If you had asked me a year ago “have you seen it all?” when it comes to horses, I would have said “a fair amount to form an opinion.”
I have seen the inhumanity, the desperation, the hoarders, the stockyards, the backyard yahoo’s who haven’t a clue, the wild horses on the range that one year I photograph and the next year they are someone’s “NEW HORSE” or worse -I have been to auctions and seen killer buyers wave their card in glee and anticipation of a profit (as I, sour taste in my mouth, outbid them), I was there when horses- scared were “run through” the sale barn, I was at many of those “ BLM mustang adoptions” - I remember the day I learned about horses being shipped to slaughter and telling my Mother’s doctor off about prescribing her PREMARIN in the early 90’s with a packed, in a stockyard sort of way, office of women just like her. I have seen slaughter and double deck haulers that roll on through small towns at night so no one can see the faces and at the same time rolled up next to one on a hot Phoenix night at a slow pace with two rescued PMU babies in my trailer headed for my loving home and looking up at the faces that looked back and saying “I saved the one’s I could I am sorry.”
I have laid down with starving rescue babies telling them it was worth hanging around for. I have pulled my fair share of babies from mama’s and stayed up all night with a friend who breeds amazing horses. One end of the spectrum to the other, from Indian cowboys, ranchers, animal lovers, protestors, to cattlemen, activists, and rock stars for animals I was there -BUT…….
NOTHING prepared me for what I saw on Mother’s Day 2009 and the starving souls who arrived in the early hours at Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue.
Scattered souls unloaded and made their way around in a zombie sort of way to the quarantine pen of food. For nearly 9 months they “regrouped” gained weight and lived under amazing angels.
Nearly a year later and I reconnect with 3 horses that I watched unload from Nebraska.
(You can view at the links below “the arrival”)
Now face to face with 3 lovely beings who survived all the horror of being from the Nebraska 200. For all those double decker’s in the night, the rounded up for man’s pleasure and pocket liner, unwanted, set free, left for dead, or that died needlessly, these three survived starvation, death, and found me.
In Oct of 09 I moved from my CA horse property to my West Texas ranch of 17 years in order to take in some that needed the room to run and for those that were ready to retire. What other option is there? NONE for me.
So here are 3 strikes horses that no one wanted, were dumped, starved at a so called “mustang cowboy” camp who is now in prison for 145 counts of animal cruelty, and STILL these horses reach out to kindness.
The lessons to learn here are more than I could even begin to put into words. So with all of that said, I hope you can check back and enjoy this journey we are on, saving the one’s we can, celebrating life in a herd of forgotten souls that bring joy to many over and over.
3 STIKES NO MORE….they are our 3 Spirit Mustangs who survived it all.
I know I am not alone and everyday wonderful people are doing what they can to save many horses even if it is just a few it is a victory on a large scale.
Thank you for loving horses and thank you Lifesavers wild horse rescue for rescuing (at any cost) babies to freedom once again and allowing this photographer to be a part of their story.
To take a look back and see how far they have come please view these two galleries:
Day 6 welcome little baby wildflower! http://rachaelwallerphotography.smugmug.com/Animals/Lifesavers-Saving-The-3/3-strikes-Mustangs-Day-6/8264888_M6bRi#540804757_ZnkHn
Special thanks to Rod Rondeaux of The Indian stunt ranch in CA for his hauling and care of these and all horses we save as a family, there is no one else I would trust with hauling than Rod, an expert horseman and he grew up with wild horses, no one better for the job in good times and bad he can get the job done. Thanks RR you rock!