Sunday Stills: Furry Friends

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Two friends playing tag.

The theme for this week’s Sunday Stills is Fur and Feathers. Since I currently don’t have any feathers in my barn, I’ll share some of my furry friends.

Yesterday I caught two of my furry friends, my German Shepherd Gretchen, and my young horse Ghost playing tag. These two are hilarious. They take turns chasing each other around, splashing water at each other, and taking naps in the sun together. It took me forever to finish my outside chores, because it was so much fun just watching them.

Terri, one of the hosts for this photo challenge educated me this morning, by telling us that today is National Animal Rights DayI did not know that. Thank you Terri. She also raised the question; To what extent do we continue to banish native animals from their own environments due to urbanization? I’ll say, a great deal. Of course our human endeavors affect every animal now living on the planet.

My heart bleeds for the mustangs in our neighbor state Nevada. I’ve been observing a few herds there for the past 6 years, and noticed how they get a harder time getting to their water sources. One of the side effects of this is more horses crossing highways, causing accidents, and human deaths every year. All because of new housing complexes and fences erected around private properties. In some places they are cornered in, and I wouldn’t exactly call them wild and free any more. The complex question about our wild horses living situation is not a new one. Did you know that tax payers in America currently pay more than $120,000 per day for wild horses in holding facilities? They are in holding facilities due to round-ups. Wild horses are caught under stressful situations when they “cause trouble”due to being horses = when we have taken to much of their habitat for our human needs (cattle, housing, and other urbanization.) The number of wild horses removed from the range far exceed adoption demand. Which leads to stockpiling over 50,000 wild horses in holding facilities. Which is insane. The holding facilities are like small jails for the former wild horses. I’m all in for keeping wild horses wild, but if I had the funds, I would dedicate my life to getting as many wild horses as possible out of those holding facilities.

I did publish a Coffee Table Book with beautiful photos of wild horses, and facts about their situation back in 2013; NEVADA MUSTANGS – LIVING SYMBOLS OF THE WEST. The purpose of my book was to raise awareness of the situation, not only here in America, but also world wide. Here people either love, or hate the mustangs. In other countries many people see them as something very exotic. I withdraw my book from Amazon, when the facts got a little outdated. You can still view my book, by clicking on the title. It is available for purchase, even though I haven’t promoted the book after some of the facts got outdated (numbers of mustangs, and my website/business info. etc. I used to have an Equine Photography Business.) The photos are still very much enjoyable. I am thinking of making a second edition. I patented the title, when publishing the first edition, with this in mind. I do donate 50% of the proceed to a non-profit that works hard for our wild horses future. (It’s been a couple different during the years, depending on what project they currently are working on/needs.) National Animal Rights Day got my brain going haywire.

I hope your weekend is awesome ! I think I’m going to escape the heat for a few hours and drive up to the mountains.  Can’t wait to catch up with my favorite blogs later tonight. It’s one of my favorite things to do.


Ms Zen

Published by Sagittarius Viking

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view. It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life. Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. Maybe a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my art prints is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. Love, Maria

25 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Furry Friends

  1. I wouldn’t get anything done either, what a fun thing to watch. Ya, the wild horses. My heart is with them, and watching their persecution over, and over again is both sickening, and maddening. If BLM would only implement PZP this would be a none issue. They created the problem of paying to have them in horse jail. I’ve said many times, if I won the lottery I would buy land somewhere, go get every horse out of jail, and set them free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary … I was hoping you saw this blog post! I just got done reading your post , Mary, about these Wild Horse Jails now my friend here writes of the same! I never knew of such and am so saddened by government bureaucracy!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that Gretchen and Ghost play tag! Ghost is such a handsome horse. 🙂
    I didn’t realize that there were so many wild horses being held – hard to imagine a solution (except reduce the human population pressure!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! Thank you 🙂

