National Geographic – Indian Renaissance
Field Notes from Author Joseph Bruchac

I was at the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, and Karen Sussman, one of the leaders in rescuing and sustaining wild mustang horses, took me out to a pasture on her ranch at dusk. We sat at the top of a hill in her truck looking for a herd and one gradually began approaching us. Karen told me if I left my window down and held still, a mustang might actually come to greet me. The next thing I knew one walked right up to the truck, stuck its head in the window and started nuzzling my face. "You've just been kissed by a wild horse," Karen said. I twas a moving experience. Horses are truly beautiful animals and have one of the most amazing connections with humans. In the native community, they're literally like members of the family.

National Geographic – Indian Renaissance
Field Notes from Photographer Maggie Steber

In South Dakota I went to see a herd of wild horses with a young Lakota man named David Little Wounded who works with them. It can be dangerous to get too close, so we sat in a pickup truck watching them for about two hours. But I really wanted to get closer to them, so I got out of the truck and started crawling very slowly toward the middle of the field. The young Indian man said, "Well, this is really dangerous. But if you're going to do it, I'd better go with you".

So there we were, crawling on our hands and knees with my cameras banging together. We got out in the field and sat for a while, and little by little, the horses started coming to us. Eventually we were completely surrounded by them. They were so gentle. Sitting on the ground, we were quite small compared with them. It was a dangerous thing to do because the smallest thing could have spooked them. They could have trampled and even killed us. But it was wonderful to feel a connection with these wild animals. I got some really nice pictures, but this experience meant more to me. It gave me a reverence for these creatures.



For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Karen Sussman
PO Box 55,
Lantry, SD 57636
Ph: 605-964-6866 or 605-430-2088.

Email: ispmb@lakotanetwork.com

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