Okay so according to the above embedded news story from Oklahoma Channel 6 news (follow link if the video fails), Ladd Drummond claims that of the $1.04 million dollars the government pays him to take care of the 3400 wild horses that roam his ranch, he profits only one hundred thousand dollars? Where is all the rest of that money going? Is he taking these horses to fashion week in Paris? Does each horse have it’s own masseuse? Does he feed them gourmet hay? Does he buy each horse a Pottery Barn quilt for a saddle blanket?
Also – do his profits include the money generated off of his wife’s blog that so stupidly chronicle the mustangs on their ranch?
According to this video, his expenses include:
1. Feed in the winter
2. Salt and mineral in the summer
Evidently it costs nine hundred and forty thousand dollars for three months of hay, salt and mineral in Oklahoma?
What is this mineral?
For those of you who aren’t aware of the current debacle that is the Bureau of Land Management and it’s bizarre philosophy on wild horse care, it is a huge controversy spanning decades of love, lust, murder, and meat. I have been working on a post about it for weeks. There’s so much to learn. I may never get the dang thing finished, but I aim to TRY!
In the mean time…
Yesterday the sun came out and it warmed up enough to take some photos for the upcoming Pie Near Woman Rides a Wild Mustang Saga of Love, Lust, Murder and Meat.
Clad only in my third son’s snow-boots and my eldest son’s snow-pants, I played with the Barbies in the snow like a little kid. My fervent and febrile prayer rising to the heavens that each and everyone of my neighbors was watching my snow encrusted foibles!
I’d like to send a special thanks to Lori for sending me some fabulous BLM mustangs for this story. She even gave them the proper BLM brand! You can see it on the little gray horse and also on the one that is almost overwhelmed by Pie Near’s tutu. And yes, that is a new tutu. It’s her winter molt. She also has some new boots. Closet inventory giveaway to follow!
But back to Ladd and his millions… uh I mean his hundred thousand. The main problem as I see it is this…
The government pays ranchers like Ladd Drummond $1.30/per something called an ‘animal unit’ (au) which equals one horse per day to care for a herd of wild horses. Believe it or not one animal unit (au) does not always mean one animal. A cow and her calf is also considered an animal unit.
au = one wild horse.
au = one cow and her calf
one wild horse = one cow and her calf
The reason the government ships thousands of wild horses to Drummond and his ilk is so that cattle ranchers in the big western states don’t have to share the public grazing lands with the wild horses.
Let me just break this down…
Cattle ranchers in Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Colorado, California etc want to use public land to graze their cows.
This public land is supposed to belong to you, me and the wild horses, but it really seems to belong to private interests with powerful lobbies in Washington.
Unfortunately the cattle must compete for resources on the public lands with the wild horses who are protected by law and cannot be killed.
According to the BLM there aren’t enough resources on the land to support both the horses and the cattle, so the government opts to move the wild horses to large land barons in primarily Oklahoma and Kansas such as our hero of the haunches, Ladd Drummond.
The government pays Ladd Drummond $1.30 per mustang per day.
The government then charges ranchers who use public lands $1.35 per cow/calf per month.
So the government pays Ladd Drummond THIRTY TIMES what it charges ranchers in the big western states to graze their cattle on public land. Cattle ranchers in the west get cheap subsidized grazing land on which to grow their cows and Ladd Drummond gets rich off the taxpayers backs! It’s a total win/win! Yay!
Except taking care of horses is a lot easier than taking care of cows! You never have to turn a horse into a hamburger patty.
I tell you what! If I was a rancher I would get the HELL out of the cow business and get myself into the mustang business fast!
And then for Gawd’s sake! Please write a blog about it! There’s nothing better than reading about and looking at gorgeous pictures of the wild mustangs that I am paying Ladd Drummond a million dollars to babysit. So awesome!