This Month in Wild Beauty: April into May 2023

THIS MONTH IN WILD BEAUTY: April into May 2023

The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the thirty fourth edition of our newsletter!

Read the newest horse and burro focused headlines for April into May 2023.

Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West 

Available May 12th, 2023

Our highly anticipated documentary, Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West is hours away from becoming available worldwide! Soon, the beauty and plight of our wild horses will be seen in homes and theaters across the globe. We cannot be more proud of the film’s impact thus far, and are hopeful for what is to come after its official world debut this week. 

At long last, admirers of our wild world will have full access to Wild Beauty’s immersive journey into the world of wild horses. The film can be found on a variety of leading streaming platforms including Apple, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and more .  It is time to raise our voices like never before; please order on iTunes before May 11th to help us get Wild Beauty placed higher on Apple’s platform.


Leading up to the premiere, we encourage you to share the trailer, poster, or an official still from the movie to social media (as many times as you’d like) with the hashtag #istandwithwildhorses. Tag your lawmakers, and major press outlets. As more voices share this film with others, more people are inspired to help and protect our wild world. 

We are hoping to create an absolute wave of awareness in May, ahead of our screening for Congress in Washington D.C. 

Do you, or your company, want to sponsor our Washington D.C. premiere this spring?  Reach out directly to [email protected]

You can help support the grassroots efforts of our passionate team by making a donation.


Read more from leading entertainment publication Variety about the release.

Please be sure to order WILD BEAUTY on a streaming platform of your choice before its official world premiere!  Thank you to everyone who has followed this journey over the years.  We appreciate every single one of you, and your #wildhorseteamwork


Photograph by Kimerlee Curyl

Lawsuit Against the U.S. Forest Service Puts Salt River Wild Horses at Risk

The iconic wild horses of Salt River in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest have been targeted by conservation groups in a recent lawsuit filed in the Phoenix U.S. District Court. The lawsuit claims that the current population of horses is too high and is causing severe overgrazing, despite diligent management by wild horse nonprofit, Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.

The lawsuit is supported by the Center for Biological Diversity, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, and Arizona Wildlife Federation which all consider the Salt River wild horses as the leading cause of habitat degradation. With these false claims, the organizations are convincing the U.S. Forest Service to overturn the 2016 Arizona State Law, A.R.S 3-1491, that protects these horses and allows SRWHMG to manage their health and safety. 

Simone Netherlands, president of SRWHMG, has expressed her concerns and stated that if the law is overturned and the horses management is no longer controlled by her group, the population will boom to numbers that would constitute a roundup of all horses within the forest. 

We as wild horse advocates cannot allow groups seemingly supporting conservation to scapegoat our wild horses. Without appropriate education on wild horse management and the work of groups like SRWHMG, lawsuits like these could wreak havoc on the wild horse population and see them into extinction.

If you are interested in reading more about the Salt River Wild Horses and their most recent tribulation, please visit Salt River Wild Horse Management Group’s website.


A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West

New Study Supports that Wild Horses Roamed American West Before Spanish Settlers

A new study published March 30, 2023 likely proves that horses roamed the plains of western America long before they were previously believed to have been brought over by Spanish colonists. These significant findings suggest that perhaps the species did not die out on this continent during the last ice age and were instead thriving by the early 1600s. As mentioned in the study, oral history passed down through generations of indigenous people told of their partnership with horses before the first Europeans stepped foot in the Americas. Now, more than 80 scientists have confirmed that these stories hold accurate historical timelines for the horse’s presence in North America.

Numerous scientists in diverse fields of study examined roughly 24 sets of remains from multiple sites spanning across the western U.S. According to the study’s findings, horses were present here several decades before the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, which historians previously used as a marker for the migration of horses back into the Americas. This is significantly important to indigenous people who have debated the timeline of their groups’ first interactions with horses, as it proves that the stories passed down through their generations are in fact accurate chronologically. In an article published last week, Yvette Running Horse Collins, a scientist and friend of WBF told PBS, “Our cultures have been so misrepresented for so long. Too often history has been told around us, without us.” 

