Vendla Stockdale and George Brauneis brought their exhibit, "Shadow Horse," to the Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss on Oct. 12.
Stockdale, with Elizabeth Keenan, founded Spirit Wind Horse Rescue in 2006.
The non-profit has 41 horses in its care, some needing a new home, others are retired within the organization.
Brauneis is one of the trainers who donates his time and caring to the rescued horses.
"Over the last few years since we have been rescuing horses, I've been noticing when a horse comes in and it's been neglected and abused, which we've had a lot of this year. We've actually taken in 10 horses this year through the Sheriff's Department. [The horses] walk in . . . Just sort of a shadow of what they once were and what they can be," Stockdale said about the horses in the photographs. "This is just basically a story of their movement from the shadows into the light. The horses are able to let go of abuse. They're able to let go of all the horrible things that have happened to them and what they do is that they move on and become these amazing creatures. They join up with you and become your partner and become everything you expected them to be. So, for us this has been a lesson . . . With people, we hang on to the negative for years which doesn't allow us to move forward, but the horses have been huge teachers allowing us to move forward and let go of the negative."
Brauneis said for the exhibit the two photographers focused on the horses that came in hundreds of pounds under weight. Most were not physically beaten, but neglected without enough food. The photographs show their restoration. "I find in rebuilding a horse that it kind of helps to rebuild and restore myself from the inside out," Brauneis said. "It's Spirit Wind Horse Rescue and there really is a spiritual side to it. It's not like sitting in a church pew . . . There's an energy, a connection between your heart and that horse."
Brauneis said the relationship with the horse becomes to where they have "an invisible lead rope." "You've helped that horse find himself again and all of a sudden you have that bond and you don't need a bridle. You don't need a lead rope. Just with non-verbal cues, you and the horse are communicating together," he said.
The photographs are shown on canvas. It gives the images a different effect. "It's more like an earthy feel," Stockdale said.
The black and white photographs do draw the viewer into the spiritual transformation of these remarkable horses. Come and encounter their stories.blog comments powered by Disqus