posted on Sep, 11 2016 @ 02:37 PM
So, a couple of general comments here, directed at no one in particular, but rather at some emerging themes in this thread. Some background first
though; I grew up with wild horses ranging free in the high deserts of Wyoming, and I've participated in some of the wild horse roundups sponsored by
the BLM in that area. In fact, a large number of the total wild horse population comes from this region (they're moved to Colorado because Colorado
is more animal sensitive, but they come from Wyoming). And, as many here may already know, I am also a cattle rancher (and we OWN all our land, and
don't lease from BLM). Consequently, I'm pretty familiar with this issue, and as one poster correctly pointed out; it's not that easy to untangle.
However, here are a couple of general observations about some of the comments in this thread...
Wild Horse repurposing - "Some" wild horses do in fact descend from domesticated horses and can be adopted out and trained to be decent horses. The
key word here is "some". The vast majority of wild horses which are rounded up are not from domesticated horse lines, and / or are WAY too wild to
ever be trained. And sorry, but some of them are dumber than a bag of hammers from in-breeding and bad genetics (something which is impossible to
undo). These last horses are not only a nuisance, they're downright DANGEROUS to people, other horses/livestock and even themselves. So, in order to
understand the 'big picture' you have to look at all of the animals, not just a select few.
Horses tamed the west - No, actually horses did not! Well heeled historians would like to have you believe this, and have written the history books
accordingly, but keep in mind the types of people who write books. No slight intended here, but generally the people who wrote the books about the
old west were the ones most likely to frown on anything but a horse. And, much of this is a direct result of Europe's love affair with horses and
their identification with affluence.
The fact of the matter is, the West was actually settled more with mules and oxen than it was with horses. It wasn't horses who hauled the settlers
west across the Oregon trail in the great wagon trains during the mid to late 1800's...it was mules (and to a lesser extent oxen). Mules in
particular, and their value, have been sorely overlooked by historians. Yeah, the dusty gunslinger, hand rolled cigar in his mouth and faded poncho
loses a bit of the romance when he rides into town on a mule, instead of a horse, but that's the reality.
The point here is; we need to be clear and factual about what is happening with the wild horse round ups. We cannot make excuses for these animals
based on biased history. They are not unlike any other wild animal, and should be treated accordingly. If we, people, want them around then we
should find a place for them to co-exist and allow them to be who they are. If they become overpopulated and destructive to their environment then
they need to be culled down to manageable levels. I won't mince words (because I just don't), "cull" means kill. Call it murder if you like, but
that's a bit over the top IMHO. And, on the subject of culling, if this is the decision, as long as regulations ensure it is done humanely then
people shouldn't get excited about what the carcasses are used for (food, dog food, glue, etc.)...they're dead.
Not taking a side really, rather just trying to remove some emotion and inject some balance to the discussion.