May 22, 2011
At the suggestion of many folks and facilitated by several rainy days, I’ve designed what I hope is a thought-provoking image to help promote awareness of the wild horse situation. Now available on t-shirts and sweatshirts through my website: Pam Nickoles Photography
Donations will benefit the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (a coalition of many organizations I support) and The Cloud Foundation. I will also make the shirts available to other deserving foundations, rescues, sanctuaries, etc. as part of their fundraising efforts. Full details are listed in the product descriptions on my website. Shipping is available worldwide.
To those of you that order shirts, I’d love to see photos of you wearing them. Please feel free to share your images by e-mailing them to me at: info@NickolesPhotography.com
I may feature them on my website, Facebook page or on this Blog, so be sure you grant permission to do so when you e-mail. Let’s make this more interesting – I’ll feature a Blog post with photos I receive along with any stories of conversations initiated or questions asked, etc. while wearing your shirt. It’s intended purpose. Anything you’d like to share, I’d love to hear.
For our wild horses…
In white. (The copyright will not be printed on the actual shirt)
In black. (The copyright will not be printed on the actual shirt)
I will be adding more designs, eventually creating a collection to choose from.
Orders can be placed here: http://www.nickolesphotography.com/p1070051135//
Click on the images for larger/sharper views.
Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction or downloading permitted. Feel free to share the story/link, but please respect my copyright.
Wild horse prints, DVDs, totes, cards, apparel and more: www.NickolesPhotography.com
March 17, 2010
A photo of the filly “Isolde” (it was the “I” year for naming horses) from the Pryor Mountains of Montana taken in July, 2008. Isolde was rounded up and put up for adoption in September, 2009. She’s no longer wild with her family anymore, but at least I know she went to a good home. Below is a picture of the filly now with her new family member, Sandy Elmore.
I met Sandy at the Pryor Mountain roundup. It was like meeting someone I already knew well – we seemed so much alike in our thoughts, views, expressions and even our emotions. Although it was a tragic event to witness, I’m very grateful for the friends I made while I was there.
Sandy shares her thoughts regarding the roundup and the subsequent adoption of her Pryor Mountain Mustang:
“I was watching and hoping the roundup for the Pryor Horses was going to be stopped. It seemed like the logical thing to happen. After all why would they need to or want to round up any in such a small herd? A herd that had plenty of land and seemed to be surviving so wonderfully. But I soon learned that it was going to take place. This was just another blow to an already disappointing year in Montana for horses both wild and domestic. The first happened back in April when our Governor let a Bill go into law that would allow a possible horse slaughter plant to be built in the state. Now the Pryor herd. I had a hard time accepting this. I did not intend to go. After all, what could I do? But something called me to them and I left at a moments notice. I arrived with my camera, minus my important tripod, but still recorded as much as I could. How I held that camera as steady as I did while watching the painful capture of these horses was surprising. It was one of the most emotional experiences I have ever had. I could feel their pain and could not hold it in.
When I got back home and looked at my footage I had gathered I realized that I had several shots of one very special girl. At the time I had no intention of going back for the adoption and was holding out hope that somehow we could return those that were kept to their families. But it was not to be so and so again at a moments notice, I decided to go to the adoption. I have to admit that a few days before the adoption I looked through the photos of the available horses and found her. There was no mistaking her. We had locked eyes a number of times and I recognized her immediately.
After helping transport some of the older horses to a new home on the other side of the Pryors we headed home with our new filly. I called her Valerosa, which means courageous or brave in Spanish. She rode the 7 hours so bravely and stepped out of the trailer with confidence. Although it took me several weeks to actually win her trust and allow me to touch her, it was worth the wait. I have been training my horses using Natural Horsemanship for over 9 years now. But working with a wild horse is so different. She has taught me to be more patient and understanding. Forget the clock, just patience and love. We are now sharing a special bond that grows everyday. Do I wish she was still running wild with her family? Yes. But I know that is impossible now. I hope that I can provide her with a long and happy life the best way I know how.
I now spend a lot of my time working to keep those wild horses free, not only by calls and letters but by my film work. I hope that somehow I can help educate people that don’t know about these wonderful animals and help remind those that may have forgotten.”
Be sure to watch Sandy’s new video, “America’s Wild Horses: A Living Legend in Peril.”
March 7, 2010
I was perusing a Wild Horse Yahoo group digest last week, when I came across the heading to a post entitled “Awaken Your Spirit.” I recognized the name of the author – she had recently purchased my DVD set and we had e-mailed back and forth a few times – so I went down the page to view her post. I wasn’t expecting what I read, but found it inspiring and thought others might too. I asked Jennifer if she would like to share her article as a “Guest.” She agreed – so in her own words…
“Awaken Your Spirit” by Jennifer Gage
In my dreams thundering across the plains, race immense herds of mustangs, running like the wind-free in every sense of the word in all their glory. “In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.” –Helen Thompson.
We will never see this magic again and like the buffalo, the mustang too will be gone before we know what happened if we don’t act now. Please vote now on Change.org to save the mustangs: http://www.change.org/ideas/view/stop_cruel_blm_round_up_of_wild_horses
Every single day mustangs (wild horses) are being rounded up and put in holding pens like discarded waste. Families are torn apart, mothers and babies put in separate pens. Their fate is uncertain; to be slaughtered for Europe’s elite diners (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gAX5snG7-4 **Warning – Contains Graphic Material**) or to live in some holding pen the rest of their lives is not what most Americans believe they deserve. These horses have been grazing these lands for over 200 years, and in fact, horses are an integral part of American heritage and culture as even Congress declared in 1971 with the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
What the opposition and people like Sue Cattoor, Bob Abbey, Ken Salazar can’t see or feel is the true beauty these precious, magnificent creatures exude-their spirit is one with Mother Earth and all that She has to offer the mustang. Those that cannot see the treasure that is the mustang with all its beautiful colors, spirit, freedom, joy, fierce loyalty and love of family have grown dull toward this world in which we live; they have forgotten that it is not normal or scientific in any sense of the word. “Every once in a while something will come along and shock us right out of our dullness and resignation.” That’s what the mustangs and watching “The Stallion and the Foal” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JKKWF0ZUGk)
have done for me.
