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Teachers invited to use wild horse film to teach ecology and guardianship of the natural world.

Ecology is a multi-disciplinary field so the film and it’s curriculum fits into many subject areas. Recommended for middle school up.

I’ve had some requests for high school showings to begin next fall as a result of It’s review in Library Journal, calling it beautifully rendered and very persuasive.

If you have connections that can open up the high school/ college market it would be superb.  Once the film is on a roll in schools we’ll see more advocates join the movement.   While making the film I became increasingly concerned that the prominent advocates were over 50.  The horses need informed caring young voices  to keep carrying the torch forward.  It’s important to reach youth before they are inundated with BLM and special interest group propaganda.  In my film, the wild horses represent the wonders of nature – and open our hearts to preserving all that it is.  Although it is specifically about and for the preservation of the free roaming wild horse it’s broader message calls upon all of us to be guardians of the natural world. The ecological message of the film lends itself to fit into many different disciplines and curriculum.  This film stimulates thought and  exploration of what might have been previously considered fact.  The film followed by discussion cultivates an  opportunity for students to  explore sustainable solutions to complex problems.  In my opinion , our country is paying a serious toll through the dumbing down of America encouraged through mindless- reality and repetitive  media.  Wild Horses In Winds of Change, is classically narrated, along with interviews with experts .  Rather than being strictly factual and educational, it has a tone of ambiguity because I want people to engage in being leaders in finding solutions.  We need many voices, hands and hearts to find answers for  long term sustainability of America’s free roaming wild horse and burros.

Below is the  Library Journal  Review of Wild Horses In Winds of Change followed by  a letter to the editor responding to the review.March 2011.

Wild Horses In Winds of Change – NAT HIST- $100.00 Public Performance Screening rights for Libraries and Classroom use.
This beautifully rendered and very persuasive film introduces viewers to America’s wild horse populations. Director LeGrand, an award-winning photojournalist, screenwriter, poet, and former columnist for a weekly public radio broadcast, sees the wild horse as being a symbol of American freedom and a reminder of America’s ancestral journey. Though many believe that these horses are feral domestic horses and therefore do not need to exist in the wild, LeGrand claims that they have the same DNA as the horse remains found with Clovis points and are therefore descendants of the first horses in America-horses that crossed over to Europe and Mongolia during the Ice Age. The horses roam free on public lands supervised by the Bureau of Land Management. The film shows helicopters herding the terrified animals into pens; a stallion attempting to escape breaks his neck and dies. More opposing points of view would have made this a better, more balanced program. Also, it doesn’t address the number of wild horse herds that should be allowed or how they would be handled given the present economy and shrinking federal funds. Of interest to horse lovers and animal rights activists; recommended for large public libraries.-Patsy Gray, formerly with Huntsville P.L., AL

Dear Editor,

 Wild Horses In Winds of Change unfolds a quickly paced story about how a tangled web of political & pecuniary interest and antiquated science threatens the lives of America’s wild horses. It’s the only film about wild horses made so far that also fits into an environmental genre.

 While I appreciate the overall favorable review, I’d like to point out that I made a decision not to cover solutions in this film because there are no large- scale sustainable solutions yet.  A moratorium on round ups is much needed not only to stop the violence against the horses but also to re-work the entire management of the range and the wild horses and burros.

 The reviewer must have missed the narrative that speaks to the millions of dollars needed to hold horses in captivity compared to managing them in the wild.  She also states she would like more numbers about how many horses should be allowed on the range. The questions I address in the film is how can fair, unbiased assessments be determined while so many myths and prejudices prevail about the wild horses’ status on the range.

Greatly opposing points of view are included in the film as three interviews with BLM affiliates are highlighted.  The main story-teller is an equine ecologist who was once employed by that agency and the rest of the cast are wild horses and experienced people who love and work with mustangs.

 I appreciate the recommendation of the film for public performances in large libraries, horse lovers and animal activists groups. I also believe it’s ecological basis and uncanny horse sense make it desirable in rural communities and in college classrooms as well. –

 

Mara LeGrand: Skydancer Productions. www.wildhorsesinwindsofchange.com

 

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