Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wild Horse, Wild Heart!

Animal Control picks up more than stray dogs and cats. Hall County AC in Gainesville, GA had a horse that they picked up that they considered dangerous. They planned on euthanzing her. She could not just go to someone who had little horse experience, for sure. I understand their dilemma. It seemed the only alternative. This mare was a Mustang. She was wild. She was captured by our government agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) who is supposed to be taking care of public lands. She had freedom since birth and lived in a herd as wild horses do. It is a symbol of the Wild West. 
A lone mustang who escaped the helicopters watches a Bureau of Land Management roundup in the Stone Cabin Valley in Nevada during the winter of 2012. (Dave Philipps)
How does a Mustang from the freedom of the Western United 
States end up Georgia Animal Control?
They get rounded up with helicopters and forced into small holding pens. They are not seeing humans as friends at all. 
Watch the video and see for yourself. You tax dollars at work.

I can only imagine the journey of Ellie Mae. She is a 1996 Mustang captured in Nevada, sold by the BLM and on a long road to dead ends until stepped in. 
Ellie Mae's brand shows her information  from BLM

When I first met Ellie Mae, she was in a stall at Chickopee Woods, a holding place for horses picked up by animal control. The officer explained why they considered euthanizing her. They had to get her off the road and wild horses are not cooperative like a domestic horse. You can't walk up to her, offer her a carrot and she come willingly. I am sure it was a 'rodeo' of sorts. I can see the danger of that capture, adrenalin rushing the horse and humans alike. Ellie Mae saw the capture again and resisted like her life depended on it.

 As we approached the stall, Ellie Mae became wide eyed and immediately stepped to the back of the stall to get away from her enemy, the human. To me it wasn't dangerous gesture, just a fear movement. That was October 2010.  We agreed to take her and keep her safe. We spent many hours patiently working with her. We were able to touch her but her heart was wild. She only wanted freedom. Why should we take that away from her? Why should we enslave this wild heart? 

If we had a sanctuary, we would keep her til death do us part, but keep her takes up room for another needy horse. For nearly 3 years, as she stayed safe with us, we tried to find a place out West to release her. Many calls and leads led nowhere. Then space in a  Sanctuary for wild animals became available. We already knew the great work they do. We visited our two adopted miniature horses they adopted for their petting zoo. It is called Tigers For Tomorrow. 

Sounds like a scary place to take a horse? Rest assured, they do not feed the horses to the tigers. It was my thought, too so we personally checked it out first! They care for every animal on the sanctuary with love. They had a pasture they were fencing and what better way to educate the public than with Wild Horses!

Ellie Mae and Ella enjoying their new home. 
The pasture at Tigers for Tomorrow was finally fenced. We recently took in another Mustang, Ella, from Trinity Equine Rescue. Ella is a little more domesticated then Ellie Mae. I put a halter on Ella and loaded her on the trailer. We coaxed Ellie Mae on the trailer by walking behind her and leaving her a way to get away from humans...that was the trailer. When she hopped on and I closed the door, a lump filled my throat and tears swelled in my eyes. I was so happy for her but so sad for me and for all the volunteers who knew and loved Ellie Mae. It is best for this wild hearted mare, she has freedom. It isn't the thousands of acres she once knew long ago but it is freedom. 

You are all welcome to visit our Mustangs and all the other wild animals at Tigers For Tomorrow located in Alabama. Meet the tigers, lions, bears and wolves who were bought as pets or had horrible lives in backyard zoos. 
Sue Steffens having a conversation with one of her beloved bears. 

Every animal in rescue has a story. Some are very brutal. Ellie Mae now has a good story. The past fear is in her heart but the past cruelty is gone forever. 

Thank you all for your compassion and continued support! 

At the top of our wish list is a 100 acre plus sanctuary so abused horses can live their lives in peace. Until then, we continue to help all the horses we can in every way we can. You are the biggest part of our wish list. You keep us going every day.

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