Fantastic Friday - Victory for Wild Horses

I may not live in America, I have never seen wild horses in the flesh, but I fully support their right to live free on land they and their ancestors have occupied for decades.

Pryor Mountain mustangs

Pryor Mountain mustangs

I support The Cloud Foundation, a non-profit corporation that was, more or less, started by the cinematographer and writer, Ginger Kathrens. She’d been following the stallion, Cloud, and his herd. As she got to know them, she began to fear for their future, and that of other wild horses.

I began to realise that we were losing America’s wild horses. They are rounded up by the thousands, losing in an instant what they value most – freedom and family. I realised that even Cloud and his family were in danger.” ~ Ginger Kathrens.

Cloud ( pbs.org )

Cloud (pbs.org)

I’ve been following the recent court case against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), responsible for rounding up and holding wild horses.

The case involved what’s called the Wyoming ‘checkerboard’, which is an area covering acres of unfenced land, which is both private and public. Private land owners, essentially the Rock Springs Grazing Association and other ranchers who use public lands, had requested the BLM remove any wild horses that cross into private property. But the group defending wild horses – The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) – claim that the Grazing Association want the land for livestock grazing despite the association having agreed 40 years ago to allow the horses to graze up to a certain number, which means the wild horses are federally protected on public lands. But the Grazing Association say the BLM has failed to keep the numbers low enough and it now wants out of the deal, and it wants the horses gone.

Pryor Mountain mare and foal

Pryor Mountain mare and foal

When hearing of cases like this, it is easy to let cynicism take over and believe that politics and money will outshout any humane voice of reason. Well, colour me awesomely surprised to learn that on Tuesday, October 11th, the US Court of Appeals ruled in favour of the wild horses!!

Here’s part of the press release:

'DENVER, CO (October 11, 2016) . . . Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the State of Wyoming against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeking the removal of hundreds of wild horses from public lands across the state. The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, and wild horse photographers Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl were granted the right to intervene in the case and filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against the BLM.

At issue in the case, first filed in 2014, were wild horses in the Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek, Stewart Creek, Fifteenmile and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Wyoming.

The Tenth Circuit held, “We reject the State’s arguments… the [Wild Horse] Act does not define the phrase “appropriate management level” and thus does not equate it with any requirement to remove excess animals from a particular HMA… the BLM is under no statutory duty to remove animals from the seven HMAs at issue.”'

And the link for the full transcript

Whenever I see Ginger Kathrens and her friends' beautiful pictures take of the wild horses (which can also be found on the Foundation's facebook page), I find myself yearning to be there, in those gorgeous surroundings, just for a chance to see those “freedom loving icons of the West”. (Ginger Kathrens)

Fantastic Friday - It's Natural, Not Embarrassing

A bit of a ‘heavy’ topic but when I saw the video that’s at the end of the post, it fired me up and I wanted to say something about breastfeeding.

A mother breastfeeding her child – personally, I think that’s a beautiful sight. If a mother chooses to breastfeed her child in public – because, let’s face it when a baby is hungry, a baby is hungry – there is absolutely no reason for the mother to feel embarrassed about doing so. It is no one’s business but her own.

The ‘hoo-haa’ that people seem to be making lately about mothers breastfeeding in public is unbelievable! I cannot fathom why anyone would attach sexual connotations to it. Really?? How anyone can compare breastfeeding to topless models in ‘top-shelf’ magazines boggles the mind! Why stare at mothers feeding – breastfeeding – their children? No one stares when babies are bottle-fed; no one stares at anyone drinking their coffee in public. Why is it such a big deal??

I breastfed Gordon for 13 months and enjoyed it so much – the closeness it fosters between mother and baby is wonderful. Liam was a fusspot when it came to feeding so that didn’t work out and I had to bottle-feed him; I missed not having the chance to breastfeed him. It’s good that we have the alternative of bottles because there are times breastfeeding doesn’t work for mother or baby. And I'm not saying that bottle-feeding doesn't foster closeness. Breast or bottle, it comes down to freedom of choice; I don't think mothers should be bullied into choosing one or the other, they should be left to choose what works best for them. However, when a mother chooses to breastfeed, it should be encouraged. In fact, it should just ‘be’, without it being an issue, one way or the other.

Holly McNish, a poet and spoken word artist, says it very plainly and eloquently, and the video itself is thought-provoking.

Fantastic Friday - 'Feel Good' Music!

While thinking about my post for today, I spied this on Youtube. It brightened my day, and filled me with such delight, I just had to share it.

I’d never heard of Rockin’1000, the biggest rock band in the world.

They are, literally, made up of 1000 musicians. Last year, they banded together to play Foo Fighters’ ‘Learn To Fly’; the video went viral and they successfully persuaded the internationally acclaimed rock band to perform in Cesena, a small town in Italy. 

Last month, Rockin’1000 returned to Cesena, squeezed the entire band of over 1000 musicians from all over the world into the town’s stadium, and played their first live concert, ‘That’s Live’. And the band includes children! Children on drums, children on guitar, rocking along with the adults – just amazing.

This is what caught my attention – their rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Rebel Rebel’. Enjoy!

P.S: I won't be posting on Sunday and will resume 'normal service' next Wednesday :)

Fantastic Friday - Quotes to Encourage

Now that I’m about to start the next chapter of my life, I thought it timely to share more of the sayings that helped me get through the difficult times, that helped me get to where I am now – ready, excited and impatient to jump into the future!

“The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased.  It can only be accepted” ~ Unknown

“Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.  Every morning we wake up is the first day of the rest of our life” ~ Unknown

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” ~ Buddha

“Don’t allow your wounds to transform you into someone you’re not” ~ Paulo Coelho

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome” ~ Unknown

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked.  Try approving of yourself and see what happens” ~ Louise Hay

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” ~ Joseph Campbell

“Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come” ~ Pravinee Hurbungs

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.  Tiptoe if you must but take the step” ~ Naeem Callaway

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own.  No apologies or excuses.  No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.  The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.  This is the day your life really begins” ~ Bob Moawad

[Pic - Oct 2007 - Centre Parcs, Longleat]