A rock star. A guardian. A survivor.
Malibu photographer Tom Doody’s photographs tell the stories of wild American horses that have withstood population loss from slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada and the destruction of habitat.
“There are some that look more like concentration camp survivors, which is what they are,” Doody said. “I’m trying to tell the story of where these animals have come from and how they are majesty and their dignity is irreversible.”
His equestrian photographs will be on exhibit starting July 14 at the CANVAS Gallery on the corner of Civic Center Way and Cross Creek Road in Malibu.
To capture the photographs, Doody walked for miles, at times sideways, at the Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc until accepted by the herd, allowing him to get close up with his camera.
“We commune. That speaks to their socialization and the sense of family that they have,” Doody said.
Each horse carries scars from captivity, battles and the rough terrain.
“These guys are lean and mean and have wild hairdos,” Doody said, describing his close encounters with the horses.
Doody’s wife Pamela Robins, who owns Horseworship Apparel, has taken two of his images and put them on T-shirts.
Part of the proceeds both from the sale of the photography and the T-shirts will benefit the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary.
Doody said he believes wild horses are icons of the West.
“I think it is important that the story get out there that we are in danger of losing that. We’re in danger of playing an active role in eliminating it,” Doody said.