Things That Kids Can Do To Help
Wild horses still roam free in some parts of the United
States. However, they are being pushed off the land they need to survive because
cattle ranchers want the grass to fatten up their cattle and they have convinced the
government to round up many of the horses and auction them off. More than 90,000
wild horses have been rounded up since 1973! Many of these end up being killed for
On an island off the coast of Virginia, wild horses are chased
across a river in the middle of summer every year and their babies are sold to anyone who
will pay for them. Many arent even old enough to be away from their mothers
and the people who buy them dont often know how to take care of them.
You can write to your congressperson
(United States House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20510) asking them that no more
money be given to the Bureau of Land Management for wild horse roundups. Tell your representative that you dont want ranchers kicking wild
horses and other animals out of their home ranges. Explain that the land where the
horses are being rounded up is public property belonging to all of us, and that the lives
of horses are more important than lifeless hamburgers.
You can also help by writing a letter of protest to the Refuge
Manager, Chincoteague, NWR, P. O. Box 62, Chincoteague, VA 23336. Heres a
sample of what you could write:
Dear Refuge Manager,
I just learned about the wild pony roundup. I am writing
to ask you to stop catching these frightened ponies and auctioning them off to whoever
comes along. I love horses, but would never buy one who was taken away from her
mother and sold against her will.
I am also upset about how the ponies are forced to swim across
the channel from Assateague Island. I think this is mean and could hurt the horses.
The horses should be allowed their freedom.
Please stop the roundup and auction, and please dont
write back and tell me its okay, because it isnt.
Help stop horse and buggy rides. Tell people about how
these horses can pound the pavement all day long in the summer heat, pulling buggies full
of people through heavy traffic. If carriage-horse rides are offered in your town,
write a letter of protest to the mayor or call the mayors office. (Go to your
local library for the mayors name and address). If you live in New York City
you can e-mail the City Council President by clicking here. Tell him you want
carriage horse reform now so that these horses are better protected.
Avoid riding stables. It cant be fun for the
horses to have a different stranger on their back every hour of the day, especially when
many of them dont know how to ride gently and yank on the reins, pull the bit in
your mouth and kick you in the ribs.
Dont go to horse races. They can be exciting for
people, but miserable for horses. When horses get injured or their feet hurt,
sometimes people give them drugs to numb the pain but make them keep racing. This
makes their injuries even worse.
Write for information or join the Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS), P.O. Box 400,
Woodstock, IL 60098. This group rescues abused and neglected horses and nurses them
back to health in a sanctuary until they can be adopted into good homes. They also
have investigators that look into cruelty complaints. The Indiana Hooved Animal Humane Society, P. O. Box 500,
Morocco, IN 47963 does many of the same things. You can also send a self-addressed,
stamped envelope to Black Beauty Ranch, P. O.
Box 367, Murchison, TX 75778 for more information about the work they do in saving horses.