Sunday, December 06, 2009

For the love of the horse

From the "Projects I'm Determined to Complete" file comes the story of the love affair between a horseman and a blind mare.

It was in 1993 that a woman from a horse rescue group called to tell me about the blind horse that they had recently rescued. What many people don't know is that unwanted animals are easy marks for brokers who arrange to provide horses to butchers who sell the meat overseas -- where horse meat is a delicacy.

I visited a ranch in a canyon above the San Fernando Valley and had the pleasure of meeting a horse with the nickname of Lady. She was wonderful, but even more astounding was a gentle horseman I'm calling by his initials, K.S.

He and Lady impressed me so much that I returned with my television camera and a high-quality wireless microphone. It turned out to be a most memorable shoot. I brought Diane Toomey along with me to conduct one of her brilliant interviews, Vilma Yolanda Garcia as a production assistant. More recently, my friend, Pat Hall, transcribed and logged the entire day of videotape. Many of the fantastic instructors, technicians and fellow students at Video Symphony (where I'm honing my editing skills) helped out with information and encouragement.

Anyone who has seen the raw footage seems to get hooked. Hence, this sample. The rest of the story of how the relationship between Land and K.S. developed will unfold in the final product. You'll just get a hint of it here.

K.S. had his own history of rescuing doomed horses. He had learned the loving art of what we now call "horse whispering" long before the term became popular. He was frustrated that so many people bought horses -- often expensive thoroughbreds -- with the same I've-got-to-have-one fever they buy BMWs and Rolex watches. He told me that people had no idea of how to care for these special animals and, even worse, didn't have the time.

The result? The horses would act up, the owners would declare that their horses were dangerous and they'd unload them "for the sake of the safety of their families." Of course, the horse brokers and the butchers were very happy to take the horses.

When K.S. met Lady, it was the beginning of a beautiful romance. Somehow they seemed to fill each others' needs in ways I'm still exploring. As you'll see in the sample video here, K.S. had to draw on all of his gentle horse skills and more.

I'm sharing this sample video for two reasons: I'm determined to complete projects that I started years ago, and I want to invite others to participate in the full-scale production that will come out of the video I shot back then and on more current information that I'm gathering.

So if you know people who are passionate about horses, other animals or about very special and inspirational people, please share this video with them. There's a wonderful development that takes place in this story as well as a sad, bittersweet ending.

I'll share that with you in the completed project video. If you want to participate, please get in touch with me. It's a wonderful project and it deserves to be in the public eye. Oh, and if go to it on Youtube, you could rate it and maybe even make it a favorite. That will help get the word out.


Anonymous said...

Please be aware of what a USDA program formerly called NAIS, now called ADT, will do to horse ownership, make it costly and impossible...see nonais dot org for more info on the program pushed by big ag that will put more govt surveillance on horse/livestock owners than on sex offenders, drug dealers or illegals.

Anonymous said...

did you ever finish this? would love to see more about this video, I know he has since passed, but I read that you were to finish the documentary about this.

Don Ray said...

Believe it or not, we are working on it right now. We're still missing one important video. We're in the trenches looking for it and for people who might have clues. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


I just found this video on youtube and wondered if you ever finished the video. I couldn't find anything else related to this on your website. It's 2016 now, so if it's not done yet, I wonder if you'd consider just uploading the footage you have. I'd love to see it (even unfinished or incomplete ) and I think a lot of other people would, too.

Anonymous said...


(My first post seems to have gotten lost -- sorry if this doubles up) I just found this short video on youtube and wonder if you ever finished it. I couldn't find anything else about it on your website. It's 2016 now, so if not, would you consider posting whatever you do have, even if it's unfinished or incomplete? I'd really like to see it and I think a lot of other people would, too.

Don Ray said...

Thanks for the nudge. I'm doing my best to complete one project so that it may lead to funding for other projects.
I'm sorry that I'm not able to upload other video, but I'm remembering your advice and will eventually get it done.