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The Unwanted Project

Prince, Cracker Box Palace, Alton, NY 2009  © Christy Whitney 2014

MISSION

UNWANTED PROJECT documents horses that were once ‘unwanted’ bi-products of irresponsible ownership and overbreeding from pharma organizations, meat producers, and the racing and horse show industries. We connect viewers with cause based fine art photography and finely crafted goods that educate the public, raise awareness about the plight of American horses and provide funding for horse rescues. 

A percentage of all print sales are donated to rescues in need.

 

 

THE BACKSTORY


Magic, one day into recovery from nearly starving to death.  Cracker Box Palace, Alton NY 2010This project is about all of us, the horses, the planet, we humans and all creatures coming full circle. Reconnecting to the healing space that we have forgotten but that resides within all things and spaces and places.  We are all things and they are us, and so we must treat everyone and everything with love and respect.  Walk gently.  Act out of love. 

My journey in telling the story of the horses began about 13 years ago, I stumbled upon the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in New York and was awakened out of a deep sleep...the high production agribusiness animals are very much like our dogs and cats. All of them, the chickens, the goats, the cows, the pigs... They strive for our love and affection and need companionship as much as we do.  With these thoughts close to my heart, I decided I wouldn't give another cent to facilities where these animals are cruelly born, bred and mistreated for the short duration of their lives. Before I left the Sanctuary, I had decided to stop eating meat and dairy.

A few years later, my father introduced me to Cracker Box Palace, a horse rescue in Alton, NY. It was snowing that day, allowing silence to envelope the hilltop pasture. I walked out into the plush white field, camera slung around my neck, not knowing how they would react to me or the device in my hand.  I found myself quickly surrounded by giant yet gentle and curious creatures. I had an initial impulse of fear that I might be accidentally squished to death between horses.  But I quickly relaxed into their breathing, there was a message of "no fear".  I found my breath synchronizing with theirs. I could feel a connection to them and a sense of belonging.  This true spiritual connection brought me to a place of serenity that I needed.  

My wish is for everyone to revive their fundamental connection with our natural world and it's inhabitants.  And so, the Unwanted Project was created to preserve horses wild and tame.

For the more photos and stories, follow UNWANTED on FACEBOOK

 

 

ARTIST STATEMENT


Horses have served to beautify our lands, act as a mode of transit and farming, can become our loving companions and therapists and are a symbol of American heritage.  It is hard for me to comprehend  that our "thank you" entails sending them, by the hundreds, to an inhumane death and onto the dinner plate of a caged lion at a local zoo.  But perhaps the most important notion is that horses can be used to heal us, ultimately, improving our lives and theirs in a way that wouldn't require a regime of drug use. Consequently, the heart and soul of the project has become about the healing relationship between human and horse, and the importance that should be placed on preserving it.   
Over the past ten years, my wish to make positive change in the world has grown into an overwhelming desire to make it part of my everyday life. It has become inordinately important for me to be an active part of improving the condition of our world.  My hope is that this project will grow, touching the lives of many more people and animals than I can reach alone.

I have been following rescued horses for over 10 years now. During my first visit to a rescue in upstate New York, I felt an intrinsic connection to their horses. I had been exposed to animal abuse cases in the past, and turned a blind eye because I felt like there was nothing I could do and that it only served to bring me down. It was easier to look away instead of doing something. But, when physically and emotionally experiencing a rescued horse's calm, companion spirited and trusting nature, every cell in my body shifts. It cannot be ignored. It was this experience, surrounded in the healing power of horses, that I decided with unyielding inclination to protect them. I did what I could with the tools given to me, and began the UNWANTED project. 

Through UNWANTED, we educate the public and raise awareness about the plight of our horses today, donate a percentage of sales to horse rescues in need and decorate homes with beautiful images that are truly meaningful. 

 

THE RESCUES

Visit, Volunteer, Support

Here are some of the rescues where Christy has photographed.  They are all wonderful places to experience horses.  Please support them!

Equine Angels

North Shore Horse Rescue

Cracker Box Palace Animal Haven

Ray of Light Farm

Medicine Horse Program

The Cloud Foundation