2018 – The first commemorative print to honor the wild mustang stallion, Blaze. Blaze who has inspired many around the world and especially this artist, lived wild in the incredible badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND from 2002, the year he was born, until sometime on or around March 19th, 2017, when his spirit became a permanent part of the badlands. His spirit will carry forward in honor of all of America’s wild horses!
As a dear friend said – “he has gathered a great human herd!”
“The freedom that nature-mystics look for beyond the human scene is like the spiritual realm of the religious, a human thought-construction. Seeking to escape yourself by chasing your own shadow is a vain pursuit. But if you look with eyes that are not covered with a film of thought, you may come to a scene that can only be seen once.”
~John Gray, ‘The Silence of Animals’
Ahhhhh one of those quotes that require reading more than once to grasp the depth of it. Wild band stallion, Blaze, he is one of those scenes in nature where if you remove your thoughts and see and attempt to feel what he represents, you will understand the spiritual depth of these wild horses.
Blaze was being his classic protective self the afternoon of this image in March of 2016. We were in his winter grounds which lie below and northeast of that tall point in the interior of the park, Buck Hill. He is carrying his yearly, dark winter coat still, not yet leaving it behind to reveal that beautiful red bay roan he is.
Causing trouble this day is band stallion, Cocoa, and the two-year-old colt in Blaze’s harem, Evans. This posturing move Blaze is exhibiting here was just after he had separated Cocoa and Evans. That evil look was all it took to send Cocoa scurrying back to his own girls, and Evans shrinking and clacking back to his momma, Little Bros Girl.
I love the land these wild horses roam on. The land itself is filled with romantic history—hard, tough, beautiful, rugged history. Add to the land the wild horses, bison, elk, deer, and all the other wildlife and Theodore Roosevelt National Park becomes a very magical place, even in the midst of heart ache and conflict.