Updated article on PEGAs Purpose & Objectives including VITAL POINTS for adoption & information regarding Army’s EA/Plan.
Pegasus Equine Guardian Association (PEGA) is a registered Louisiana Non Profit Organization that formed to help preserve and protect these animals. With an awareness that wild equines are much better left in the wild such as their home in the Kisatchie Region, PEGA continues to seek APPROPRIATE solutions, both with their long term welfare (should they need to be removed) and their preservation as part of Louisiana’s history and heritage in mind.
Fort Polk Horses of Kisatchie is a Facebook community that has featured issues about the wild and free roaming equines at Fort Polk Army Base, Peason Ridge (northwest of Fort Polk base) and Kisatchie National Park(northeast of Fort Polk base); as well as the area’s rich historical place in the expansion of early Louisiana. https://www.facebook.com/fortpolkhoses/
Important Information to Consider
Sterilization and mass removals have proven to be drastic and damaging measures for wild horses across the United States and will ERASE & WIPE OUT part of Louisiana early history, should they be eliminated from the Kisatchie area. Read about the army’s EA and plans here: Army’s Environmental Assessment April 2016
There has been an increase of caring people inquiring and commenting about adopting the horses. It’s important to consider that un-handled or wild horses can be unpredictable, not easily worked with, and may increase liability and historically are not adoptable to the general public for long-term success. There is a difference between a horse lover or advocate and a successful wild horse adopter. Many a mustang taken from a wild state and adopted to well-meaning and compassionate people has been foundered, injured or ended up in bad hands, at auction or a kill lot. Liability is high and it takes expertise, safety knowledge and continued resources for their appropriate care.
Patience and time to interact with these horses daily by those who understand NATURAL HORSE BEHAVIOR as opposed to “horse training” will be most successful in acclimating wild or range bred equines to their new lifestyle. While some horses may be tamer and in need of assistance, secure, safe fencing, along with skills & experience to safely handle, feed, care for, socialize, adopt and conduct long term follow up on these animals at *appropriate homes* should also be seriously considered.
It’s important to consider that a 501c3 is a *tax status* and DOES NOT guarantee appropriate care or long term safety. There are dedicated non profits and individuals that do good work as well. Therefore, seek and follow the advice and experience of *reputable rescues and sanctuaries that have been helping large animals (wild and domestic) to a better life over time. These dedicated individuals and professionals will likely explain the realities and challenges of working with rescued horses, let alone un-handled ones.
Rescuing is a labor of love~ it requires time and resource sacrifices and is an important life decision not only for the animals, but for adopters and their families. It is a huge responsibility and life-long commitment to socialize a wild horse to living in civilization. Local boarding stables may not have the proper facilities for them. For example, a stall with a turnout and containment of plastic fence or barbed wire is NOT safe, nor natural for their metabolism as migratory grazers. They can get injured, or escape in attempts to reach other horses or forage. 5-6 acres realistically requires continued financial resources for round bales, water, mineral, manure management and insect control.
Well meaning people sometimes do not plan for the future and reach a point where they can no longer keep the animals. For these reasons and because of the reduced numbers of the Fort Polk, Peason Ridge and Kisatchie area equines, PEGA and others hope many can stay in their wild setting and restricted from some of Fort Polk’s land that is near the training areas or possibly be relocated to a safer area on the 604,000 acres.
A LARGER adequate sized land parcel or sanctuary, providing a way for them to naturally wear their feet down, with proper fencing, forage, nutrition, water, and shelter/windbreak (according to climate) would generally be a better fit than rescues with no experience handling wild or un-handled horses and would allow the animals the kind of life they are more accustomed to.
Lastly, while Pegasus Equine Guardian Association may independently coordinate assistance for some animals as needed, PEGA is not affiliated with nor does it currently sanction individuals or rescue groups inquiring with the army about adoption, raising funds, coordinating transportation or proceeding with adoption efforts.
Pegasus Equine Guardian Association~Purpose and Objectives:
“To preserve and protect the horses and other equine animals that exist on the lands of Fort Polk (including the Peason Ridge area) and lands of the Kisatchie National Forest; to promote and establish rescue mechanisms and sanctuaries for wild or other equine animals; to facilitate programs related to the rescue of said equines in the event that their removal from Fort Polk, Peason Ridge and the Kisatchie National Forest becomes necessary.
Donations can be used for any of the following purposes: Future rescue, fostering and adoption efforts, feed, hay, water, veterinary care or other equine care, resources, supplies or equipment, purchasing/leasing of facilities, shelter, land or equine transportation; as well as advocating for enforcement of Animal Cruelty Laws through legal assistance; to advocate for proper welfare and stewardship of wild or abandoned equine animals (e.g., horses, mules, donkeys, and related animals) wherever they may be found, initially and specifically including those equine animals that exist within Ft. Polk, Kisatchie / (Louisiana), its training areas, including the main post and the Peason Ridge training area, and all such U.S.. Military controlled lands in the area, and the lands of the Kisatchie National Forest, especially that part adjacent to Ft. Polk lands, and where wild or abandoned equine animals may roam.
PEGA regards that the animals of concern to it are primarily free-roaming or abandoned equines, whether branded or not, that range upon any lands, but especially those under the purview of the U.S. Military, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but not excluding such animals that range upon other lands.
PEGA shall further pursue objectives including: to endeavor to prove the eligibility for special protection as wild-free roaming wild horses and burros under the Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, or to prove that wild horses descended from historical American stock, such as Colonial Spanish Horses or Indian “mustangs”, or horses native to geographical areas which are regarded as a special part of our American heritage and history; to prevent animal cruelty and abuse in any handling or transportation of equine animals, and to assure that none go to slaughter; to advocate for, and sue on behalf of, members of PEGA who have a special interest in and connection to equine animals indicated above, any individuals who are of, or descended from, the “Heritage Families”, whose land was acquired from them by the U.S. Government for the purpose of establishing Ft. Polk, American Indians, and others; and to facilitate communication with, and make recommendations to the “Heritage Families”, other individuals with an interest in the equines, and all government departments, including the U.S. Military, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Agriculture, that have jurisdiction of the lands on which the equines roam.
Additionally, PEGA regards that the animals of concern to it are primarily free-roaming or abandoned equines, whether branded or not, that range upon any lands, but especially those under the purview of the U.S. Military, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but not excluding such animals that range upon other lands on which the equines roam.”
Note: Please read and consider the points in this Note,
In corresponding with Fort Polk, please send RESPECTFUL comments to email address below:
If your internet provider is hughes.net or any other satellite provider…YOU MUST send your comment from a SMART PHONE or hard copy to:
JRTC and Fort Polk, Public Affairs Office Attention: Public Response 7033 Magnolia Drive Bldg. 4919 Fort Polk, LA 71459-5342 You may also call (337)531-6134
By Kimberly Sheppard. This Note will be updated as needed.