I am attaching pictures of the horse that was seen on a Game Camera located South of Heber/Overgaard. The pictures were taken on April 5, 2014. We hope this will help locate this horse’s owner. We are concerned that they may have been thrown from the horse but hopefully that is not the case.
Regardless of how the horse came to be roaming the forest, it is an example of how some domestic horses have come to be on the National Forest. They are not true Wild Horses. Many came from the Indian Reservation. It is common for the boundary fence to be damaged during the winter snows and when the spring wind blows trees down.
Here are some of the facts on the horses that are near Heber/Overgaard available through this link www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3824057.pdf.
One of the key statements being, Question What is a wild horse? Answer: “Wild horse” is a legal status provided to unmarked and unclaimed horses and their progeny that were considered wild and free roaming on public lands at the time of passage of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA) of 1971 (see 36 CFR 222.60 (b)(13)).”
Pay close attention to the part that says, “at the time of passage.” The horses that are on the forest now were not there in 1971. Next it says, “Any horse introduced onto the Forest on or after December 15, 1971 by accident, negligence or willful disregard of private ownership is NOT a wild horse. Such horses are defined as unauthorized livestock. (see 36 CFR 262.10) Unauthorized livestock do not have the status of a wild horse under the Act.”
The next Question is, “What prompted establishing a Wild Horse Territory on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests? The answer provided is, “After passage of the WHBA of 1971, a Wild Horse Territory was established near the town of Heber for a small band of wild horses. A 1974 census of horses in the Heber Wild Horse Territory (HWHT) found only seven horses. Over the next 20 years the herd size remained very small. The last census of the Territory in 1993 found only two mares and it is believed that the wild horse herd no longer exists.”
The horses that are on the forest now need to be managed. There is a lot of propaganda being spread about the horses and it is a good idea to check out the facts instead of accepting the propaganda as fact.