The photo we have shared comes from the link above and shows park staff using outriders to capture the wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park back in 1954. This shows us that horse captures in TRNP are nothing new. They have been capturing the horses since they realized they were fenced into the park (oops!)
A few things to remember:
- This herd of horses is managed by the National Park Service (NPS) NOT the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
- Being managed by the NPS means that they are NOT protected under the Wild Horse & Burro Act.
- This herd size has been between 120 to the current 180 horses since we started documenting this herd in 2016.
- People like to say that the park must cull “a few” horses every year. We do not know about you, but to us, a “few” by definition is a small number. Taking over 120 horses and ONLY leaving 8, over the course of 4 years, in a herd of horses this size is NOT a “few”.
In 1978, the park hired cowboys to round up the horses. They reportedly ran the horses in 105-degree heat, leading to the death of seven horses. In 1986, the park used 25 outriders along with 2 helicopters to capture 60 horses. 4 died during the cruel round up practices. Through 2013, the NPS was capturing horses and selling them at local livestock auctions. Countless horses knowingly left the auctions and went to slaughter.
In 2015, the TRNP park management started using what they called “low stress methods” to round up the horses. The Park started targeting horses between the ages of 4 months old to 3 years old. The thought process was that the younger horses would be (1) easier to capture using their new sedation methods and (2) are easier to sell because of their age and appeal.
This “low stress” method shows growth on behalf of the NPS.
We believe the majority of these horses go to good homes and are grateful to the people who make sacrifices to welcome these horses into their lives. It is important to note that NO ONE from the National Park Service is vetting the new owners of these horses, and the National Park Service NEVER follows up with the owners to make sure the horse is being properly cared for. At least once or twice a year since we have been documenting these horses, we will see a post come across our newsfeed asking for help for one of the former TRNP horses who need a NEW “forever home”. Because there is no proper vetting or follow up, we do not believe that anyone can say with certainty that some of the TRNP horses have NOT ended up still going to slaughter since 2015.
Again, we will say that we understand that under the current management practices of TRNP, the park does have to cull the horses. What we do not agree with and cannot support is taking EVERY horse between the age of 4 months and 3 years old that they could capture. We also believe that the NPS should follow their own guidelines and use science and genetics when they are capturing horses to ensure the health and longevity of this herd for future generations.
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates refuses to nod our head in agreement with the park like other groups and their followers who proclaim: “We do not question the park.” BECAUSE “The Park knows what it is doing.” The photo attached to this link show the horses being rounded up in 1954 by NPS personnel. We believe the park has shown us for over 67 years now that it DOES NOT know what it is doing with respect to the health and wellbeing of the wild horses entrusted in their care.
With the help of our followers and supporters, we have been able to raise awareness about this herd of horses that many people never knew existed and the unacceptable way they continue to be managed.
We have also learned from our past “mistakes” of waiting until captures start to try to bring about the much-needed change that this herd deserves. Please understand that our biggest critics are the ones who are LOSING MONEY because we have had captures canceled and/or postponed for 2 years now. These are the organizations and their followers who are STILL making money off the sale of these horses. They make money by selling you fabricated pedigrees that contain nothing more than a guess of older generation paternity. They and their followers also make money when they direct you to one of their ”trainers” to help break and train your horse. Having only 4 TRNP horses captured in the last two years has greatly hurt these businesses who admittedly do not care about the longevity or genetics of this herd. It has made me sick for years that as soon as a foal is born, there is someone talking about how much they are looking forward to them being captured so they can buy them. Many will tell you they can’t wait to get their hands on Boomer, as they hope he is captured in 2022! To them, these horses are nothing more than “things” that can be owned. The historical significance or genetic diversity of this herd means nothing to them, and their past actions have proved that time and time again.
We have spent this year working with American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), who has done their own research into our concerns. They have been a great support to us as we started this nonprofit and have been a great source of information as they have been advocating for wild horses all across the US for YEARS!
AWHC referred us to their law firm who we have paid to research the concerns we have regarding the management of this herd. Their research is complete. We have formally retained their services. Last week we worked with them to formulate a plan that is being implemented as we speak.
We are confident that with your help our nonprofit organization can help bring about much needed change in the management of this herd. We have about 4 months before the park begins capturing the horses again. We plan to make the most of this time, but we need your help! ONCE THE CAPTURES BEGIN, IT WILL BE TOO LATE!!!!
We have many different ways that you can help support us that posted throughout our website. For your convenience, we will list ways we have come up that you can help support our advocacy efforts at the end of this blog. We truly cannot do this without you! We appreciate your support and are thankful for those of you that love the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park as much as we do!
Thank you again for your support! Please feel free to email or message us with any questions or concerns. We also appreciate those of you who have offered to help us! We will always need help and welcome you and your suggestions! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We know that this time of the year there are many deserving nonprofits that are asking for your help. We sincerely appreciate any help that you can give to us to support our advocacy efforts. We also want to warn you to not be afraid to ask the nonprofits you are supporting what they are doing with your donation. We have been as transparent as we can be with our plans and will continue to share new developments as we get the news.
Here’s how you can help:
We have T-shirts and 2022 calendars available that feature the wild horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND. The merchandise has been paid for us from a donor so that 100% of your purchase goes directly to our advocacy efforts! https://chwha.org/?page_id=85
We have also been gifted merchandise and have created unique packages that can help you give great holiday gifts that feature the amazing horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND while supporting our advocacy efforts! Again, the expense of the merchandise has been paid for so that 100% of your donation goes to support our advocacy efforts! https://chwha.org/give-the-gift-of-chwha/
Make Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates your Amazon SMILE choice! https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepage/ref=smi_chpf_redirect?ie=UTF8&ein=86-1262476&ref_=smi_ext_ch_86-1262476_cl&fbclid=IwAR1iKA-OoVS5Fi5UX1hqkvTD_KVF6mAAtOn1eFOi5d6WhlcC_tVzXGW9HoU
Make a direct donation to Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates! We have added quick donation buttons starting at $5 on the homepage our website! http://www.chwha.org
Donate to our Go Fund Me Campaign! https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-chasing-horses-advocacy-efforts?member=15293411&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer
We have been certified and verified as a nonprofit through Paypal! You can donate to us through Paypal here: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=YM4YWW5D4CRRY&fbclid=IwAR05vEvFkOq4eiOrT6Ufm4WlRCYclSli-k6Uu5_mxKHwoJoS57dFRnsekBY
Make a donation to Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates on Giving Tuesday this year! FACEBOOK WILL BE MATCHING YOUR DONATION!!!! https://www.facebook.com/donate/202257925418456/
Mail in your check or money order donation to:
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates
P.O. Box 3562
Dickinson, ND 58602
Chasing Horses Wild Horse Advocates is a 501 (c )3 organization. We promise that 100% of your donation will go to fight to make sure that wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park continue to be represented with as much of the historical and genetic diversity as they can with what remains.