Notes from Twin Peaks round-up, pt. 2
Monday, I could not see inside the Cattoor family's wild horse trap. With binoculars, I could see what went on just outside.
Men waved flexible whips attached to plastic bags, spooking mustangs into trailers. They also flipped the whips to prod the thick ends into mustangs' flanks, or slam them repeatedly over horses' backs. This wasn't encouragement. This was beating.
Law suits focused judicial eyes on our First Amendment rights, so members of the public are allowed to watch our wild horses on our public lands, but we were warned that BLM rangers would "take things to the next level" if we didn't obey orders.
Two days earlier, near the Litchfield BLM facility, my car was pulled over by two white trucks with flashing lights. A ranger asked for my i.d. while his partner looked in my backseat.
The ranger was polite, even smiled when I showed him the red tags from my wild mares' necks (yes, they are still in my purse), but he explained they were expecting trouble at the Twin Peaks round-up.
I'm pretty dialed-in to wild horse issues, I told him, and I'd heard of nothing brewing. He kept the details to himself.
After Monday's round-up, as wild horses were trucked to temporary holding pens, I overheard rangers describing how they'd been "primed for a riot."
I have friends and family in law-enforcement and fire departments. You're kidding yourself if you don't believe part of the excitement and fun of such jobs is based inconflict.
I get that. I've dedicated books to a bunch of emergency professionals because their work fascinates me.
I know they run toward trouble as most of us run away. And I admit I'm not in BLM's inner circle, but I'm confused. I don't know what to hope for.
Truth? That means threats have put BLM on red alert against horse advocates.
Lies? That means BLM rangers have been sicced on non-existent trouble.
Go see for yourself, please.
YOU can view the Twin Peaks round-ups 7 days a week. You can drive to round-ups from anyplace in the U.S. and see wild horses galloping -- for their lives, it's true, but this may be your last chance because BLM plans to round-up 6,000 wild horses by summer's end.