Twin Peaks Stampede Outrage

Reprinted courtesy of Simone Netherlands, Founder, Respect 4 Horses

Twin Peaks wild horse roundup

Note from Animal Law Coalition: Prior to the start of the Twin Peaks wild horse roundup, U.S. District Court Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. denied motions for an emergency stay, temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction requested by citizens to stop the roundup until the court had decided whether BLM was acting legally.  In doing so, the judge in an oral opinion issued from the bench, simply said he was satisfied with the precautions BLM would take to protect the horses. For more on the plaintiffs’ case….


Leslie P, director of Wild Horse Investigations for Respect 4 horses, and Jennifer, volunteer for Respect 4 horses, as well as Craig and Christy and Jessica and a few others, have been on the scene of the roundup in Twin Peaks from day one. (no last names for their protection)

The first day was a stellar performance by the BLM. Horses only had to come from 20 minutes of a distance and were even observed trotting every once in a while. There were some reporters (Sac Bee) that justifiably reported that the roundup was conducted without much of a fuss.

Day two and three, no more reporters, no more pretense. Horses came from miles and miles, it took the helicopter three hours to bring them in, horses were exhausted, soaking wet with sweat, way too many horses brought in at the same time, horses turning around and then being chased again a second and a third time, all the while the babies desperately trying to keep up, helicopter unbelievably close to the horses and horses being over-chased to the point of being completely piled and stuck in the traps.

After horses are trapped and closed in, BLM men start immediately whipping their Wal-mart bag whip sticks at them separating babies from moms, and stallions from mares. After this, they are then frantically whipped into the trailers to be brought down to temporary holding. They drive at incredible speeds with trailers full of panicking horses and downed horses on the dusty roads, you would think they were trying to catch an airplane. It should be mentioned however that Troy Cattoor was so thoughtful to whip some downed horses into getting up.

Arriving at the lower holding pens they are unloaded in that same incredible hurry, falling over each other, and then, as if they had not had enough stress yet, they are immediately processed. This means they are forced into the chutes to receive vaccinations and dewormers and who knows what else. The entire group is being whipped and flagged and stressed for hours on end. These horses are in mortal fear without a break for water or rest, for literally the entire day. Advocates are carefully kept at large distances during this process. The next morning it begins all over again because then they are transported to yet another lower holding pen.

There are many small babies in these herds. First off they have to run for their lives over sharp lava rocks for who knows how many miles (three hours times 5 to 10 miles an hour?). Second even as they managed to stay with their mothers until the end, instead of being able to catch their breath and drink, (this would cost the BLM perhaps 10 extra minutes) they are immediately separated and shoved into trailers.

When they arrive at the lower holding pens, they still do not get to reunite with their mothers because they need to be processed right then and there for reasons that completely eludes any advocate. Leslie witnessed in the early morning of August 13th, 26 babies crying for their moms with only 4 mares in that same pen. We do not know how long they had been that way, but after an hour and a half, BLM put all babies in with all lactating mares, in way too small of a pen. After much ruckus and some babies being thrown to the ground and into the panels, most foals found their moms except for two of them. Some of the foals already have trouble getting around, I suspect many of them will go through hellish pain, just like the Calico babies, after which the BLM will have to put them down in the end. We have hope that the babies of the first day, approximately 13, will be okay.

Separating mares and babies for this amount of time will not only dehydrate the babies and put them into shock, it will also cause incredible pain and infections in the mares, because of milk buildup.

One lactating mare was witnessed thrashing on the ground severely colicing, another lactating mare downed as it appeared that she had either a broken leg or a broken pelvis. Both mares in extreme pain, yet no word from the BLM on any euthanasia, or vet visits.

During processing, the mares as well as the stallions are already being vaccinated and being dewormed with Ivermectin. Anyone who knows about horses knows that ivermectin is too strong of a dewormer to give to a horse with worms the first time around. It can send many into colic because of loads of worms detaching, leaving lacerations and tying up the colon. Yet the vet on the scene, who supposedly studied this kind of thing in school, seems to figure it will be alright.

There were also stallions put together with families of mules which resulted in severe fights, yet they were left overnight that way. There were horses that were observed injured only to never be heard or seen again, and water trucks inexplicably hosing down the horses sending them thrashing into the panels yet again.

Twin Peaks wild burrosOf course access was severely restricted for advocates and getting worse by the minute.  Reportedly because of the story of the roped and shot foal documented by Craig, the advocates will no longer be allowed close to the trap sites. What one has to do with the other who knows, but this is how it goes.

Day one showed us that they do know how to make it a little less stressful on the horses. Day two and three showed us that they just blatantly don’t care.

There is simply no regard and no knowledge within any of the BLM crew on how to care for a horse, reduce injuries, increase life chances or even chances of adoption with 4 sound feet.  And don’t even get me started on the walmart bag whipsticks and the incredible hurry that it all needs to be done with, as if they are on the clock for breaking some kind of world record.

I am a natural horsemanship trainer and so is Leslie, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the BLM people know nothing, and I mean nothing about horse body language or how to maneuver a horse at all. They do not even realize in which direction they are sending a horse, they simply just keep confusing the heck out of the horses because they are positioning themselves wrong in relation to the horse. As a result they BLMers think that the horses are disobeying them as a result just whip the Walmart bag whip stick even more furiously at them. Natural horse man ship people could sort these horses in a stress free manner, without  injuries, I personally quarentee it.

If BLM cannot see that it is obviously still foaling season for wild horses , no matter what their self written rules say, then they know even less about horses than we already thought, and that wasn’t much to begin with.

At Tuscarora the excuse for the roundup was they are starving and dehydrating. Now they are reporting healthy fat horses. So they have had to switch motives. The motive now is that the range cannot sustain that many horses, so eventually they will starve in the future. So it is still in the best interest of the horses.

Anyone still believing that the BLM is acting in the best interest of the horses, might be interested in some ocean front property I have for sale here in Arizona.

Anyone claiming that 798,000 pristine acres cannot sustain 2000 horses (if there even are that many) but can mysteriously sustain 3700 privately owned cows and around 10,000 privately owned sheep on that same land, can simply not be taken at face value. It is too ridiculous for words. But then we all know the real reasons by now.

Twin Peaks wild horse roundupAre our beautiful public wildernesses destined to become large cattle farms scattered with mining pits and gas pipelines?

This is our own government who is charged not only with the protection of our horses but also with the protection of our rights and freedoms.

It is an outrage, it is blatant BS, fraud and corruption, heartlessness and disregard, and this to the ones whom we owe everything to. The ones on whose back we built this country, the ones on whose back we won freedom.

At Leslie’s request please call the Eagle lake field office in CA and tell them to be humane and leave the mares and babies out of the roundups completely.

At my request, please call Arnold Scharzenegger’s office and invite him to come see for himself what is happening to the last of California’s wild horses.

At Arnold Zchwarzenegger’s office request, please don’t bother them, but call Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein. (Senator Boxer is already on our side, so be nice to her.)

In addition to that,  call every newspaper and station that will hear this story.

Thank you.

For more on the Twin Peaks roundup from observer Elyse Gardner…

Photos courtesy of an advocate who wishes to remain anonymous