At summer’s end, I am reminded of my second grand learning experience with a Lilly Fellowship, a pilgrimage four years ago to places where wild horses still thrive in America.
My favorite pictures were of a “pool party” at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota. An old cowboy named Dayton Hyde has made sure horses are provided with a home in which to live out their lives.
There are others. In the Pryor Mountains of Montana, a small herd exists on more land than the Black Hills Sanctuary. It is rocky terrain, so many more acres must be allocated per animal.
Descendants of Spanish mustangs brought to America in the sixteenth century (notice the dorsal stripe on this one’s back), bid us goodbye from the top of a cliff.
In Cassoday, Kansas, ranchers get subsidies from the Bureau of Land Management to provide space, feed and water to horses shipped in from the West.
The barbed wire fence is a reminder that though the horses are wild, they are not free.
Go to http://www.studywildhorses.wordpress.com to see more photographs and details from the journey. The story starts at the bottom and goes up.