CHEYENNE, WYO. — On a 16-mile trek off a mountain, a young horse lay down — she could not go another step. The mare looked deathly ill to the men leading a train of horses out of a base camp for hunting and fishing excursions.
In a race against the weather last fall, they left behind the horse they named Valentine to get the rest of the animals down. When they went back for her the next day, she had vanished into the vast Wyoming wilderness.
Six weeks later, a worker spotted the 6-year-old mare, and her owners helped guide the healthy horse out through a storm and deep December snow. Not only is this grizzly bear country, a domesticated animal like Valentine had to find food and survive the harsh winter conditions.
She didn’t even need veterinary care. But when the story spread last week in the horse-loving resort region of Jackson Hole, it unleashed a fervent debate among residents over whether the outfitting company did the right thing in leaving the horse, did all it could to find her or should have put her down to spare her suffering.
It has culminated in a state criminal investigation that aims to find out if the outfitter’s actions were cruel or helped lead to what some call the miraculous survival of an animal that’s iconic in the American West.
B.J. Hill, who owns Swift Creek Outfitters and the horse, said he has received angry phone calls from across the country.
“People are so quick to judge,” Hill said in a telephone interview from his ranch. “Who knows what’s going to happen. It’s not over with yet. We’re just trying to survive the moment that our horse is home.”
Hill, who owns 125 horses, said Valentine is doing well and is happy. It’s unclear why she got sick.
I was searching the internet for images to illustrate a post when I came across some pictures of “die in” protests like this one.
A die-in, sometimes known as a lie-in, is a form of protest in which participants simulate being dead. Die-ins are a tactic that has been used by a variety of protest groups including animal rights activists, peace activists, human rights activists, AIDS activists, gun control activists and environmental activists.
As you can see, this is not your average type of protest.
How about this? No matter what else you think about them, nobody does protesting quite like PETA.
So, can you imagine yourself doing this to help our wild horses? Or raise awareness about horse slaughter? Horse racing? Horse soring? PMU horses?
Describe what you think a die-in protest on any horse issue might look like. If we can come up with a grand enough idea and can raise the money to stage it, we will do it. We would love to do it.
Where should we do it? How about Washington which is only slightly less challenging than New York.
There are protests there on a daily basis in Washington but I think something like this would get some decent attention. We would video it of course and to give it lots of extra mileage.
How about a “You Bet. They Die” die-in protest in Louisville or Lexington?
These are just a couple of examples to get your thinking cap on and for illustration purposes only. Thank you.
PETA protesters stage a Die-In against seal hunting at Canada House in London, England. Photo Credit: See more at Getty Images.
We have seen this photo around social media labeled horse hair boots.
If you have seen it too and know where it comes from please let us know.
We are also looking for someone who works in the fashion industry who knows about textiles to please contact us to answer a few questions. We are simply seeking a few clarifications. Nothing sneaky or snoopy.
If you know someone like this ask them if they would be willing to help out.
A shout out to the photographer too. Did you take this picture? What publication? Just curious.