While conducting research for a story I plan to write set in eastern Oregon, I came across information about the numbers of wild horses that exist in many of the western states. Unknown to me, wild horse herds are a constant source of worry for law officials, both local and at the federal level.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the herds, rounding up the animals on a periodic basis to maintain a consistent level of forage in order to prevent their starvation. Drought and overgrazing are a never-ending problem and increasing numbers of horses add to the lack of natural pasturelands. The agency has not only culled the herds, but have introduced birth control agents into the horses’ food supply to help limit reproduction.
Coupled with the agency’s oversight of wild herds is the recent trend among horse owners who can no longer maintain their domestic animals and who decide to turn them loose, adding competition for food among the feral horses. Articles in recent newspapers decry the need for people to step in and help horse herds in various parts of the West—animals starving in bitter winter conditions.
One of my critique partners—Tammy Bowers—sent me pictures of wild horses taken near the ranch where her best friend lives in Bend, Oregon. One of those shots is featured at the bottom of my blog.
In future blogs I’ll share more information about the plight of these animals as well as other horse surprises I’ve discovered along the way. I’m excited about this new book. Such great stories will live within its pages.
Psalm 147:7-9a (NKJV) says: “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving. Sing praises on the harp to our God, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains, He gives to the beast his food.” Amazing, isn’t it, that even wild horses find places in His care.