May 9, 2008; a friend of mine came out from town. Our mission was to look at the land of 3 Strikes Ranch. It was during a nice day, and the snow had melted. Our curiosity was to see the condition of the land after the snowfall we'd had, and to see if there was any grass left, or hay being fed. Looking out over the hills, there wasn't an abundance of vegetation. The moisture was much needed, hopefully we were getting enough for these hills to heal up and keep producing.
To get to Jason's entrance, you had to drive through our land, which is where I am taking the picture. the 'Kids Pasture'. The following land pictures were taken in February and March of 2009.
On the right side of the fence, is Meduna land. Notice that bare patch of land on the left? It is not too hard to see that posts are leaning to that side; they leaned over to eat the grass, thus causing erosion to start on our property also. The kids had just fixed this fence in January, and now, February 10, were fixing it again. Most of the posts in this line of fence were broken.
You know, I'm pretty sure I don't need to write anything to explain these pictures. Just imagine though, checking our own cattle and looking across the fence at this. And he accused us of poisoning his horses...
My heart sank when the kids called me on our business band radio, "Mom, you there? Grab your camera and come over by where we're fencing. There's another dead horse."
There are three different land owners in this picture. Our land is the bottom left corner, Gilroy's land is the top left corner, and Meduna's ground is the right side of the fence. The typical leaning posts, staples pushed out from horses leaning over fences, and wires down. At this corner, we leave our property, and will continue around Meduna's borders, (with permission from our good friends/neighbors).
Gilroy's land, as all of the surrounding neighbors; had to deal with staples out, wires down, posts broken. ONE of the things that made me laugh when I read the 3 Strikes web site, was Jason claiming how well/much he fenced, because 'good fences make good neighbors'. Geez. I didn't even know it existed until a friend told me about it. (His web site, not good fencing...that didn't exist for 3 Strikes Ranch)
Anybody see anything to eat out there??????? Oh yes, what you probably cannot see in this picture, more bones up the hill.
In the center of this picture, you cannot see it very well, but there is another carcass on the ground. I took the liberty to zoom it in for you in the next picture.
A lot of the horses found on the place, were in low ground. That would be where the most vegetation would be. At least the horses knew that, but there was nothing there.
Pretty sure the average person can figure out there's no poisoning of feed, no poisoning of water....Hey, maybe there IS NO FEED, and there IS NO WATER. In grade school, we were taught that is what is needed to survive; or maybe our human instincts just knew that.
Alright...in this close up and the next close up; here is what I think happened. (No, I do not claim to be a vet, or have a fraction of their knowledge.) When I zoomed in on this horse, I think she went down, probably began labor, and had two things against her: 1. she was too weak to push and 2. she was laying downhill, which didn't help matters at all.
Yes, this poor horse could just be bloated from death. I stick to my thoughts:
There is dirt upturned behind her; this is either from her struggle to get up, have her colt, or a coyote has already come visiting. I prefer to hope it's one of the first two. It looks to me like her tail is high and behind her, this is what cows look like when they are calving. I personally have never watched a horse have a baby, but I'm pretty sure it's likely about the same. To me, it would appear she has a 'bag' - it looks like it is developed for a baby to suck, but could also be from death. I think she was with milk, ready to nurture her baby. And I'm hoping I'm wrong, but I think the white 'spot' you see between her bag and her tail, is possibly a hoof. A baby hoof that never had a chance to be born into this world.
In our world of calving, we check our cows every couple hours. If one is calving, we check her more often until the calf is on the ground. The risk of the dying from even the sack on it's face is there, so we are there. We may not save all of them, but we are out there trying.
This horse breeder was not. And how many died that we'll never know of? How long has he been breeding?
I can only hope death was fast. But death from starvation is not...
This photo is from the south/eastern side of 3 Strikes Ranch.
Guess which side belonged to Meduna?
Obviously, the right side of the fence was Meduna's. The hills in the far, far distance were Meduna's.
Words are not needed.
The erosion on the left side of the fence, is caused by the fact there is no ground cover on Meduna's side, so when the wind blows.....so does the sand. It covers the grass on the opposite side, although most of it directly on the opposite side, had been eaten down to the ground also. Can you imagine why?
Some say, 'he just got in over his head.' I say, 'No.'
This 'tour' consists of only half our border with Meduna, and one other neighbor. There are three more that border him. This is the first set. This is the east area that he told everyone he had to get the horses in from, to be able to watch them and protect them from the neighbors, and to keep them from any more poison.
Now look at this land. What do you think? Someone (we) poisoned his horses? Or did they just not have anything to eat?