Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Oregon's Living Legends
A funny thing happened to me recently. There is this blog, Life at the Rough String, that I read and enjoy where the writer writes about her Eastern Oregon ranching lifestyle (with I might add great photos). She has written about wild horses before as she has been involved in the BLM work regarding them. This time she was writing about a book, Oregon's Living Legends, about where they are and who has been adopting them. It takes people like her to keep them still out there but at the same time manage their range usage. She said she was having a contest and to enter you had to write when you first knew about wild horses in Oregon.
My knowledge went back to when my children were small and we were driving on a road between Jordan Valley and Burns Junction, not sure which side of Rome it was on but there they were-- a herd of wild horses at one side of the road. It was a thrilling sight as they galloped out of our view, no time to get any photo. I had no idea what year but it was a long time back.
So I wrote my experience down and thought maybe I'd buy that book. I figured I would look for it next time I was in the bookstore. Before I got to a bookstore, I went to the blog to see with shock that it was my name that had been drawn to win the book.
Now this is a bigger deal to me than it might be to someone else on several counts. One I admire the woman who writes the blog for the way she lives the ranching lifestyle and her love and ability with horses. Plus she lives in a part of Oregon I have always considered beautiful. You can call it back of beyond. Its ranching history goes way back.
But there was another aspect that made this special to me. I know everybody has won a cake at a cakewalk or something somewhere. Not me. Although I haven't entered a lot of contests, I have never won anything even when I have. So it was a shock when this time I was and with something so neat to win.
When the book arrived, I couldn't help but think how coincidental this was that it would come right after I had written about my reluctance to take big risks and that horses had been one of those risks. It has made me think-- is it really too late?
The book, Oregon's Living Legends, by Andi Harmon is great as a combination of explaining the current world of the wild horses with paintings by Michele Severe whose work shows her love of horses. The book is full of stories about those who have adopted mustangs, how the whole idea of wild horse adoptions has come to be. It is full of facts but it's also inspiring if a little depressing that wild horses have been so abused by our culture. Well, we don't allow them to be eaten anymore but not sure if that wouldn't be kinder than what we sometimes have done.
I am not sure why wild horses aren't okay with people. I guess some is they have no natural predator except man and they can overgraze a region where humans want to put cattle. I understand the logic of that. But...
Is there anything more spiritually uplifting than the image of a wild horse herd that comes thundering across a sagebrush plain? I will tell you, I don't think there is.