Wild Horse Education

Wild Horses Inspire!


Fuzzy baby enjoying spring legs!

Wild horses can heal the soul, empower the mind and inspire our creativity. Many of our readers become adopters and advocates.  In the past we have featured some of our readers that include author Joe Camp (Benji and Soul of the Horse), award winning film and television producers including Christina Lublin and Stephanie Martin. We have even featured the Nevada State quarter.

Today we take a moment as we experience very tense times filled with prominent politic figures, massive legislation that may very well end the wild horse and burro program, and so much more to add some new voices to the “inspiration line up.” Meet Keith Kuttler and Stacie Creps Smith.

Keith Kuttler, photographer and advocate. Keith’s photos are used by many to raise awareness for our wild horses.


Photo, Keith Kuttler

The eyes are the gateway to the heart, they are what I look for when I do photography. Never have I found a bigger heart than that of a wild horse. Many only see a horse but when one looks closer, there is so much more. Family unity, highly intelligent, a hierarchy that is so complicated, it’s all very powerful stuff. I love wildlife in general but I am fascinated with our wild horses. I urge you to support the efforts of advocates like Laura Leigh in the protection of our American Icon. The efforts are more than just what happens on the range, it is also what happens behind closed doors and on the political battlefield. Is the wild horse worth fighting for and protecting? Yep, and we have the means to do both!


Stacie Creps Smith, Kola

Stacie Creps Smith, mustang owner and advocate. This poem was written about her mustang Kola, when they met.

My First Mustang

As I approach, he trembles
Tied to the side of a trailer like all the other horses
he was not like all the other horses

I pause to check my breathing
My heart races
I feel his heart race
He won’t look at me, but I know he sees me
He sees into me

I blink my eyes slowly and yawn
I want him to know he can relax
But that will take time

His flaxen mane, still ragged from the range
Muscles perfectly defined
Conformation flawlessly balanced by nature
Conformation flawlessly balanced by a life of freedom

He must be 2-years-old
He has lost his freedom
He has lost his family

People say the wild horses are unhealthy
They say that they are starving and that there isn’t enough water
They say they need to be managed
He has been through a nightmare round-up in the name of management

His Palomino coat shimmers like golden wheat
dancing in a breeze
Streaks of tawny and cinnamon run through his hide
as sun slips through the shade tree and lights up
his perfectly straight back

I move slowly to him
brush and curry in hand
His body tenses even more
but his lead remains slack
He has self control
He knows self preservation
He is intelligent

The tension in his body is palpable
as if he is spring loaded
and still he doesn’t explode,
he doesn’t give in
he is proud and he is trying
He is trying so hard
It brings tears to my heart
and so too to my eyes
I swallow hard
I want to give him space and let him know
I am not a predator
I must find a way to let him know this

He has known predators, has suffered

His first encounter with man has been brutal
It has been degrading and it has ravaged his spirit
Still, he stands proud and he is brave

He stands still as a statue and stares straight ahead

I move closer
Slowly, gently, I touch him with the brush
A shiver runs through his body like a wave
I step back and give him a moment

I come again even lighter, softer
He allows me to brush his coat
His lustrous hair becomes smooth under my hand
We meet somewhere in another dimension
and agree that we can do this
I let him know I am patient and I care

He breathes, almost imperceptibly, he breathes
He let’s me introduce a pad
It’s not easy for him

He accepts the saddle
I feel his concern
but we agreed and he is willing

This is how I met my first Mustang
It took only one minute to fall in love
We rode in a group that day
It was a poker ride of all things
He did beautifully
He was so sure-footed and never spooked
Not once
He relaxed under my weight and we melded
He carried me bravely and I encouraged him

I told him I wanted to bring him to my home
I told him I was sorry for the suffering he had endured
sorry for his pain
I told him I was sorry for the freedom he had lost
I told him I would do my best to give him a good life now

We rode together
And I took him home
June 2006, I named him Kola

It means companion
We communicated as well as we could
I read books and watched videos
I studied anything I thought could help us

Slowly we bonded
I gave him as much free rein as I could
and still keep myself safe

Together we learned
I found him another Mustang and then a third
They are my herd
They are my family
They are my teachers
They are my friends
I can’t imagine life without them
The only thing better
would be to see them running free in the Nevada desert
from whence they came


Kola and family

We leave you with the words of Eleanor Roosevelt. Although these words are not directly about wild horses, they are about facing things you think you cannot. Together we have traveled so far, seen and done so much. This journey is not over.

One of the quotes I have carried with me for a log time is this one, from Eleanor. ~ Laura Leigh, WHE

The encouraging thing is that every time you meet a situation, though you may think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it you find that forever after you are freer than you ever were before. If you can live through that you can live through anything. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.

You are able to say to yourself, `I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’

The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

You Learn By Living (1960)


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Categories: Wild Horse Education