Welcome to Red Birds Trust

Local Advocates Preserving and Protecting the Onaqui Wild Horses of Utah



ed Birds Trust 501(c)(3) is a grass roots organization based in Tooele, Utah founded by wild horse advocates who live locally and who have immersed themselves in the daily lives of the Onaqui in Utah's west desert.  

It is our goal to help these wild horses live their best lives both on the range and after adoption.  Because all board positions are filled by volunteers donating their time and energy to the cause it then allows for 100% of all donations to go to the betterment of our wild and adopted Onaqui horses.  You can read more about each of the horses we've helped to rescue here.

As 2023 comes to an end and 2024 begins we have so much to be grateful for and endless people to be thankful to for helping us to be able to help the Onaqui when they’re in need.

2023 was another an incredibly busy year.

In June we hosted a range cleanup event for volunteers to help remove a very old, dilapidated catch pen in the north HMA with endless amounts of broken posts, wire and glass making that area safer for not only the wild horses, but all the wildlife calling the west desert their home. Then in October we hosted another event at Wild Heart Sanctuary in Park City to help get this beautiful property prepped and ready for winter for the 9 wild horses calling it home, including 4 Onaqui mares.

With the help of our donors, private adopters and sanctuaries we were able to:

- Make a contribution to Skydog Sanctuary to provide for south herd band stallion Ariat’s purchase price and subsequent transport to live the rest of his days wild and free with Clare at Skydog in Oregon

- Contribute $5,000 to the reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person/s responsible for the murder of south herd stallions Jasper and Arshan

- Cover transportation costs for two south herd Onaqui mares found in a Pennsylvania sales barn to their forever home in Texas where they were reunited with 2 other Onaqui geldings from the same 2021 roundup

- Find sanctuary placement with LifeSavers Wild Horse Rescue for a traumatized and abused north Onaqui mare named Zora and provided her transportation from Wyoming to the sanctuary location in California

- Cover the costs of bail, quarantine and transportation for Johnny Cash, a beautiful black north herd Onaqui gelding found in an Oklahoma kill pen. He is returning home to Utah from Oklahoma where he will spend the remainder of his days with two other Onaqui mares in his forever home.

- Cover the costs of bail and transportation for Cheveyo (thanks to Skydog for covering his quarantine costs) who was found in a Texas kill pen and scheduled as a direct ship to Mexico for slaughter. Cheveyo has returned home to Utah and will spend as much time as he needs decompressing and learning to trust humans again.

- Cover the purchase costs of a south Onaqui mare and north Onaqui mare who were shipped back east and repeatedly left standing at BLM facilities after being “passed” on by adopters. They ended up in Florida at a storefront and with help we were able to pay for them and cover the costs of transportation from Florida to Ohio where they found a safe, soft landing at Mustang Journey Sanctuary in Goshen, Ohio.

- Donors helped us make a contribution towards emergency colic surgery for one of our Onaqui mares from the 2019 roundup who was left on the side of the road abandoned and was subsequently seized by BLM and adopted to her new, loving home.

- Rip was a north herd band stallion who was put up for sale in Oregon. He was purchased by a wonderful good Samaritan who reached out to us to see if we knew where his mares and babies ended up. We were able to put her in touch with Grace Reins Sanctuary in Colorado where one of his mares and colts was living and assist in costs of transportation to get him from Oregon to Colorado where he will live out his life with his mare and colt in this beautiful sanctuary setting.

This is in addition to the 138 horses total in 16 months we were able to help in 2021 and 2022.

A direct link to the BLM's 2021 informational page on the Onaqui Roundup which includes number of horses removed can be found on the BLM website at: https://www.blm.gov/programs/whb/utah/2021-onaqui-wild-horse

Mission Statement

Onaqui Herd Management Area Clean-ups

The Onaqui HMA is located 40 miles southwest of Tooele and covers an impressive 240,153 acres of public and state lands accessed by the historic Pony Express Byway. There are two main bands of Onaqui horses, one in the north and one in the south. When traversing the range on foot it is all too common to come across old barbed wire fences, downed posts, litter and other human waste that can be very dangerous to the horses well-being.

Red Birds Trust has conducted nemerous range cleanups with the help of our local BLM field office and countless volunteers who have traveled to Utah from 13 different states and even several international destinations.  We've been able to remove 15+ miles of old, dangerous fencing to date and look forward to removing more.  Maintaining a volunteer database makes our clean-up efforts seamless and we are excited to have a strong team locally and beyond who are committed to offering their valuable time for the betterment of the wild horses.

Onaqui horses and HMA

Onaqui Education

This organization is passionate about providing accurate information, educational resources and updates of current events t as they relate to the Onaqui horses and HMA. We look forward to sharing information and garnering support for these special horses.

Care of Adopted Onaqui Wild Horses

Rescue & Care of Adopted Onaqui Wild Horses

All 303 Onaqui horses put up for adoption at the Delta Utah BLM facility in December 2021 were adopted into private homes, sanctuaries and/or by TIP trainers.  We are forever grateful for everyone who came through to make this happen by opening their hearts and homes, offering donations and advocating for the best placements for individual horses.

Caring for a horse is a huge commitment on many levels. One that takes time, patience, love and financial committment.  Donations received will be allocated for: providing safe transporation of Onaqui horses rescued from kill pens or at-risk situations, training resources, medical care and other unforseen emergency situations for adopted Onaqui horses including Onaqui adopted by members of this organization.

Red Birds Trust wants to offer a community based approach for care and resources for these special horses and be able to allocate donations to those in need of assistance with their Onaqui due to unforseen circumstances or financial hardship. By building a community who can help each other through the difficult times and celebrate the good we can only hope that it will also help keep them in their forever homes rather than ending up abandoned, in poor health or in kill pens.

A direct link to the BLM's 2021 informational page on the Onaqui Roundup which includes number of horses removed, application for adoption, and adoption requirements can be found at: https://www.blm.gov/programs/whb/utah/2021-onaqui-wild-horse

Please visit our FaceBook page for a 6 month special project (July 2022 to November 2022) where equine photographers and sanctuaries came together to share their stories of Onaqui rounded up in 2021 that now call these sanctuaries home.  Each month a new sanctuary was featured with stories and images of their mission, vision, background and current needs.

Current images of our Onaqui in their new homes will depict their current lives and give suggestions for how you can help them succeed in the future.

Onaqui horses

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