Wild Horses: Sanctuary
In recent years, thousands of wild horses have died on federal ranges from starvation and thirst. Although dying from hunger or thirst is the only natural enemy left to the wild mustang, it is a ghastly fate not befitting one of Nature's noblest creatures. Several activists are working to provide them with their own territories, as well as humane, sensible management, free of politics, where the wild horse is allowed to be wild.
Founded in 198 by Dayton O. Hyde, the Institute of Range and the American Mustang is a non-profit organization whose the mission is to give freedom and quality of life to America's wild horses. The Institute owns an 11,000-acre sanctuary in the Black Hills of South Dakota. On this range, looking much as it did centuries ago, several hundred wild horses run free. At the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, visitors from all over the world can come to see and photograph wild horses in large herds, under spectacular conditions. It is a home they share with coyotes, cougar, mule deer, elk, wild turkeys, and peregrine falcons — a home where wild mustangs not only live, but flourish, nurtured by their freedom.
In South Dakota, Dayton Hyde is working hard to bring the horse spirit back to the great plains. Thiswild horse sanctuary is where tourists from all over the world come in search of the mythical West.
Hyde grew up on a ranch in Oregon, and that's where he fell in love with the American mustang.
"I remember trying to see wild horses, and I spent about four hours creeping up on a tableland, thinking the wind is right — I'll be able to look up and see wild horses grazing.
"When I finally stuck my head up over the rimrock, the wild horses were there, but they were already running. They were already half a mile away, and you could hear their hooves running across the lava — broken lava fields. And it sounded like bells. I've never forgotten that sound of wild horses running. A thunder that you just couldn't duplicate.
"When I look back at the best horses we ever had on our cattle outfit, the best ones were captured horses. They acquire a wisdom running out — running wild and free, jumping over rocks, eluding danger, grubbing out a living in the midst of blizzards. There's a wonderful wisdom that comes to those horses that is not present in domestic horses. It's simply not there.