Special visitors

31 05 2015
Katie and Ben Masters in Spring Creek Basin with Chrome's band.

Katie and Ben Masters in Spring Creek Basin.

The “Unbranded” crew may not have ridden through Colorado, but ahead of Telluride’s Mountainfilm festival last weekend, Ben Masters and his very lovely wife, Katie, came to Spring Creek Basin to see our “beautiful” mustangs.

We talked about wild horses and wild burros and public lands and challenges and solutions. As you might imagine, Ben’s mustangs, partners in his and friends’ trip of a lifetime, have made him a mustang advocate. “Unbranded” has catapulted him into a unique position of being respected by a variety of disparate interests.

Ben Masters checks out the NMA/CO sign on the water catchment in Spring Creek Basin with wife Katie. Chrome's band is beyond.

Ben checks out the NMA/CO sign on the water catchment in Spring Creek Basin with Katie.

One does not travel from Mexico to Canada with mustangs and friends alone. It requires preparation and support from numerous people along the way. When traveling across public lands with a pack string and a camera man (at least one), one needs permits from the government: the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service. Observant travelers notice the tread of others on those lands, and Ben and Ben and Thomas and Jonny were no different. To say they made the most of their observations and appreciation of America’s remarkable public lands is a huge understatement.

Katie and Ben Masters in Spring Creek Basin's east pocket with Comanche's, Aspen's and Hollywood's bands.

Katie and Ben enjoy a wonderful visit with beautiful mustangs in the basin.

“Unbranded” is a journey story, and like all good journeys, it includes challenges and obstacles and perseverance and education. While their physical journey may have ended at the Canada border, their education is ongoing, and their search for solutions for America’s wild horses and burros likewise is ongoing.

Ben Masters with Chrome's band in Spring Creek Basin.

Ben was pretty stoked by his visit with our mustangs!

Not surprisingly to the sold-out crowds fortunate enough to see “Unbranded” in Telluride (350 people in line were turned away from the Saturday showing after the theater filled), the film won the Audience Award.

This was the second film festival for “Unbranded”; it was the second Audience Award. Ahhhhhhhhhh-mazing!

When you get the chance to see “Unbranded,” see it. It’s not the typical mustang film. It will leave you wanting more – more mustangs, more conservation of public lands, more involvement, more “what can I do.”

Ben Masters with Chrome's band in Spring Creek Basin.

Ben … mustangs … a wide-open place.

We were so fortunate to meet Ben and Katie Masters and some of the rest of the “Unbranded” crew. What an amazing film. They’re carrying an important message, as Ben says, to show the worth of America’s mustangs.

More valuable than gold

29 05 2015


A picture is worth a thousand gold coins – a leprechaun’s treasure – eh? 🙂 Tesora seems to be searching for the elusive end of the arch.

Golden rain brings the green, but we’re not wet enough deep in the soil to make it collect in ponds. Interesting weather patterns this spring, and the moisture – any at all! – is beyond welcome!

Into the light

28 05 2015


His coat gleams like burnished copper as he walks through an island of light in a little pinon-juniper forest.



25 05 2015


Good morning, world!

If sometimes we’re shy, maybe the world understands. 🙂

Synchronized swish

23 05 2015
Piedra and Comanche

Piedra and Comanche

Just a quiet moment of comfort between wild horses in Spring Creek Basin. There are so many of these moments … so many more of these than of strife.

Something for which to strive.

Life lesson

22 05 2015


The late-afternoon sunlight was too perfect to resist – so pretty Kestrel didn’t.

Naps = good – for every age!


21 05 2015


Oh, the boyish toss of the forelock. It must drive the girls wild!

Red beauty

20 05 2015


Traditional photography frowns on centering the subject. But sometimes, the spotlight is just dead center. 🙂

Pretty Tesora looks right at home on a blustery, sunny, cloudy, rainy, graupely (!) wonderful day in Spring Creek Basin. There’s really no such thing as a less-than-wonderful day in the basin!

We are LOVING the rain that finally is sweeping through southwestern Colorado. Grateful <– that’s us!

Litta bitta

19 05 2015


We have a little bit of everything in Disappointment Valley these days: a little mud, a little snow (outside Spring Creek Basin). We do have quite a little bit of green – and some of it is grass!

This spring rain has been exceptionally welcome. Comanche and his compadres certainly seem to be enjoying it!

Curious critter

18 05 2015


You meet the cutest critters while wandering through Spring Creek Basin! This coyote critter was both curious and brave – more so than its sibling.

From first sighting – two pups playing outside the den – to the time I left was about three minutes. Whew – didn’t want to get between parents and babies!