Thanks to photographers like Pam Nickoles, Carol Walker, and cinematographer Ginger Kathrens, I got to experience the mustang like I never have before. I didn’t even know they existed wild on the plains of 10 states. There used to be 2 million mustangs in 1900 throughout 16 states. They are now extinct in 6 states. If YOU do not act and do not let the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), President Obama, senators and congressmen know of the value these animals have, they too will go the way of the buffalo and the wolf. We cannot let that happen to them – to the horses that took us to battle when our nation was young and brought the pioneers to the west. I cannot let that happen.
“Just as we have lost our wonder at the world around us, we have forgotten what a treasure the human heart is. All of the happiness we have ever known and all of the happiness we hope to find is unreachable without a heart.”—John Eldredge.
My human heart is telling me the mustang is capable of bringing me this happiness-this borrowed freedom. To know this happiness yourself, go to YouTube and watch the videos about Cloud and his herd by Ginger or “Stampede to Oblivion”
(http://rtfitch.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/news-update-the-stampede-to-oblivion-is-now-online/) or Calico, Nevada-Where the Wild Horses Roam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-0OK3i1YFI) or countless other wild horse videos found on YouTube.
The wild horses are protected by The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (Public Law 92-195), which states that Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.
“Less than one percent of humans who live in America have ever seen wild horses running free. I have spoken with many of the few who have and each has said the view they made will never be forgotten. As remarkable as a distant sight of wild horses can be it remains the tip of a glorious iceberg. The actual lives of wild horses reveal to humanity the privilege having a life on the planet earth and how vital it is to respect the privilege.” Twelve the King, -Michael Blake
“Before I purchased El Mariachi, that beautiful horse belonged to each and every one of you. All of the BLM managed Mustangs belong to you. Many people don’t even realize this, but the wild horses belong to the PUBLIC. You. Their futures are in your hands as well. If you ever have an opportunity to view a wild horse in its natural surroundings, I guarantee that you’ll be changed forever, and maybe you’ll begin to understand why many people work so hard to preserve them. Hopefully, you’ll become involved in the wild horse protection efforts yourself. There are so few wild herds remaining, it’s imperative that people act NOW. The wild horses are magical, spiritual creatures and they absolutely deserve their place on our Earth.” -Pam Nickoles
• The half-million acre Calico Complex herd management area is the last stronghold of the American mustang and was designated by Congress principally for the wild horses and burros. Millions of head of livestock graze at a cost of $1.35/cow-calf pair/month.
• Overall welfare livestock constitute a net loss of $123 million annually to the American tax payer.
• The scapegoating of wild horses and burros for range deterioration must stop—they comprise only a tiny fraction of animals and wildlife grazing on our public lands.
• Cows graze within a mile of water. In comparison wild horses are highly mobile, moving 5-10 miles from water and grazing on more rugged terrain.
• BLM does not adequately control cattle on the public’s land and has not sustainably balanced use of the “forage”, water and space.
• A 1000-lb cow not only eats 26 lbs. of forage daily, but they consume as much as 30 gallons of water a day and defecate in it as well.
• Private and corporate livestock outnumber wild horses at least 100 to 1 on public lands.
Search your deep heart and investigate what I have just told you if this has motivated or awakened you to the dullness of your life. Pass this on and awaken your family, friends, coworker, children and grandchildren. Let’s not leave a legacy of dust to our children and grandchildren where the mustang once roamed like the buffalo…YOUR HELP IS DESPERATELY NEEDED TO SAVE THE WILD HORSES OF THE WEST! YOU ALONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR LIVES!
I leave you with this piece of beauty…All the Little Ponies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXl8GwrBkxM
May you be blessed,
Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jennifer has been involved in the wild horse protection efforts for only about 3 months. She is obviously passionate about the cause and she has done some research to back up her beliefs. I hope that others will be inspired by her words, follow her lead and decide they too can make a difference in the lives of our wild horses. Thanks Jennifer. I’m honored to have been a small part of your journey of discovery into the beauty of, and the issues facing our wild ones.
Stay updated with current Wild Horse news: http://nickolesphotography.com/HTML/wildhorseinformation.htm
More Wild Horse video clips: http://www.nickolesphotography.com/HTML/videoclips.html
(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images.)
December 25, 2009
Many thanks to my friend Mary Ann Kennedy for allowing me to use her powerfully moving music (www.MaryAnnKennedy.com). Please feel free to share…
From a fellow advocate: “Please send a note to the President through this easy link (posted below) and ask that the Calico (Nevada) wild horse roundup be stopped. This huge last stronghold of nearly 3,000 of America’s wild horses will be taken from us in the worst possible conditions starting Monday…..(Dec 28). It takes just a minute. This national icon and symbol of freedom needs a miracle…we have Saturday and Sunday. PLEASE pass it on.”
October 31, 2009
Stop the Roundups of America’s Wild Horses & Burros!
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
BLM Director Abbey
Please sign the petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/STOP-THE-ROUNDUPS-SAVE-OUR-WILD-HORSES
An immediate moratorium on all but emergency roundups is called for in this resolution. Please sign to help protect our remaining wild horses and burros on our western public lands.