I Love Horses and Women!
By John Koleszar
There is no doubt in my mind that I have now lived long enough to have seen it all. I have verified the facts by cross referencing a couple of times. So, even though I will probably be ostracized and flogged on social media, the following represent what I perceive as happening on the wild horse front; commonly know as welfare feral livestock.
To set the record straight, I have owned horses, ridden them and thoroughly enjoyed them. I have also mucked enough stalls to last a lifetime, been kicked, bitten, thrown and abused by these 1200 pound animals so it kind of balances out over the long run. I find them to be stunningly beautiful and I love to watch them in arenas, out in the wild and in shows.
To doubly set the record straight, I love women. I have dated, married and been involved with enough of the opposite sex that I know as little about them as any man. But Lord, I do love women.
Now to the problem: After some extensive research, I have found that 90% of horse ownership / management in the United States is by……..Women! Yes, the fair sex does indeed love their horses. Freud might take a shot at the whys and wherefores, but as I noted earlier, I know as little as any man about women so I will tread lightly around this issue. Let’s take a look at women in general…. Carefully please! Women are creators, otherwise I would not be here, nor would anyone else for that matter. They are nurturers, tender and loving with hearts that are generally full of love and delicate things that I can only guess at.
Horses by their very nature do what they do best. They eat, defecate, breed and generally consume more forage than elk and cows combined. The public lands of Arizona are over full with horses and their distant cousins burros. Now comes the issue.
The horse population has grown in proportions that the Wild Horse & Burro Act never contemplated. We have over 45,000 horses in “Horse Hotels” across the mid-west and western states. As a taxpayer, I look at the ballooning budget to run this Wild Horse and Burro Act and it comes in at the staggering $80,000,000.00 per year now with no end in sight. A mere mention of “Round-up” sets the ladies on social media with a frenzy that is only rivaled by Black Friday.
For the past few months I have been asking any woman I have met what to do about the over abundance of horses. The most common answer is…. Nothing. When I point out that something has to be done the response is all over the map. Move them to Montana captures number one spot, don’t touch them occupies number two. When I ask for a solution they invariably respond with….. ”I don’t know but you can’t hurt them.”
Science and logic point to the fact that SOMETHING needs to be done. This is where it gets tricky for guys. We are not women, cannot understand the complexity of what they feel and think and therefore are at a distinct disadvantage. When I point to our European friends and Asian countries that consume horse flesh I get the feeling that I am suggesting something close to cannibalism. Ladies, Please!
These are horses, not people. Removal of some to benefit the long-term health of the herd as well as the habitat seems to fall on deaf ears.
Even when I point out that all other animals are removed from the landscape each year they steadfastly refuse to even think about horses having to be removed.
Finally, in the future if we do nothing, the horse problem will become even more pronounced. Habitat degradation will continue. I know that in some areas we are installing burro proof fencing around water catchments because they tend to hoard water holes. The future of ALL wildlife depends on sound science and not raw emotion. You can succeed in loving horses too much. I wonder where this will all end. If I were to suggest that wildlife management be left in the hands of professionals the outcry would be heard from here to Washington. The time has come for some hard decisions…… I can only hope that an educated public will get the message…..