Featured Image for January 2022

"Sensing"

Wild horses are always using their eyes, ears, and sense of smell to inform their next move.  To approach, to run, to move away, to explore… they use the data they collect through their sensing to decide if it’s safe to explore, safe to connect, and ultimately, when it is safe to rest and to sleep. 

I was in a conversation this morning about the uncertainty of the future.  From a grand scale for the human population, the pandemic is still unpredictable, financial investment analysts are shrugging their shoulders, and severe weather events can occur almost anywhere.  L.A. had tornado warnings last month!  So, now is a really good time to go inward and do some personal sensing about what’s really important TODAY. 

Live life like there’s no tomorrow.  Be your ultimate self in every moment, today.


This image was taken in San Luis Obispo on a Return to Freedom photo safari on March 15, 2021.   

Featured Image for December 2021

"Jalama in Black & White"

Jalama just has this amazing presence.  She seems curious about what I'm doing and she'll even influence the horses around her to come look, just because she's standing there watching me.  I just love this horse!

This image was taken in San Luis Obispo on a Return to Freedom photo safari on March 15, 2021.   

Featured Image for November 2021

"Portrait of a Mustang"

Cristo was branded, identifying him as a Mustang.  I was curious about the branding, and found this information on the internet:

When a wild horse is rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), they are given a freeze brand on their neck. This marking indicates that the horse is federally owned. Each one is unique and has identifying information like birth date and capture location.  Captured horses are freeze branded on the left side of the neck by the BLM, using the International Alpha Angle System, a system of angles and alpha-symbols that cannot be altered.  Although it is generally accepted that freeze branding is less painful than hot-iron branding, it is still less commonly used. This is due to the fact that freeze branding is more expensive because the materials are less common and can evaporate if they are not kept properly cooled.


This image was taken in San Luis Obispo on a Return to Freedom photo safari on June 29, 2018.   

Featured Image for June 2021

"Shades of Gray"

I liked the flowing manes of these mustangs and how they were running side by side, so I cropped in on the heads.  I like the mystery of "who's behind the horse in front?!"  I like the white eyelashes, too!  Enjoy.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California on March 16, 2021.

For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, how to sponsor a Mustang, or to register for a tour or photo safari, visit the Return to Freedom website.

Featured Image for October 2020

"Horse Play"

Watching the herd in their natural environment is unforgettable.  I see tender moments, quiet moments of grazing, I see how the bands move about and take their turns at the water hole, and I see playful moments like this.  I call it playful because there’s a push/pull and a give and take in their sparring.  Beneath the play might be a brief battle for hierarchy, or it might simply be a playing out of their current mood and energy levels. 

This image was taken on April 25, 2020 at Return to Freedom’s Satellite Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California.

For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, visit the Return to Freedom website.

May 2020 Mustang image release. I love Chief and love how the breeze gently lifts his mane in this image as he stopped to look over in my direction. Some images just speak to me and this is one. I'm ordering a large canvas print for my next exhibit!

Featured Image for February 2020
"Dawn's Eye"

"Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity?
Here where grace is laced with muscle and strength by gentleness confined."
Excerpt from the poem  The Horse by Ronald Duncan

Dawn was the ambassadress for Chief's herd.  She was gentle, beautiful, friendly, smart, and everyone loved her.  I was very sad when I learned she passed away last year.  In selecting a photo of her to share this month, I came across this one an immediately knew this was the one.  There are lots of photos of her, usually highlighting her beautiful mane, but this felt immediately intimate and fitting.

This photograph was taken on May 20th, 2019 at Return to Freedom's Wild Horse Sanctuary location in Lompoc, in California's Central Coast region.

For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, visit the Return to Freedom website.

Featured Image for January 2020

"Companionship"

I chose to introduce this image to mark the end of a decade and looking ahead to a new one.  It reminds me of duality, balance, seeing in all directions, looking forward and looking back, and most of all, the partnership of a trusted companion.  Horses don't lie or hide their feelings.  They size us up, know when to stand their ground and when to just walk away, uninterested.  In the lives of horses, bonds can be strong.  I love learning from the horses.

Wishing you all the best in the years ahead!  Happy New Year.


This photograph of two mustangs was taken on May 20th, 2019 at Return to Freedom's Wild Horse Sanctuary location in Lompoc, in California's Central Coast region.
For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, visit the Return to Freedom website.

Featured Image for December 2019

"Amante in Black and White"

This is Amante, a beautiful stallion with a mane the often covers his eyes.  He is so much fun to photograph and he's a lot friendlier than many of the stallions at Return to Freedom, so we can get a little closer to him than to the other stallions.  He has quite a story...

"A resident of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary, this Cerbat stallion, Ambassador Amante (translated as: Fiery Lover), plays a significant role in the conservancy’s Conservation Program.

The Mustangs from the Cerbat Mountain (Wikipedia) area of northwestern Arizona are some of the purest Spanish descendants in the United States. With less than 70 living in the wild, and very few in domestic breeding programs, Amante is a rare find.

This handsome stallion had wandered off his range and managed to break into a neighboring ranch taking several mares back into the hills with him. The owner of the mares went through quite an ordeal to round them back up. After his capture, this stallion was held in a government (BLM) corral for three years looking back at freedom and the high snow covered peaks that were once his home."

Read more about the Cerbat herd at ReturntoFreedom.org

This photograph of Amante, above, was taken on May 21, 2019 at Return to Freedom's Wild Horse Sanctuary location in Lompc, in California's Central Coast region.
For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, visit the Return to Freedom website.

Featured Image for November 2019

"Peace"

This is also one of Running Bear's mares.  I wasn't able to get her identified, so I've just titled the photograph "Peace" because she seems so at peace, even with her ears perked forward and looking at something.  It's truly a peaceful feeling to know these wild mustangs live peacefully, protected, and with at least part of their herd from the range where they were rounded up.  Bear's herd is from the Sulphur Springs area, which is "one of the few to be able to claim direct Spanish Heritage. The pure Sulphurs are of Spanish origin, based on phenotype and blood-typing. Many have distinctive dorsal and leg striping, and resemble the horses painted on cave walls dating back to 26,000 B.C.E., along with their Portuguese Sorraias, their Spanish cousins (Dr. Sponenberg, Virginia Tech).

These horses received their name for the area where they are found, the Sulphur Springs Herd Management Area in the Needle Mountain Range of Southwestern Utah. Return to Freedom has two family bands in our Sulphur Springs herd. One is led by Chief, a magnificent dun stallion, the other by Bear, a stunning grulla stallion."   -- quotes take from Return to Freedom's web site.

This photograph was taken on May 20, 2019 at Return to Freedom's Wild Horse Sanctuary location in Lompc, in California's Central Coast region.
For more information on the Mustangs living in sanctuary, visit the Return to Freedom website.

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