Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dave and Iceman 12/27/09

Eric took Iceman's lead off a few days ago since his "light bulb" finally went off and he now seemed ready. Eric has usually been able to walk up to him without any issues, but when others get close he tends to get nervous and is difficult to catch until you grab the lead...until today. Dave decided he was going to spend some more time with Iceman this morning and it was a good idea. After a few minutes, Iceman allowed Dave to get right up next to him, touch his face, and share that space together. It was also Iceman's lucky day as it seems he got a carrot or two for being a good boy. This was neat to watch as it means Iceman is slowly learning to trust other people and realizes we are not going to hurt him. Hopefully soon, Iceman will allow other people to handle him, which will help him get on the road to his new adoptive home that much faster. Once Iceman bonds with you, thats it. You have that trust and can pretty much do anything with him. Great work today, can't wait to see what's next for Iceman!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Christmas Day was perfect at Shiloh. The sun was shining, there was barely a breeze, and all the horses were having fun out in the pastures.

Iceman and Eric spent some more time together and took a long walk today through the Mesquites. Since it was Christmas, they decided to leave all the work for next week.

Iceman's stocking was filled with a bag of Mrs. Pasture's Horse Cookies, an apple, and a Candy Cane, so needless to say he was definitely enjoying his day. He isnt quite sure on the peppermint flavor yet, so his roomies enjoyed his Candy Cane instead. He ate the cookies right out of Eric's hand...he has definitely come a long way. As you will see below, Iceman was definitely in the "Christmas Spirit" today. :)

Iceman (and all of us at Shiloh) wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Iceman on Christmas Eve

Today was a very relaxing day for Iceman as he gets ready for Christmas Eve. Eric spent some nice, quality time with him this morning by just hanging out in his stall, keeping him company, and giving him some attention. The rest of the day was business as normal for Iceman....hanging out with his friends Boone and Liberado. Liberado is our most recent horse to arrive at Shiloh. He is an Arab gelding and is fitting in quite nicely with his new bachelor friends. You can check him out in more detail on our Shiloh website. Other than that, just a nice, relaxing day. Eric will be bringing Iceman's stocking to the ranch tomorrow so that he can enjoy all of his yummy treats for Christmas day.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Iceman Update 12/17/09

Iceman had a pretty good day today. The weather was great, only 60 degrees with barely any wind at all. It was actually very comfortable and warm. Eric and Iceman spent most of the morning together. They took a little walk around the property and then headed into the Round Pen. Iceman was kinda spooky today, so they kept the energy level down and basically took it easy. They did alot of Round Pen work, and Iceman has finally learned to lunge to the right without any issues. "Going to the right" has always been a tad bit more difficult for him, as it seems to be for many horses, and it couldn't have gone any smoother today. Like most Mustangs, Iceman is still very particular when it comes to people. Mustangs tend to only let just a few people into their world at first and it isnt till further down the line when they open up and act more domesticated with everyone. With that being said, Iceman is frequently hard to catch for most. Once the line has been caught, then he knows he will have to work, and some folks might go in to visit and all he does is trot away. So today, in the round pen, the main focus was simply making contact. Eric would walk in, make contact and stay for a few minutes, then leave. After a while, he would re-enter the pen and repeat. Iceman spent most of the day in the pen due to this activity. He probably didn't mind either since the pen is so soft and sandy...lots of rolling and relaxing. All in all, it was a great day. Tomorrow may bring some work in the saddle, so make sure to check back in for Iceman's next adventure!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One Year Ago..

Just came across this photo of Iceman taken just over a year ago near Goodsprings and wanted to share. This was early December, 2008. Its hard to believe that just a year ago he was still a wild stallion.

Snowy Goodsprings, NV

We have been getting some snow lately in the pass to Shiloh, and the nearby town of Goodsprings actually received quite a bit the other day. This area used to be Iceman's range and is part of the lower region of what is known as the Red Rock HMA. The Sandy Valley and Goodsprings area is not far from Las Vegas, but on days like this you feel like you are worlds away.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Begins.........

Today was a very busy day for Iceman at Shiloh. Eric was gone on Vacation for nearly two weeks, and today was his first day back. You could definitely tell that Iceman had not been worked, as he was more jumpy and spooky than normal.

Eric took Iceman for a long walk around the property...around the structures, Mesquite trees, and all seems to be good. They spent some time under City Center walking back and forth through the chute and then proceeded to enter the Round Pen. After working, they decided to make one more path and venture off into the trees. While they were in the trees, an Emu was sleeping closeby and jumped up in a state of panic!! We think the Emu was asleep under the tree, they startled it and woke it up, and the rest was a RODEO.

Ready for Christmas!

Iceman's biggest fan (Eric's Dad) had a stocking specially made down in Texas
just for our resident Mustang. A big thanks goes out to Darrell Clayton of Port Neches, Texas for caring and taking the time to make sure Iceman had somewhere for all of those treats to go this holiday season!

If anyone is interested in sending something special to Iceman for Christmas, we would be more than happy to make sure it made it into his cool stocking. Feel free to contact Eric Clayton at if you would like to participate and help fill the stocking.

Shiloh cannot thank our visitors, volunteers, boarders, and supporters enough for all the hard work that they do. We wouldn't have as many happy horses without you.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Disappointment Valley / A Modern Day Western

America's wild horses are in jeopardy! Disappointment Valley exposes mismanagement and corruption within the Bureau of Land Management.

