Wild Horses of Skydog: Blue Zeus & Families

A searingly beautiful tribute to wild Mustang family groups that have been reunited after suffering roundup and separation in the American West.

Clare Staples



A searingly beautiful tribute to wild Mustang family groups that have been reunited after suffering roundup and separation in the American West.

Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary covers over 9,000 acres in Malibu, California, and Bend, Oregon, where wild horse advocates are working tirelessly to save captured Mustangs and return them to freedom. To date Skydog has rescued over 300 wild horses and 50 donkeys and mules, with a special focus on finding and reuniting bonded families who may have once roamed the American West together but who were separated during the roundup process.

In this striking book, gorgeously illustrated with hundreds of dramatic photographs, Skydog founder Clare Staples recounts heartbreaking tales of liberty lost and the dramatic extents to which some Mustangs will go to flee captivity or rejoin their family bands. She describes the mission that drives her and the Skydog team to identify and locate iconic wild horses that have been removed from public lands, and then secure them in order to assure them freedom at the Sanctuary for their remaining years—whenever possible, in the company of their original wild herdmates.

Readers meet twenty-one horse families, including that of Blue Zeus, the stunning Wyoming stallion who Staples admired in the wild for years before, in the fall of 2020, his herd was slated for roundup and captured, in one day losing both their freedom and each other. The story of the urgent search for him and his mares and foals, and their eventual reunion in the hills of Oregon, encapsulates all that Skydog hopes to accomplish for hundreds more horses in the years ahead. Incredibly moving, inspiring, and offering the hope of wildness and beauty preserved for future generations, this book is for every animal lover and all those who honor the natural inhabitants of the American West.

A percentage of all sales goes toward supporting Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary.

Additional Information

Author: Clare Staples

Format: Hardcover

Page Count: 256

Illustrations: 183 color photographs

ISBN: 9781646012138

By Clare Staples

Clare Staples is the founder and president of Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary in Malibu, California, and Bend, Oregon, which provides long-term homes for formerly free-roaming wild horses gathered from the American West by the United States government. Staples is a lifelong wild horse advocate, managing the Sanctuary with a passion and commitment that has helped make her one of the world’s leading voices on the plight of Mustangs and the myriad social and political issues that surround them (skydogranch.org).

Jamie Baldanza has been a horse lover since birth. After fourteen years as an art and creative director in advertising, Baldanza left New York City to follow her passion: photographing wild horses all across the Western United States. She created her own production company, This Mustang Life, which concentrates on bringing animal causes to the public through film and photography. She is the director of the docuseriesWild Lands, Wild Horsesand a short film calledPass the SAFE Act Now.

Steve Rymers is a photographer who followed a family of Mustangs he had been photographing in the wild to Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary when they were rescued after a Bureau of Land Management roundup. Rymers now regularly returns to the Sanctuary to photograph the herds and donates all the images he takes to use in promotional efforts that support the Sanctuary's mission.

Cowgirl Magazine Says:

"Wild Horses of Skydog is a hauntingly beautiful salute to the wild Mustang." 

AHP Annual Media Awards Judge Says:

"I have seldom read a nonfiction book with the
emotional power packed into this one."

The Backyard Horse Says:

"Overflowing with gorgeous photographs."