Temperatures are rising, we are sweltering and our wild horses look thirsty. We all love them, love seeing them and want to make them happy and comfortable. Please find the self-control to resist the temptation to put out water for wild horses at your home or business. We know you love them…. we know you care. But I promise you will destroy the very thing you love if you provide them with feed or water. If you have a home, you get there by a street and if you have a street, you most likely have neighbors. Streets are a dangerous place for wild horses and your neighbors may not share your love of seeing wild horses up close and personal. Wild horses in residential areas are a risk to children, personal property and cause dogs to bark.
One of the things that make wild horses look different from the majority of their domestic cousins is their condition, they are glowing with fitness and firm muscles. They look this way because they walk an average of 15 miles every single day.
Don’t feel bad because they don’t have water within a mile or two of where you see them. Wild horses have been surviving in the Nevada desert for as long as we can remember. They know all the little secret springs and water sources. Meeting other wild horses at these locations is an essential part of life in the wild. Young fillies meet stallions at the watering hole. Young stallions learn the rules and customs of the range and get introduced to other stallions who they later will join in the bachelor band. This is the equivalent of sending human sons off to college. There is a culture at the watering hole and we need to not interfere with their lives or make your back yard that wild horses gathering place.
I am not sure why it is so difficult for some people to leave the wild horses on their own. We fight hard to keep them in the wild and then we watch some people try to pamper them like pets. Many try to give them an apple or a carrot. They reach out and pet them, turning the beautiful animals into beggars. Wild horse advocates around the Reno, Dayton, Silver Springs, Fernley, Gardnerville and Minden area fight tirelessly both politically and physically to keep the wild horses in the wild. While most believe the government is our biggest problem, it is the people who love them the most that cause us a huge amount of work, as we try to educate people who want to argue and let us know they have a “special connection” with the local wild horses.
American’s have been protecting wildlife and wild horses for decades. But there is something just a little different about the wild horse from other animals. Perhaps because the horses have been so important to people for as long as we remember, we feel drawn to them with a special connection. At one time nearly everyone owned a horse for travel. They carried our soldiers, pulled our wagons and ore carts and were many young girls best friends growing up, certainly mine. But somehow when we feel connected to these wild horses we want them to know we are a friend. So we step forward and reach out to befriend them.
So as we step into the warm weather we remind you that when wild horses get comfortable around humans and homes, streets and traffic… they get hit by vehicles, they get complaints from people who don’t want to clean up after them or fear for their pets and children. One complaint call can result in wild or feral horses being removed. With over 50,000 wild horses currently being held by BLM they have very little chance of being adopted and a chance they will end up at a slaughter house in Mexico. We remind you once again to please resist the temptation to leave out water for wild horses.
Maria Marriott Photography By Mary Cioffi