East Valley dangerous for horses
August 5, 2013
First, let me preface my letter by saying that my husband and I live in the Buckeye-East Valley area.
While relocating some of the Fish Springs' "feral" (the correct term) horses seems like a win-win compromise, the BLM's idea to move a small herd of horses from Fish Springs to the Buckeye Creek area near where it crosses East Valley Road is a bad idea. It would be recipe for disaster for both the horses and the people using the East Valley Road due to potential encounters between horses and vehicles. These horses are not likely to stay out in the open range on the east side of the road when water and better forage are "greener" on the west side.
With a speed limits in the area of 35 or 45 mph (with many going faster), a crash could not only result in serious injury to vehicle occupants, but also cause the death of the horse. Hitting a horse, especially in a low-profile passenger car, is probably more dangerous than hitting almost any other large animal because of a horse's high center of gravity. Often the horse's body will go through the windshield in to the passenger compartment causing serious injuries or even fatalities.
When we moved here in 2000, we had a herd of about 16 horses, as well as "bachelor" band of three young stallions, that frequented our area. One of the "bachelors" was hit and killed on Buckeye Road near (GE) Bently's around 2003. We always enjoyed watching them, and they even came inside our fence to get water from our llamas' water barrel when our gate was open. I even joked that I (a former horse owner) could have had a couple of horses just by closing the gate. At some point, they must have been rounded up because they disappeared—there had been a number of complaints from people in the Wildflower area who had unfenced yards. I believe that "good fences make good neighbors," whether it be for people or animals on either side of the fence.
While I wouldn't mind having some horses in our area again, I believe the safety of people and the horses should be the first consideration in any decision whether or not to bring them back to the Buckeye area.