Tag Archives: NILE

You’ve heard about those wonderful people who are feeding the 450+ starving horses in Montana, but have you seen how?






By now, you’ve all probably heard about the very irresponsible and negligent owner (you can fill in your own adjective if you’d like – asshat comes to mind..) who lost his very large quarterhorse breeding operation and then just left all the horses to fend for themselves.

Yup.  He left all his domestic horses there to feed/water themselves during the frozen winter without notifying anyone or asking for any help.  Nice guy.

Anyway, here is what happened…

A CALL FOR HELP.

The ranch went into foreclosure and another party bought the 2000 acre parcel.

After a while, the new owners noticed that the horses, who were not theirs, were getting skinnier and skinnier.  So, they called the authorities.

When the officers arrived, they came upon dead horses and, ugh, a horse who had been hobbled – I’m not sure if they mean literally hobbled or if they are using that as a verb – with a broken leg for over a year.

Uh huh.  Nice.

Luckily, this scene really upset the officers and they stepped in to control the situation and bring the abuser to court.

Hungry horses on barren land

CHARGES

James Leachman of Home Place Ranch has been charged with five counts of animal cruelty.  I’m not even going to tell you his excuses because I don’t want you to spit up your coffee.

The abandoned horses roaming unforgiving land

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD

Sure, we all know that “they” are “dropping” hay to the horses.  That’s probably enough for all of us to be thankful and give them a nod.

But, who are “they” and what goes into simply “dropping” the hay?

THE FULL STORY – “Can’t we just feed the horses?!”

This idea brings me to my own line of work.  Often clients will say to me, “Can’t we just make a simple change…”.  I’ve grown to snigger everytime I hear “Can’t we just…”.

Even though it is very wise to Keep It Simple, often there is no simplicity behind “Can’t we just…”.

OK, so first they had to organize.   Heading up the operation was Justin Mills of Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) NILE Foundation.  I had never heard of them but now I love them.  Go to their website and click around if you’d like.

Yes, he had to get the hay donated and find a way to deliver it… but it wasn’t as simple as that.  They had to set up the phone lines, answer the phones, set up donation lines, organize volunteers, figure out how to get hay, coordinate the hay delivery, organize the best way to deliver the hay to the horses, find a helicopter service capable of the hay drop maneuvers and willing to donate their time/gas/equipment, round up men who were safety conscious and knew how to do this and then coordinate the effort – as well as find all the ground equipment.

Nothing simple about it…

This is why I wanted to show you these photos.  I wanted to show you so you can appreciate how they  “Just fed those poor horses”.

BRAVO NILE, YOU DONE GOOD AND I SUPPORT YOU!

Here is a phoblog of what I think happened in the order I assume it happened.  I haven’t spoken to anyone who was there; I am just surmising from the photos posted on FB.

Hungry horses at the fence

After organizing hay donations, they hay is trucked in

At NILE, the men contemplate the airlift strategies

In the meantime, water tubs are organized and calls are made...

Tractor arrives from somewhere, driven by someone wonderful in the very early morning hours

The rig arrives at dawn and the incredible volunteers and organizers go to work

The men lay out huge nets that they procured from somewhere...laying out tangled nets is always fun.

Shiny tractor heaves bale into the net

Meanwhile, the volunteer heli views the locations of the starving horses

Heli arrives

A.J. Blain of Billings Flying Service who donated his rig and his time

OK, what do we do?

Strapping the bale properly. Safety First.

Do we have it right?

"Gawd that chopper is loud." "My finger is caught!" "Hurry, we don't have all day!"...

Imagine the noise and tension at this time

"I got it, no worries"

Lift off! It worked!

View from helicopter as the horses rush to the hay drop

Yum

IN CONCLUSION

BRAVO ALL OF YOU INVOLVED!  250 tons of hay have been donated and $7500 dollars so far.  If you wish to learn more or read more or donate, please click these links.

NILE FOUNDATION

THE FACEBOOK PAGE FOLLOWING THIS STORY

ONE OF THE MANY NEWS ARTICLES

FUGLY BLOG ABOUT THIS NEGLIGENT OWNER

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