After a trip to the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area and experiencing the thrill of seeing horses in the wild, we realized there may be others who wish to observe unbound Mustangs. So armed with our cameras, binoculars, maps and 4WD we will venture into these wild and rugged places. Within these electronic pages we will share what is out there… Where The Wild Horses Are… living life naturally. Exploring also some of the places they come to be when removed from these management areas.

The posts contain many photos, click on them to enlarge for more clarity, but please do not copy or reproduce without permission. email us. Thank you for visiting and we hope you enjoy the trip!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Lonely Filly

On July 10th we took a drive over to Twin Peaks to see if we could find any horses at Painters Flat. On our way down Horn Road a young filly jumped up out of a water hole shrouded by vegetation and trotted across the road right in front of us.

Initially I was excited to see her but soon realized she was all alone. We watched for a long time to see if she would join her family but she walked on alone, nibbling grass, not even looking around for anyone else.

 How could it be one so small was all alone?

Reservoir at Painters Flat

Reservoir at Painters Flat
The reservoir was full, the grass tall, flowers were blooming, birds were singing and we were excited to see some horses come in for a drink. 

Cascade Downingia in and around the water
Water Buttercups
Looking out across the flat with our binoculars and lenses we guesstimated there were only 75-100 head of cattle but we could only see one dark horse. 

One Lone Horse
We could see him off in the distance coming toward the water hole, and he was limping, so we quickly moved further away from the water to be sure he would feel safe enough to get his drink.

Why Do They Mourn?

We left the water hole and went to the spring, where last August we saw so many family bands, hoping to see the "Thunder Horses" again. We knew they were not captured during the roundup because they were seen here on Nov. 14th, 2010.

The Mourning Doves were in the trees all around us, their mournful songs echoed throughout this little valley.

The spring had not been visited by any equines recently. There was no sign of them anywhere, no tracks, no manure. The small paths they had walked last August were completely covered with grasses.

Some of these bunches of grass were as tall as me.
We left the spring and headed back across the flat.

Sage hen leading us away from her nest
The road is nearly covered with grass

Even while being surrounded by the vibrant, bountiful, beauty of this landscape, the emptiness and quiet was overwhelming and sobering... we left the high desert with heavy hearts.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How You Can Help

A message from Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition...

Jewel just days before giving birth to her foal who died at Michigan State University
photo by Jodi Louth

Justice for Jewel and the other Michigan Mustangs!

The MHWC has received a lot of inquiries as what can be done at this point to help the Allegan County Mustangs.  So, here is what we suggest:

Please send an email to Prosecutor Frederick Anderson who made the decision to not press any charges against the owner of these mustangs despite what seems to be overwhelming evidence that the following law was allegedly violated on multiple counts: Michigan statute MCL 750.50, which states that animals must receive adequate care, which is defined as “sufficient food, water, shelter, sanitary conditions, exercise and veterinary medical attention in order to maintain an animal in a state good health.”  The statute further defines “neglect” as failure to “sufficiently and properly care for an animal to the extent that the animal’s health is jeopardized.”

Multiple eye witness reports, including veterinary reports and visits from Allegan County Animal Control, attest to the following alleged violations:

  • Insufficient food on multiple occasions spanning a long period of time, causing near death by starvation
  • Insufficient veterinary care for sick/injured mustangs in the owner’s care

Further, there are numerous witnesses who can attest to the fact that the owner made it very difficult, if not impossible, for people to adopt any of these mustangs.  Many potential adopters were turned away because the owner said that the horses were already adopted, despite the fact that they stood starving in her own backyard.  The owner also had very specific conditions, including the forbidding of gelding stud colts for two years that adopters had to agree to.  

The attached photo is of “Jewel,” just one of the horses allegedly starving to death at the property before she was rescued.  A veterinary report confirms that her condition was due to nutritional deficiencies AND the owner’s own vet confirmed to the MHWC that the owner never called him to the property to assess or treat this horse even though the owner claims that Jewel was thin due to illness.   

There were also several foals with leg injuries - one, a colt, had a leg injury that nearly went “septic” due to lack of treatment.  If this colt had not been rescued, he also would have likely died or become permanently lame.  This injury required antibiotic injections for 2 weeks.  

