I have spent the day attempting to construct a way to convey to you all that happened in DC.
There is so much to share. The meetings, James Kleinert’s film Desperation Valley, more meetings, the rally, more meetings… and so many wonderful people.
So many wonderful moments.
Like when Hope Ryden took to the podium with a small box in her hands. I wondered if they were letters she had saved from children during the fight years ago that helped inspire our legislators to action in 1971? Then Hope passionately removed the contents from the box, held it up and pounded it on the podium. It was a mustang hoof! “You could pound nails with this!” she exclaimed as she extolled the virtues of our mustangs. (I have to admit I did not see that one coming). It was something I wont forget.
So many wonderful people, some I have known for years but never met. I often refer to Vicki Tobin as “the best friend I never met,” I can’t say that anymore.
But there is a single event that best sums up the “feeling” I have after DC. There is a real sense that our voices are beginning to be heard. A real sense that if we continue to raise our voices and unify as a group… we will see change.
I had meetings to attend the morning of the rally. The day was hectic and there was not even time to change clothes. Un-tucked my shirt, grabbed my cowboy hat and headed down the street, 10 minutes late, to meet the others already walking to Lafayette park.
We listened to amazing speaker after speaker as the crowd continued to grow.
Then we marched to the Department of Interior to hand deliver a letter to Secretary Salazar. The crowd stretched for blocks as we made our way through the streets of our capitol. When we reached our destination we chanted, held up our signs and delivered that letter.
And then it happened….
Coming down the street toward our group were four members of the mounted patrol. Aboard mighty steeds the officers moved in and took their position across the street.
What a beautiful sight they were. This symbol of what the horse means to our country and to the history of the entire world of man. Those horses represented every horse that stood in battle with us, plowed our fields, carried our burdens and inspired us.
Our group cheered and gathered around the horses.
In an excerpt taken from an article by John Holland from Horseback Online:
I told him that if they were looking to intimidate us, they picked the wrong crowd! I said I face three times that many horses every morning for their feed. He said “We are not here to intimidate you.”
Perhaps they were there to support us? Because that is what they did.
Our “cavalry,” our symbol, our horses stood there as we raised our voices with words they can’t speak. But their presence is something we can never truly express, only allude to.
So they came and stood with us. They spoke as only they can.
I have a renewed sense of Hope.
I was also able to use the example the next day in my meetings at the Capitol. Horses have always been an integral part of our history… and they still play an essential role in our present. This is an important issue for us as a country. At a time of restructuring our economy, health care… our country, the symbols of what it means to be “American” can aide and inspire us to become a greater nation.
Video by RT and Terry Fitch to the amazing voice of Maria Danes.
March for Mustangs 2010