Guest Blog post by Eileen Skahill of WildSoul Photography Colorado
July 6, 2016
These horses are (to me, of course) a unique group and my connection to them, and fear for their future, on so many levels, very profound. That was my first time encountering them, though I had made trips through their sacred grounds for over a decade, only having seen one over that period of time. But on that cool and gray January day in 2015, I hiked out to where they were, graciously allowed into their space, finding myself surrounded by nearly 35 of them, for over an hour.
Spending time with these horses was a spiritual moment for me, and the beginning of a life long love affair with these creatures. They are so familial, so connected; they are family to each other, and now to me. As a professor of Sociology and the Humanities, who specializes in teaching about climate change and environmental justice, I understand the threefold problem these animals face: slaughter, sterilization and their loss of habitat and life sustaining resources due to climate change. This band of horses is particularly affected by the already very hot, desolate and sparse food and water starved lands of the arid Southwest; conditions only to greatly worsen on a hotter and drier planet. So, it is important to me, that consequences of climate change be figured into the narrative of the wild horse, for the photos I take, I consider ones that are capturing a memory. I don’t want that to be the case, but at the risk of sounding pessimistic, the trajectory we are on figures that notion of capturing a memory to be true.
You can see more of Eileen's work at http://www.wildsoulphotographycolorado.com/.