By Don Laine & Virginia Parker Staat
Photos © Judy Barnes
If you love wild horses, be sure to sign up for a unique opportunity to photograph free-roaming mustangs. Pre-conference motor tours are planned Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23, with participants carpooling from the conference motel to meet with Spirit of the Wild Horse director Judy Barnes near San Luis, Colorado (approximately one hour from Alamosa) and then heading up to Wild Horse Mesa.
To avoid frightening the horses we need to limit the number of vehicles, so we’re hoping that among those participating there will be two or three high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles, such as full-size crew cab pickups or large SUVs, to transport the group to the mesa. There, Judy Barnes and RMOWP member Laurie Ford will lead us to the best sites to photograph the 150 wild mustangs who call Wild Horse Mesa home. We will be able to get out of the vehicles to photograph the horses. All participants must sign a liability release form.
There is a maximum of 20 people for each day’s trip (first-come first-served), and we’ll be leaving Alamosa at 8 a.m. Participants are advised that the only bathroom break, other than ducking behind a sagebrush, will be at the lunch stop in San Luis. Horses will be quite close, so bring short lenses as well as telephotos. Cost is $60 per person, including lunch, and $50 of that goes to help support Spirit of the Wild Horse, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 2007 for the preservation and protection of Wild Horse Mesa and Rio Grande wild horses.
Visit www.spiritofthewildhorse.com for additional information, or one of two Facebook pages: Judy Barnes and Spirit of the Wild Horse. In addition to being the volunteer director of Spirit of the Wild Horse, Ms. Barnes is an accomplished professional photographer who specializes in – guess what? – wild horses.