Never Forget what Happened at Onaqui
It’s taken me a while to be able to sit down and write this blog post. Mostly because it’s taken me this long to even go through my photos from our last trip there. All these faces I’ve known for years, their lives that I’ve followed, and the part they have had in my life makes this particular roundup very hard on a personal level. Every roundup is devastating, but when you become enmeshed with a particular herd, it’s more so.
I will never forget what happened at Onaqui, because it was so unnecessary.
This particular stallion is a favorite of mine, and I can’t imagine what he’s going through now. He is wild and through and through.
The families that were fractured, and broken for no reason. The horses taken from their home. And for what?!
This little colt wanted his big brother to get up so bad, he bugged him, pestered him. Big brother was so gentle, and patient. Where are these two now? Separated, scared, bewildered? Dejected?
I really thought that this roundup would never happen. This last trip in May I kept thinking, it can’t happen, there are so many people speaking up for these guys. Surely they will listen to us. But on July 13th the helicopters flew. By July 18th they had terrorized and captured 435 horses. 435 of OUR horses, on OUR public land. I sadly wasn’t able to be there, but friends were. And there were plenty of photos, videos, and stories from them. I cried so many tears, still do when I think about it.
This last trip we parked the RV in a different part of the HMA, and the whole time we were there we had Buck as a horse companion. He’s an older guy, but still so handsome.
We also had the whole herd around the RV for a few evenings. Talk about magical. They would come in at dusk, mill around and move onto wherever they wanted to spend the night. One night we were standing outside watching them, it was getting dark, and I said to my husband, “We will never have this again.” And in all his wiseness he said, “Then let’s enjoy all of this right now.” A friend was staying with us, and we all just soaked in the moments that week.
BLM tried to say the horses were in bad condition. Do any of these horses look bad to you?
Cute little foal having a nap, and then a roll around in the grass.
There was a moment during the roundup that made everyone cheer. Moondrinker, made an escape with his family. He is a wonderful stallion, and has a beautiful family.
These 3 mares have always been inseparable. I can’t imagine if they had been rounded up and lost from each other.
So many stories. So many wild lives lost. Charger is a favorite of many, and this past year he seemed like he was making a move to be the band stallion. Now what?
Young foals who will never have the chance to grow up wild.
Scenes like these, gone.
The landscape will never be the same. It will be barren, it will be too quite. They are releasing a little over 100 horses back to the range on August 9th, but it will never be the same.
A few days before this roundup was to begin, I did an interview with Chip Reid from CBS evening news. It had been in the works for months, and I was hoping that some national exposure would make a difference for all the horses in the west, and stop these insane roundups. By the time the piece aired, the Onaqui roundup was over, but others had begun in other HMA’s. The national exposure for our horses has been great, and I think more people now know what’s happening. I want to keep building on this spark, and speak for our horses even more! So Help me be their voice.
If you would like to watch the CBS Evening news piece, here is the link.
We can never stop fighting.