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Articles

Mustangs: A Photo Essay


2016/04/05






By Veronica Batterson

I am a writer, novelist and photographer, newly arrived to the Memphis area, having moved here from Chicago. My latest book, Daniel's Esperanza, is a novel with the setting in a wild horse sanctuary. The following is the book description from the back cover.
 
A rancher and his wife provide a haven for wild Mustangs on ten thousand acres in Northern New Mexico.  Unable to have children of their own, they also provide a home to a broken and abused teenage boy from Virginia.  Their wild horse sanctuary gives comfort to the boy, while the family faces challenging actions and lies from a vindictive neighbor and the threat of the boy’s biological father resurfacing.

Under the backdrop of Native American culture and New Mexico ranch life, Daniel escapes his abusive father and finds a new home with Frank and Sarah Carpenter, ranchers and owners of a wild horse sanctuary.  For three years, he heals, is nurtured and becomes an adult.  Daniel learns how to ride horses, train them and accept a family as his own.
However, a vengeful, neighboring rancher and son become formidable enemies.  They engage in threats against the Carpenters and Daniel that involve horse stealing, gambling and potential danger to the sanctuary horses.  The neighbors also hire a private investigator to look into Daniel’s past, allowing his abusive father to learn of his whereabouts. 
 
These are photos from a visit I made to northern New Mexico to research my book, Daniel's Esperanza. All the horses in these photographs are wild and were located at a wild horse sanctuary in New Mexico. The first one contains a mare, her foal, and another horse in the band. I loved the contrast against the beautiful New Mexico sky. The second photo is of a wild stallion wandering just away from his band (harem). I learned a year later that this beautiful horse was killed by snipers who trespassed onto private land. Neither the stallion nor the other horses had wandered off the sanctuary land, and those who committed the act have never been found. The third horse amongst the sagebrush is the cover model for my book. I got several images of this beautiful creature and felt he/she was perfect for the cover. The fourth one I particularly like because in this small band, you see a small foal peeking up over the brush to the right. All are curious and wondering about me. The final image is a band of horses frolicking and carefree.

My short stories and essays appear on my blog at www.veronicarbatterson.blogspot.com, and my photographs are on the Fine Art America site at www.veronica-batterson.pixels.com. I have many equine photos there, with some featured from the wild horse sanctuary in northern New Mexico. My website is also available at www.veronicabatterson.com.

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