The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Calico Gather – One Month In…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on January 27, 2010

Casualty Reports & Information:

BLM Calico Gather Updates, January 27, 2010  –  Notes from The Mustang Project:

  • 1 Back to HMA” refers to the black stallion that escaped from the Black Rock East HMA gather site on Jan. 02, 2010. This does not mean that the BLM is releasing 1 wild horse back to the HMA per day. To my knowledge at this point, there have been no horses released from this gather.
  • To visit the gather, call or email Lisa Ross, 775-623-1541,
  • To visit the short-term holding facility in Fallon, call or email Deena Lentz, 775-861-6586,
  • Calico Gather Information from the BLM website can be found here.
  • Formatting of the following texts (bold, color change) has been done by this author for posting & informational purposes, except for the hyperlink formatting.

See below for Gather Updates from December 27, 2009 through January 27, 2010,  copied from the BLM website and formatted for casualties and totals…

Gather Activity UpdatesUpdates will be posted as we receive information.

Date  Comments
Jan. 27, 2010
The observation day scheduled for today is cancelled. There are no wild horses at the gather site temporary holding corrals and the helicopter will be used to take an aerial look to verify numbers and locations of wild horses in the HMA.
Jan. 26, 2010
No gathering will be conducted today. The BLM is hosting an observation day at the Indian Lakes Road Holding Facility with guided tours offered from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  These hours are the most likely times that trucks will be delivering the wild horses from the gather site. The BLM continues to provide guided tours of the facility by appointment only.  Appointments are necessary to ensure BLM staff is available to conduct the tours and respond to questions, and for safety concerns for the animals, observers and employees at the facility. The Indian Lakes Road facility is privately-owned and operated.  The BLM coordinates closely with the owner when scheduling the guided tours to allow observers to view the animals, while not interfering with the day-to-day operations at the facility.
Jan. 25, 2010
Weather-related conditions suspended gather operations today, fog created unsafe flying conditions.  No wild horses were gathered today.27 horses were shipped to the Fallon facility. The BLM accommodated four observers to the temporary holding facility, at their request, although all the gathered horses had been moved to Fallon earlier in the day.  The observers were provided the opportunity to walk around, photograph and videotape the pens, and left shortly after that because the helicopter would not be flying. Totals: 1,326 gathered, 1,324 moved to Fallon, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 7
Jan. 24, 2010
Contractor gathered 27 excess wild horses and 70 animals were shipped without incident to the Fallon facility.Totals: 1,326 gathered, 1,297 moved to Fallon, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 7
Jan. 23, 2010
Operations continued at Calico HMA.  Seven members of the public participated in today’s observation day.  Within an hour or so of the group arriving at the gather site the contractor brought in the first group of wild horses. Throughout the day, the observers watched as 66 horses were gathered without incident (21 studs, 30 mares, 15 weanlings/foals).  The horses were loaded on trucks at the gather site and moved to temporary holding corrals in the gather area where they were sorted by age and sex.  This is where the animals get their first introduction to domestically-grown grass hay.Transported 34 horses to Fallon (10 studs, 13 mares, 11 weanlings/foals).  One mare at the facility ran into a gate and broke her neck. Totals: 1,299 gathered, 1,227 moved to Fallon, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 7
Jan. 22, 2010
The gather site is set up in the Calico HMA and the contractor plans to gather today.  Contractor gathered 38 horses (10 studs, 17 mares, 11 weanlings/foals). Saturday will be a public observation day. Transported 119 horses to Fallon (49 studs, 48 mares, 22 weanlings/foals) on Thursday. Next update will be on Monday, Jan. 25. Totals: 1,233 gathered, 1,193 moved to Fallon, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 6 deaths
Jan. 21, 2010
Transported 118 horses to the Fallon facility on Wednesday.  Plan to ship the horses remaining at the gather corrals to Fallon today.  Continuing to dissemble the gather corrals and move to new location in the Calico HMA. Mares coming into the Fallon facility are in poorer condition than stallions and weanlings/foals. About 30 mares from the Warm Springs HMA range in body condition from a 2.5 to 3.0.  One mare that was down on the transport truck arrived at the facility alive, but subsequently died. One colt with multiple hoof sloughs from the capture was euthanized at the facility.  The colt was from the Black Rock East HMA and has been at the facility more than two weeks. When the colt arrived at the facility it was put in with the general population. A day or two later, the colt started showing acute lameness and was moved to a sick pen. The facility veterinarian noted the colt’s two hind hoof soles were bruised, but there was no visible abscess or infection. The colt was given antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medicine, was kept segregated and continued to be checked by the veterinarian. The colt’s hind feet abscessed and the outer hoof wall did separate. The colt was euthanized by the facility veterinarian. Click here for the veterinarian report. About 20 to 25 horses at the facility have received treatment for various injuries or lameness and are recovering.  There are no indications of infectious respiratory disease. The BLM has asked that wind breaks be installed at the Fallon facility, similar to ones that are at the Palomino Valley Center.  The contractor will begin constructing wind breaks in 12 of the smaller holding/sorting pens which are used for sick or lame animals. Totals: 1,195 gathered, 1,074 moved to Fallon, 121 at gather corrals, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 6 deaths
