Wild Horse Roundup in Reno, Nevada

English: Bureau of Land Management logo

Two days ago while driving around town, I saw an astounding sight. A helicopter was swooping and circling around a vacant field that is a well-known spot for viewing wild horses.  My curiosity was piqued and Paul and I drove over to investigate what was going on. We saw some bystanders, a neighbor lady and two guys on bicycles, and pulled over to ask them about it. Apparently, this was a federal Bureau of Land Management roundup of the wild horses. The astounding part about it was that there were a group of people out among the herd of wild horses.

The neighbor lady pointed out to the middle of the field and told us that there was a trap out there for the horses, but these people (were they PETA? We couldn’t tell, maybe they were just protective Reno citizens, or wild horse activists) were preventing them from getting put in the corral. Well, it wasn’t our fight, so we drove off, but I couldn’t help feel sorry for the horses. I really don’t know what the issues are, so it’s hard for me to take one side or the other.

The federal Bureau of Land Management has the responsibility of looking after the horses. After many such roundups

Horses in my Dreams #4

they auction off the horses. I wondered just how many horses actually get auctioned off to loving homes, or do the leftover horses get put down? They claim they wouldn’t euthanize a healthy horse, nor do they get shipped off to slaughterhouses in Canada, or Mexico. But, who really knows? I’m somewhat worried since President Obama lifted the ban on horse slaughter late last year. I’ll tell you this, I’m an American citizen, born and raised, and I have never seen horse meat on the menu of any restaurant in America that I have been to. Are they shipping our wild horses in tin cans to China, or Europe, as some have suggested?

Horse meat just does not appeal to me. Horses are pets, they are majestic and beautiful creatures, and native to this land. They helped establish the west, for heaven’s sake.

A friend of mine asked: “Well why not? It’s an animal isn’t it?”

I replied: “That’s true, but you don’t see cows and pigs entered in Olympic events do you?” What could she do, but agree with me. Aside from Cowboys riding bulls in the Reno Rodeo, no bull was ever graded on its superior ability to perform dressage.

Horse and Rider

I am against animal cruelty, and it is cruel to see the poor, pitiful creatures starve. It is a slow agonizing death. They also roam the streets at all hours of the day and night, and often get hit by drivers. That is a tragedy. They should be protected and kept off the streets. I just don’t know what a good solution would be.

I love our northern Nevada wild horses. The herds this year look healthy and strong, with glossy coats. The foals are small, but nimble and mighty. They are precious to our culture and iconic symbols of the west.

That’s what I have to say. What do you think? Can humankind ever find a way to live peaceably with the animal kingdom?

Check out these great articles on the wild horse issue: