A Proud Moment

March 14, 2009

I’d never been a huge fan of instrumental music, but from the first time I saw the movie, “The Man From Snowy River” and heard the soundtrack, I discovered the exception. Bruce Rowland’s music was so moving that I found myself listening to the songs over and over through the years. First I had the cassette, then the CD, then the ITunes versions of the songs. I just loved the music. When I started going out to the wild horse ranges, it was “The Man From Snowy River” soundtrack that was playing as I searched the landscape for signs of the wild ones. And it was on one of these trips that I contemplated the idea of creating a DVD that showcased the beauty of the wild horses through my images along with the perfect music – Bruce Rowland’s powerful compositions. I loved the idea, but it turned out to be a tall order.

I’ll spare you the details and difficulties of licensing music. Suffice it to say, I hit roadblocks with the music/movie companies and spent months writing letters and e-mails in an effort to get things done legally. It was my goal to sell the DVD once it was made and be able to offer it as a fundraising tool as well as donating some of the sale proceeds to several wild horse organizations that I have a personal connection with. It’s no wonder there are agents that do nothing but license music for events, movies, etc. It was frustrating! In fact, I almost gave up. But, family members and friends believed in the project and kept nudging me on – and it had become such a dream to me personally. I wanted to see it through, so I actually reached out to Bruce Rowland himself as a last ditch effort. It was Bruce who finally got the ball really rolling for me. The man is not only very famous and talented, he’s down-to-earth and approachable. I couldn’t believe he took the time to respond, provided me names and numbers and even got his agents in Australia to contact me (for some additional compositions not related to the movie that I used). So, after almost a year of trying, I managed to get the music licensed – my project was on. I was so excited!! I had also acquired the awesome talents of 3 other musicians for the project and together, I believe we created something special to honor the wild horses.

Of course, after what he’d done to help and the fact that he’s a horse person himself, it was really important to me that Mr. Rowland liked how I used his wonderful compositions. Once the DVD was finished, I sent him a copy and waited to hear back. Printed with permission, the note below is what he sent me:

“Hi Pam — I loved it! I particularly loved what you did with the photos during ‘’Cattle Drive” – it just worked perfectly. In fact, I also think that the multiple composer approach worked seamlessly & the different styles complemented each other beautifully! But enough about the music. You have taken some absolutely stunning photographs in some absolutely stunning locations. I’m sure it’s taken days if not weeks or months of photography and you’ve achieved an absolutely stunning result. I’m very proud that you asked me to be part of it and I want to thank you for asking me to be involved. I think that what you have achieved is probably the best photographs of their kind ever taken. I think your work is magnificent! Bravo.”
-Bruce Rowland

His note made me cry and it came at the perfect moment to lift both mine and my Mom’s spirits during a difficult time. He couldn’t have guessed as he was writing his e-mail how much it would mean to me. I teased him that I was going to frame his note. Well, I probably will! :-)

And of course, many thanks to everyone else that provided wonderful “reviews” of the DVD after viewing it and to all of those that participated in its creation. I so appreciate how it all came together and my hope is that in some way, the DVD makes a small contribution to the protection and preservation efforts of “Our Wild Horses.”

Oh, and yes, “The Man From Snowy River” is playing in the background as I write this…

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Australia's finest film composer, Bruce Rowland

Australia's finest film composer, Bruce Rowland

Wild Horse Advocacy

March 14, 2009

I’ve mentioned this legislation before, but please contact your representatives and ask them to sign the new Bill, HR 1018, introduced by Congressmen Rahall (D-WV) and Grijalva (D-AZ) which offers wonderful new protections to the existing 1971 law for our wild horse and burros. You can read about the Bill here.

A listing of the House of Representatives by state here.

McCullough Peaks, WY wild horses

McCullough Peaks, WY wild horses

Problematic Pickens Plan?

March 14, 2009

“We really appreciate Mrs. Pickens’ proposal, but it has presented some problems,” said Ed Roberson, assistant director of renewable resources and planning for the Bureau of Land Management, which runs the wild horse program.” Read the rest of the story here. Thanks to Deanne Stillman for this link.

There are many related news stories published here.

Major is a gorgeous, grey band stallion from the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) just outside of Cody, WY. Born in 2000, Major maintains a large band that he keeps on the Eastern portion of the range area. Major is one of the very first wild horses I saw at McCullough Peaks as his band and several other horses were very near the highway when we arrived. They were pretty much oblivious to our presence as they were busy chasing or sparring with one another, trying to steal mares and change or maintain the pecking order. Being new to the wild horses back when some of these photos were taken, I wasn’t sure what to expect and regretfully, I didn’t know what an opportunity I’d been handed. I didn’t stay as long as I wish I had to continue taking pictures. Instead, Tom and I drove on to find more horses. As many times as I’ve been back to see Major, I’ve never had a similar encounter present itself. One of those live and learn lessons…

Major

Major

Major and another stallion, Hooter

Major and another stallion, Hooter

Major and Hooter sparring

Major and Hooter sparring

Major and Hooter

Major and Hooter

Major with one of his mares, Tiaga and her foal Running Bear

Major with one of his mares, Tiaga and her foal Running Bear

Major

Major

Band stallion, Major

Band stallion, Major

Like many others who have fallen in love with the wild horses, it was filmmaker Ginger Kathrens’ portrayal of a wild stallion in the Pryor Mountains of Montana that inspired me to go see this horse for myself several years ago. It was an unexpected, life changing experience.

Horses have always been in my blood, but the wild horses hold a special place in my heart. Beautiful, hardy and very family oriented, I find them fascinating. Observing and documenting the wild horses over the years has motivated me to fight for their protection/preservation. The goal of my photographs, DVD’s and this Blog is to better acquaint people with these incredible animals and possibly inspire folks to act on their behalf.

The pictures below are of the famous Cloud – wild stallion of the Pryor Mountains. I believe Cloud is 13 now (14 on May 29, 2009). My hope is that he will always run free on the mountain.

Handsome boy, Cloud

Handsome boy, Cloud

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Cloud and band stallion, Prince

Cloud and band stallion, Prince

Cloud and band stallion, Chino

Cloud and band stallion, Chino

Cloud and band stallion, Chino

Cloud and band stallion, Chino

Cloud and his grandson, Image

Cloud and his grandson, Image

Cloud and Shadow, who is also known as Hailstorm

Cloud and Shadow, who is also known as Hailstorm

Cloud and Arrow

Cloud and Arrow

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Pearly whites

Pearly whites

Related stories:

http://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/pryor-mountain-roundup-962009/

http://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/pryor-mountain-roundup-972009/

http://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/pryor-mountain-roundup-982009/

http://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/pryor-mountain-roundup-992009/

http://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/clouds-returning-home-print-available/

http://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/shaman-of-the-pryor-mountains/

http://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/clouds-image-pryor-mtns-mt/

http://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/new-cloud-documentary-premieres-this-weekend/

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