This Week in Wild Beauty: December 10th, 2022

THIS WEEK IN WILD BEAUTY: December 10th, 2022

The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the twenty ninth edition of our weekly newsletter!

Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of December 10th, 2022

A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West

Statistics Show the BLM is Inappropriately Killing Cremello Horses During Western Roundups

The magical cream colored horses that make up a small percentage of all wild horses currently living on western rangelands are being targeted and killed by the BLM during recent roundups. Known by many for their unique blue eyes and sparkling color, the cremello horses are a favorite of many wild horse advocates and photographers alike. So why is the Bureau of Land Management selectively euthanizing horses of this specific color?

According to BLM roundup reports, cremello horses as young as a few months old were euthanized during the South Steens roundup in southern Oregon last September. All horses were cited by the BLM as having “eye abnormalities/blindness”. We at WBF can only believe that the BLM killed these animals due to the false pretense that all blue eyed horses are susceptible to eye conditions.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners claims that “Assessing what a horse can and can’t see is extremely challenging for horse owners, veterinarians, and veterinary ophthalmologists. Furthermore, many visually impaired horses are well adapted to their abnormal vision and can navigate familiar environments well.” Considering this information, it is proven that blindness can not be as easily assessed as the BLM makes it out to be. With the horses showing no physical signs of eye injuries, there is no scientifically proven way to assess these horses for blindness within the short time frame that they are in temporary holding.

Not only this but having a blue iris as those with the cremello coat color do, “does not make the horse any more likely to have intraocular problems” according to AAEP. Many veterinarians believe that it is not the eyes, but the pink skin around the eyes that causes an increase in eye conditions. It is also proven that horses without pink skin have just as likely of a chance to develop blindness, such as the chocolate colored Rocky Mountain Horse. Blindness has no limitations to which horses are affected, and there is no indicator that a horse will develop or suffer from blindness in the future.

This year alone we saw a group of young cremellos eradicated in the South Steens HMA of southern Oregon. During the roundup, 753 horses were stripped from freedom and 22 horses lost their lives; 11 of which being cremellos. Additionally, advocates for the South Steens wild horses have noted that a number of cremellos are missing after the roundups and were not accounted for. There is no question that the BLM has an unwritten policy of exterminating this color from the wild. However, if it truly is for the improvement of genetics in the wild, there is no reason that these animals could not be adopted out like the rest of the herd. These beautiful, young horses did not deserve to have their life taken away from them by the BLM without explanation. We at WBF want to hold the BLM accountable for the mass extermination of wild cremellos; each horse deserves to live out the rest of their life wild and free on protected lands.


“Common Equine Eye Myths” by The American Association of Equine Practitioners

South Steens 2022 BLM Roundup Numbers


Photo Credit: Sandy Sharkey

More Alpine Wild Horses Up for Auction

Simone Netherlands of Salt River Wild Horse Management Group put out a desperate plea this weekend to save another group of Alpine wild horses potentially facing the slaughter pipeline if not adopted by safe and secure homes. The public auction will be held online via Rail Lazy H Auctions without limitation to slaughter. There are currently seven wild horses from the Alpine herd of the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest up for auction, with bidding closing on Monday, December 12 at 10:00 am Mountain Time.

SRWHMG is currently taking donations in order to bail these horses out and provide them protection in safe homes or sanctuaries where they can be taken care of by loving hands. You can find more information on how to help the captured Alpine wild horses, here. These horses were unnecessarily removed by the U.S. Forest Service this summer due to being deemed as “unauthorized livestock” and because of their management by the Forest Service, are not protected by the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

New in The Wild Beauty Boutique – Wild Beauty Art!

Just in time for the holiday season, The Wild Beauty Boutique is excited to launch our artwork collection in three unique styles.  These pieces of artwork are all still images from the documentary, “Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West” and are available as canvas prints, museum-quality framed posters, and museum-quality unframed posters.

Each piece of artwork brings its own unique emotions, and will be a wonderful addition to any room in your home– as well as making a fantastic gift for the equine-loving friend or family member.

Check out our new Wild Beauty Artwork Collection in the Wild Beauty Boutique today!


Also, for the collector — The Wild Beauty Foundation also has a Fine Art Collection available.

These pieces are of exquisite quality, and printed as gallery-quality Dye Sublimated Aluminum, with only one Artist’s Proof print available for each size.

Only a limited amount of each artwork will be sold in this line.



Photo Credit: Kimerlee Curyl

Mares Treated with Fertility Control to be Released Back Into the Calico Complex

After a roundup that stripped approximately 837 wild horses from our public lands, 39 mares will have their freedom returned this coming week. On December 13, members of the public are invited to watch as the mares treated with GonaCon fertility control are released back into the Calico Complex HMA.

While Wild Beauty is encouraged to see that these horses will remain wild, we do maintain that the number of released horses could be much higher. With over 800 horses being removed from the range, these animals will now spend the foreseeable future in overcrowded, unsanitary holding facilities, with many being separated from their closely bonded families. Instead of incarcerating these animals for the rest of their lives, it would be in the best interest of taxpayers and wild horses that more horses be released back into the wild.


Photo Credit: Chad Hanson

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Taking Nominations to Fill Two Vacancies

The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service opened nominations for two positions on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board this week. Unfortunately this advisory board has been nothing but a mouthpiece for the BLM in order to support their plans of eradicating wild horses from our public lands. The Board reappointed three members earlier this September, all of which supporting the mass removal of wild horses. The current positions that the Board is looking to fill are in livestock management and wildlife management.

WBF feels that the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board needs to include more advocates who support the humane management of wild equines on the range that doesn’t include removing them to accommodate commercial livestock. We encourage advocates with expertise in wild horses and public lands, and who are committed to on-range solutions, to continue seeking appointments to the Advisory Board as they become available.


A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West

Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West at the Santa Clarita International Film Festival

Our documentary, Wild Beauty, is screening at the Santa Clarita International Film Festival this Sunday, December 11th. We are excited to share wild horses with another wonderful California audience!

Be sure to keep your eye on our social media for announcements of future dates and times, as Wild Beauty might be coming to a city near you very soon! To watch the teaser and find more information on upcoming screenings, visit our website.


Photo Credit: Jim Brown

Glimpse of Wild Beauty

There is nothing more serene than watching a wild horse graze peacefully on the range; this beautiful image captured by Jim Brown shows three nearly identical horses enjoying their freedom on our western public lands.


Photograph by Erin Phillips

A Quote to Graze On

“The aim of science is to discover and illuminate truth. And that, I take it, is the aim of literature, whether biography or history or fiction; it seems to me, then, that there can be no separate literature of science.”

-Rachel Carson


Maria Popova of “The Marginalian” describes how Carson’s poetry of the world around us “can make us better stewards of this irreplaceable world — which means, invariably, better stewards of our own survival.” You can read more about Carson’s work, here.


Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team

#istandwithwildhorses #wildbeautyspirit

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