“Horses, including wild horses, have partnered with humanity throughout history and literally ensured our survival. They need our help now.”
Wild Horses in Danger of Extinction
Although horses have been integral to human survival throughout history, the free-roaming horses of today are sidelined from human society and awareness. Largely unseen, they face a crisis of environment and survival.
In 1900 there were over 2 million wild horses in America. Now there are less than 30,000—a 98.5% population reduction.
Originally the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act allocated 54 million acres for wild horse habitat. Since that legislation was enacted in 1971, 98% of the federal lands designated as wild horse habitat has been taken away and given to the livestock industry as long-term leases at low cost. This depleted space for wild horses has squeezed them onto inhospitable areas of ten western states.
Free-roaming horses of the United States, known as mustangs or American wild horses, and burros were widely believed to be safe under the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversight. In truth, they are in danger of extinction. On public lands, horse and burro herds are being decimated, subjected to hideous cruelty and slaughter, and reduced to populations that are below sustainable levels or totally eliminated.
This critical situation calls us to compassion and responsible engagement to change the human heart and restructure our social and governmental policies.
The unnecessary violence and waste that has been a long tradition in the western United States must end. Our times call for a new tradition of tolerance, nonviolence and collaboration.
Collaboration is the key to survival of species—our human species and every species on Earth. Only through collaboration can we sustain our planet, ourselves and the rest of the natural world. Every species plays an essential role. The lessons we learn from our current situation will determine our future. Now is our opportunity for peaceful co-existence on the planet.
Horses, including wild horses, have partnered with humanity throughout history and literally ensured our survival. They need our help now.
Prayers for the Wild Horses
Here are some sample prayers to say inwardly or out loud, once a day or as frequently throughout the day as you feel guided. Feel free to modify them. If you aren’t accustomed to praying, simply hold the prayer’s intention in your heart and mind. Your prayer has a powerful effect. Joining in group prayer has an exponential effect:
We pray for support for the wild horses.
May they be honored and acknowledged for who they are—
Their beauty, their wildness, their expansive consciousness, their expression of freedom.
May the land they roam on continue to be theirs in perpetuity.
May humans honor them as they have honored us with service through the ages.
The Horses’ Prayer for Peace
May our pastures be blessed,
May our People run free
That we may help and teach humanity
To live in the heart.
Heart! Heart! To live in the heart.
Peace! Peace! That’s where it will start!
And we will teach humanity to live in the heart!
© Alicia Nation*
A Silent Tear
Stand proud wild horse of the desert plain
Do not let them your spirit claim
Stand tall, stand firm, do not give in
Though domination men seek to win.
God made you strong and gave you heart
And set you free right from the start
To roam the valleys and the hills
Yet your freedom men seek to steal.
Don’t they know or can’t they see
This is where you were meant to be.
Other beasts of burden cannot compare
Nor your beauty do they share.
If we listen we might hear
The thunderous roar, the silent tear
Of slaughtered ones from the past
And understand your plight at last.
More About Wild Horses
Today’s wild horses are the same horses that have lived on the plains of North America for centuries. They have partnered with humans, enabling us to survive and flourish because of their strength, speed and generous spirits.
Horses form strong, lifelong friendships and complex collaborative social groups. They roam up to 25 miles per day, browsing rather than standing in one spot and grazing. Their hooves till the earth and their manure reseeds the plains to keep the grassland healthy. Unlike domestic livestock (cattle) which decimate the land and leave it barren, indigenous, wild horses are essential to restoring native grasslands. Ethical scientists have discovered that free-roaming herds adjust their rate of reproduction to accommodate geographical and forage conditions, thus maintaining healthy herd habitat. The herd survives because of a strong and collaborative social structure in which the dominant mare both leads and protects the herd. It is this mutual respect and collaboration that wild horses can teach humanity and upon which the survival of our species depends.
How Horses Perceive the World
Connected to the pulse of the Earth and the spirit of all things, wild horses spend their lives in relationship with each other and the natural world. They interact with the energetic patterns of the planet, holding space for the evolution of humanity. Confusion is apparent on the faces of wild horses when they are placed into human-made environments, because in the wild the horses see only truth. In fact, when domestic horses are quietly standing and “meditating”, they delete the human-made conventions and tune into the planetary and spiritual energies around them. While they may be standing in a human-developed community when they are at rest, they see the rhythms of nature.
With your prayers and understanding of who these horses are, we can change the present policies from violence and greed to compassion. Your love and efforts on behalf of wild horses will help to initiate a long-awaited peace on the western plains and around the world.
Successful Wild Horse Management Programs in the US
In the eastern United States herds of wild horses have been successfully and responsibly managed without violence for over 100 years. These horses live in and around humans, roaming freely with careful oversight to protect the health of the fragile ecosystems which are native territory to these wild horses.
Learn more about successful programs of wild horse management:
With the American mustang crisis in the news worldwide, award-winning filmmaker, James Anaquad-Kleinert, offers a star-studded environmental film, Wild Horses & Renegades, featuring: Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Viggo Mortensen, Daryl Hannah, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Pulitzer Prize winning American Indian Author Scott Momaday. “If the public could view what’s being done to wild horses, the public would stand up and take action. This is just not a film about America’s Wild Horses, this is a film about what is happening to America itself!” states Michael Blake, author of Dances with Wolves. Watch a free 11-minute synopsis of the movie and learn more here.
The American Wild Horse Campaign
America’s leading voice on protecting wild mustangs & burros, The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is a nonprofit organization fighting to ensure the future of America’s iconic wild horses and burros and the Western public lands where they roam. We work to reform the cruel and costly federal wild horse and burro roundup program and replace it with humane management that keeps wild horses and burros wild, protected, and free. AWHC manages the largest, humane fertility control for wild, free-roaming horses in the world. Learn more here.
Kimerlee Curyl, Horse Photographer and Activist
Learn more about Kimerlee Curyl, here.
Herd: A Spiritual Journey
An award-winning, inspiring documentary. Learn more here.
Links to News Articles About the Plight of Wild Horses
A special thank you to Alicia Nation for writing most of the text for this prayer circle page, for her love and passion for the horses and for her inspiration.