Not only have these findings pieced together disputed historical records, they will also allow for further steps to be taken in order to better protect our wild horse species for future generations. We at WBF are encouraged to see that the science continues to support the voices of indigenous people that have urged for the protection of wild horses as a native species for so many years and are hopeful that this research will aid in their continued freedom on our public lands.

Take the “I Stand with Wild Horses” Pledge

Do you stand with wild horses?  JOIN US!  

Take the Wild Beauty #IStandWithWildHorses Pledge. 

Add your name to the WBF petition that we are bringing to Congress as WILD BEAUTY the documentary debuts. It is time to protect the wild beauty of our world.


Add your name to the pledge!

Photograph by Erin Phillips

Listen to More Winning Stories from WBF’s 2nd Annual Short Story Contest

We are continuing to release our winning stories from our 2nd Annual Short Story Contest, read aloud by our equine loving celebrity partners, for all to enjoy! We at WBF are incredibly proud of the high school and middle grade students who used their creative voices to stand with wild horses. Each winning story will be read aloud by an equine-loving celebrity, and will be posted to our social media to spread awareness and bring light to the beauty of our wild world. The voices of the next generation of equine advocates and brilliant storytellers have touched our judges hearts and we know that their words will bring change to the future of our wild ones.

This month, we released five more winning stories on our social media accounts. We are so proud of our young writers for sharing their beautifully composed stories with us and thank our readers for lending their talents to narrate them. You can find the text versions of each story by visiting our Facebook page. Congratulations Kayleigh, Gretchen, Faith, Zahara, and Reegan!


 Written by eleven-year-old Kayleigh O.

Read by Alisha Newton 

“Building Trust“ 

written by twelve-year-old Gretchen M.

Read by Graham Wardle 

“Tale of the Runner“ 

Written by twelve-year-old Faith W.! 

Read by Beth Behrs 


 Written by sixteen-year-old Zahara P.

Read by Michael Gladis 

“Wonder of Life“

Written by twelve-year-old Reegan B.

Read by Claire Forlani 


A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West

Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West Upcoming Screening

While Wild Beauty will officially be released to the world on May 12, you still have the chance to catch the film in select theaters! 

Starting in California, Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West will be playing at the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Santa Monica on May 12 and May 13, 2023. Directly following the showings, the filmmakers will host a special Q&A for those in attendance.

Get Tickets

At our most recent showing, the 18th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival, we were honored to have won “Best Documentary”! The audience at this event was amazing, and we are so excited to continue bringing wild horses into national consciousness.

Screening dates and locations will continue to be announced as details are released, so be sure to check our website often for updates. We thank you for showing your continued support for our documentary, and are so proud to bring Wild Beauty to everyone very soon!

Watch for dates near you.


Show Your Support for WBF with The Wild Beauty Boutique

The Wild Beauty Boutique has all you need to host a Wild Beauty watch party, and what’s even better is that all proceeds benefit The Wild Beauty Foundation! 

Our “Wild and Free” Laser Etched Maple Maple Cutting Board is perfect for preparing dinner for your guests or displaying charcuterie during the movie. Pair this with the Wild Beauty Foundation Pint Glasses, and sip on your favorite drink while you enjoy the beauty of wild horses. Don’t forget to browse our line of apparel to proudly show your support for wild horses whether out and about or watching the film from home. 

Each purchase from The Wild Beauty Boutique directly helps WBF support and save wild horses around the country through film, creativity, rescue, and advocacy. We thank you for showing your support for our nonprofit and our wild ones across the country.



Photograph by Sandy Sharkey

Glimpse of Wild Beauty

While looking into the eyes of a wild few spot appaloosa, Sandy Sharkey captured this regal image of wildness. May this strong beauty live forever free on the open rangeland he calls his home.


Photograph by Jim Brown

A Quote to Graze On

We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

-Henry David Thoreau


Thoreau’s beautiful views on the wildness of nature have inspired generations of environmental protection and conservation of our wild species. It is in our power to pass along his words and continue to stand up for our awe-inspiring wild world.


Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team

#istandwithwildhorses #wildbeautyspirit

Have an idea for a story or a tip for us?
Email [email protected]

Are you a wild horse photographer who would like your work featured in our newsletter or social media pages?
Email a ZIP or link to your photos, along with a short written approval to [email protected]!

Join Us On Our Journey.  We’d love to stand beside you.

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