Category Archives: author

A CALL FOR COWBOY PILOTS! What a simple but game-changing idea. If the BLM is going to use helicopters for roundups, at least – AT LEAST – use pilots who understand the nature of horses.


Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 | Filed under author




Our good friend, author H. Alan Day (The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs), is a pilot.  When I had the amazing visit on the Lazy B Ranch with Alan, he told me that he just doesn’t understand why the BLM doesn’t use cowboy pilots… and what he meant by that was – why doesn’t the BLM use pilots who understand the nature of wild horses so that there would be less trauma and injuries to the wild horses they gather.

Well, a few years later, Alan wrote the article posted below.  And I challenge the BLM to tell us why – not?  I’m sure the response would be that their contractors don’t have cowboy pilots… but this is our government and our horses.  C’mon BLM, if you are going to use helicopters, at least do it right.

Thank you, Alan, for taking the time to address this simple, but so appropriate idea.  Original article linked here.

click image to go to the original article link

When people start talking about the plight of wild horses, they almost always include helicopter gatherings in their conversation. In this context, the helicopter is considered the tool of the Devil. During gatherings, helicopters terrorize horses by chasing them in an aggressive manner in their attempts to herd them into makeshift corrals. Unfortunately, many of the ranges where wild horses live are rocky and steep making gathers by horseback impossible or, at the very least, impractical. So void of other options, the Bureau of Land Management is left dealing with the Devil.

During my ranching years, I heard about these gatherings. The stories of cruelty dismayed me and I wondered if the horses could be gathered in any other way. An answer came the day a stranger driving a pickup and hauling a trailer arrived at Lazy B. On that trailer was a helicopter.

The stranger hopped out. He wore boots and a wide-brimmed cowboy hat with sweat stains and looked every inch a cowboy. He was a friendly sort and asked me if I had any wild cattle that needed to be gathered. “I can gather them easily with my helicopter,” he said.

I thought for a moment. “There are a bunch of replacement heifers in a pasture that I need to gather,” I said. “But I can get that done on horseback.“ I looked at the chopper glinting in the sun. “Tell you what. I’ll make a deal. I’ll hire you to gather the cattle if I can ride along to see how you work.”

Fifteen minutes later we were lifting off, headed for the Cottonwood pasture.

We soon spotted a group of heifers. The corral was on the west end of the pasture, so the pilot approached the group from the east. He descended, but instead of coming in fast and hot, he gently eased the chopper toward the group. Startled, the cattle looked up, turned west, and ran about fifteen steps. They stopped and turned back to look at the strange apparatus buzzing in the air. For a better part of a minute, they eyed the helicopter, which was now hovering in place. Then they started ambling west. They didn’t feel threatened, so weren’t in a hurry and neither was the pilot.  He found another group and repeated the process.

In less than an hour, we had all the cattle, now in five groups, heading west toward the corral. We were high enough that we could keep our eye on all five at the same time. To keep them moving, the pilot zigzagged back and forth along the rear of the groups. If a group stopped, he turned and went at them but never in a threatening manner.

Once all five groups were steadily walking, he picked a convenient hilltop and landed. I watched the cows move like some invisible force was behind them saying, “March along, time to get to the corral.” I was amazed. The pilot explained that if he were to charge the cattle and fly over them, they would turn and run back under him in the wrong direction. It wouldn’t take long before they would learn that they could always do this.

“If they run back under you, you’ll never be able to gather them by helicopter,” said the pilot. “They’ve learned that they can turn and run. The herd is wrecked for the pilot and the pilot after that. “

After fifteen minutes or so, a few of the groups stopped, so we lifted off and got them moving again. Soon, all the groups combined into one and went into the corral.  The pilot landed outside the corral, and I hopped out and shut the gate.

I was flabbergasted. I had just had a real eye-opening demo of the practicality of the helicopter. This was by far the easiest, quickest gather I had ever experienced. Had I done this on horseback, I and six other cowboys would have had to load our horses on trailers, haul the trailers eight miles, unload at the corral, saddle the horses, and ride for an hour to get to the back of the pasture , then turn around and start pushing the cattle toward the corral. If helicopters had been cheaper to purchase and operate, I would have bought one.

So when fellow horse lovers refer to the helicopter as the tool of the devil, I beg to differ. I say the pilots, not the helicopters, are the devil. The BLM should qualify pilots as a cowboy who knows how to fly a helicopter rather than a helicopter pilot who thinks he can force livestock to do his wishes. My guess is that the horses would be less terrorized going into the corrals and have fewer injuries along the way. My other guess is that the BLM has never considered this option. But it certainly is an option worthy of trying.

DID YOU SEE OUR DECEMBER BUCKET FUND STORY for Big Eddy? – 22 year old, very successful mustang, rounded up and disregarded because of his age…  If you missed it, click here to read about our beautiful, elder gentleman Eddy.

All donations are 100% tax deductible.  No donation too small, it all adds up!

Click here to donate!  THANK YOU!

Another Way to Donate to Big Eddy!

Our good friend, Michael Johnson, has sent to me 25 hardback books of “Susie, The Whispering Horse” to sell to benefit our December Bucket Fund Horse, Big Eddy!

100% of sales of these 25 books will go to Big Eddy!  Each book is $25, which includes shipping in US).

Click here and I’ll send you a book today!  Thank you for helping Eddy!!  And thank you for fostering the love of the horse in your special little humans.

 


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Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!


Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.



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A VERY SWEET CHILDREN’S BOOK (great illustration, too!) by Michael Johnson AVAILABLE NOW HERE! 100% of sales go to our Bucket Fund horse, Big Eddy!






Our good friend, Michael Johnson, has sent to me 25 hardback books of “Susie, The Whispering Horse” to sell to benefit our December Bucket Fund Horse, Big Eddy!

The books arrived today and they are so NICE!  They feel great and look even better.  It measures 11.5 x 9.  There are 32 pages with 26 illustrations.  Easy print.  Lovely illustrations. Heavy paper.  Hard back.  Weighs less than a pound.  GREAT  message…

And the very best part, it reads like a poem or a song –  It is so lyrical!   This story is made for being read aloud.  AND, the illustrations drew me in absolutely.  I could look at the detail forever.  I could just imagine being the little girl I was, coveting this book and poring over the pictures.

100% of sales of these 25 books will go to Big Eddy!  Each book is $25, which includes shipping in US).

Click here and I’ll send you a book today!  Thank you for helping Eddy!!  And thank you for fostering the love of the horse in your special little humans.

Click image to order book.

It is so lyrical! Large print, quality illustrations… and the paper feels great!

Such great illustrations! I would have pored over a book like this when I was a little girl. It would have been worn thin!

I love the message… you will, too.

The back cover.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING BIG EDDY BY PURCHASING MICHAEL’S BOOKS!

Big Eddy is a gorgeous, huge blue roan who was gathered by the BLM in his elder years – and deemed worthless due to his age. Well, he isn’t worthless. He survived all these years in the wild. Eddy is the epitome of strength and knowledge. Let’s give him a new freedom… let’s allow him to learn the ways of his new world so he can be adopted into a wonderful, forever home! Thank you so much!

DID YOU SEE OUR DECEMBER BUCKET FUND STORY?  If you missed it, click here to read about our beautiful, elder gentleman Eddy.

All donations are 100% tax deductible.  No donation too small, it all adds up!

Click here to donate!  THANK YOU!


Riding Warehouse
Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!


Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.



HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!