Shiprock looks to humane plan for feral horses


Shiprock Chapter President Duane “Chili” Yazzie has a plan to contain the population of feral horses in the chapter, and he’s reaching out to horse advocates for support.

A horses gallops through the shrubs as the Pyramid Rock dominates the horizon on Sunday morning near Gallup. (Times photo – Donovan Quintero)

On July 21, he posted on the Facebook group Indigenous Horse Nation Protector Alliance looking to reach out for support, recommendations and alliances in the horse advocate community.
In a phone interview with the Navajo Times on July 24, Yazzie extended that invitation.

“We would welcome any group or individuals that would like to support our effort,” Yazzie said.

He said chapter officials planned to make the Shiprock Chapter Feral Horse Capture Project a humane effort and provided documentation and a draft of the plan to the Navajo Times.

A letter from 2015 said the chapter walked away from the Navajo Nation’s Horse Roundup, because it was inhumane.

Yazzie said use of machines that included helicopters to round up horses, including young animals, had caused animals such stress that they had at times run themselves to death.
“It’s inhumane the way that’s been done before,” he said.

The Shiprock plan would use an “entrapment corral” to lure horses in with alfalfa feed to get animals into the corral willingly.

“At that point, we just close the gate,” he said.

Yazzie said the corralled horses would then be available for adoption and transportation, branded horses returned to owners, and sick and injured horses that needed to be put down treated by veterinarians.

For some of the goals, he said the chapter needs community support to make the program effective.

“We need support as far as what we do with the horses we capture,” he said.

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Categories: News
Tags: feral horses

About Author

Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo's beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at