In a Land of Awe-Book Review
In a Land of Awe-Book Review
I recently read Chad Hansons book, In a Land of Awe. Chad and his wife Lynn have been my Instagram friends for several years, and we are connected by our mutual love of wild horses. All the images in this post, are his.
Chad starts out the book talking about how he and Lynn just stumbled onto wild horses one day. They weren’t looking for them, they didn’t even know they were in the area. But that single moment started him down a different lifepath that revolves around our wild mustangs. He writes about the feelings that seeing them evoked, and how they soon became an obsession. As I read this, I thought back to my first encounter with wild horses, and how my life changed as well. It’s easy to become enthralled, and obsessed.
Chad soon spends a lot of time looking for, looking at, and researching where to find even more wild mustangs. He mentions how he use to fish, hike, and mountain bike, but doesn’t do very much of that anymore, because, wild horses.
In Wyoming, where Chad lives, a good chunk of the BLM land that has wild horses, also has cattle. He talks quite a bit in the book about the destruction cattle reap on the land, but yet horses are constantly targeted for removal to “restore a balance on the range”, and of course to make room for more cattle. The word feral is used in conjunction with our wild horses, because as he states, feral downgrades their status in the eyes of the world. But “Wild”, that brings to mind freedom, majesty, and all the good things our wild horses actually are. Since it’s a proven fact that horses are from North America, the word feral does not apply. But cattlemen and the BLM want the horses viewed as pests, not needed, not wanted. God forbid we call them wild, majestic, and awe inspiring. Which is what they certainly are.
Chad talks in the book about the pandering to the livestock industry by the BLM, and how in a time when more and more people are seeking out wild places, this view is clearly not in line with what the rest of us want. The BLM wild and horse and burro program is tasked with managing our wild horses, but as he states, they clearly are more interested in their rancher friends from the area, then actually managing the horses.
The history of our country has brought us here, he explains. Taming the land, growing food, raising livestock, making money. Clearly we need food, but the balance in land use tends more to agribusiness, than wildlife. He points out, we need wild places, and the wildlife who live there. So many animals have already disappeared due to the greed of man.
I love the stories that Chad weaves in the book. His personal experiences with horses in the red desert, their trip to South Dakota, and North Dakota. It’s clear that he feels a heartfelt connection to our wild mustangs. He talks about the emptiness after a roundup, the unfairness of the roundup process, and how BLM makes up their own AML numbers to justify these roundups.
Bringing together all these elements, and showing us why we need wildness, and wild horses specifically is what this book is all about. Why we all deserve to experience that sense of awe when viewing our wild mustangs, and why our future generations deserve the same.
When you become passionate about something, you want to save it, and preserve it. And this is exactly what Chad does. He is co-founder of the Wyoming Mustang Institute, which works through research and advocacy to ensure healthy and stable wild horse populations and public land.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in our wild horses, or anyone wanting to learn more. It can be purchased from Amazon at this link.
Chad is also going to give away one book to a lucky reader. All you have to do is comment on this post to be entered into the random drawing. The giveaway will close Oct 12th, and a winner will be chosen.
It’s wonderful to read your email and I’m so glad you shared about the book. I live in the upstate of South Carolina and really want to come see the beautiful, majestic horses one day. Just reading your emails in the past about the roundup I have felt empty and heartbroken. It’s such a shame. And referring to them as feral instead of wild horses is surely intentional. I’ve already said horses are majestic. In the Bible in the Book of Revelations it says “Jesus ride back on a white horses!!! May the Lord bless Chad Hanson for what he’s doing for the wild horses and you for your beautiful photos of them.
It’s an outrage what has been done to the wild horses! It’s obvious that all the government and the BLM in particular care about is the interests of the cattle industry. They spread lies and misinformation about the horses in order to support their policies. It’s heartbreaking to see these magnificent animals rounded up and eventually winding up in a holding pen for an endless amount of time. So many family and friendship bonds are broken during the process along with their spirits. I hope with all my heart that someone can do something to stop this abuse but in reality, I’m not counting on it. Thank you for spreading the word about the plight of America’s wild horses.
I can’t wait to read this book! I am heartbroken over the treatment of our magnificent national treasure… Our wild horses. We have a lot of work to do to try to save there’s wonderful creatures!
You’re email is so informative about this book and the lives of the American Wikd Horses.
The information that is included about the BLM and their wanting to give way to the Ranchers to graze their cattle with no questions asked, really brings home the truth that the rest of the USA need to be told about.
