“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Monday, October 5, 2009

AQHA Breeder, Sanctuary Saint, Producer of Several Hundred Foals a Year, Rescue Operator Who Really Cares, etc……………

It would seem these titles are being used to describe several different people. They are not. It would seem to refer to the sides of the recent debate raging in the horse industry. It is not.
I was in the horse industry in 1988. It was the back end of the decade of a long blood bath of cheap horses, combined with a crappy economy, I referred to in the Market Opinion Piece which caused so much fervor.
I am trying to make several points today. The horse problems now are in no way a new thing. Ranchers, trainers, and breeders are not the only ones getting paid for producing too many horses, while other horses have a problem finding homes. This phenomenon didn’t just occur in the last 5 years. The animal rights community has been talking in crossed points for many years. Maybe we’ll turn up another idea or so on the way.
This is an article originally printed in the New York Times about the “other” Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota in 1988. I didn’t write it. I am only guilty of copy and paste.
Born free, then captured by lasso and caged in pens, some 150 wild horses have been released to gallop along the rocky ridges and steep canyons of the Black Hills, safe from the rope and the rifle.
This wild horse sanctuary, an 8,300-acre range at Hell's Canyon about 10 miles southwest of here, was dedicated today as the first such preserve sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management. The horses, some held in pens, for years, had been passed over in the Federal program for adopting horses, chiefly because they were too old to be tamed.
''This is essentially an old-age home for wild horses,'' said Donald H. Heinze, wild horse specialist for the Bureau. ''They can roam freely here and live out the rest of their lives.''
In a scene that could have been taken from a drawing in a history book, except for the absence of the Sioux Indian, the horses race along the rugged terrain of the high plains, rest in the shadow of Ponderosa pine, drink from the waters of the Cheyenne River, and feed on the grassy cover of the upland prairie, amid the deer, elk, sharp tail grouse and wild turkeys.
Boredom in Feed Lots: “'It wasn't fair to condemn these horses to a life of boredom in feed lots,'' said Dayton O. Hyde, who runs the entire range.
More than 300 South Dakotans turned out for today's opening ceremony, which featured appearances by Robert Burford, head of the Land Bureau, and Gov. George Mickelson.
The motley, mixed-breed horses, with shaggy manes and untrimmed tails, strike poses that are ruggedly beautiful. These horses will be later referred to as “having the longest and purest of bloodlines” on Cheyenne Canyon websites offering mustang foals for sale. But these wild horses, commonly called mustangs, have not been manicured in the style of a domestic horse. ''These wild horses - they'd rather die than let you groom them,'' said Mr. Hyde, a 62-year-old rancher who is an environmental writer.
Plan to Reduce Surplus: The sanctuary grew out of the Government's plan to reduce what it considers a surplus of wild horses on public land throughout the West. Cattle ranchers contend that wild horses are overgrazing these lands and depleting food for livestock. About 43,000 wild horses roam the West, a figure the Bureau wants to trim by about 12,000 through adoptions and resettlement in sanctuaries.
About 7,000 wild horses are now being held in a feed lot in Bloomfield, Neb., under conditions that animal rights groups have condemned as deplorable. It is some of these horses that the Bureau intends to release on private lands, like the former cattle ranch recently purchased by Mr. Hyde's nonprofit foundation, the Institute of Range and American Mustang. About 400 horses have also been released about 100 miles east of here, on a range called Mustang Meadow, part of the same sanctuary. Mr. Hyde's foundation receives $1 a day per animal from the bureau. Let’s do the math on that. Mr. Hyde is going to receive $1.00 a day for 550 horses for three years. $550.00 x 365 days a year x 3 years = $602,250.00. This breaks down to roughly $72.50 an acre or $24.10 an acre per year or $365.00 per year per animal unit, pretty handsome sum for custom year around care in 1988. He also retained possession of said livestock and their produce. In all other custom grazing/care/feeding arrangements title of the livestock and the income from the sale of their produce remains with original owner.
The population of wild horses grew rapidly after 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, which forbids harming the animals. The law was the culmination of an anti-cruelty drive by Velma Johnston, a Nevada rancher called ''Wild Horse Annie,'' who was outraged by the capture of wild horses by ''Mustangers'' who sold them to slaughterhouses.
Roundups in Early 1970's: Since Government wranglers began rounding up the animals in the early 1970's, more than 80,000 stallions, mares and burros have been adopted and taken to homes throughout the country. The horses cost $125; the burros cost $75. In the near future the Cheyenne Canyon mustang foals will cost much more than that and will compete for the same market niche. To his credit, it seems Mr. Hyde has been much better at marketing than the BLM over the past 21 years.
Humane groups, who charge that the Bureau is unduly influenced by cattle interests, have long called for wild horse sanctuaries. But they have criticized the selection of the South Dakota sites, where they say vicious winter winds will kill scores of horses.
''The blizzards that kill livestock will also kill the horses,'' said Elizabeth Pelletier, executive director of the Wild Horse Alliance, based in northern California. See what I mean about the “crossed points” thing??? Even “back then” they couldn’t figure out which side of the fence to talk from.
Federal subsidies for the Black Hills sanctuary will end in three years, when Mr. Hyde's group takes responsibility for raising funds. The Foundation intends to raise the cash chiefly through tourism; visitors will pay a fee to be driven among the horses to take pictures. Mr. Hyde also plans to build a museum that would chronicle the history and importance of the horse to American and Indian cultures
''Look at that,'' marveled Mr. Hyde, pointing to a horse racing freely across the upland prairie, with the setting sun casting an amber glow across the sandstone ridge in the distance. ''That's what it looked like 300 years ago.''

