Catherine Orchard

Mustang PSA


Featured on Teen

About This Project

This film follows Cat Zimmerman and her mustangs Monche, Bella, and Minnie in addition to other rescued and adopted mustangs, and is part of a longer piece in post production.

Two years ago, I googled “horse whisperer”, hit the local news tab, and found a photo of Cat Zimmerman, working with a horse, a mustang she had adopted. I learned that twelve-year-old Cat was training for The Youth Mustang Challenge, a program that re-homes mustangs from holding pens via the Bureau of Land Management.

I've filmed as Cat’s patience, skill, and resilience with the horses has grown. She is now fifteen years old and a highly accomplished trainer and competitor. She spends long days (she’s homeschooled) caring for mustangs, and brings intelligent observation to her training. Her approach is thoughtful, done at the pace of the horse and without force. She taught herself the language of the mustangs, but leaves room for dialect. No two are exactly alike.

The larger situation is politically fraught and urgent. We made this film to show the viability of mustangs as domestic animals and the deep connection between humans and horses. Distinctly and importantly, the current categorization of mustangs as "feral" implies danger or at the very least, a nuisance. We need to protect them.

director Catherine Orchard
editor Kristen Bye
cinematographer Jack Shanahan
sound Matthew Liebowitz
sound mix Nora Linde
colorist Mickey Micklos

Special Thanks to Shelley Nice, Kelly Teacher, Derby Content, Harbor Picture Company, and Shipyard Post.