Thank you for this review! If anyone is interested in learning more about the (mis)management of wild horses and burros, please tune into the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meetings going on through Thursday the 6th of October. You can find the link to the live stream at blm.gov/live. Starts in morning at 8AM PDT. It will open your eyes to the vast amount of scapegoating of the wild horses and burros that occurs, and tons of misinformation, starting with the Advisory Board. Thank you for this review. I will buy!
Thank you for this review. I have been wanting to read this book In a Land of Awe and after reading your review I am even more determined to read this book. I’ve known about our wild mustangs since I was a horse obsessed child and always thought that the BLM was created to protect these majestic horses. But over the last few years, mostly thanks to social media, I have learned that this is not the case. It feels as if the BLM is out to totally eliminate the mustangs. In every western state. At any cost. With little regard to these horses, their history & those who advocate to keep them wild & free.
Thank you for doing what you do! I love my Mustang. And I believe mustangs are a symbol of our country brave intelligent curious family centered! Our country needs wild places and wild things and especially wild horses! They should be given the same status as a bald eagle and higher I believe. Our country would not have Accomplished what we did without our wild horses!
What the cattle association does along with the BLM is shameful and despicable. They get away with it because our government is so corrupt. Where would we be without the horse? Look forward to reading your book, your pictures in this post are beautiful. Thank you for all you do, all you wild horse advocates.
I grew up loving horses of any kind. When I lived out west, I went looking for them often. I followed a specific group for years until a round up took place and I could no longer find them.
I now live in Ohio. I follow all the wild horse groups and rescue organization. My heart is broken for our wild horses. They are icons and deserve to be wild and free. I miss the herd I followed and can imagine their fate, sadly.
Save and preserve our wild horses. The world would be a sad place without them.
Thank you for caring and helping to spread the word. America’s horses deserve so much better. They have done so much for us.
Although always fascinated by wild horses, it has only been the past few years that I’ve seriously followed equine rescues and sanctuaries, as well as sites dedicated to the rescue of wild mustangs. It is heartbreaking to learn about the roundups and treatment of these magnificent creatures. It seems their history and challenges mirror what happens in our society. That doesn’t mean there is no hope, and those who teach and inform us are critical in our collective learning and support. A wonderful review, and I look forward to reading the book!
I love looking at all the photos of wild horses. It’s a shame what is happening to them. I would love a chance to win your book to read. I have a long list of books I would like to buy. A lot of them are about the mustangs. Thank you for what you do.
This is a fantastic looking book. Thank you for the review. The pictures look great. I hope I win. If not I know where yo buy it! Thank you. Thank Chad for creating this book.
Loved reading about your passion with your wife anout finding the wild horses; and falling under their spell. They captured your hearts.
I would love to read your book. Back in the early 2000’s, I lived near the Pryor Mountains so I went up the to the top and saw the wild horses. I sat for hours watching them through my binoculars. I was mesmerized. I no longer live there but I read as much as I can on Facebook as well as I have purchased a few books.
I enjoyed reading about ur journey into the Mustangs lives.It brought out so many feelings.I live in WI an would love to actually see them up close. This year I decided to be the Organizer/Leader for Wild Mustang Rally for WI.I will keep fighting for the freedom, etc .
Chad is a blessing to these Wild Mustangs. We need so many more like him to be there voice an to fight for there freedom. It would be an honor to be chosen to receive “In A Land Of Awe” by Chad Hanson. Beautiful work an well done. The pictures were beautiful. Best of luck to everyone.
I am just awe struck and speechless.. both to your commentary and to Chad’s dedication and work.. Of course cattle rule the range.. big money is involved!.. Sad..
Thank you Mary Hone and Chad for bringing us your the daily inspiration and love for these gorgeous horses!.. Long live the Mustang..
Just started learning about the wild mustangs. I hope to learn a lot from this book!
Looks like a book well worth reading .. the spirit of the wild mustang touches anyone with a heart .
The BLM as well as the USFS is not on the side of the wild life or people they are supposed to work for. They don’t want people to enjoy wildlife , ferrl horses, federal lands, lakes, rivers and forest. They just want us the general public out! I can’t wait to read this book and learn more about what can or can’t be done.
What beautiful photos! I would love having this book! These mustangs are gorgeous and so precious.
What a wonderful holiday gift this book would be. Too many people are not even aware we have Wild Horses, much less the truth that these icons are being ripped from their land. Most every little girl dreams of owning a horse… the wild horses belong to us all. When we truly become Stewarts we must fight to Keep Wild Horses FREE!
Thank you for all you do to bring about awareness.