A version of this article appeared in print on Thursday, October 6, 1988, on section a, page 18, of the New York edition.

He has funded and grown the sanctuary in various ways. I don’t begrudge anyone making a living or making a profit. The movie deals, the tourist dollars, the tax exempt donation, raising and selling APHA and AQHA foals or horses, are not a problem for me.
Here’s my problem with the whole program. Mr. Hyde and Susan Watts state in their promotional websites they obtained their first mustang stallion in 1994 and mention at least three different stallions producing foals for them. This year, 2009, is the last year you will be able to buy a piece of the American west in the form of a mustang foal due to the changing climate of the horse market. The site also has a page for “birth control” programs which I did not read. I didn’t care enough to read it. After hearing for 5 or 6 years about the stupid ******* breeders/ranchers pumping out foals when there is no market, reading about Mr. Hyde and Ms. Watts recently implementing birth control in their mustang herd just didn’t impress me. Unless I am mistaken, the BLM had an ongoing problem of no market for mustangs all during the time Mr. Hyde and Ms. Watts were raising them. (Or all during the 21 years spanning 1988 until 2009.) That’s what the research I read while doing the 41 Mustangs blog would have us believe. Like any other savvy horse business people, Cheyenne Canyon Quarter Horses and Paints/Wild Horse Sanctuary used the boom time of the 90’s to make money on the mustang foals in the same manner as the rest of us “greedy” folks. It would seem the “responsible” approach would have been to “market” the overpopulation of mustangs from the BLM ranges to fill this niche--not breed more.
Crossed points again????
One last time I have no problem with the program, except the continued breeding of the mustangs that needed a sanctuary in the first place. http://wildmustangs.com/horseshelpingkid.html


I happen to share RH's opinion on breeding mustangs or any animal that is in a rescue or is gathered and put into "sanctuaries" due to an over population of them in their natural habitat. I did a quick search on "mustang breeders" and it was mind boggling the number that popped up. Here are just a couple

Something that really amazes me is the fact that they continue calling these animals "Mustangs" after generations of captivity! WTH? Mustang means wild horse and horses bred, born, and raised in domestic captivity are no longer wild horses.


  1. I'm probably very confused here, so bear with me. These folks operate a Sanctuary meant to control the population of the Mustangs. They breed and sell babies, and have since the arrival of the horses at their Sanctuary? They continued to do this even when other Mustangs weren't being adopted, even at low fees? AND they got paid for it?

  2. RH2, I don't think you are at all confused, you sumed it up pretty well. I myself am bumbfounded over them and all the other mustang breeders. I am shocked that our Gov. did not put a stipulation of no breeding of these animals on the "adoption" contract....Is there even a contract at all? And yes on top of all that they PAID them a rediculous sum of money to do all that! Uh-ha they paid competition to be in business so they would be unable to home the horses they gather..... The US gov. at it's best!

  3. They were only paid for the first three years. But by the end of 1991 they would have been paid a total of $602,250 plus still have title to 550 head of horses many of which would have been mature mares I assume. They have had a mustang stallion since 1994 and yes they have been raising mustang foals to sell.
    2009 is the last foal crop that will be available. But the BLM has had an ongoing problem with being able to place enough horses to keep them cleared out of "feedlots". Remember the 41 mustangs blog? I honestly believe part of the problems we are facing today is due to the 41 mustangs sold to kill in the early 2005.
    Our July 1 How does this make sense blog tells the story of Madeleine's Plan and how she would like to buy land enough to pension 30,000 BLM mustangs. I ran some basic numbers on how many ranch families and how much ag revenue this "plan" would remove from the local economies.