Wild Horse Education

“Wild Horses,” Short Film


Film “poster”

In 2014 Film Director Stephanie Martin made the “top ten” directors to watch list after releasing her short film “Wild Horses.” The short won numerous awards. Stephanie has been awaiting a way to distribute to help raise awareness for wild horses in America. You can now rent the film at this link for .99 cents. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wildhorsesdww/119181205

We have been waiting to share Stephanie’s work. The threats to our wild ones now include the resumption of practices the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 sought to erase, mustanging and slaughter. We are pleased that there is a way to share this film.


Our interaction with this film…

In 2012, after being in contact for several months with two young women working on a film project for school, the two came out to meet Leigh on the range. The two women were Stephanie Martin and Tara Tucker, students with the American Film Institute. They came to Jackson Mountain…


From 2012 “update” page on the film (photo by Laura)

Meeting Leigh at Jackson resulted in the two participating, through witness Declarations, in the Jackson Mountain legal action against BLM. At Jackson the BLM tried using a small area of “emergency” to expand their actions that were well beyond the scope of anything that resembled “justified action.” It gathered BLM a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). READ CASE HERE>>>

One roundup wasn’t enough for Stephanie Martin. She returned to the range to document another roundup, this time in winter. She came to the Owyhee operation bringing her mom and at 5 1/2 months pregnant, her unborn daughter. READ ABOUT OWYHEE HERE>>>

During the period that Stephanie spent with Leigh, Leigh was relentlessly litigating, living out of her truck, at wild horse captures on a daily basis… and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Leigh’s objective was gaining a humane handling policy and the right to observe and report on BLM activities and holding facilities. The humane handling policy, although in need of refinement, exists today. We now have (should) daily observation at roundups and the BLM Broken Arrow facility is back open to public tours.

“Again, I was able to help my friend Laura and participated in writing a statement in support of another Humane Care case brought forth against the BLM.  On this particular trip, we unfortunately witnessed (among other atrocities) a band of horses being run into barbed wire fences by the BLM contractor, horses being run in freezing temperatures for hours on end and then loaded with hot prods onto trailers.  In this way, the unborn Madeleine participated in two roundups before even being born. ” ~ Stephanie Martin, in a write up on her film “Wild Horses”


This photo of Leigh was taken at the Owyhee roundup, in the biter cold, 2012 by Stephanie Martin and has been used in various venues.

At Owyhee Stephanie continue to interview Leigh extensively. This time however Stephanie brought with her a rough cut of the film. This is what Laura Leigh had to say, “The film is fiction, but it had my heart racing and tears falling within five minutes of the start of the piece. The experience is very real to that of a photographer. I have seen literally thousands and thousands of wild horses have freedom and family torn from them. I would never encourage any unlawful action and the fact that I have never broken a rule or law is what makes my advocacy credible in court. However everyone should see this piece, it captures the internal conflict well.”

Synopsis of the film: Wild Horses tells the story of two generations of women who come face-to-face with the brutality common to the removal process of wild horses from public land in America. Mills, an up and coming celebrity photographer, has just returned to Nevada after her grandmother calls with news that the herd of horses that ran on land near their family’s home when Mills was a child faces government roundup.

In the course of an afternoon, cruelty, love and courage collide amid the chaos of the wild Nevada desert landscape, haunting helicopter blades, untamed hoof beats and a bold act of resistance.



To Learn about wild horses in America and the challenges they face go to our main website: http://WildHorseEducation.org

To see some of what we have accomplished in our “short resume” go here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/milestones-of-whe-our-resume/

To support our work visit: https://wildhorseeducation.org/ways-to-support-the-work-of-whe/


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Categories: Wild Horse Education