Confession: I may have been a wild pony in another life.
I love horses. Been riding since I was four years old, Western and English equitation, bareback with no bridle in an open pasture, around the country and many parts of the globe like Petra, Jordan and outside of Zurich, Switzerland. I even started playing polo about 15 years ago, going to Argentina to train.
Horses are strong and independent, yet graceful and social. So, anytime I can find a reason to do a story on horses I’m all over it.
Recently, while working for Al Jazeera America as a correspondent, I was assigned to report on wild horses in the west ~ awesome! They had me at hello! The story was a feature on wild mustangs, the icon of the west. On Colorado’s Western Slope there are hundreds of acres of wild mustangs.
The problem is how do we keep them fed? They have become over populated and in some cases around the U.S. may starve. More privately-owned ranchland can be used but how will those ranchers be compensated? No easy answers but the story elevated the conversation and the beautiful landscape of the west was the perfect backdrop.
Just a few days after we broadcast that story there was breaking news in New Mexico. A judge was considering lifting an injunction on a slaughter house for horses and I was about to be assigned to go down there for the decision. I was horrified! I’ve covered school and theater shootings, been on the front lines in war torn countries but the thought of going to a horse slaughter house was so upsetting. I prayed the injunction would not be lifted.
As it turned out the injunction stayed intact, meaning the horses (and I) were spared!
I am a committed journalist. I follow the story. And… I am also human.