Please demand that justice is served on behalf of these Michigan Mustangs!  Even one conviction of animal neglect against this owner will prevent her from ever being able to adopt another BLM Mustang again!  Please also demand that the remaining mustangs be seized and allowed to return to California – to a sanctuary similar to the home they have known for over a decade, where they can once again live wild and free as they were intended!

Email:  Prosecutor Frederick Anderson at: PROSECUTOR@ALLEGANCOUNTY.ORG
Copy: Sgt. Chris Kuhn (investigating officer) at: CKuhn@ALLEGANCOUNTY.ORG and the Sheriff at: Sheriff@ALLEGANCOUNTY.ORG and the MHWC at:

Letters can be snail mailed to the Prosecutor at:

Frederick Anderson
Prosecuting Attorney
Allegan County

113 Chestnut Street
Allegan, Michigan 49010
Phone: 269-673-0280
Fax: 269-673-0599

Thank you for your continued support for these Mustangs!!  
5859 W. Saginaw Hwy, #273
Lansing, MI 48917
(517) 321-3683 

perished at three days old
Far from home
The following two videos show the condition of these horses on January 4th, 2011 while still at the Litchfield Corrals.

Videos courtesy of JJohnston

Shortly after arriving in Michigan
# 1851, her neck was broken after a "bad fall" or being "cast" in her stall. Euthanized the next day leaving her foal an orphan.

Allegan County's response to the public concern for these horses welfare...

Allegan mustang case draws national protest, but local officials remain unmoved

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Will the BLM Help?

Removed from Twin Peaks HMA on August 12th, 2010   BLM photo
Now suffering in Michigan
On June 20th the Bureau of Land Management was given the opportunity to step up and do something good and right for these former residents of Twin Peaks Herd Management Area. The following is the email and letter sent through their ranks.

Attached is a letter of action that I am requesting of the BLM, on behalf of Jodi Louth of the Michigan Horse Welfare Coalition (MHWC) and the 29 starving horses now in Michigan from the Twin Peaks HMA. As we discussed last Friday on the phone the real situation in Michigan is far more grave than the press releases have described. Jodi Louth has expressed to me that this number of wild horses is far beyond their area of expertise.
Law Enforcement and Animal Control do not know where to go with or even how to get this many horses to safety so they have not yet done a seizure. While they are looking for help, transportation and foster care, the horses remain with Wendi Bierling, who continues to mistreat and starve these caged wild animals. Mares and foals have already perished and 3 of the geldings are in critical condition.
The saving grace in this whole mess is that Barbara Clarke at DreamCatcher’s Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary has promised to give these misplaced horses refuge, a place to live the rest of their lives in peace, which is a very generous security.
We just need to get them there.

Followed on June 21st by...
The situation is getting worse, the authorities are letting Wendi disburse the horses so they will not have to seize them.
Jodi Louth is desperately trying to find where they are going and is afraid it is "Port Huron, the gateway to slaughter in Canada".

We had been informed by a friend of Wendi's that the horses go without food sometimes for days.
There are photos showing they had resorted to eating the wood siding and insulation from exterior barn walls.

We then pointed out to the BLM their own laws protecting Sale Authority Horses.
Congressional Record - House Vol. 151, Pt. 8 May 19, 2005

Before all sales this Sale Questionnaire must be reviewed and signed by BLM official Sally Spencer after interviewing the buyer.
Sally Spencer
Wild Horse & Burro Program
Office: 202-452-5196
Cell: 202-641-6106
Fax: 202-653-9084

Then a  Bill Of Sale is signed for each horse sold, stating purchaser understands a wild horses needs and intends to provide humane care for the horse.

Read more about sales here...
BLM Wild Horse Sales Information Page 

So it would seem not only are Michigan humane care laws being broken but Federal Laws as well. 

We were not asking for the BLM to repossess the horses or even provide care for the animals financially or physically, but only to assist the local authorities in the recommended seizure and transport.

So far, not even a reply from the BLM.

Attempting to lead his family to safety August 20th, 2010  BLM photo
At Litchfield Corrals October 8th, 2010
Now in Michigan

Hay bribe
They call him "Surfer Dude"

Above horse, photographed here the day of his capture...

photo by the Humane Observer: Elyse Gardner
photo by the Humane Observer: Elyse Gardner
Also visit Humane Observer blog for more information and ways to become involved.