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Wild Hoofbeats: America's Vanishing Wild Horses

Wild Hoofbeats: America's Vanishing Wild Horses

by Carol J Walker; Painted Hills Publishing, 2008. Softcover, 156pp RRP $US29.99. ISBN: 978-0-09817936-4-1.

February 7, 2011

Wild Hoofbeats is a fantastic insight into wild horses in the US, with dozens of stunning photographs showing the mustang way of life - until they are "gathered" in government roundups.

Walker, with nerves of steel, tells of wild stallions approaching her as close as five feet then wandering off to eat grass when they realise she is not a threat to their herds.

It's obvious Walker has a quiet and sympathetic manner toward the horses, given the closeness of the many approaches she has been able to record.

Through Walker follows several bands of horses from Wyoming's Adobe Town herd, and is also able to record the heart wrenching partings of long-time herd mates after the horses are rounded up by helicopter and taken for castration and to be sold.

Some don't even make it into the pens under their own steam, and get dragged there only to die from who knows what? Maybe heartbreak.

I think most horse loving people would enjoy this book and feel the happiness and sadness that I did when reading it.

The future for wild horses in the United States is precarious indeed. This is despite being vastly outnumbered by cattle and game animals.

How quickly the role of the horse seems to have been forgotten as government and cattle interests continue their doggedly determined plan to rid the west of these iconic animals.

Walker's text is poignant and will bring the issue to life for those unfamiliar with the struggle of the wild horses. "The wild horses of American cannot speak for themselves, yet they are an unquestionable part of our national heritage," Walker writes. "Since these horses are on our public lands, they 'belong' to all Americans, so it is the American public that now needs to take action to save them. I hope that this book will help motivate you to fight for their survival.

"Our wild horses deserve to live free forever."

• 10% of the proceeds from the sale of this book go towards The Cloud Foundation, an organisation founded by Ginger Kathrens, who has written the foreword for Wild Hoofbeats.



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