Seven Tears Into the Sea
       Phantom Stallion Series

Terri Talks

Terri Farley
Wabi Sabi

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grass Roots Horses !


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Wild Horse Poet

Dear Readers,
Katie said I could share her poem with you & this is what inspired her:
I had just read your post on you blog titled, Death in the Desert. The picture and blog just sparked something in me. That video that was posted as well showed what happens to happy, healthy stallions and their families and it gave me inspiration to show what it's really like, or what I imagine it to be, from the stallion's view. The heartbreak he feels at seeing his mares and foals diminish, till there is only one left.
What the BLM is doing just kills me, and I'm sure many others, but for some reason, not the BLM workers.
I'm glad you like the poem, it's one of my favorite things I've done.

photo by Cat Kindsfather

Blind by Katie Bucklein

From the Mustang's View

Are you just blind?
Can't you see what you're doing to me?
To me and my family?

I remember just yesterday
Just yesterday I was playing with my foals
Nipping their hooves and racing through the wind with them
Just yesterday, I was happy and carefree.

Then, overnight, I smelled men
I rushed my family to our hiding place
Hoping no one would find us, “Stay silent” I say
We stayed there, shaking and scared.

We awoke to the sound of buzzing
A giant, silver bird flew through the sky
My family screamed and ran
The little foals falling behind, I tried to stay with them.

We were funneled through strange-looking grass
Grass that stood straight up
Grass that didn't blow in the breeze
My family grew tired, giving in to the silver bird.

We were forced, screaming into a silver tunnel
A silver tunnel with no way out
We were locked in, fearing for our lives
We huddled close, trying to remain comforted with our family.

Near the end of the journey in the silver tunnel
I began to smell horses
Horses that I didn't recognize
I puffed up my chest, ready to fight for my family.

We were funneled out of the tunnel
I raced around my family, trying to keep them together
I heard my foals whinnying for their mothers,
Their mothers were gone; I was left with my young foals

I am pushed into a crevice that leads to other horses
I see a few that look like my mares
I rush to them, eager to rejoin them
But I soon find out that these are other stallions, just like me.

I look around for my foals
They're gone from sight
I look for my mares
I can't see them anywhere, they are gone too.

I turn back to the stallions, looking for a friendly face
I see none
One lone black stallion in the back catches my eye
I move toward him.

“What is this place?” I ask the black stallion
He raises his head and looks at me
“The end. No way out.” He says.
I look around, scared that I will die here.

A short while later, I am pushed once again into a strange ring
I recognize my mares and rush to them
They whinny in greeting and we nuzzle each other
We can't find our foals anywhere.

Suddenly, a hot stick is pressed against me
I jump away and scream
I see a man, holding the stick and pressing it to a mare
I charge him but another man slaps me with a long stick.

My mares are collapsing
I feel my legs shaking but remain standing
I must remain strong for my mares
We are once again separated and pushed back into the strange rings.

I remain next to the black stallion,
Breathing deeply and glancing around at other stallions
I hear neighs that sound familiar
I raise my muzzle and neigh back, longing for my freedom.

I never once again see my foals
I catch glimpses of my mares
They are slowly diminishing
Until only a few are left.

I ask the black stallion again,
“What is happening to my family?”
The black stallion sighs and looks sadly around
“They are dying, just like mine.”

These words scare me
I want my family back
I want my freedom back,
I wish to be running through fields again, playing with my foals.

Won't someone help me?
I don't want to live like this
I have been here for many months,
Never again seeing my family.

I catch word of one of my mares still alive
I wish I could see her,
To see which mare is left
But I never do.

My foals are all gone
No longer living on this earth
What strange creature is doing this to us?
What have we done to them?

Someone save us
I want to run again,
To be out of this strange ring
With the strange food and strange customs.

I am alone
Alone with hundreds of stallions that I do not know
None are my sons, all grown up
What has happened to them?

I raise my muzzle once again,
Neighing loudly into the wind
Wishing to be out on the mountains again,
And then I collapse onto the ground, breathing deeply.

As I close my eyes one last time,
I feel the black stallion sniffing my neck
“Save my family if you see them.”
I whisper to him, one last time.

I take my last breath,
Exhausted and scared
Never understanding what is going on
Or why.

Are you just blind?
Can't you see what you’re doing to me?
To me and my family?

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Librarians' Wishes Are Horses

photos by Cat Kindsfather
Library budgets slashed! Librarians fired! Libraries closed!

As a mother, writer and reader, these decisions make me heart sore and angry.
One of the reasons I bought my house is because it's a short walk down a dirt road and across the street to the nearest library; it's now open 10 hours a week.

Although there's not enough money for libraries, America's wild horses are pursued in multi-million dollar helicopter roundups, then confined in dirty, deadly feedlot style corrals.

