Skin In The Game

This post is rooted in a promise to share this bit of the WLP journey. Yesterday a guy at my hand rehab session was asking me about what I do, my busted hand, etc, and Wild Love Preserve. He responded with, “Sometimes, it takes a girl to be a man." 

In our conversation I mentioned it wasn't my style to share details of hiccups. He replied, “You’re wearing your unwavering dedication to those wild horses for the world to see. Be proud of those scars and promise me you'll share your story with others. People need to hear about your resilience.”

So, I’m keeping my word. Back in July 2013, I busted multiple bones in my left hand while we were trimming our adopted Challis wild horse’s hooves. We had to trim the hooves of our WLP wilds because I had yet to rally the financial support to acquire our wild expanse. Once we turn WLP wilds back out to their native habitat hooves will again wear naturally.

Skin in the game comes in various forms. Donations and grants haven’t fully covered project expenditures, so I’ve accessed my resources to cover corral leases, hay, vet bills and monthly BLM required compliance checks. As result I wasn’t in a financial position to have the recommended surgery to repair my hand at the time of injury. Instead it was “grin and bear it” style as the doctor pressured bones back into place and set my hand and arm in a cast. As it turned out, bones slipped and I’ve had a bum left hand for the last two years.

Skip to June 2015, I was a bit surprised to learn my only option for recovering most, but not all, of my hand function, required having bones re-busted, re-aligned, plates and screws installed. So on July 29, two years after my original busted bones, I had a do-over with hand surgery, followed by stringent hand rehab therapy. I haven’t been able to make a fist for the last couple years, so, to say the least, I am over the moon about getting my hand back. No matter the discomfort, I’ve got my eye on the prize and by the end of the year should be good to go!

While I find it awkward to share this personal bit, I do agree with wearing scars proudly. One needs to own their path, and my scars result from helping others and saving wild lives. I am fiercely adamant about integrity, taking action, walking one’s talk and follow through, and have always operated outside of the box giving a 150%. In the case of Wild Love Preserve, this laser-focus has been on the creation of a new model in protecting and preserving native wild horses on home turf in a lasting manner. Relevant to note, Wild Love Preserve programs have also saved American taxpayers $7.5 million since 21013.

The lasting preservation of native wild horses matters. Project Wild Love Preserve is a multi-faceted venture with great challenges, and countless twists and turns. When you believe in something, and when it really matters, you've gotta dive in, get dirty and stay true to your inner compass. Keep your eye on the end game, and never let others undermine your efforts. 

Follow your heart, simple.

Andrea Maki, Founder, Wild Love Preserve