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.

A captive Bolder from the Pryor Mountains of Montana

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.

Cloud - Pryor Mountains Montana

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

Michael Blake with his gelding Tomas

“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

El Mariachi

Some facts:
• 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.

Adobe Town HMA wild horses

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.)

This is the stallion Flint (who is also known as Blue Moon) from the Pryor Mountains of Montana. Flint is the son of Shaman, but he was raised by Cloud (just as Cloud's son Bolder was raised by Shaman). This image was taken in July, 2008 when Flint was a bachelor.

I just received my copy of the new “Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions” companion book in the mail yesterday. I opened it up immediately. It’s a beautiful compilation that continues the amazing, ongoing tale of the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains and in particular, the life of the pale colored stallion Cloud. I am honored to have some of my photos included to help tell their story. Thank you Ginger and The Cloud Foundation for considering my work when this book was being developed. It is a privilege to be acknowledged alongside those talented, devoted folks who also contributed.

“The book, Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions, was made possible through the generous help of Front Range Equine Rescue and Marion Jo Souder. Many of the photographs in this book were donated to The Cloud Foundation by these talented individuals who care about preserving wild horses in the wild: Ann Evans, Thomas Homberg, Deb Little, Jody Miller, Pam Nickoles, Makendra Silverman, Carol Walker and Tony Wengert.”

cloud_challenge_stallions book cover-2

Order your own copies of Ginger Kathrens’ new “Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions” DVD and the companion book here: http://www.thecloudfoundation.org/index.php/online-store/cloud-gifts

Wild stallion Cloud of the Pryor Mountains

Wild stallion Cloud of the Pryor Mountains

From The Cloud Foundation:

“Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions” premieres Sunday evening, October 25th, 2009 on PBS Stations nationwide. This program is the next chapter in the exciting life of the charismatic stallion, Cloud, and the wild horses of the spectacular Arrowhead Mountains Of Montana.

Watch a trailer of the program at the link below:

Plan to watch this with your children, your grandchildren, nieces and nephews and anyone not aware of the plight of these magnificent animals. Start a dialogue about how to save the remaining wild horses. Have the kids write letters (many hand-written letters) and get these letters sent to the appropriate agencies/representatives (addresses provided below). Have the children talk to their friends, their schools, whoever will listen about the plight of our living legends. Now is the time to involve the next generation of wild horse advocates before there are no horses left to fight for.

Every little girl or young cowboy that has dreamed of having a horse of their own, (but for various reasons can’t have one at home) actually owns many horses – all of the wild horses belong to them. Their horses to cherish, admire and protect. The BLM wild horses belong to each and every one of us. If more people knew what was happening to their horses, I’m sure much more would be done to save them.

Contact your Senators and ask them to support S.1579, the Senate Version of the Restore Our American Mustangs Act (ROAM).

Contact Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar
exsec@ios.doi.gov or 202-208-7351
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Contact President Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Director: Mike Pool (Acting)
E-mail: Mike_Pool@blm.gov
Deputy Director (Operations): Mike Nedd (Acting)
E-mail: Mike_Nedd@blm.gov
Chief of Staff: Janet Lin
E-mail: janet_lin@blm.gov

BLM Washington Office
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington DC 20240
Phone: 202-208-3801
Fax: 202-208-5242

When writing, please be sure to mention that it’s not just the BLM managed wild horses that you care about – all of our wild horses need and deserve protection including the horses living on US Fish and Wildlife Service lands and National Parks Service lands.

And from The Cloud Foundation:

Phone calls to make:

Ask for the release of the older horses and reform of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program – fax your comments as well:

White House Switchboard – 202-456-1414 (fax: 202-456-2461) Ask for Senior Advisors: Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod. Ask for Michelle Obama too, her office is recieving a tremendous number of calls and they need to continue.

Call your Senators – switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask that they support S1579, The Restore our American Mustang (ROAM) Act.

Call the Senate Committee of Natural Resources – 202-224-4971 (fax 202-224-6163) Email here. ask that they push the ROAM Act through immediately– it must go up for a vote soon in the Senate.




Returning Home - Cloud

Returning Home - Cloud

UPDATE: There is now a page on my website for ordering:

This photo was taken as Cloud returned to the top of his Pryor Mountain home after the BLM roundup in September, 2009. At Makendra Silverman’s (TCF) suggestion, it is captioned, “Returning Home.” Couldn’t be more appropriate. This print will be available as an ongoing fundraiser with 50% of sales going to The Cloud Foundation’s Freedom Fund. Until I am able to create a unique page on my website, print orders can be e-mailed to me at info@NickolesPhotography.com. Please include your mailing address when ordering so that I can calculate shipping costs.

Print sizes available (with pricing) are as follows:

5×7 – $18.00
8×12 – $45.00
16×24 – $95.00

All sold unmatted – print only. Tax and shipping costs additional.

Thanks so much for your support of efforts to preserve our wild horses and burros!

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