Jan. 20, 2010
Moving gather site today.  Expect to move the 148 horses on site to the Fallon facility today.  The dirt road from the pavement to Soldier Meadows is being bladed.  Recent rain and the truck traffic is impacting the condition of the road.  Observation day planned today was cancelled after those signed up to attend decided to reschedule because the gather site is being moved.  Next observation day is Saturday.
Jan. 19, 2010
Contractor was able to gather 91 wild horses (27 studs, 42 mares, 22 weanlings/foals) today before weather conditions stopped gathering in the early afternoon.Totals: 1,195 gathered, 956 moved to Fallon, 148 at gather corrals, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 4 deaths
Jan. 18, 2010
Today’s public observation day was cancelled after four people dropped out because of weather and two didn’t have 4-wheel-drive vehicle to get to the site.Contractor gathered 124 wild horses today.  No horses were moved to Fallon. Totals: 1,104 gathered, 956 moved to Fallon, 148 at gather corrals, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 4 deaths
Jan. 17, 2010
 Weather conditions prevented gathering today.One hundred and twenty-two wild horses were transported to the Fallon facility. Totals: 980 gathered, 956 moved to Fallon.
Jan. 16, 2010
The contractor gathered 122 wild horses today (38 studs, 53 mares, 31 weanlings/foals).  Seventy-five horses were moved to the Fallon facility. Totals: 980 gathered, 834 moved to Fallon.
Jan. 15, 2010
 Today, Saturday and Monday are public observation days. The next update will be posted on Tuesday, Jan. 18.  (BLM offices are closed in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr.  holiday, however gather operations will continue.) Gathering continued on the Warm Springs HMA with the contractor bringing in 48 horses (21 studs, 18 mares, 9 weanlings/foals). Eighty-two wild horses were shipped to the Fallon facility. Totals: 858 gathered, 759 transported to Fallon
Jan. 14, 2010
The BLM is escorting a Good Morning America TV crew and Madeline Pickens and her group to the gather today.  The contractor gathered 51 horses (14 studs, 23 mares, 14 weanlings/foals) from the Black Rock West HMA. Eighty-three animals were transported to the Fallon facility.  Observers going to the gather notified the BLM that a mare in one of the transport trucks was down.  The dirt road the trucks are traveling is bumpy and the drivers are stopping when they reach the pavement to make sure all the animals are standing up.  Two mares were found dead at the facility, cause of death is attributed to failure to adjust to a change in feed. Totals: 810 gathered, 677 transported to Fallon, 129 at gather corrals, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 4 deaths
Jan. 13, 2010
The contractor gathered 113 horses today (31 studs, 54 mares, 28 weanlings/foals).  Seventy-five animals were transported to the Fallon facility.  One 12-year-old mare from the Black Rock West HMA died at Fallon. She arrived in weak and poor condition and had been at the facility for four days.Totals: 759 gathered,  594 transferred to Fallon, 161 at gather corrals, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA, Fallon facility: 2 deaths
Jan. 12, 2010
Begin gathering at the Warm Springs HMA. The contractor gathered 99 horses (43 studs, 35 mares, 21 weanlings/foals) today before windy conditions shut down operations in the early afternoon. No animals were shipped to Fallon today.Totals: 646 gathered, 519 transferred to Fallon, 123 at gather corrals, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA Fallon facility: 1 death
Jan. 11, 2010
The BLM is escorting public to the gather today.  At the Fallon facility, one mare from the Black Rock East HMA was found dead over the weekend.  The veterinarian diagnosis is the mare died as the result of dietary feed change.  Fog kept the helicopter grounded; no animals were gathered.No horses were shipped today; 24 horses in holding corrals at the gather site.
Jan. 10, 2010
Weather conditions prevented gathering activities today.  Eighty-one horses were transported to the Fallon facility today.Totals: 547 gathered, 519 shipped to Fallon, 24 at gather corrals, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA
Jan. 9, 2010
Weather conditions grounded the helicopter today.  No horses were gathered today.  No horses were shipped today, pending brand inspection.  Gathering and shipping is expected to resume on Sunday.
Jan. 8, 2010
Haven’t received information about the gather activities by the close of business today.  Next update will be Monday, Jan. 11.  Update on Monday: Seventy animals were gathered (22 studs, 37 mares and 11 weanlings/foals).  Seventy-one animals were transported to the Fallon facility.Totals: 547 gathered, 438 shipped to Fallon, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition, 1 back to HMA
Jan. 7, 2010
