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We could say this entire project started with this one photo of a small, innocent, beautiful face...

BLM Photo

Finding horses in the wild to photograph and observe in order to better understand the real needs of our backyard friends was the research project at hand. While studying the BLM’s web site learning about the herd management areas and looking for maps I ran across the online adoption page. As I was looking through photos of the many, many, horses available, her eyes hooked right into me. Bidding was to begin the next day. So of course I went through the application and bidding process, in the end I was high bidder! (sadly, without much competition)

She was being held at the Burns Oregon Wild Horse Corrals. The date was March 26, 2010. It was freezing cold, windy and snowing but it was still a super experience. The wranglers there were great, they handled the horses smoothly and with care. We toured the entire facility and photographed many of the captive horses, there were over 500 residing.

Our new baby was as special in person as I could feel she was through her pictures. She went right into the trailer, was bright, very still and observant.

The drive home was beautiful, smooth and quiet. Arrival home, the same, she came slowly and cautiously out of the trailer at her own pace, no rushing, stress or drama. She went to meet the other horses through the fence and they all went straight for a drink of water.

I did not try to touch her or put any "pressure" on her, I just went about my business as if she were not there. I cleaned her paddock at least twice a day and scratched the others by the fence so she could be a part of it. She was so curious it only took 2 days before she was touching my back through the fence. On the third day I offered my arm over the gate but did not try to touch her, I waited for her to touch me. She wiggled her lip on my arm so I scratched her chin and it was a relationship of mutual exploration ever after.

Paisley grew into the most stunning, wonderful, fun loving friend.

The years that followed us finding each other were filled with so many happy and exciting experiences. Every time I would go to the pasture she was always first to find me, always with the sweetest happy go lucky nature.

The most difficult part of being a life long sanctuary is knowing that everyone who comes to live with us will also leave this earth while under our care. With Paisley this day came way too soon and left us all heartbroken.

On January 3, 2016 while on my walk through the pasture Paisley came to me in the same happy to see me sweet way she had always done but this day her front right leg was fractured. We can only guess how this could have happened, maybe ice, maybe a herd mate, but regardless of the cause the decision in front of us was still the same. After exploring every possible option it became painfully clear the right thing to do was place her to rest.

Paisley, our first Mustang, amazing communicator, teacher, friend... forever loved and missed.

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