When I was a kid my Granddad took me on a little aluminium boat to an overgrown island where we tracked the wild horses of Currituck, North Carolina. It was incredible. We got to see a foal just yards away, and I was totally amazed. They seemed so majestic out there with no fences, totally free. I never forgot that experience.
So when I got the opportunity to work as the writer on an advertising campaign for North Carolina tourism, that memory kept inching its way back up. It was something personal that became work. Memories that morphed into words. I think often the best, most authentic work is personal.
I was around horses before I can even remember. As a little girl I had my own pony, Patches, who gave me some of the happiest and most heartbreaking moments of my life.
There’s just something about a horse. All you have to do stand near them, and you can feel the power and emotion. Two souls become one.
Telling the story of North Carolina’s wild horses was important for me because it’s one of the most unique and memorable adventures found here. I just had to share it. So as it turns out, we got the opportunity. And I got to follow along with a world renowned photographer and the herd manager as we tracked the wild horses of Corolla. Wow. Lucky me. Now two incredible, unforgettable experiences. I saw many horses this time. Some were more hidden in the fields while others walked alongside tourists on the beach. Though flowing freely, their sun-kissed mane almost looked styled. With confidence founded in freedom, they seemed unshakable and often looked right at me. Right into me.
I even had my own once in a liftime moment when a stallion climbed down from the top of a sand dune to whisper something in my ear. While I tried to respect the 50 foot distance rule, apparently he hadn’t read the brochure. And what he had to say was pretty important. But that’s all I can say.
Like most animals I’ve ever known, their eyes were deep and soulful. Pulling you in with every glance and head toss. The massive and rolling sand dunes felt like I was on another planet while the ocean grounded me.
Everywhere I looked, there was gold. Golden light that cast a halo behind their fuzzy coat. Golden oats in the fields. Golden sand beneath my feet. It was magical. They were free, but I was captured. So of course I took lots of photos and put them together in the short video below.
Many of these photos I took looking over the shoulder of one of the best (and nicest) photographers in the world while several others were only seen by me. And now – you.