"Look back at our struggle for freedom, trace our present day's strength to its source; and you'll find that man's pathway to glory is strewn with the bones of a horse."
A PASSION FOR HORSES
I've become devoted to helping wild horses after engrossing myself in their history and evolution, and learning more about what they have really meant to man's progress since the dawn of time. I find great satisfaction in traveling to areas where horses still run wild and free. These are the most exhilarating times out with the camera so it only made sense that I give back to the wild horses since they have given me so much enjoyment and perspective.
While there are dozens of meaningful and worthy wild horse organizations to note, one private not-for-profit organization stole my heart. A six hour drive from home, it has become a regular adventure to visit and support the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota.
THE BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY
A celebrity in the old west rodeo, rancher, wildlife conservationist, photographer, and author, Dayton O. Hyde, will probably be best memorialized one day with his 11,000 plus acre wild horse sanctuary in the southwest Black Hills of South Dakota. A chance to tour this wild horse paradise with the likes of a character like Dayton Hyde, a man who has been best friends with rodeo and TV stars like Slim Pickens, is an experience in and of itself. Read Dayton's book, "The Pastures of Beyond" and relive the thrill and hardship of the old west, and you'll understand why a visit to this special wild horse sanctuary is hard to top. It's nature and the wild west at their best. Or read Dayton's new book, "All the Wild Horses," a complete history of wild horse breeds around the world.
When many people think of wild horses, they think of starving and struggling animals with shrinking range, or horses that have lost their freedom and end up living in dreadful conditions. While this can be true in some cases, it is not true at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary (BHWHS). Here you find happy and healthy bands of wild horses with plenty of room to roam. The only thin or unhealthy animals you will find have just arrived or are coming to the end of their natural life cycle. Our own Bureau of Land Management (BLM) charged with protecting our wild horses and burros could learn a lot from Dayton's approach that harmonizes so well with nature and the land.
The wild bands of the BHWHS roam the rolling hills and canyons and live like wild horses were meant to live. One visit to a BLM feed lot, and you'll know why a hard core cowboy's heart broke and caused him to change direction in his life in 1988 and to devote his future to wild mustangs.
I encourage you to visit this amazing place. Your visit will provide a rewarding experience. Take a one to three hour jaunt, or take in a full day adventure tour in the back country. This remote area of the Black Hills is just gorgeous and you'll see why movies like "Crazy Horse" and parts of "Hidalgo" were filmed here. The Native Americans still come here for annual rituals on Sundance Hill.
Click here to learn more about the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, plan a trip, buy merchandise, sponsor a wild horse to ensure it's good health, or to make a donation—please tell them Karen Parker sent you. Click here to see a You Tube video from a visitor to the sanctuary.
IMAGE GALLERIES FROM THE
BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY
Click here to visit all of my galleries from the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. And when you visit the sanctuary, be sure to stop in the gift shop where you'll find more of my donated work for sale.
MY BOOK FROM THE
BLACK HILLS WILD HORSE SANCTUARY
100% of all proceeds benefit the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary and IRAM.
Humans are the youngest member of mammals on earth, and horses are the oldest mammals on earth. Think we have anything to learn from them? Click here to read more on the evolution of the horse.
"Tradition, they say, can teach us a lot,
So here is what horsemen, on color, have thought.
A bay is hardy, a chestnut is fast.
And you can't kill a buckskin; he'll last and last.
A grey is gentle, a sorrel is hot.
A dun is a horse you'll be happy you bought.
White eyes are flighty, white feet may crack.
While some won't rely on the feet of a black.
Some pintos are lucky, like the medicine hat,
but all horsemen agree the best color is fat."
"The Greatness of a Nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
"A thousand horse and none to ride!
With flowing tail, and flying mane,
Wide nostrils never stretched by pain,
Mouths bloodless to the bit or rein,
And feet that iron never shod,
And flanks unscarred by spur or rod,
A thousand horse, the wild, the free...
—Lord Byron, XVII - Mazeppa 1818
"The Red Man was the true American. They have almost all gone,
but will never be forgotten. The history of how they fought
for their country is written in blood; a stain that time cannot grind out.
Their God was the sun, their church all outdoors,
their only book was nature and they knew all the pages."