“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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Legally it's a Sanctuary, Sadly it's no refuge....

A short while ago RH1 wrote a couple of pieces about mustang sanctuaries and feral horse breeders.
Reading about Karen Sussman and her so called Wild Mustang Sanctuary really bothered me! I am always bothered when people are scammed and animals suffer.
It obviously hit home for other readers as well. While there were very few comments on the actual blog I did get some emails backing up what RH1 had written for us and adding their own personal experiences as well. I asked permission to post parts of these emails for you all to read. I have checked credentials on the senders and yes I do know their full names and actually looked up addresses on a people finder site just to be sure they were actually pretty local to the area. No, I will not be sharing the names of these people. Sorry, but these folks need to be protected from some of the more crazy fanatics who support the existence of feral horses and the people who breed them. You are just going to have to trust me that the information has been checked and these people have seen Sussman’s place in person.

This is in regard to the blog about the “wild” horse sanctuary at Lantry, SD. Having been past this hell-hole for horses, I wouldn't wish that life on the sorriest, nastiest horse I've ever owned. Just this past week I witnessed what appeared to be a yearling stumbling along, too weak to walk normally, trying to get to a dam for a drink. Certainly no sanctuary for that one. The place is a total scam to bilk money out of the ignorant to support Sussman's “cause” There are horses whose feet are so terrible that they can no longer stand or walk. Not a sanctuary for them either.

Scenario: a stallion (uncut gelding) was DOWN because his feet were so long he could no longer stand......

She has been heard saying it was just so difficult to handle these stallions that the circumstances hadn't been such that she could have any trimming done.

Okay, if she can't handle them at all (no facilities, period, nor is she even a pimple on a horseman's hiney) and she is too ignorant and unwilling to have them to where they can be worked with, she has no right to be in charge of their destiny. Am I wrong?

The last Monday in Sept. as I went by this paradise for the inbred, the ground was as bare as an arena, the trees were pruned as high as they can reach, and these "wild" horses (over 400+ head of them in two big lots) were standing around the gate like a bunch of gentle cows waiting for the tractor to bring out the round bales.
She's doing a study all right. In how to scam the unwary and the ignorant out of bookoo bucks to support her and her feral horses. It's a tragedy no matter how you look at it.
Sorry for rambling on like this, but something about this situation really ruffles my feathers.

As to that place at Lantry, it's on the Reservation, so don't know if the laws apply there as they might other places. Not aware of any laws, county-wise in west river S.D. that would apply either. An investigation would definitely be in order though. It definitely has the smell of another 3 Strikes disaster.
I went to Karen Sussman’s web site - ISPMB.org (international society for the protection of mustangs and burros) to have a look around. After reading others research and first hand accounts of this so called Sanctuary I was even more annoyed with this horse hoarding woman than ever!
She has listed “10 ways to help” among her other silliness and I just had to share my thoughts on her advice...... My comments are in red.

“10 ways to help” ( From ISPMB website by Karen Sussman)

1) Support animal-friendly legislation
-The ISPMB maintains a regular list of important animal-related legislation on our website at: www.ispmb.org/voteforanimals . Our website is a tool that allows you to express your support for animal friendly legislation to the key decision-makers, as well as pass the word along to friends, family and co-workers
Hmmm The website listed was not to helpful , I went to it and it says “coming soon” http://www.ispmb.org/index.phpoption=com_content&id=82 .
So much for viewing “important animal legislation” on their website.
2) Discourage the breeding of animals, which results in abuse, abandonment and misery to millions
-Each year over 100,000 horses in the US are brutally shipped across borders to Canada and Mexico and slaughtered for their meat. Both the transport and the slaughter methods are horribly inhumane.
-Mass breeding of horses for racing, showing and other commercial purposes is the leading cause of this overpopulation, which leads to so much suffering.
-The problem is not limited to horses. Dogs, cats and many other companion animals are killed in mass numbers because of overpopulation.
-Please consider adopting your next friend from a trusted rescue facility.
“Discourage the breeding of animals, which results in abuse, abandonment and misery to millions”
Karen, you give that advice while allowing your feral horses to continue reproducing. You don’t see the hypocrisy here? Perhaps your hoard...oops I mean herd is not considered abandoned since they are held captive on your property. However, isn’t the lack of care and upkeep and the over population a form of abandonment and definitely an abuse to these poor animals?!
(3) Do not support the exploitation of animals for entertainment.
-Circuses, zoos, race-tracks…these are just examples of establishments that cruelly exploit animals for human entertainment. You may not think about it when watching elephants perform in a circus ring, but the stories of cruelties committed against these and other “entertainment” animals to ensure docile behaviour is well documented.
I agree don’t support the hypocrisy, abuse, and hoarding behaviors of this “sanctuary” either!
If you go to this link
on the same website as this list of “10 ways to help” you can see Karen’s price list for tourists to come view her feral, inbred, over crowded herd for entertainments sake.
Actually I don’t suppose that ends up being very entertaining but it’s the thought that counts right?
(4) Take a humane approach to your diet (your health will benefit too!)
-Factory farming, contaminated meats and other dangerous and harmful circumstances have become part of our mainstream diet. Choose the foods you put into your body carefully. As a general rule, the more humane the treatment of any animals we may choose to consume, the safer it is to eat. Locally raised meats are best as the chances of horrific experiences during transport are minimized. Also look for labels specifying that the company is dedicated to humane treatment of its animals and refrains from using antibiotics on its livestock.
-Of course, eating a vegetarian or vegan diet is an option for many people. Even sticking with “mostly” a vegetarian or vegan diet can help ensure that you are not inflicting undue harm on animals in your daily life
Can we say PETA.?....
But seriously, I dislike factory farming a great deal! Karen do you not understand that it is sanctuaries like yours that have helped to create the factory / confinement farms? Don’t even get me stared on the host of problems it would cause if even half of the US became Vegans......... You seriously need a more balanced education Ms. Sussman ! For every action there is a reaction. Until you learn some real facts then you are doing far more harm than good to those horses and the people you give your hypocritical advice to!
(5) Respect the wildlife around you.
-Depending upon where you live, you may encounter a variety of wildlife, from spiders to snakes to coyotes to mountain lions. Remember that these animals have a place on the land just as we do. They too are struggling to survive in a heavily commercialized world.
Respect the wild life around you? In what way is crowding out the wild life by decimating over 600 acres of land with the over production of these horses protecting the wild life around you Ms. Sussman? Are you not calling your feral horses wild mustangs? In what way are you respecting them as “wildlife”? Hand feeding just enough hay to barely keep them alive? Putting them in an area too small to roam to keep their own feet worn properly, neglecting foot care to the point they are down and suffering??? WTH kind of respect is that?!
(6) Take an earth-friendly approach to living.
-There are many ways to live more gently on the earth. Hybrid cars can greatly improve fuel efficiency (though mileage may vary – always do your research). Many cities have great public transportation systems – get to know yours, or better yet, bicycle or walk to your destination if possible.
-Re-using and recycling diligently are also very beneficial. If there is anyone working in your home on a regular basis, make sure they are aware of your recycling policies. Your impact does not have to be limited to your home. For example, if you work in an office that does not supply recycle bins to each employee, consider contacting your human resources department and requesting that a recycling program be put into place immediately
Another earth friendly approach would be to get an education on what an acre of land can support and stop over crowding it until it is baron and can’t support anything at all!
7) Be a thoughtful traveler.
-Don’t let your vacation contribute to the cruelty, neglect and other forms of abuse suffered by many animals at the hands of tourism. It is easy to be tempted by an elephant ride through the streets of Jerusalem or the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, but these and other animal-driven activities are sadly wrought with suffering. They often involve wild animals that have no place in captivity or surrounded by cars, buses and throngs of humans. The training of these animals is often aggressive and abusive in order to ensure no animal-like behavior around the tourists.
-On the flip side, an animal sanctuary can be a wonderful destination for families, couples looking for a memorable, romantic time, or even an individual seeking quiet time.
I agree again. So, Folks, DO NOT visit Ms Sussman’s so called wild horse sanctuary and pay these ridiculous fee’s to take a tour! DO NOT donate to this women or her organization so she can continue her neglect, abuse and breeding of these poor animals!
(8) Use the power of your dollar.
-Your dollar speaks loudly. Make it a policy to never use it in support of events, products or industries that exact horrors on animals. Typically, this will include any circus, any zoo or other place that holds wild animals in captivity and any products that make use of animal skins, furs, horns or other parts.
Well, see there, Karen herself has just told you NOT to send her money or take her tours.
9) Report any suspected cruelty to animals.
-Animal cruelty is illegal in this country. If you suspect that cruelty is being inflicted on one or more animals, you can report it immediately to your local shelter or law enforcement agency. If you don’t feel you are being heard, keep calling.
-Signs that an animal is being abused or neglected range from an emaciated, frail appearance, to confinement to a small or in climate area (such as frequent tethering to a tree in any kind of weather), to visible wounds on the body. Abused animals often shy away from their owners as well.
-Remember that when in doubt, call the authorities. If you are wrong and nothing bad is happening, you will not lose anything.
Thanks for the advice. I hope that those who have been suckered into your ridiculous tours will call the authorities on you. It took a while but the Three Strikes Ranch was finally shut down and I hope that you will be as well. OH wait.... you were clever and sneaky enough to put your “sanctuary” on a Native American reservation where the regular US laws can’t really touch you. ....
10) Spread the word
I’m trying! Though I prefer the truth over your pandering propaganda any day and THAT will be the word I try to spread.
…thank you for your interest in creating a more humane word for our animals!!
Warm Regards,
Karen Sussman
President, ISPMB
There’s more....
I ran across this web site as well. Karen has help in her pandering.

