A tribute to Joy

I normally try to keep my personal life, well personal, but yesterday the world lost a dedicated wild horse advocate. She was one of the first advocates I “met” online and although it might seem strange to people wary of social media, it was a bit like having a pen pal. She was a wonderful resource, and I looked forward to her PMs, photos, and presence on facebook.

One of the many views of the red hills in the Dryhead.

Some of Joy’s landscapes helped motivate me to practice mine. 

As I got to know her, I appreciated her knowledge more. When we talked more, I learned how to be an optimist realist. She taught me to realize that while the life of a mustang is harsh, but they are well adapted to their environment. Although the horses give us plenty to worry about, it is all part of natural selection. I could always count on her perspective to be refreshing, and what I needed at the time.

Hightail, the matriarch or the Dryhead.

Hightail has been a remarkable matriarch to the Dryhead, despite people’s perceptions of her.

As I got more involved with wild horse ranges, I could count on her to gently correct me if I made a mistake. Although I certainly lived vicariously through her trips to the Pryors, she followed many wild horse ranges. Usually, even if she wasn’t sure, I could count on Joy to help point me in the right direction. Not only did she help me keep track of names, she helped me understand color. I loved having her provide resources for me, and recommend books to read.

As Kitalpha and Seneca demonstrate, they are both exhibiting dun factoring.

As Kitalpha and Seneca demonstrate, they are both exhibiting dun factoring.

I spend a lot of time answering people’s questions on various mustang advocacy pages, and I could always count on Joy to back me up as I learned how to navigate new people. Despite my best efforts to be tactful, I had to learn how to agree to disagree. It was nice knowing that Joy was also commenting on many of the same pages I did. It made me feel connected to see different advocates come together.

This poor marmot was struggling with navigation.

This poor marmot was struggling with navigation.

One thing today’s taught me is despite being spread out across countries, the wild horse community is surprisingly small. I’ve seen posts and heard from people from Wyoming, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, and Georgia paying tribute to Joy. That’s just the people that have shown up in my newsfeed. I know she touched the lives of many others throughout the years. It hurts now, but the mustang community can be incredibly supportive. In a few years, I like to think there will be a little one running around the mountain with a name that means Joy.

Joy was helpful in IDing the McCullough Peaks mare, Jinks.

Joy was helpful in IDing the McCullough Peaks mare, Jinks.

Advertisements

2 Comments »

  1. Nancy Cerroni Said:

    Thank you. Livi. You really captured many of my thoughts about Joy. She was one that I would go to if I had questions about photos or a statement I was about to make. I like how you described her ability to provide “gentle reminders.” She was always humble, yet very determined to help wild horses.


{ RSS feed for comments on this post} · { TrackBack URI }

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s