Continued from the April EPNet Newsletter…

Photographers Join Forces to Help Mustangs in BLM Holding Corrals
Submitted by Hyla Burleson

Sometimes when a photographer's shutter clicks, a life is forever altered.

I know mine was, and the change is still snowballing. There is a photographer in Oregon who photographs Mustangs in the wild. His name is John Wheland. By accident one day, I happened across a picture of his in a Google search. The photo was of a Mustang Stallion. There was just something about it that struck me to the core. I wanted more.

I found a group on Facebook on called "Oregon's Wild Side." It is a collection of photographers who go to great lengths to photograph mustangs in the wild. Relationships grew as I asked more questions. Through those relationships came discoveries and education.

I learned that there are close to 50,000 Mustangs in holding corrals needing homes. One of the greatest champions assisting those mustangs is a group called the Mustang Heritage Foundation. I learned about their programs that makes ownership a real possibility for those ill equipped to handle a totally wild horse. Through that program, I adopted my 1st Mustang two years after seeing John's picture.

The more I thought about the difference that one picture made, for me, the trainer, and of course the horse, I wanted to do the same for others. I was not geographically able to photograph wild horses, but there was a holding facility close to where I lived. Once again, I reached out to that group of photographers for information. They directed me to one of their contacts with Federal Bureau of Land Management.

Now once a month I make a 180 mile round trip to the pens, and photograph horses that are eligible for adoption. Those photos are displayed on a Facebook page, set up to help show case and increase public awareness as to the wonderful quality that Mustangs can provide to horse lovers.

Our group, "The Modern Mustanger" with it's network of Photographers, is changing lives not just for the Horses, but for the families that open their homes. It is also a platform that allows people who can not adopt, help by spread the word and the photos. Placement & education is increasing with each passing month. When I reflect back over the last 3 years, the Power of John Wheland's photo along with all the other committed photographers, is still shaping me, and in turn shaping others. Funny the power those little pixels can hold when we share with the rest of the world.

We are always looking for more photographers to showcase Mustangs in need of homes. Adoption events are held all of the county. You do not have to live near a facility. You can contact us through the Facebook page, Modern Mustanger.