Wild hoofbeats

Could you tell me a little bit about your book, America’s Vanishing Wild Horses?

 

When I realized that the BLM was going to remove hundreds of horses from Adobe Town, horses that were healthy and living with their families, I knew that I needed to do something to show people that these horses are not starving to death, but they are beautiful, proud, magnificent beings that deserve to live out their lives in the land they are so well suited for. 

I have visited this herd for 10 years now, from 3 – 5 times a year. I had photographs of families I had followed over time, and wanted to tell their stories. I was going to work with a publisher on the book, but realized that I could move much faster if I self-published, and then I was also able to set up and design the book to be exactly what I wanted. I would be able to get the word out quickly and hopefully save these horses from another devastating roundup.

 

You walked amongst the herds and sat down close to them even if you were challenged by stallions.  Were you never afraid?

 

There have been a couple of times when I have had a stallion run toward me, and I wondered if he would stop, and I was ready to start jumping up and down and yelling, but I never had to do that.  I have had to run from fighting stallions who were not looking where they are going, but I never felt that the horses would deliberately hurt me. I do make sure that I don’t come between mares and foals or between stallions and mares, and I watch the body language of the horses very carefully.

 

What was the impact of your book? 

 

I think that the book has given people information about the issues facing wild horses, and that it has also allowed them to see into the family and daily life of wild horses, and also to see and appreciate the beauty and nobility of them.  It gives faces to these beautiful beings, and I believe it makes it hard to just ignore or walk away from the loss that they will be to our lives if they are no longer wild and free on our public lands.

 

Most people live in the cities, do they feel strongly about this subject?

 

Interestingly, when I speak about wild horses to people on the east coast, they are very educated about the issues and really captivated by wild horses. City people love wild horses – there is something about them that draws us and makes us love that free and wild spirit.

 

“City people love wild horses – there is something about them that draws us and makes us love that free and wild spirit. “

 

Now it seems large industries are taking over the land. How do you see the situation developing since you first started?

 

The difference is startling in the Red Desert.  When I began going out there 10 years ago there were some drilling projects but they were widely scattered.  Now the road system has developed rapidly, there are oil wells and pads everywhere and the traffic, noise and dust in this once very quiet and pristine place is incredibly jarring. The Red Desert is being developed for oil and gas and soon wild farms.  Wamsutter, just outside of Adobe Town, is called “BP’s largest inland oil field.”

 

Some of your own horses originate from wild herds..

 

I have been following the McCullough Peaks Herd near Cody, Wyoming for 9 years, and I watched and photographed two colts, brothers, grow up together – I called them “the Cremello colts.” When they were removed from their home at 3 years old, and no one wanted to adopt them, and they were going to be auctioned off online and separated, I decided to take them.   I knew nothing about training a wild horse, so I found a trainer who was willing to work with them and help me learn how to handle them. They are 7 years old now, living at my house and still together.  Then, during the roundup in Adobe Town in 2010, there was a striking 4 month old palomino colt who I had photographed before the roundup. He was taken to Canon City and put in the weanling pen with dozens of other weanlings, and I adopted him. His name is Mica, and he is curious and brave and so much fun to work with. He is three years old now, and he has his own blog, called “Meet Mica.”  Mica’s gorgeous father is still wild and free in Adobe Town.

 

“The fight right now is to save the 4 herds of horses in the Red Desert, which make up almost half of Wyoming’s wild horses.”  

 

How did Wild Hoofbeats begin?

 

My Wild Hoofbeats website started out as a website for my book, Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses but 3 years ago I changed it into a website for information and education about wild horse issues with a news and alerts blog, wild horse resources, and my original blog about wild horse issues.

The fight right now is to save the 4 herds of horses in the Red Desert, which make up almost half of Wyoming’s wild horses.  If a powerful grazing association has their way, there will be no more wild horses in the Red Desert of Wyoming.

People often ask me, how can I help?  I say, sign up for news and alerts.  Also, donate to the legal funds that are fighting to keep America’s wild horses wild and free on our public lands – that is where they are meant to be.

I am working on my next book, Galloping to Freedom: Saving America’s Wild Horses, and a long term plan of mine is to set up a sanctuary in Wyoming for wild horses from Wyoming and Montana.

 

Carol Walker is a board member of the  Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF)  

For news and alerts go to  www.WildHoofbeats.com

www.theCloudFoundation.org and www.wildhorsepreservation.org.

Proceeds from the sale of Carol Walker’s artworks, books and calendars help support her work to keep America’s wild horses wild and free.

 

 

Adobe Town at Sunset

 

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