More photos of empty pens and pens with wild horses will be posted soon.
It takes a village! Here is the link for the fundraiser: http://www.gofundme.com/WildHorseTrailer
Dear Friends of Wild Horses,
We urgently need a used 3 horse gooseneck trailer for the 5 wild horses in our Outreach Program, to help other wild horses go to their forever homes and in case of emergency. Visit our fundraiser: http://www.gofundme.com/WildHorseTrailer to help.
In September, it took 30 hours to get Sol, a California wild horse, to the vet hospital after our field vet said, “Take him to the hospital. I can’t fix this in the field.” If Sol had a life threatening condition he probably would have died in 30 hours.
We called everyone to get transportation. Our friends and volunteers with trailers were away at shows or working. The local pro haulers were at horse shows and the big shippers did not have the right set up to access the location nor did they have the holding capacity for a wild horse who could not tie safely.
A used 3 horse trailer for wild horses will save us money because hauling is expensive. We need a 3 horse trailer so they can turn around and unload safely. A trailer for Protect Mustangs will ensure the wild horses are never abused and can get emergency medical care at the hospital if needed.
In September a volunteer was paid $550 (mileage, bridge toll, food) to come from the Foothills to the Bay Area to take Sol for emergency care up to UC Davis and then bring him to a barn in the Bay Area and then return to the Foothils. Professional haulers are very expensive too. If we had our own trailer it would have cost us less than $80 (gas & toll) to take Sol to UC Davis and back and we could have taken him in immediately–not after 30 hours.
Now 3-year-old Val (Twin Peaks wild horse) needs to go up to the hospital and come back (2 RTs for the hauler) because he needs medical help for the ringbone–probably from the roundup. We need to haul him but we don’t have a trailer. . .
When we get the used 3 horse trailer with removable dividers we will join the Fleet of Angels to help transport wild horses. Please share widely so we can make this happen!
We want to help others bring down their adopted wild horses from Litchfield, PVC and the Reno area. We know how hard it is to find haulers for wild horses. They are either, very expensive, won’t haul “wild horses”, have the wrong type of trailer for a wild horse, or use “harsh methods” to move the horses like twitches and stud chains.
Some haulers use twitches and stud chains. We don’t. We take our time to load and unload.
After all the cruel roundups and abuse wild horses have suffered, they deserve to be treated with compassion and kindness.
As you see in the photo with Blondie & Tibet, we go on “horse time” when loading wild horses. We know every time we work with them it’s a training opportunity. Hauling can be easy on the horses if they aren’t scared or stressed.
We need your help.
Please donate what you can http://www.gofundme.com/WildHorseTrailer and share this call for support. Thank you so much!
Volunteer Executive Director for Protect Mustangs
Tips for Happy Hauling
1. Send the BLM pickup facility a photo of your trailer before you leave, so they sign off that it’s suitable. They don’t want ramps or dividers, etc.
2. Make sure your truck and trailer are in the best working condition and your bearings are greased.
3. Let the BLM know you want to be there while they load so you aren’t distracted with paperwork. Then you can oversee the BLM employees loading your adopted wild horses. If something feels wrong express yourself politely and advocate for your wild horses. You will be responsible if the horses in your care are injured once you drive off.
4. Having the BLM wranglers take their tags off when they are in the chute has worked for us.
5. We don’t let the BLM wranglers halter them because we want the first haltering to be out of love and trust–not force, fear and domination. We don’t halter the wild ones in the trailer as it causes A LOT of stress before loading. They cannot be tied as they are not trained to tie. They are wild.
6. We don’t feed during short trailering as hay nets could be something that could cause trouble.
7. We did not bed the last trailer we used for a 6 hour ride. It had a rubber floor and they traveled well.
8. Upon arrival at our destination, we back the trailer up to the gate and open the gate to create a barrier between the paddock and the trailer. Then we carefully open the trailer door and stand aside.
9. Whips aren’t necessary but patience is. We have witnessed the BLM employees use a whip to get a young wild horse out of a trailer. This terrified the horse and caused him to bash around in the metal trailer and fall down. Using horse psychology and taking your time makes the experience safe and easy.
10. If the wild horses are hesitant to come out of the trailer then we give them some hay just outside the trailer and wait patiently. They are extremely sensitive to pressure so we give them their space. We give them time and they always unload. We never stand in front of their exit path as that puts pressure on them and makes it scary to come out. They have been known to bolt out so watch out!
Have someone there to film the unloading because it’s a moment you will never forget. Here is a short clip of Sol and Val, our Discover Mustangs project horses, unloading after getting out of the BLM’s facility.
Disclaimer: Horses, wild or domesticated, are inherently dangerous and can be unpredictable. Use the information and advice in this article at your own risk.
(Photos © Carolyn Orndof)