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  • Jill Starr

Six Superheroes

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

The day finally came when our six superhero horses named Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Ironman, Wolverine, and NightCrawler, from the BLM's massive roundup in Utah's Onaqui herd area, arrived at our Wild Horse Canyon Sanctuary. Their two-day journey was a tin can on wheels full of sorrow and sadness.

Marlene, our trusted and experienced wild horse transporter had this to tell me after she picked up the horses in Utah and started heading to California:

"They are very very reactive. Way more than usual. Poor guys. Breaks my heart. They are terrified. I had to tape signs on my trailer so that no one would come even remotely close to it. It feels like every mile that I’m driving away from their home; their hearts are breaking. The pain and confusion are just hard to deal with. They just feel so lost. And so scared"

Just imagine what it must be like to be forcefully removed from your home by people you don't know, or trust, in a way that is brutal and careless. To be separated from your family and trapped in small, contained areas with no idea what your future holds. Quite possibly you would think you are soon to be killed and you would do whatever it takes to survive whatever comes next. But your captors have all the advantages, and you have no way to escape them. So, you just wait for the next shoe to drop.

That day comes. Suddenly you are pushed, prodded, and chased into a small metal box just big enough for you and 5 of your friends. It is frightening and noisy. Your herd mates are calling for you from outside the metal box and you are helpless to get back to them. The box begins to move. For the next two days you are held hostage. Every bump in the road is torture. Every stop along the way you find strange faces peering in at you from outside the box. The air smells foreign and unfriendly. Your heart is beating rapidly, and your adrenaline is turned up high. All you can do is kick the sides of the metal box hoping that the door will magically open, and you can run to freedom. With every mile that takes you further from your homeland you start to realize that you will never return. Everything is different now - and you still don't know what lies ahead.

This must be what goes through the minds of wild horses when they are stolen from their homes and trucked down the highway to who knows where. Sometimes that truck takes them to a horrible end at a Mexican slaughterhouse. But not this time!

I wish I could tell them "I'm sorry" they have suffered such cruelty and that I will do my best to give them what they are missing right now. But all I can do is offer them safety, food, peace, and kindness. Eventually they will be okay and learn to like their new home.

When our superheroes were allowed to get out of the trailer and onto ground that doesn't move beneath them, they immediately calmed down. It's like they knew that they had arrived at their final destination, and they were safe. The air smells like horses - many many other horses. There was fresh hay waiting for them, and a full tank of clean well water to quench their dry throats and sooth their tummies. And best of all they were greeted by a herd of sanctuary horses that ran up to tell them “It’s alright - you will learn to like it here - welcome home".

The horses will remain in an acclimation pen for about a week until they are familiar with the sights and sounds of their new home. Then they will be allowed to leave the pen and go meet their new roomies in person. They are sharing 70 acres with 8 other horses previously taken in after a round up. They are all in the same age group of late teens to twenties.

As sad as this story began, and as happy as it has ended, it is not unique. This is basically the same story we have told hundreds of times before. The stories about horses who became prisoners and sentenced to a life of captivity guilty of no crime whatsoever. Their only misfortune was being born innocent wild horses on our public lands controlled by people who have little to no appreciation for their beauty or respect for their God given right to exist.

Lifesavers has been rescuing mustangs for 25 years. We have over 400 horses under our care currently. Even though we continue to fight for better treatment and management of America's wild horses it seems that there are more deaf ears than not. So, we will keep rescuing them and giving them as much freedom as we can afford.

During these hard times of inflation and uncertain economic futures our donations have dropped off drastically, and hay prices have increased. It's difficult to make ends meet, let alone plan for more mouths to feed. But, thanks to our kind and generous friends like you we have never missed a day of feeding the horses we have.

Thank you so much for being a part of our mission to rescue wild and domestic horses from situations of abuse, neglect, and slaughter. We can only do this with your continued support.

We have a load of hay scheduled to be delivered this week and will need to pay about $18,000 for it and it will last us only a couple of weeks. Any donation amount you can give us will be a blessing and will help us feed our horses.

I hope you enjoyed the rescue story of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Ironman, Wolverine, and NightCrawler. They are part of our Lifesavers' family now. We will take good care of them. And thank you for being a part of our family too! The horses of Lifesavers depend on you and your love.

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