As an equestrian trainer for the last 30 years, Debra Garside has spent most of her professional life looking at and working with animals of sport horse bloodlines. But last summer, the photographer embarked on a mission of a different kind, one that took her far from where she lives, outside of Turner Valley, to the treeless and storm-swept Sable Island, Nova Scotia.
The history of the horses on Sable Island dates back to the 1700’s. From 1801 to 1958, horses were kept on the island as part of the Humane Establishment, an operation that required horses to haul lifeboats to rescue sites in the aid of shipwrecked sailors. With permission from Environment Canada and accompanied by three friends, Garside spent four days following the wild horses across deep sand and meadows of high grass. Garside will be exhibiting a series of photographs from this recent adventure at the Okotoks Art Gallery, Alberta until September 6, 2010.