Weather conditions prevented the helicopter from flying so no gathering was conducted today.  Eighty-nine horses were shipped to the Fallon facility.  One 20-year plus mare in poor body condition that was unlikely to improve was put down as an act of mercy.Totals: 477 gathered, 367 shipped to Fallon, 106 at gather corrals, 2 euthanized at gather site, 1 death pre-existing condition,  1 back to HMA 
Jan. 6, 2010
Drizzling rain and freezing temperatures are delaying gathering this morning.  If temperatures warm up, the contractor will gather.  Eight members of the public plan to attend today’s observation day.  The weather improved by mid-day and the contractor was able to gather 53 animals (19 studs, 23 mares and 11 weanlings/foals).   Thirty-six studs were transported to the Fallon facility.  They are in good flesh with no signs of upper respiratory infection. Totals: 477 gathered, 278 transported to Fallon.
Jan. 5, 2010
Gather activities are continuing at the Black Rock West HMA with 125 horses gathered without incident (33 studs, 66 mares, 26 weanlings/foals).  Body conditions of the horses range from thin to moderately thin, but with no apparent or visible health or respiratory complications.  The animals will be examined by the veterinarian on Wednesday.Eighty four excess wild horses were transported to the Fallon facility. Totals: 424 gathered, 242 transported to Fallon.
Jan. 4, 2010
Gather operations resumed within the Black Rock West HMA, and 138 animals were gathered, without incident (45 studs, 63 mares, 30 weanlings/foals).  Most of the animals are thin to moderately thin, but overall in good health.  The condition of the mares is noted as slightly poorer condition than those gathered on the Black Rock East HMA.  Weanling condition is fine with two weanlings showing signs of lameness on their hind legs.  No cuts, wounds or upper respiratory infection is noted.  All the horses will be inspected by the holding facility veterinarian when they arrive there.
Jan. 3, 2010
The contractor relocated and set up the gather corrals in the Black Rock West HMA within the Complex.  Gather operations were not anticipated to start on Monday.  However, gather activities could resume on Monday if the contractor has completed set up and experiences favorable weather and flight conditions.
Jan. 2, 2010
The contractor collected 11 wild horses without incident (2 studs, 6 mares, 3 weanlings/foals).  Members of wild horse groups attended today’s observation day. The group was able to observe and participate in discussions about the horses gathered on Friday and discuss the euthanized mare and the 6-month-old colt which died during capture operations yesterday.The group watched the helicopter bring in 11 horses the gather corral.  The animals came in to the gather corral well with no problems, but once they horses were in the corrals, one stud horse caught his front leg over the top rail in the chute area, but worked himself free.  He was sorted into a separate pen and jumped over the holding pen panels and through a barbed-wire fence back to the rangeland.  Several members of the public observed and filmed the horse jumping over the pen rail and through the fence. On the way back to Winnemucca we saw wild horses on the north end of the Jackson Mountains and stopped so everyone could take pictures. The contractor revised the gather plan and plans to move the gather corrals on Sunday to the Black Rock West HMA.  He will set up near Soldier Meadows on Monday and plans to start gathering again on Tuesday.
Jan. 1, 2010
Gather operations continue within the Black Rock East HMA.  However, weather conditions limited today’s gather activities as clouds covered the mountain tops, which limited visibility and created unsafe flying conditions.  Ultimately 10 wild horses were gathered without incident (1 stud, 6 mares, 3 weanlings/foals).  One colt died as it was being brought in.  An after-death examination revealed a pre-existing pulmonary condition. No animals were shipped today. Click here for the veterinarian report.
Dec. 31, 2009
Four people representing wild horse groups attended the gather site today.  There is heavy snowfall at the gather site and the contractor is not flying today.  Snow is forecasted until mid-day Friday. Today, 66 horses were transported to the Fallon facility (27 studs, 25 mares, 13 weanlings and one foal).  All of the horses are in normal condition for winter gathers, with a few noted in lesser condition. No horses were shipped on Wednesday.  There are no plans to ship any animals on Friday.  Next update will be Monday, Jan. 4.
Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 Seventy-three of the 74 horses captured on Monday were transported to the Fallon facility on Tuesday.  Many of the horses are in good body condition.  One horse, a 20-plus year-old mare with a body condition index of 2 (poor) was euthanized at the gather site on the recommendation of the onsite veterinarian who determined it was unlikely her condition would improve with better care. Click here for photos of the mare. The BLM escorted media to the gather site today.
Dec. 29, 2009
Horses gathered on Monday are being moved to the Indian Lakes Road short-term holding facility in Fallon today.  Snowy weather conditions slowed gather operations today, but the contractor was able to gather on lower elevations and brought in 22 animals to gather corrals set up closer to those animals.
Dec. 28, 2009
First day of gather on the Black Rock Range East Herd Management Area (HMA).  All activities at the gather went smoothly and without incident.  Seventy-four horses were gathered with no reported injuries to the animals or the crew.
Dec. 27, 2009
Contractor set up gather site corrals.



