Because of cooler nights and shortening hours of daylight, wild horses are starting to come down to the valleys and crossing roadways again.
In spite of the drought, they look healthy and fit. Even the rare mountain zebras in southern Africa follow this ritual even though the temperature differential is much less than it is here. It’s an Equine thing written into their genetic code.
Apples are not good for wild horses, and they generally snub them.
When people put out apples, the horses don’t find them for a while, and the apples will rot causing colic in horses and often death. So please don’t put apples out for them. Feeding as most people know is illegal. The law is actually there to protect the horses.
Once habituated to humans it’s only a matter of time before they become nuisances and are removed.
The Nevada Department of Agriculture has still not signed a cooperative agreement with the national American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign/Return to Freedom, to manage the Virginia Range horses.
For this reason, no birth controlling was done over the winter or thus far this year. The best time to apply birth control is when a mare is close to full-term with a foal.
After the foal is born, horses can conceive within a week. It is irresponsible and inhumane not to manage these horses. If the wild horse groups can not afford to purchase the horses removed, NDA can sell them at auctions, where they are often bought by people who then send them to slaughter for profit.
Local wild horse advocacy groups are running out of funding to care for, and places to put horses that the Nevada Department of Agriculture has and will remove. Managing the horses on the range is not only more humane, it is also a lot cheaper. What people often don’t understand is that horses eat a lot of things in addition to grass and in doing so they help in fire suppression.
On Saturday, a free all-day fundraiser will be held in Virginia City at the Silverland Inn and Suites for the purpose of taking care of the horses already removed from the open range. With the drought and haying scaled back, hay prices will continue to rise. Funds raised at this event will go to the nonprofit wild horse organizations who are caring for these horses.
Please try to attend this event, not only will it raise money to take care of the wild ones, but it will be a fun event as well.
Dorothy Nylen is a Dayton resident. She is a of Wild Horse Preservation League can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org