(The fonts in this post have been intentionally left in black with the exception of the ending prayer.)
Message from T…
I spoke earlier with Craig Downer via email. Craig stated that his count of casualties at the time of our correspondence was forty three (43) horses. Craig also stated “I am going out again on Thursday and again on Saturday, then the facility will be closed to public viewing according to BLM announcement.”
This past evening, I spoke with Dean Bolstad, Deputy Division Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program. During our conversation, the topic of the public being onsite came up. Personally, I was surprised there were still observation days taking place, and that visitors from the general public were still being allowed into the facility.
The reasoning for this is that foaling season is now upon the Calico mares who’ve retained viable pregnancies. Two foals have already been born in this past week. With the ordeal that these horses have been through, on top of being heavily pregnant, all personnel attention should be focused on their care and needs… not on members of the general public who would like to visit. Mr. Bolstad stated that this was their concern as well, hence the discussions regarding the closing of the public visitations.
As a matter of liability and protection for all parties (and horses) involved, members of the general public cannot be allowed into the facilities or onto the grounds without an employee escort. Being the owner of a business that involves equines, I know this lesson all too well. Again we come back to the old adage of “the best of intentions…”; they don’t always have the best outcomes.
While I understand the desire from the public to “be near the horses” and/or be as involved as possible, there does come a time when their presence is more of a hindrance to these horses than any amount of help, no matter what the motives.
Case in point: Just before this post, I viewed an online video the 2nd colt who consequently died / was euthanized as a result of hoof sloughing. Obviously, I was affected by the plight of this young colt. His pain should not have been allowed to continue in his condition without being given attention and care to his needs. On the other hand, I can’t describe the feelings I had while watching this video towards whoever the videographer had been. The mere presence of this “stranger” and “intruder” placed added and undue stress on his already horribly stressed psychological state of mind. It is late, and I don’t want to attempt a direct quote only to get it wrong because I am fatigued, however the general context of what I read along with the video was that the colt was in so much pain that he could not stand to move away from this intruder as did his paddock mates.
At this point, the question came to my mind of “Why did this person(s) continue to remain in this colt’s pressure zones?” There was an obvious knowledge of the affect their presence was having on this colt as is evidenced by their comments, and yet they remained – continuing to add to this colt’s stress. Just because this colt was already having undue stress and was in undeserved pain does not nullify the actions of an individual or individuals who add to that stress and pain. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
I do not intend these comments in a condescending manner. More so I intend them in an inquisitive and somewhat awestruck manner; and also with the attitude of one who would expect anyone in close proximity to these horses to respect their boundaries. They are indeed wild horses, not the family pet (yet). Adding pressure to an already pressured animal does not produce a positive outcome; quite the opposite actually.
Given this colt’s particular situation, it is my opinion – for what it’s worth – that he should have been allowed to spend what time left to his short life without the prodding eyes and emotional pressures of another creature that was not of his own kind. Again, the motives behind these actions are not sufficient to justify the actions themselves; not by any means.
Again, in my opinion – for what it’s worth – as for the facility personnel not giving him proper care in his time of need – at least a sedative or pain relieving medical intervention – I am again inquisitive, but now wholly awestruck. Giving the colt some sort relief in his last hours would have been the more appropriate course of action versus allowing (or forcing) him to lie in wait of euthanasia. Even most who are not accustomed to dealing with the health and behaviors of the equine in general would see these are measures of compassion and humanity. This colt may have been “only 1 of 1900”, but he was one. His life meant no less and was no less significant than any of the others.
I suppose the best way to explain this would be that he should have been given as much peace as was possible. Unfortunately, he was not given this peace, but instead was given two separate instances – avoidable situations – that further took away any chance of peace he might have found in his own mind.
I will add him to my prayers along with the others as I ask St. Francis to bless them and St. Christopher to guide them in their journey ahead. May they all find the peace that was not granted to them on this Earth before death.
Calico Gather Updates, February 02 – 09, 2010
Tuesday, Feb. 9 – Indian Lakes Road Facility
Studs and weaned colts continue to do well and gain weight. Most mares from the Black Rock East and Black Rock West HMA are doing well. Mares from the Warm Springs and Calico HMA are generally improving. Most of the Granite HMA horses appear to be doing well, however, BLM is monitoring three or four Granite horses with poor body conditions. No miscarriages were noted today. One Black Rock East mare and one Warm Springs mare died. Both were euthanized because of poor condition/hyperlipemia/metabolic failure.
Facility deaths: 2, cumulative total: 39
Monday, Feb. 8 – Indian Lakes Road Facility
BLM continues to monitor the condition of two weaker mares from the Warm Springs and Calico HMAs and three to four horses from the Granite HMA in poor body conditions. One 15-year-old stud from the Black Rock West HMA was euthanized because of poor condition/hyperlipemia/metabolic failure. No miscarriages were noted today.
Facility death: 1, cumulative total: 37
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