I am always ready to evangelize the sanctity of public land, conservation, and our deep need for more preservation, and wild horses are an excellent indicator of wether or not conservation land is about to be doled out to corporate interests. They are also, awesome. Wild horses always live in jeopardy, but in the current political climate they are endangered. Their current value is intrinsic, which is a tough lot in a capitalist structure. I wish they could collect on the debt we owe them for making civilization possible. Modern culture has been built on the backs of others and there are few we owe more than the horse.
I’ve spent the last few years advocating for wild horses and public land via calls, mail, donations, and even meetings with those In power. Mostly I get ignored, sometimes I get placated with a, “oh I wish more people were like you.” That is a lie, because if more people were like me you wouldn’t be in office, but I smile instead hoping something will happen. Anything, because now they just want to slaughter wild horses instead of “manage”them. They say they, “tried,” but they didn’t.
One of my teachers famously repeated, “Do your practice and all is coming.” Another, whispers in my ear with every distraction, “stick to the task at hand,” and yet another reminds me that, "Life without tapas (a burning effort under all circumstances to achieve a definite goal) is like a heart without love.” If you thought that last one sounded like Mr. Iyengar you would be right, and so is he. So I will continue the calls and general harassment of the people who can shape our laws, but I am also working directly with wild horses and doing my best to promote the work of others who do so. I post updates pretty regularly this handsome boy…
His name is Fiddle de Paz. He is a Mustang rounded up by the BLM, and despite almost two years of friendship, thousands of carrots, and the fact that I trust him 100% with both myself and my daughter ( he actually attacked a horse who endangered my daughter) he still has a couple slivers of glass in his heart. I remind myself often that it is a consequence of having your whole world broken, and when he is ready they will come out - or not.
This week added a new friend. A sweet little Cracker horse that was orphaned on Paynes Prairie, Caimán. Due to some incredible luck. Fate? I was connected late last year with some amazing park rangers who need help with their riding horses. They don’t have the staff for them and rely on volunteers. Caimán hasn’t been ridden yet, but little by little, with a burning effort…you get he picture. He will go out into the world as an ambassador for wild horses, showing the world that value is in our hearts more than on a spreadsheet, and that we all must hold dearly the wilderness with in us.
Here are a few links to some lovely people working to show the world how amazing wild horses are:
Wild Horses Dragged Away is a new film currently in production by film maker and Gainesville native, Lucy Smith Williams.
This film celebrates America’s wild horses and the importance of public land. Its possibly my favorite movie ever.
The Cloud Foundation has been working to protect mustangs and the land they range on for quite some time. I am in awe of Ginger Kathrens work and commitment.
Heroes and Horses is working to help both Mustangs and Veterans with PTSD by fostering human horse connections in the Montana wilderness.
Wild Horse Rescue Center is right here in Florida. Diane Delano has created an incredible environment for the horses and is a tremendous human educator and horse advocate. If you want an incredible experience, volunteer here for a few days.
These two trainers are doing wonders for Mustangs by using their incredible skills to get them our on the national stage. Marsha Hartford Sapp has even trained one to become a world Champion in Dressage.