Listen Here! to an interview on KSFR Radio Cafe in Santa Fe between Mary-Charlotte and Donna Wells and Jackie Fleming on November 10th, 2011. They discuss the wild horse issue and Donna's film 'She Had Some Horses' which features the Cimarron Sky-Dog Ranch amongst others.
Also Listen to a January 2011 KSFR interview with Jackie Fleming and James Anaquad Kleinert about the Cimarron Sky-Dog Ranch and James' movie 'Wild Horses and Renegades'. The interview explores the whole Wild Horse issue in America. See the trailer for James' film here. (please note: some of the footage may be disturbing.)
But he and hundreds of thousand like him are gone now from this beautiful land, and for that reason alone I could not stop as I traveled over four hundred miles of Nevada roads. Something evil is still afoot in this land, and it has left its imprint everywhere. In all those miles of open, free country, the mark of evil is present in what is absent. The wild horses are missing from the land.
Michael Blake, ‘Twelve, The King.’
Although we have taken in a lot of horses since the Cimarron Sky-Dog Reserve was first founded in June, 2000, it wasn’t until 2007 that we shifted our focus to wild horses. Lulu, and her 2 week old baby, Blue, came to live with us in May of that year and it changed our mission completely. Lulu was rounded up from the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory, in northern New Mexico and since 2007 we have adopted several horses from both the Jicarilla and Jarita Mesa wild horse districts of New Mexico. Both of these territories are National Forest areas and so those adoptions were through the New Mexico Forest Service.
In 2010 we went to a BLM pen in Oklahoma and have since started adopting BLM mustangs from all over the West. Some were rounded up in Nevada and others came from Wyoming and Utah. We have a few horses that were in BLM ‘long-term holding’ pens, (horses deemed unadoptable by the BLM) and we also have horses that had been moved around on the adoption circuit for at least 2 to 4 years. A couple of our horses came from a Corrections Facility in Utah where they had had some handling by the prisoners and so they were halter broken and had even been ridden.
It is a delight to provide a home for these horses and be able to turn them loose at our reserve at Watrous. Sadly, there are over 40,000 horses waiting for adoption in BLM pens around the country and so the horses we have been able to adopt are just a tiny drop in the ocean of need. The wild horse situation in the United States is very bleak and sometimes it can be overwhelming watching the never ending round-ups without being able to do anything to help. It is when we watch our horses running free on the range that we can see what a difference our intervention can make, even for just a few, and it keeps us going. To read more on our views about the wild horse issue and the alternatives that are available, please go to our three part blog that covers this subject in detail. Part One, Part Two (round ups) and Part Three (birth control). We are also going to do a 'Mustang Ride down the Santa Fe Trail' in the fall of 2013 and there is more about the wild horse issue there too. Please read about our ride, our goals and the wild horse issue on our Mustang Ride page.
We at the Sky-Dog Ranch primarily focus our efforts on providing a home for as many mustangs as we can accomodate financially and with the land we have available. We want all our horses to live free, on the range and so we are limited by our land requirements. We are also careful not to over graze the land we have as we are as much into land conservation as we are into horses. The horses that come to live with us are permanent members of our herd. We do not adopt out our horses, we hope that the friends they make here will be 'forever' friends. After being rounded up from the wild and separated from their family bands and moved from BLM facility to facility, sometimes for years, we want our horses to finally be 'home,' when they get here. We do not breed our horses, we have no stallions, we prefer to take horses out of BLM pens and give them a forever home than to breed new ones. Having said that, for us to be able to help more horses, we do need to secure more land and that is our primary focus at this point. We have 1,100 acres up at Watrous, NM (just north of Las Vegas, NM) and we have been able to lease other land nearby, which has been wonderful. The land all around us is for sale and we are hoping to be able to buy more land for our horses or find investors who would like to buy it and conserve it and let our horses use it. We have made a promotional video about this beautiful and historic land (it sits along the old wagon ruts of the Santa Fe Trail).
There are many wild horse sanctuaries and advocacy groups out there and and so there are many allies in the mission to not only keep wild horses free on the range but also to provide a home for the one's who have already been captured. If you are looking for all the current information about the wild horse situation in the US, round-ups and news items and how you can help or petitions you can sign, please go to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign website. It is a good resource for all the current information to keep America's wild horses free.