      I’m not sure if there’s a simple solution to the issue. There is a drug, called PZP that some people are in favor for. It’s a birth control shot that can be injected in the mares from a distance. It will keep them infertile for three years. Which would reduce the herd. It costs money, and could use some more testing. We don’t know about side effects yet. I frankly don’t know enough about it to give it my support. (I’m not brave enough to take any birth control drugs myself, I think the thought of taking hormones is scary.) When the eco system is left to itself the numbers regulates them self in natural ways, with predators, natural disasters etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always loved the mustangs and feel sad for their plight. People don’t want horses to be wild because they take up space, or domesticated and working because horses should be “freeeeee!”. Ignorance at both ends of the spectrum. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. There’s no simple solution. I believe raising awareness is important. I do believe that most of those mustangs already in holding facilities, would have a chance of a better life if they had basic training. Many of them could enjoy many different disciplines with a human partner. Ignorance is our worst enemy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You can say that again.

        I saw a mustang at a local jumper show last summer and I got all choked up thinking of his journey. He did really well, too. These horses deserve a chance.


        1. They do! I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a few. It was a girlhood dream of mine to gentle, and train a wild horse by myself. 4,5 years go it came true, and it was even more magical than I had dreamed. That mustang taught me to face so many things I didn’t even know I needed to deal with.


  4. You certainly have a passion for animals, Maria! I’m so glad you linked up with Sunday Stills to help promote the rights of animals. This photo of Gretchen and Ghost playing is simply priceless! So sad to read about the mustangs, seems like such a part of Americana, and hope they can manage to hold on. I’m glad you provided the link to your book, and I’m not surprised to read you had an equine photography business. Your photography of everything is stunning!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m very happy to be a part of the Sunday Stills. Great initiative! I still haven’t had a chance to read all the posts yet, but I am working my way through them. Very inspiring! Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What fun your beloved fur friends have! I would never get my chores done watching the two of them!

    It’s incredible …that I read two posts, back to back, by you and Mary about this sad situation! I will take a look at your book.

    Your photography is spectacular! And now I am glad to hear it’s also in a beautiful coffee table book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! When they start playing it’s hard to focus on anything else. One of my neighbor’s had workers out in a field when I took this photo, they had a hard time focusing on their work to. I heard one of them commenting on “what a fast horse that is”.

      Mary’s blog is very inspiring. I used to live in Nevada, right in the middle of wild horse country. I miss not being there right now. Seeing her photos of the mustangs makes me feel at home.
      Thank you so much for your kind words! Enjoy your day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I find it intriguing how you phrased the situation: “Wild horses are caught…when they “cause trouble” due to being horses.” Perhaps every species, given the chance, would try to dominate and overtake its environment. But, it would be nice if our species could find better solutions to living in a diverse biosphere before it all disappears. I love your photo and thank you for the link to your book. Looking forward to seeing the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly that’s their only crime, that they are horses. That they move around in family bands, and need grass, and water. Thank you for your kind comment. I hope that you have had the chance of seeing wild horses, running free, in all their glory. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved the photo. Here in Australia our government has just agreed to not to cull our wild brumbies(phew) & it still allows a family known for their work with the brumbies to catch them & break them in with very little stress…. it is beautiful to watch. lol I am always getting side tracked by our pets & the local wildlife I do catch them watching me sometimes & I am kinda glad I don’t know what they are thinking,haha I wouldn’t have it any other way.


  8. Hi Maria,
    I loved the photo of Ghost and Gretchen playing chasings. It’s just gorgeous. Our dogs play chasings, at least they did when it was warmer and they were a bit younger. I haven’t noticed them doing it lately.
    I was sorry to read about how the mustangs are being treated. While I am generally against introducing foreign species to the wild and am concerned about their impact on native flora and fauna, it’s hard to know how to handle things after the horse has bolted. I noticed that another Australian has mentioned our wild brumby population, but I also thought I’m mention the camels. We have large populations of feral camels in Australia. There are approximately 1 to 1.2 million feral camels in Australia, and their numbers are thought to be doubling every 8-9 years. They occupy an area of approximately 3.3 million square kilometres of rangeland that incorporates many different land tenures.You don’t generally associate the camel with Australia, do you!
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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