Free roaming horses concern some Sandoval Co. residents

Posted at: 04/21/2013 10:53 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Residents in a Sandoval County community have noticed there are a lot more horses roaming freely.

There have been at least two crashes in the past couple of days where horses have been hit by vehicles in and around the Village of Placitas.

One resident fears it’s only a matter of time before a person is killed.

The issue of wild, feral or free-roaming horses is not a new issue for Placitas. Residents continue to debate whether the horses are wild and what to do with them, if anything at all.

The presence of the majestic creatures roaming freely throughout the area lured some residents.

"I sit on the deck in the back and watch the horses walk around, yeah it's not bad," said resident Fred Rahmer.

But, concerns for the population of free roaming horses seems to have grown in recent years.

The horses roam the entire village and are often found on the side of the road.

Sandoval County Sheriff’s deputies have responded to two crashes in the area since Thursday. One crash happened on Thursday along Interstate 25 in the Sandia Pueblo. A horse was killed early Friday morning when it was hit by a vehicle along Highway 165 entering Placitas.

There are other concerns as well.

"They tear up all the hillsides and go across the roads. I've almost been hit them running across the road," said resident Shon Perin.

Perin spent Sunday afternoon fencing up his property near Las Huertas Creek which is one water source for the animals.

“I don't hate horses but I think it's just a little bit out of hand but it wasn't bad when there was just six or seven running around out here," he said.

Perin estimates there may now be up to a hundred horses.

"I don't mind it at all to be honest. The problem is going to be there's not enough food to supply the number of them,” said Rahmer.

These residents can’t really pinpoint a solution.

The sheriff’s office says it only works to move the horses away from the road when needed.

The sheriff’s office adds that in the past, the New Mexico Livestock Board has expressed interest in relocating the horses.