Arizona has had a one of the driest winters in history and we are in a record breaking drought with no relief in sight.
While it is normal for wild horses to have a skinny season and a fat season, this drought has caused extreme conditions and extreme hardship on the Salt River wild horses, which we have been monitoring closely.
The lack of ground cover cannot be blamed on the horses themselves; it has very little to do with horses and everything to do with the lack of precipitation. The horses have not eaten it all, all of the grass died as soon as it came up this year as a result of drought. (There will be people who want to blame the horses, there always are.)
The concept of managing wild horses humanely includes the preventing of unnecessary suffering when and where possible. From the very beginning we have taken full responsibility for the Salt River wild horses and we will prove that we are in it for the long haul. (pun intended)
As a result, and with cooperation and authorization from the Arizona Agriculture Department and the U.S. Forest Service, we are implementing our emergency feed protocol, until the herd can sustain itself again or until the monsoons.
We calculate that without precipitation this will take a minimum of 2 months and 4 semi loads of half bermuda and half alfalfa hay distributed over 15 feeding points. A total projected cost of just under $30,000
The success of this emergency project will be measured by the goals to be reached:
-No deaths of wild horses from starvation, improvement of body scores, no negative side effects to the horses ie: they still should maintain migratory patterns and territories, they should not associate food with people,
they should not be bothered by people at feeding stations, they should not have to fight for their food.
Therefore we have selected feeding locations in areas that are not highly visible to the public and we will not disclose those locations. We will work hard to prove once again that these horses can be managed by the public and for the public. We are so proud of our amazing State of Arizona for protecting these horses and for finding real solutions.
Please invest in your local treasures, help us save the horses once again!
JUST 15 DOLLARS BUYS ONE BALE OF HAY.
We will make sure it gets delivered to a hungry mare and baby (and their protective stallions too).
All 100 of us at the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.