July 1, 2009

Burying the Lead


Photo by Steve V.

There I put the message where it should be, unlike the Corolla Wild Horse fund (CWHF) who left this message til the very end of a striking piece about a new threat to the ponies that roam the Currituck beach strand.
On June 27th, there were three domestic horses being ridden north on the 4X4 beach with two other horses being “ponyed.” (led by riders on horseback). I observed at least one rider drinking. A sanctuary patrol officer stopped to ask them to not continue and explained that even if vaccinated, their domestic horses can carry diseases to the wild horses for which they have no immunity. She also warned them that the wild stallions would see them as a threat and may charge them. They did not care. In fact, they were defiant. I also stopped them but they had no interest in hearing what I had to say and told me that they were “delivering” the horses to the owner of Barrier Island “Eco” Tours ...As they were riding up the beach, a stallion appeared on top of the dunes. He did what comes naturally to him. He charged the intruders to his territory in an attempt to drive them off and protect his harem. One of the horses reared, throwing its adult male rider to the ground. Sheriff’s deputies had to chase the wild stallion back several times. Unfazed, the riders continued, stopping occasionally to talk to curious beachgoers and on one occasion, allowing a bikini clad woman to step from the bed of her truck into the saddle and go for a pony ride of sorts. All the while, the female rider that was giving the “pony ride” had a bottle of alcohol in her hand.
The article goes on to describe the problems associated with the introduction of "domestic" horses into the area occupied by the wild horse herd. It is sad but not unpredictable that someone would find another way to threaten this relic of our storied past. Development in the Corolla area finally drove the horses out of that habitat, one they had occupied for centuries, and into confinement in an undeveloped sanctuary on the northern Currituck banks. Interactions between humans and the ponies simply couldn't be worked out. The horses were hit (and often killed) by speeding cars, they feasted on newly watered and fertilized landscape plants and occasionally bit a tourist that was offering a goody or trying the pet the still wild though apparently tame animals.
The courts can prosecute people who violate the rules set up to protect the horses but we can help too. First send $20 to the CWHF,(see note below) more if you can, then make sure your tell your friends, coworkers and random contacts not to support the companies that do this kind of thing - Boycott them. Maybe they will get the message.

You had to read all the way through the CWHF post to get to the boycott message, now I have done the same thing. Don't you bury the lead put it at the top of your message list then explain why later.
Note: The memberships are charged through there online store. They add a shipping charge to the membership. Probably a glitch in the software, I didn't see anyway to avoid it. a $15 membership - the lowest level - will actually cost you $20. You could just buy a teeshirt or hat for about the same money if you want something tangible.


At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

Thanks for making very good points. Its amazing how common sense isn't all that common.


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