You may be surprised to learn that right now, there are tens of thousands of horses running wild and free across America’s western states. The Bureau of Land Management is charged with preserving and protecting these animals. The agency maintains that population control is essential to protect not only the wild horses, but other animals and livestock on the western range lands. Every year, the Bureau conducts roundups of some of those wild horses. The first priority is to adopt out as many as possible into private care, but most end up living in long-term holding pastures.The roundups are not without opponents. Wild horse advocates say the practice threatens the future of the herds. Filmmaker Ginger Kathrens is one of these activists. She has spent years studying and documenting wild horses. She produced three films for Nature about a horse she named Cloud, who lives in the remote Pryor Mountains of Montana. Today, she continues to follow Cloud and his herd.
We meet up with Kathrens on her ranch in Colorado to find out why she’s dedicated her life’s work to these animals. We also meet some horses Kathrens herself has adopted from the wild.