3 Responses to “Calico Gather – One Month In…”

  1. Marty Keim said

    I adopted a mare that was one of the first horses gathered Dec. 28, 2009 from BlackRock east range. She was part of the mustang makeover in Ft. Collins, CO. in 2012 What a sweet disposition horse she turned out to be! She has a wonderful home in Garden City, KS has some acres to go roam, goes on long rides in the rough canons at the State park monthly. She has been ridden in parades though she maintains a level of spookiness that has never left her. I understand her freedom has been given up but she has adjusted well. Her conversion rate on feed is so much higher than what my domestic horses are that she stays too fat. Even with regular exercise you can’t keep her thin. I would sum it up as she is fat and happy. When reading these stories please keep in mind that some of these gathered horses have went on to lead very good lives in captivity. The mustang has found a friend in me, and I a friend in her for life…

    • Anonymous said

      Howdy Marty! So glad to hear that your sweet little mare and you found each other! They are truly a blessing, one that keeps giving everyday with new lessons learned and an unending love. Here”s wishing you two many happy trails and fun adventures together for many years to come! 💟

  2. daughter said

    Hi therе this is somewhat of off topic but Ӏ was wondering if bⅼogs uѕe WYSIᎳYG editoгs or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    Ι’m starting a blog soon but have no codіng know-how so I wаnted
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