Horses Of The West: America's Love Story
Airs Monday, March 5, 2012 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV
From the sensitive beauty of elegant Arabians to a gentle nudge from a therapy horse, from the open runs of wild horses on the range to the muscle and skill of working ranch horses, "Horses Of The West: America's Love Story" takes viewers on an emotional journey on horseback through the American West. Narrated by actress Ali MacGraw, this new PBS special celebrates the remarkable relationship of horses and the humans who love them, while offering a broad overview of the many different roles horses play.
For inmate Richard Evans, the horses provide a sense of freedom “akin to flying. I just love galloping and feeling the wind. I feel like being around the horses has calmed me down as a person, has taken an edge off me.”
Not surprisingly, the inmates become so attached to the horses that it can be emotionally hard on them when the animals are actually adopted. “It’s your best bud and it just kind of hurts your feelings when he leaves and you’re kind of a little heart broke,” says inmate Waylon Riddle. “You gain a relationship, a bond with that horse and he’s gone.”
While the prison’s wild horse program and the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary rescue horses, "Horses Of The West" also shows how horses can rescue and heal humans. The film tells the story of two special wild horses at the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah. Shelby, a two-year old Cedar Mountain mustang, was adopted as a colt. Fly, another mustang, was rescued at the same time as a friend for Shelby. Both are ideally suited for their role as therapy animals.
Rounding out the program are the exquisite grace of Arabians, who may be the royalty of the horse world; working quarter horses on the ranch of famed author Thomas McGuane; and the striking beauty of spotted Appaloosas and their Nez Perce heritage.
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