Also alarming is the three strike rule the BLM has. Under that ruling, horses that are offered up for adoption three times and fail to find a home can be destroyed. While in BLM possession, the horses are often kept in poor holding facilities and have suffered brutally at the round ups.
Oklahoma's branch of the BLM is the one of few, if not the only, holding facility that even remotely mirrors that of the open pasture land these horses are used to.
According to the BLM there are approximately 38,000 horses on the range but just this year alone, there are plans to gather very close to, if not more than 10,000 horses on the BLM website.
This means that efforts to protect these horses and find them permanent homes, or better yet, large amounts of sanctuary acreage, are more essential than ever.
Last weekend, I met two young women who had a slew of mustangs they had rescued. At least two of the horses were pulled back from the brink of slaughter by the girls. They were passionate about spreading the word and rallying people to fight for the rights and preservation of these horses.
The horses themselves showed extraordinary promise in their training. Already, the newly adopted ones were standing calmly and had been hauled in a trailer to an arena where I met them. Only one brand new colt was unruly. Then, he was no more so than some young horses I've seen that have been domesticated their whole lives.
These girls were proof that people are standing up for these animals just like the Lifesavers Horse Rescue that saved 169 horses from being killed in Nevada in July, 2010 and 101 more in September. There needs to be more people like this because the fate of the horses sent to slaughter gets worse than just death.
According to the rescue website, these horses are sent in crowded dangerous trailers and are often injured in transit. Once they arrive at slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, they are stunned by a stun gun to the head, often with the shooter missing the correct spot on several attempts. Then their throats are cut and they die a slow death. These beautiful animals become meat, considered a delicacy for many other countries.