Photo Of The Week – 3/17/10

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.”

Sandy and Valerosa

Be sure to watch Sandy’s new video, “America’s Wild Horses: A Living Legend in Peril.”

16 Responses to “Photo Of The Week – 3/17/10”

  1. LoriProphoto Says:

    Thank you for sharing Pam and thank you Sandy for all that you are doing for Valerosa and the video is wonderful!!!!!

  2. Sandy, thank you much for your films and work for the wild ones. Looks like you have a real lovely girl. mar


    Pam..thank you for sharing Sandy’s video..what a beautiful film & a beautiful horse. You both are appreciated so much.

  4. Sandy Elmore Says:

    Thank you Pam. I treasure the photo’s that you took of Valersoa in the wild. They mean so much and it is good to be reminded of where she came from.
    I am so grateful we met.

  5. Mary Agarwal Says:

    This is too delicious!!


  6. Chris $ Says:

    Nice photos, Pam. Well, at least Isolde is eating better now, from the looks of it. 😉

  7. pnickoles Says:

    Before anyone misunderstands this comment, it’s meant as a compliment regarding how much bigger and good Valerosa looks. Not a statement on range condition. 🙂

  8. cindy Says:

    wow that little filly is beautiful!! what a great story. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  9. Brigitte Says:

    What a wonderful surprise to see Sandy and Valerosa featured as your photo Pam! Sandy, you do so much for the horses and are an inspiration to many. I can vouch that Valerosa has the best home with Sandy! She is one lucky girl!

  10. Rene Says:

    What a gorgeous filly!! So happy she found a good, loving home.

  11. Laura Houston Says:

    wonderfull powerfull vid!

    What will it take to show that the BLM are nothing more than a bunch of federal criminals, animal abusers and very ignorant of real science!

  12. Karen Kelly Says:

    What a GREAT story with a GREAT ending. I as well have adopted a Mustang from the BLM. He has turned out to be the most loveable boy. He has had 100 days of training and we ride him with nothing but a halter. He has never made any moves to harm us in any way. Would I rather have him running free with his herd absolutely. But since that is not possible now I am happy in the knowledge that he will always have a home, shelter, food and the love of the humans that saved him.

  13. ABSOLUTELY TOUCHING! Thank You for sharing that, I was crying reading your words….thatnks for what you do, do help the mustangs…it is SO heartbreaking….You’re doing a GREAT service!
    And what a beautiful mustang! Love the color! We have one, he’s as copper as copper can be….his name….you guessed it! xoxoxox to you!

  14. Gayle Says:

    She is beautiful with such an unusual color. The video is very thought-provoking, too. Thanks for sharing!

  15. ketting Peck Says:

    I believe that you have had a good owner in your life.Sandy I hope you have a good life for the rest of your life and forever in you life have a good life with your owner and appreation.

  16. pnickoles Says:

    Thank you everyone for your comments and to Sandy for sharing her story and video.

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