Prepared for and taken to the 2015 Beaty Butte Gather

No Horse Sense

For Horses

The term “horse sense” does not refer to how a horse thinks.  Neither does it mean common sense.  When someone was referred to as having horse sense, it meant they knew and understood horses.  It meant they were able to handle horses, get the job done, and make it look easy.  

A hundred years ago horse sense was important.  We used horses for many tasks.  Horses pulled machinery to plant and harvest our crops.  Horse hauled our freight.  Horses were our means of transportation.  People with horse sense were important.

Today horses are mainly used for pleasure and entertainment.  Still, horse sense is important.  People with horse sense are able to show us how to handle and care for horses.  They help others gain horse sense that comes through experience, and knowledge.  But even with experience and knowledge there is no guarantee a person will develop horse sense.  It takes a commitment as well.

Man has developed the horse into what they are today.  Draft horses, cow horses, pleasure horses, race horses, etc.….  And the destiny of even those we call wild horses is controlled by us.    Mustangers managed the wild horse population, and made a profit doing it.  Since Wild Horse Annie took the horse sense out of managing the horses on Federal Lands, costs have shot up and the horse population is out of control.

The Dept. of the Interior is mandated by congressional action to keep and care for wild horses while maintaining healthy ecosystems.  Sadly, they are not given the tools or the funding to get the job done.  With a healthy ecosystem, horse populations will double every four years until the ecosystem will no longer support them.  This is happening in Australia, the Netherlands and with some HMA’s in the U.S. 

The Dept. of the Interior needs the tools and funding to properly manage the so called wild horse population.  But they will be managed horses, not wild, just as they have been since the Spanish reintroduced them to the Americas. 


Needed Changes:

1.     Allow the Dept. of the Interior to sell excess horse.  If they are not adopted, sell them.  This will increase the funding available to manage the horses on the range.

2.     Allow horse processing plants to operate in the U.S.  At the present time large numbers of horses are being shipped to Mexico for slaughter.  It would be more humane to operate horse processing plant in the U.S. 

3.     Create wild horse reserves in the plains states.  The horse evolved on grasslands, not the arid deserts and forests of the west.  Wild horses would be closer to major population centers, allowing more people to view them.  Well-chosen reserves would allow water trapping instead of helicopter gathers.  More cost effective and humane.

4.     Then all wild horses could be removed from the Great Basin and surrounding Hi Desert to be placed in their natural habitat, grasslands. Managing the wild horses would be more economical.  It would be easier for people to view the horses.  A true win win situation!

These four simple steps make good Horse Sense for wild horses.  We would have healthy wild horses.  The ecosystem they live in would remain health.  More people would be able to view the wild horses.  The cost of the program would be reduced.  It is a viable solution for the wild horses in the U.S.



Copyright © 2016-2019 Gerald Miller. All Rights Reserved.

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