The price to catch and process ONE horse -- $3,000

Proposed budget increase to BLM's wild horse program -- $12 million

Price of buying new lands to put Western mustangs on-- $42 million dollars

Most taxpayers would rather see these funds spent on books, librarians, and the improved future of children.
Librarians: what could YOU do with a few wild horses worth of Federal funding?

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Virtual Visit to Your Horses

Hola Readers,
On March 28, mustang advocate Tara Kain took these photos at the wild horse holding pens in Fallon & she is allowing me to share with you.
Above, you'll see some phantom foals, whose births and deaths are not recognized by BLM until the foals are branded.

High spirits can get you hurt in crowded conditions, but these two mustangs have found a somewhat open spot for play.

This mustang's chest shows signs of the pigeon fever which BLM first said was 1) impossible this time of year 2) showing up at Fallon, but not worth treating.
What will that do to wild horses' chances of being returned to the range or transferred to other BLM facilities? And if BLM deemed these same horses healthy when they came in off the range AND say the time of year AND soil conditions aren't right to transmit the disease at the Indian Lakes facility, where did it come from? Some are suggesting horses were infected in the trucks of their captors.
The Cattoor family website claims the company has "humanely" rounded up 150,000 wild horses, burros and wild cattle. Horse experts have mused that one of the main symptoms of Pigeon Fever, seeping pus, might remain behind in even a washed trailer. If it wasn't completely disinfected, they tell me, it could become a crucible of contamination.
I know some of my readers are experienced with Pigeon Fever. What do you think?

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Phantom foals

photo used by permission of Cat Kindsfather

Three things to think about:
1) Newborn horses like the dun foal above -- trying to rise and nurse despite a broken leg suffered in a corral crowded with adult horses -- do not exist in the world of BLM until they are branded.

2) Only one vet is under contract to care for the thousands of mustangs in BOTH the Fallon and Palomino Valley facilities.

3) Despite promises to welcome the public at wild horse gathers and holding pens, program manager Don Glenn allows NO humane observers at the wild horse facilities except "by appointment"

If you object, please sign this petition to President Obama, asking for

an immediate moratorium on wild horse roundups

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Let 'em Run

Dear Readers,
The captive wild horse above is the reason that I've barely talked with you since biologist Craig Downer and I returned from BLM's Fallon corrals, Sunday, then searched out remnants of the wild herds of the Calico range on Monday.
Every spare hour since then, we've worked toward this:


When photographer Cat Kindsfather enlarged this photo, she realized that the seepage from this mustang's awful wound had pulsed all the way down to his hoof.
This callous cruelty cannot be allowed to continue.


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Thursday, February 25, 2010


Rachel Yoder - Artist

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mustangs in Misery

Dear Readers,
What did you do on Saturday? Did you have breakfast in your pjs? Hang out with your friends? Sleep in a warm house?
On Saturday, I talked with Senator Harry Reid about BLM's treatment of our wild horses.
Since then, at least six more wild horses have died at BLM's modern state of the art facility.

A two-year-old filly died after sustaining a serious spinal injury
A 10-year-old mare was found dead of "foaling complications." Her full-term foal was not properly positioned in the birth canal, and they both died.
A four-year-old filly was euthanized due to "poor condition"
A 25 year old stallion was put down due to poor condition
Two 20-year-old mares were put down because they never recovered from the stress of the capture

You can read the government account of all that's happened to the wild horses since they came into contact with BLM here:

Calico Horses

I warn you, it is not pretty.
It is also a sickening use of my tax dollars.
Wind and rain are predicted for Fallon, after snowstorms and still there's no shelter for the horses, only a few plywood panels on one side of the hospital pens.

Beset by thoughts about greed,

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why is BLM so fussy?

photo by Deniz Bolbol shows how close choppers get to wild horses

The BLM announced a strict new visitation policy to the Fallon wild horse facility.
Ten people each week, on Sunday for two hours will be allowed to view the horses. This INCLUDES humane observers.
read more at In Defense of Animals'blog

Their excuse? BLM staff has lots of work to do, branding, vaccinating, etc.
This excuse concerns me because I've watched these tasks go on at the Palomino Valley holding pens and not only didn't I interfere, but no one huffed around saying, "I can't work when you're looking at me, Terri."
In fact, no one seemed to notice I was even there.
So why is BLM being so fussy now?

photo by Mark Terrell (watch for more!)

