Featured Image for June 2024

"Dahlia and Cassidy"

Dahlia (on the left) affectionately touches her son, Cassidy, who looks over his shoulder in my direction.  Dahlia was rounded up along with her 3 month old foal Rose, who was taken from her after the round up.  Cassidy was born in the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) holding corrals at Canon City, Colorado.  These two, along with other members of their family band now live at Return to Freedom on a sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, roaming free. 

The process of putting family bands back together can be tedious and time consuming, but RTF works hard to reunite as many as they can.  Sanctuaries often work together, as they did in the case of this family, slowly moving them to their forever home, while allowing them to get their health back, and allowing the foals to get bigger before moving them the longer distances.  The mares were skeletons when they were rescued from the holding corrals in 2022.  They look fabulous and healthy now.

Join us at a future Return to Freedom Photo Safari to see and photograph these horses in a natural herd environment.

Featured Image for May 2024

"Gratitude for the Day"

Trainer Gary Hartle has a moment with "Stella Bella" just after the sun set at the "Making Pegasus" ranch in Lockwood, California.  This image was created during our Pegasus Equine Photography Workshop in April.  I asked Gary to walk with one of the mares, back and forth in front of the sunset and then to stop and face her (which we see here), so that our workshop participants could get these shots.  I have several shots in this series.  They have all been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  I encourage you to go check them all out.

Featured Image for April 2024

"Swish"

I was standing on a cat walk in a barn; the horse trotted by below me and the goal was to just get an interesting shot from a different perspective.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, California in May, 2019.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for March 2024

"Disappearing Mustangs of the American West"

The image I started with, of the mustang on the hill standing behind the tall brush was originally going to be named "Protect" because that's the word and the energy that the image conveyed to me.  A single guard or watch horse will take on the role of protecting the herd from danger.  They often rotate this role.  Their job is to alert the herd to any potential danger.

I began to play with the image and this is what emerged.  I didn't start out with the intention to make a statement, but one emerged.  It would suit an editorial piece on the current narrative of many wild horse advocacy groups.  Is the sun setting on the protection ideals of the Wild Horse and Burro act of 1971?  Will it be saved?  What exactly HAS happened under the programs of the Bureau of Land Management?  It varies from state to state.  Was that the intention?  

While I continue to follow both sides as well as bystanders and reporters who try to be unbiased, all I've concluded is that it's a complex issue involving more than one -- more than two -- more than several -- "stakeholders".  I continue to sort through the information out there.  Educating myself is a long ongoing process.  I hope this encourages YOU to do your own research on the issues.

The mustang image that has been "ghosted" was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, California on May 20, 2019.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for February 2024

"Mud in My Hair and I Don't Care"

I was scrolling through images looking for which image to feature this month and this one caught my eye.  As photographers, we can only control so much (like almost nothing), so when I get images with this super cool lit background because of the way the sunlight is partly blocked by clouds, and then I get a horse that comes up over a hill with dried mud all over and a wind swept mane, it just delights me.  No it's not "perfect" but you know what?  It IS perfect, because it makes ME happy.  I hope you like it to.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, California on May 20, 2019.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for January 2024

"Winter Is With Us"

"Winter" is a beautiful and curious mare who approached us (photographers), along with Grey Mare and a red roan not far behind.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California on March 15, 2021.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for December 2023

"The Approach"

I needed a horse day this month.  A day to just be with horses, connecting and healing.  After spending the day soaking up horse energy, I brought my camera out as the sun went down.  I was approached by several mares in the herd and spent several minutes with each one, as they took turns approaching me, inhaling to take in my scent, and allowing me to touch, rub, or scratch them.  This image represents my experience that day, allowing "the approach" of each horse who chose to be with me.

This image of "Chanel" was taken at Mystic Meadows Genetics, home of the Pegasus Project in Lockwood, California on November 10, 2023.  This is the venue for one of the 2024 Equine Photography Workshops.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for November 2023

"Side by Side"

These two can always be found together.  Although they now live on the Return to Freedom Sanctuary, they are wild Mustangs and live like they would "in the wild".  It has been such a privilege to be able to observe the mustangs at the sanctuary and witness true herd behavior.  I see that horses form relationships and choose to be with one another.  I watch how they communicate and how they groom each other, how they will shelter together.  Anyway, these two are just a couple of my favorites at the San Luis Obispo Sanctuary and I wanted to share this image with you this month.  It makes me happy!

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California during our June 2023 Equine Photography Workshop.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for October 2023

"Golden"

The hills this past June had turned golden and made a
beautiful setting for photographing the mustangs as they moved about the land
at the Sanctuary.  I like how this shot shows the freeze brand on his neck
and the number on his rump and conveys movement.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary
in San Luis Obispo, California during our June 2023 Equine Photography
Workshop.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.

Featured Image for September 2023

"Rain"

Standing in the rain exudes a sense of surrender.  Water or rain can symbolically represent emotion, so this image holds emotion for me; emotion that is right at the surface, raw and visible.  I am riding the waves of grief over the sudden death of my grandson Elliott just over two weeks ago.  When I thought about selecting the image of the month, this image came immediately to mind. 

This image was taken at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Sand Point, Idaho on a rainy June 7, 2021.  The thought I had when I took the photograph, was how horses simply accept what is.  If it's raining, they stand in the rain.  I learn so many lessons from my four legged friends.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.

Follow Me:
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram