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Horses and Water Wars

Posted on May 12, 2011 at 10:05 AM

                    Horses and Water Play


When I think of horses and water, my first thought is Chincoteague.  I’ve been there, watching the annual pony swim.  It’s not the same as in the famous book Misty of Chincoteague.  Times change, some for the better.  Horses in worse health or needing care are trucked over.  Watching the main herd swim you need binocs and a high vantage point to see over the vast crowds.

It’s easier to see them coming into the fair grounds or returning to Assateague.  Then you can see them close to the roadside, sometimes even blocking it.

They leap and buck in the bareback riding contest, foals go up for auction. Stallions keep their mares separate from other bands. I once saw twins:  yes, really twins.  Two matching pintos, older than the other foals and following the same mare.  


I think too of the horses I’ve ridden.  Some would stick their face up to their eyes in water to take a drink.  Some would flip it around with their head. Some would paw and try and roll: in spite of the presence of the rider.  Fun on a hot summer day.  Or a nuisance, if you had to clean up the mess.

Horses and Water Wars

Then I see these reports from the west and Nevada on the wild horses.  They want to specifically exclude the horses from the ‘wildlife’ provisions in the law and make it illegal for them to drink the water.  The sheer greed and absurdity leave me stunned.


How can they exclude horses from drinking?  Fence water off and you’ll fence off other ‘official’ ‘allowed’ wildlife as well.  Put up a sign saying:  water off limits to wild horses?  Last I checked horses can’t read.  And then there is the question of where they get the notion they have the right to keep any creature from drinking water, particularly on lands belonging to the whole nation, federal lands, not just land belonging to their state.


Amazing, how Chincoteague, VA can find room for wild horses of Assateauge on the tiny island and develop a booming tourist business. Yet all that land out west and they can’t spare a drop of water or land for a few hundred wild mustangs in a million acres.  Can’t find a way that all that potential:  the inspirational wild horses:  can turn a better tourist profit in a more ecologically friendly way than millions of cows and destructive mining.


I don’t know what astounds me more.  Their greed or complete lack of creativity.  I know what it’s like to struggle for money. To need it and not have it.  But to destroy so much for something so small:  we will always need money. But it can’t replace the air we breathe or the water we drink. It can't always pay for health, for the treatment of illness brought on by pollution.  It can’t replace the dreams that will be lost to so many just so the few can be rich.


As long as we have wild places, horses and wolves and wild cats and flowery meadows, we have places to dream.  To stop, think and get our priorities straight.  To come up with new and better ways to do things and new hopes to pursue for the good of all.  


Here is hoping the demands of the few don’t conquer and destroy those wild dreams for us all.

If you are interested in reading more about the bill to refuse Wild Horses water and want to act you can find out more at these off site links:


Me?  I've already signed the petition. I hope you will too.

Categories: Horses, Animals, Animal Protection

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