Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wild Horses: The Honoring Freedom Ride in the Pryor Mountains

On August 29, 2009, people who love the Pryor Mountain wild horses came from all over the country to ride, walk and drive to honor them. James Kleinert and Ginger Kathrens, both filmmakers who make films about wild horses organized the ride.

We met Saturday morning at Sage Creek Campground, in the heart of the Crow Indian reservation.

We then drove up to the intersection of Crooked Creek and Sage Creek Roads, and very appropriately, Howard Boggess, Crow Elder and historian opened the ceremony speaking about the wild horses, blessing them and the people here.

Everyone mounted up, and rode in a circle three times, then headed up the road.

James asked the group to be purposeful on the ride, so there was not excited chatter, but instead people in tune with their horses and the dramatic country around them.

There was a mixture of people and horses, some mustangs, some domestic horses, and they had to share the road with the vehicles driving up to the horse range - sometimes a huge number of 4 wheelers - and the horses behaved admirably for the most part!

Part of the way through the Cheyenne contingent caught up to the group and joined the ride. James led two of their children mounted on a pinto pony.

The ride was nearing its end.

At the top of the mountain,at a sacred vision quest site overlooking the Dry Head, the group dismounted and formed a circle so that the Cheyenne elder could perform the closing ceremony.

It was a very quiet and solemn closing to an inspiring afternoon in one of the most beautiful places on earth, where the Pryor Mountain wild horses call home. We were all united in our desire to see that these horses continue to roam free on their lands.

Today the federal court in DC denied the request for a restraining order to stop the roundup until the case for a preliminary injunction can be heard, and the two day reprieve is over. Tomorrow, things will never be the same for these wild horses as the peace in these mountains is shattered by helicopters, and some will never again return to these mountains.
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  1. Your photo of the vision quest site looks like a Charlie Russell painting--awesome!

    Estes Park, CO

  2. This just breaks my heart. What CAN we do now? Your photos are very quiet and moving. Thank you for sharing them.