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Range runners in captivity

Dear Readers,
I just returned from the Fallon facility and learned that a mass gelding of mustangs begins on Monday. I haven't transcribed my notes yet but when I asked why the "tours" will end (they will resume on selected Sundays), Susie Stokke, the BLM staffer leading us around said "we have work to do" and verified that they would be gelding about 900 stallions and colts old enough to be weaned.
It's going to be an awful, bloody business and it's made worse by the cage.
I've seen these used to contain horses for vaccinations and freeze branding, but missed the fact that the metal cage can be turned and rotated so the gelding can be performed through the bars.
Stokke verified that every male horse will be gelded. It's standard procedure, she said, like neutering cats, so that there won't be "indiscriminate breeding" by adopted horses.
I'll write more later, and share photos from Mark Terrell, an amazing wild horse photographer who accompanied me, but this issue has a time element, so I've contacted In Defense of Animals and the Cloud Foundation for help. I've also heard from Holly Hazard of the Humane Society of the United States.

If there's any chance that the Calico horses will be preserved as a heritage herd -- and I saw once more the unique characteristics of these horses which made them the model for the fictional Phantom's herd. One smoky dun with dread-locked mane just stole my heart, but then so did a fuzzy bay baby and a majestic Medicine Hat stallion who carried himself like royalty in exile.
If these male horses are all castrated, there's no do-over. The gene pool for the Calico Mountain horses will have been reduced to the few horses BLM left on the range, and though they may be hardy survivors, nothing will ever be the same.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Captured Calico Wild Horses Denied Shelter from Storms

Captured Calico Wild Horses Denied Windbreaks

BLM’s double-standards leave nearly 1000 captured mustangs in the cold

Fallon, NV (January 19, 2010)— 956 wild American mustangs rounded up off public land by helicopters in the past two weeks now stand in a feedlot-style Bureau of Land Management (BLM) contracted holding facility outside of Fallon, Nevada on private land. The new Fallon facility is not equipped with shelter, windbreaks or protection of any kind for the horses. High winds, rain and snow are expected to continue through the end of the week. In Calico, herds can move to sheltered canyons for protection from the harsh winter weather. Yet, in Fallon, they are deprived of adequate protection despite recommendations from wild horse advocates. This is in direct opposition to BLM’s own standards.

“I’m confused by the double standard. Before members of the public are allowed to adopt a wild horse from BLM we must prove we have adequate shelter. Why doesn’t BLM have to meet the same standards?” asks Ann Evans, adopter of three mustangs.

Yesterday, members of the public reported an inhumane lack of windbreaks. No apparent effort has been made to tie canvas tarps on fences to block the howling wind and the anticipated driving snow. On Friday January 15, advocates asked local Nevada BLM staff, Directors and top-level Department of Interior (DOI) under-secretaries to intervene on behalf of the horses by creating wind blocks.

"Those that care about the welfare of the wild horses or burros are asking for minimal protection for these vulnerable animals. Wild horse families are being ripped out of their natural environment where they can take care of themselves, separated from their family members and incarcerated on a windswept plain outside Fallon where they have no ability to protect themselves from the elements. BLM then tells the public their actions are for the good of the animals,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation (named for the famous wild horse Kathrens has documented for the PBS/Nature series)

The DOI and BLM responded that at the just constructed Fallon facility “weather is not that extreme to require wind breaks for healthy horses. . . they do not require protection from the elements to maintain good health. . . .there is nothing to be concerned about from an animal well-being standpoint.” Thus, no actions to protect the captured horses have taken place, not even for foals or sick horses. Advocates contend that the horses are more prone to strangles (equine distemper) due to the lack of adequate protection.

“When these horses were rounded up, some where limping and wet with sweat. They are now terribly traumatized, depressed and confused. Their immune systems are compromised, making them more vulnerable to illness, like strangles (equine distemper) and death,” explains Craig Downer, wildlife ecologist, third generation Nevada native, and witness to the Calico roundup.

“BLM continually tells the public and the media that the wild horses are starving and must be removed from the range. Yet, the BLM provides them with no shelter in dangerous weather conditions where the horses will burn fat reserves attempting to keep warm. No reputable rescue would place any horses in a situation like Fallon,” stated Hilary Wood, President and Founder of Front Range Equine Rescue..

When asked about the lack of windbreaks the BLM indicated that the contractor who built the facility was not asked to provide any shelters or windbreaks. BLM zeroed out a portion of the Dishpan Butte wild horse herd in Wyoming solely on the basis that the wild horses did not have cover according to BLM Program Chief Don Glenn.

“We owe so much to these mustangs—it’s a dishonor that our government does not provide wind protection from the harsh elements,” said Elyse Gardner, humane observer, Calico and Pryor Mountains roundups
The Cloud Foundation and the public call on Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, to stop the Calico roundup and take immediate action against the cruelty and mismanagement of the BLM's wild horse and burro program. Canvas tarps are affordable and readily available at various outlets in the Reno/Fallon area.


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Friday, January 01, 2010

Ripped from the Range

Frozen sweat, confused eyes, shattered families, suffering in secret
BLM's 2010 Gifts to the Wild Horses of the Calico range

NYTimes photo

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