Lakota’s Gift, 2015

Lakota, July, 2011
Lakota, July, 2011

Last year was the first year that I award a free camping trip with me to a young person who could carry on their passion of the wild horses and share it with others their age.  I named it “Lakota’s Gift” to honor my favorite wild horse who died in the summer of 2012.  Lakota gave so much to me in such a short time, that I felt I needed to give back to another person who had never seen these horses before. You can read about who those who were chosen last year by clicking on GIFT 1.

This year the free camping trip goes to Abbie Branchflower.  I asked Abbie to write a bit about herself so below is her story.

I am looking forward to meeting you Abbie, and congratulations.   If anyone is interested in apply for the summer of 2016, please send me you application (about why I should choose you), to



“Hi, my name is Abbie and I’m ecstatic to have been given the opportunity to see the Pryor Mustangs in person this summer! I graduated magna cum laude from Delaware Valley College in May 2014 with a major in Equine Science and a minor in English Literature. I currently work at a local animal hospital and will be pursuing a Masters or PhD in the field of Equine Health.

I was born in the U.K. across from Ascot Racecourse so my parents have always said that horses were probably the first thing I smelled! My family moved first to Canada (where I became bilingual in French), and then ten years later, to Connecticut. I have always had a passion for horses in every form and have experience working at stables, volunteering at riding for the disabled organizations and foaling out mares. At age sixteen I got my own horse and love caring for him! In high school I co-founded and ran C.A.N.T.E.R. (Charitable Acts in Newtown Towards Equine Rescue) and was honored to receive the Humane Society’s Shaw-Worth Scholarship in my senior year.  Naturally, I went to college to pursue my passion for horses. In my junior year I was selected as 1 of 2 Equine Science students to attend a semester at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, England where I interned at the Equine Therapy Centre. In my senior year of college I was presented with the Equine Science Award.

I am a big believer in protecting and preserving America’s mustangs and am interested in research into preserving bloodlines for the long-term health of the herds, especially a herd as unique as the Pryors. I have engaged in many campaigns to protect the mustangs, including writing letters, making presentations and designing shirts for sale to benefit the Pryor Mustangs. As an Equine Science major I focused on the effects of PZP on isolated populations of mustangs and spent hours reading all the information I could get my hands on.

I love photography and am very excited to try my hand at photographing the gorgeous Pryor mustangs. I follow any and all information on the herd, and though I haven’t seem them (yet!) in person, I feel deeply connected to these horses. Some of the mustangs I have felt particularly drawn to through following the herd (not including this year’s foals!) include: Firestorm, Feldspar, Jupiter, Demure, Hailstorm, Mica, Fool’s Gold, Medicine Bow, Fiesta, Horizon and Juniper.”


Lakota, May 2012.
Lakota, May 2012.


15 thoughts on “Lakota’s Gift, 2015

  • How exciting!!! Congrats Abbie, you definitely deserve it!! Do you know yet the dates you’ll be going? I will be Sandy’s assistant on a couple of her July trips. It seems like me and you usually have similar thoughts on the horses so I’d love to meet you in person. I’m an equine major too and for my research project I plan on doing something regarding pzp. I haven’t decided which way I’m going to go with it yet, I have a couple different ideas. Once I figure out what I’m doing I’d love to talk to you about it and get some of your opinions.

    • Thanks so much Sarah! I will be going from August 4th-7th so unfortunately won’t be there at the same time as you, I would have loved to have met you also! I would love to compare notes on PZP usage and would be glad to chat about your research project! Feel free to message me on Facebook about it when you decide what you’ll be doing 🙂

  • Kudos to you, Sandy, and CONGRATULATIONS to you, Abbie! Sounds to me like you’re an excellent choice and will undoubtedly be a fine advocate for the cause of Lakota and “his herd”, and for many others as well. You will absolutely love the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, all the horses, and Sandy, I’m sure. I know I do. <3

  • Abbie, you are quite the young lady. I hope you continue to follow your dreams. I can’t wait to hear about your experience on the mountain. You’ll love it! And you have a great guide in Sandy. I hope the trip is everything you imagine…and more.

  • Kudos Sandy and congratulations Abbie! Not only will Abbie learn first hand about the Pryor horses, Sandy will set a fine example as grand photographer too. Lucky and well deserved Abbie. Diane

    • Also, thank you to everyone for your congratulations! I am really enjoying being part of the online Pryor Mustang enthousiast community 🙂

  • What a generous gift to bestow on this young lady! She seems very knowledgeable about horses and is definitely deserving of Lakota’s Gift. I hope she enjoys the horses in my stead this summer 🙂

  • Wow Abbie! Well done!
    As Abbie’s cousin I can certainly say she will make the absolute most of this experience! So proud of you sweet (and a little jealous) Have fun! Can’t wait to see the pictures you take.

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