From _________
Dear friends of the animals,
The drought has struck South Dakota and the ISPMB horses are
struggling with a lack of water and are almost out of hay. With bales
selling for $60 a bale (!!!), we need a miracle...we can't let these
horses and those who have sacrificed so much for them down. Already
Karen Sussman has limited each horse to one bale of hay per month! No
one saw this drought coming.......................
Yet another web site pandering for money for Sussman. One Bale a MONTH! Does that say sanctuary to any of you?
If you go to the “Achievements” page on the ISPMB site I’m sure you could come up with several snide comments of your own.
One of my Favorites....

February 2007 – Saved 11 West Douglas Creek Stallions from castration by the BLM and brought them to our facility to be eventually reunited with the West Douglas Mares. ........................
Not that I think the BLM is doing such a great job either. I also don’t believe that all these horses are actually “wild mustangs” and really, if they were they still would not be native to this country. People who allow the breeding of captive “mustangs” are creating more problems for the horses, the BLM, the citizens of this country, and countless other species of wild life, than you are helping in anyway. Please refer to statement number two above??????
Stay tuned for a copy of an excellent article I found about the mustangs and the BLM....


  1. This is not Saturday satire, right? How sad! Loved your replies to her 10 ways to help. If only we could stop people like this-

  2. "Chiricahua is is a stunning pinto stallion who looks straight out of Edward Curtist' photos. She is very sweet and loves apples."
    As I read this it tells me that Karen Sussman needs to pull her head out.... how can a stallion one line be..." SHE is very sweet and loves apples" in the next line.
    Little Miss Sussman tells us to STOP this and that.. but yet SHE is above doing what she tells everyone else they need to do... People like her need to be put out in the badlands.. without feed and water... with no room to turn around let alone run and play, eat dust, and bake in the sun and have no place to get out of the snow and wind.
    WHY do people PAY her to make horses suffer at her own hands?

  3. Hey RH2 :) I think it's a satire, though it is all true and no humor in it. Yes it is very sad! I think we all agree that it is another 3 Strikes ranch situation that just hasn't been properly turned in and investigated yet. Being on a reservation I'm not sure it CAN be investigated.....

  4. anon said "WHY do people PAY her to make horses suffer at her own hands?"
    Good question. I think some of the answers may be emotions, lack of knowledge, trust because they can't understand how sick some people can be....
    Places like Sussman's need to be exposed and if thay can't be dealt with through county animal control or whatever authority is available in the area then they need to be put out of business with lack of funds so she can't continue her abuses. Very sad that horse have to be born into this horror!