Here is an update from Willis Lam with Least Resistance Training Concepts and Technical Large Animal Rescue. Thankfully Let 'em Run was able to contribute to this great cause!
1. Virginia Range Horses
As you may be aware, Blockchains bought out TRIC. They are SUPER horse friendly and are working to reestablish some sensible management over the V.R. horses. The collaborating advocate groups are working on restoring springs and other resources on the property with Blockchains assisting substantially.
Given all of the crazies in this arena, the company is keeping their strategies very close to the belt to prevent them being undermined. The public line is that they will be presenting a formal plan in the near future and the glimpses I have seen reveal that it will be something that the mainstream groups can heartily endorse. Those of us privy to bits of all of this have been charged with keeping the details confidential until all the kinks are worked out, so please forgive my lack of discussion on this matter.
Furthermore, Blockchains' Field Manager and his sons have joined LRTC and participate in Horse Sundays. Especially if Sisolak and Ford get elected here in Nevada, I think there is a very good chance for turning back the current anti-horse tide.
2. Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC) and Technical Large Animal Rescue (TLAR) Issues
As you know, we've been running some very old equipment that was way overdue for rehabilitation needed to actually be road safe. I am pleased to say that the crew got together and completed the last of the major work yesterday, replacing the obsolete axles on the Water Supply trailer. We now have brakes that are actually reliable! (What a concept.) Earlier in the year we performed the same upgrade to Rescue 3. The principal donors making these repairs possible were LERF and the VFW Post 8660 (Dayton.)
Bear's neighbor is a retired automotive painter and he repainted our trailers for just a little over the cost of materials, so they don't look so shabby any more.
We did have an accident with Rescue 3 coming back from a rescue call - a mare that had fallen into a ravine at TRIC and was trapped in some rocks. A tire blew out and tore up a fender. (Randy, the painter, is fixing that damage this weekend.)
The lesson for us all is that nearly all tires are now made in China using a lot of recycled materials. It's turning out that after about 5 years, the internal lamination in these tires starts to break down. They may look fine on the outside, but they could come apart on the inside. This issue is especially predominant with trailer tires. Fortunately the construction elements and loading of automobile tires isn't nearly as problematic as with trailers, but they also need to be watched more closely and proper air pressure maintained as compared with the old days.
Nonetheless, we now have new tires on Rescue 3, and in 2019 we're going to replace the tires on the water supply trailer and panel trailer. (I also read the tea leaves and I recently replaced all the tires on my personal horse trailer.)
You might pass the word along on that subject. Better to replace those old trailer tires than pay for body damage and then still have to replace the tires!
SPECIAL OPERATIONS SUPPORT TRAILER
We received a donated trailer and moved the heavy rescue gear, large generator and scene support equipment into it, reducing the weight load on Rescue 3. The rescue units will now be lighter, carrying initial response equipment, and be backed up by the S.O.S. trailer. Randy did a great job repainting what was originally a derelict rust bucket.
This is the "new" Rescue 1, stationed in Douglas County. Rescue 1 also covers the Pine Nut Range and the US-395 corridor up into the south Truckee Meadows. Wayne got the trailer donated in exchange for boarding the trailer owner's horses. (Rescue 1 was originally operated by the Division of Emergency Management, but when Mike Connell retired, the unit was decommissioned, leaving a coverage gap on the west side of the range.)
Water Supply 1 came out really nice. We also replaced the old, leaky pump, upgraded the plumbing and Randy repainted it. We finally didn't look like we came out of the Grapes of Wrath when we showed up at the Upper Colony Fire.
We've also increased our outreach with students, with displays and hands-on activities at some of the local schools. So far this year these activities involved 813 children between ages 3 – 15 and 284 adults (mainly parents and adult family members of students.)
While these demos focused on technical elements that caught the kids' attention and they were able to engage in, we were also able to discuss safety around horses, share information about the range horses as well as the more "global" elements specific to our region.
I should also add that we've had increased participation by Wild Horse Preservation League members at our training events. Several of their members are competently handling the calls in the greater Dayton area, taking a load off of us. We've also had a number of people from the north side of the range become more involved in training and they may organize a team. Since the Vazquez family moved back to California (for health reasons,) there is a response vacuum up there and we've been taking calls regarding range horses as far north as Palomino Valley.
So, that's the latest news. Thanks for playing an important role in making this all happen!