by sand, so a horse might not be so bad in modern warfare.
“Horses, man,” he said, “you don’t need to worry about them missing a spark plug.”

Click (HERE) to pay your respects directly at The Hearld