Here's how you can help:

1) Call President Obama (202-456-1111) and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (202-208-3100). Demand a Congressional investigation into the Bureau of Land Management. Ask for independent studies on statistics of the wild horses and do NOT rely on the BLM statistics. They are flawed and misrepresent the truth.

To contact your congressman, visit:

2) The R.O.A.M. Act is currently siting in the Senate Committee of Energy & Natural Resources as S. 1579.

Please contact the Senators on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee and ask that they support the R.O.A.M Act (S. 1579).

3) Share this video and information with friends and family. Most people don't know wild horses still roam the west, let alone they are being rounded up and slaughtered. The public has fought to support these horses in the past. We can do it again! The more people who become aware of the issue, the better chance they have for survival.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Letter from Madeleine Pickens

December 3rd, 2009

In keeping with my commitment to protect America's wild horses, I thought it important to provide you with an update of where we are with the plans to build a sanctuary for thousands of wild horses currently in holding pens across the country and to inform you of a new initiative I am launching on another front: the wild horse gather schedule that has been proposed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Nearly 18 months ago I launched the effort to buy a ranch in Nevada to build a state of the art wild horse sanctuary that would be home to thousands of wild horses that currently stand in holding pens, their fate uncertain. At the time I began this odyssey, there was talk of euthanizing thousands of the wild horses that were and remain in BLM's holding facilities. We were able to take that discussion off the table, though many horses are still going to slaughter in Mexico, and we proceeded to circulate the plan from my Foundation to build a sanctuary that would provide a permanent home for the horses and be accessible as an educational and tourist destination for the American people. We met with every official within the Department of Interior, including Secretary Salazar, assistant secretaries, the new BLM Director, Bob Abbey, and many members of Congress, along with their staff.

Secretary Salazar has embraced the idea of public/private partnerships and creating what he calls "preserves," basically along the lines of the proposal I submitted for the sanctuary in Nevada, with one significant difference; he wants to build them in the Midwest or the East, far from the natural habitat of the wild horses and their natural range, Nevada and the other states in the West. His announcement also included plans for two "preserves" that the BLM would buy with $96 million dollars of taxpayer money that would house a total of around 7,000 wild horses.

While the Secretary was making his recent announcement to create "preserves" for wild horses, he also laid out his plans for other management activities with the wild horses. Included in his proposal was the announcement that the BLM is going to gather between 12,000 and 13,000 wild horses in the next calendar year, beginning later this month. This proposed gather schedule threatens the very survival of the remaining wild horse herds in the western United States and must be stopped.

Among the many things I have discovered during 18 months of negotiating with the BLM is that their management style goes from crisis to crisis, never quite achieving any resolution of a major problem before a new one arises. At the time I began the discussion of a sanctuary for wild horses, there were 33,000 of them in various holding facilities, some short term and some long term. There are still 33,000 wild horses in holding facilities, some that have been in the same facility for up to two years, and still no answer to that problem. The holding facilities now managed by the BLM are full to the maximum and they are having difficulty finding more long term holding, another concept unique to their management style and arguably not consistent with their mandate under the law to "preserve and protect" wild horses for future generations.

In spite of the fact that all the facilities are full, they propose to gather another 12,000 horses with virtually no place to put them. Even if the Secretary's announced plans to buy and create two preserves could be done, it could not be accomplished for another one to three years at the earliest and that is assuming that the Congress will appropriate the money, an assumption that is unlikely given the current budget crisis. And yet my Foundation plan to build a sanctuary using private dollars for the purchase of the land languishes on some bureaucrat's desk.

Rest assured I will not give up on the plan to build the sanctuary so the American people have a place where they can come and witness the majesty and grace of our great legacy, the wild horses. But I must also turn my attention to what I consider the current crisis and challenge, the gathering of 12,000 or more wild horses.

There are many reasons why we must stop this massive gather. To begin with, there is a legitimate dispute over the number of wild horses remaining on the range, and the BLM number of over 30,000 must be called into question. There have been repeated calls for new census methodology to be utilized to determine the actual number of wild horses remaining on the ranges in the western United States. The BLM has resisted these calls and relied on outdated and ineffective methods of counting horses. Before we know how many wild horses actually remain on the range, we cannot allow 12,000 or more to be gathered.

Over 21 million acres of land originally designated as Herd Management Area available to our wild horses has been taken away from them. This was done by zeroing out over 100 Herd Management Areas designated by the original Will Horse and Burro Act legislation. The BLM committed over a year ago to produce a report on the status of those lands, yet nothing has been forthcoming in that regard. In most cases, those 21 million acres are now being grazed by cattle.

Another argument not being taken into consideration deals with the genetics of the herd structure of many of the herds and bands of wild horses designated for gathers in the coming year. Many equine scientists have written and discussed the issue of genetics and many have concluded that taking existing herd numbers below certain levels will have a devastating effect on the future reproduction rates and activities of those herds. The BLM is not applying a scientific approach to the issue of genetics when designing these gathers and the result of ignoring these issues could easily result in the future disappearance of these wild horse herds through sickness and disease or inferior breeding.

As I mentioned earlier, there is no room for 12,000 additional wild horses in the BLM's existing facilities. Gathering them without a plan that addresses where to put them will only result in another round of discussion about euthanasia and slaughter.

I am launching an effort to stop these proposed gathers and I will engage at many different levels in order to succeed. Your continued monitoring and support of the wild horses is greatly appreciated and I ask you to continue to check my website ( for updates on my efforts to stop the gathers and to get the sanctuary built. Together we can succeed in protecting our wild horses for future generations.

Thank you,

Madeleine Pickens