I became obsessed with the idea of cowboys in 5th grade when I discovered, in the back of our school library a set of books called Famous Horse Stories from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  They were all separate stories by separate authors, just in the same group.  The idea of the man taking care of his family, protecting his wife and the woman being strong and managing a house, children, ranch and unruly, stubborn husband was something a little girl can really dream about.  Not only that there were horses.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved horses.  In elementary school anything that had a horse on it I begged my parents to buy me, stickers, pencils, notebooks, folders, books (even ones that were way above my reading level), shirts, toys, just about anything and everything you can think of I had.  Even now I have boxes of over 60 figurines, some cheap but some are collectables and Breyer and Peter Stone.  My parents love getting me all of that and in high school with the help of an eBay account, they bought me the majority of the Famous Horse Story books, which are so old I can’t even find them in the public library near my house!

Horses are the spirit of the West, what helped found this country and there is this freedom associated with them, this spirit that could never be taken.  Even domesticated, they always have this look in their eyes of wild joy.

They are these massive, huge animals just made of hard, strong muscle but every movement is so fluid and graceful.  They just swim through the air and hover over the Earth.  It’s so amazing just watching them.  They’re graceful but so strong and powerful at the same time, every movement is that of a dancer with the strength of an army and they can have the tenderness of a mother tending to her child.

I’ve always wished to be like that, graceful and strong.  I never had the confidence to do much, to use my voice to demand change until recently.  I wish I had their freedom, or at least what they used to have, now just like the wild horses in America, people are caged as well.  The horses can only stay on their reservations, within their boarders just like us.  We are confined to the space we live in, divided by language, color and customs, divided by a line on a piece of paper. 

Hopefully the wild horses will never vanish and these preserves like the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary and National Parks won’t disappear so our future generations can see that look of passion and freedom and pureness, something our society has lost.  You rarely see that spark in anyones eye now as lives get busier.  Business and corporations expands globally but people become separated, void of all emotion toward the human rights violations abroad with only small groups actively doing something.  Instead of listening, understanding and embracing each other, lines on the map get darker and darker.  I want that spark, that wild freedom to come back, for us to embrace that feeling again and embrace those around us instead of becoming so much more divided.  We’re all people no matter our language, color, customs, beliefs so we should help each other instead of hate each other or just turn the other way and pretend nothing is wrong.

Speak up, stand your ground, open your ears and make a difference to someone.  When you listen and embrace someone instead of hating them or completely ignoring their struggles, you have just begun to open the world for yourself, slowly removing the cage which you’re in and maybe then you can experience what these incredible animals feel every day of their lives.


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